The Internet Media Device Alliance (IMDA) has announced a baseline certification standard for standalone internet radio players. Called IMDA Profile 1, the standard aims to protect consumers by aligning competing technologies and future-proofing internet radio product design.
Major internet radio manufacturers and broadcasters are backing the IMDA certification standard to ensure new products will access the majority of streamed audio broadcasts, available now and in the future. It is estimated that certified radios will today receive around 90 per cent of the world’s radio stations currently broadcasting over the internet.
For manufacturers of internet radios, the certification standard aims to reduce time to market and marketing risk by removing the prospect of rival technology wars. At the same time, online broadcasters adhering to IMDA Profile 1 will be able to reach target audiences using fewer audio codecs, cutting associated costs.
IMDA Profile 1 sets out to harmonise the technologies currently used by internet radio manufacturers and broadcasters. Specifically, the baseline standard stipulates devices must decode both WMA and MP3 codecs; use HTTP streaming with 301 and 302 redirection; accept play list formats M3U, ASX, PLS with new line separation for URLs in plain text; and receive stereo streams via two channels or by downloading a mix of both.
The IMDA was launched in 2009 to develop and promote a set of open, interoperable standards and device profiles for internet connected media devices. Its steering committee comprises many of the world’s leading players in streaming media: Awox, BBC, Deutsche Welle, the European Broadcasting Union, Frontier Silicon, Global Radio, Pure, Reciva, SWR and vTuner.