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The web provides an alternative transmission medium for radio and TV stations, enabling these to reach a global audience. New Internet-only services have also appeared. A large number of services are now available and there are many web-based directories listing Internet radio and TV stations under various categories.

General information such as channel name, category (genre), and broadcaster are provided as well as technical information about the streams (URL, bit-rate, codec etc).

The Problem

Directories which list radio and TV stations have to be maintained by hand because the information cannot easily be collected automatically from web sites. The information these directories provide is not easily extracted by web browsers and devices such as Internet Radios.

Some, but not all of this information is common to audio-info and video-info-examples. However there is an inherent difference between an item of content (e.g. a song) and a real-time stream of content.

Some thought needs to be given to whether this problem can be addressed using the proposed hAudio 0.9.1 and hVideo microformats, or by combining these with some new stream-info microformat (similar to the proposed file-format or Downloads microformats).



Page layout derived from audio-info-examples and video-info-examples


A python script has been written to extract statistical information, but for it to work, we need to be careful about how we mark up information. Please use the following template when adding information about an Internet radio or TV station:

* [ Website Name]
** [ Listing Example]
*** Information displayed: bandwidth, broadcaster, category, codec, description, email, frequency,
                           image, info_url, language, location, name, now_playing, player_url,
                           rating, schedule, stereo, stream_url

If you need to add more information than is displayed, please use a common term to describe the information, add it to the Template above and provide a description in the Properties section below.


These properties are in alphabetical order and in no way represent the frequency of their use in the examples. The property names are also not final and probably will not be used when the Microformat vocabulary is decided. Deciding the vocabulary of the Microformat is not performed at this stage of examples collection and analysis. These property names and definitions are listed here in an attempt to keep the current and future example analysis teams using the same definitions for property names.

  • bandwidth - The bitrate of the stream.
  • broadcaster - The originator of the station.
  • category - The category specifies the genre or style used to classify the station. Examples include: comedy, entertainment, news, or sport.
  • codec - The type of decoder needed to play the stream.
  • description - A description of the station and the content it carries.
  • email - The email address of the the station.
  • frequency - The frequency on which the station is broadcast, e.g. 94.1 MHz.
  • image - An image which can be used to represent the station. Examples include: a screenshot or a station logo.
  • info_url - A link to a web page providing more information about the station, e.g. a link to schedule information.
  • language - The language used by the station.
  • location - The geographical location of the station.
  • name - A short textual description used to identify the station.
  • now_playing - Information about the content currently carried by the station, e.g. track details.
  • player_url - A link to a media player for the station.
  • rating - A numerical quality/satisfaction rating for the station.
  • schedule - Schedule information for the station.
  • stereo - A field indicating how many audio channels are carried.
  • stream_url - A direct link to the media stream or stream metafile for use by a generic player.

Real-World Examples


Individual Radio Stations

  • Media UK
    • Example station
      • Information displayed: name, broadcaster, description, email, language, category, location, image, info_url, player_url, frequency

Listings of Radio Stations

  • Radio Feeds
    • Station list
      • Information displayed: name, broadcaster, description, category, location, info_url, stream_url, bandwidth, codec, stereo


Individual TV Stations

  • BBC News
    • News 24
      • Information displayed: name, broadcaster, description, category, image, info_url, player_url, stream_url, email
  • TVonline
    • Free internet TV online
      • Information displayed: name, location, description, language, category, location, image, info_url, bandwidth, codec, player_url
  • Freee TV
    • Example TV station
      • Information displayed: name, location, description, language, category, location, image, info_url, bandwidth, codec, rating

Listings of TV Stations

  • Freee TV
    • Station list
      • Information displayed: name, location, description, language, category, location, image, info_url, bandwidth, codec, player, rating
  • wwwiTV
    • Station list
      • Information displayed: name, broadcaster, description, location, info_url, player_url, bandwidth

Other stream types

  • Text?


Analysis of Radio Stations

Analysis of TV Stations

Existing Practices

Listed below is an overview of the existing patterns and practices found in the wild for Radio and TV stations.

Other schema

The XML schema defined by TV-Anytime address a similar problem.

Summary of common patterns discovered

  • There is usually no explicit information about whether the station is radio or TV.
  • There are often several streams listed for the same station using different bit-rates or codecs.

Other attempts to solve The Problem

  • media-info-examples - Attempted to find an uber-microformat for describing media. Turned out to be too large of a task, thus the problem was split into attempting to create microformats for audio, video and images.

Related Pages