ZaraRadio:
Configuring Now-Playing Song Data

Want to send Now Playing song data from ZaraRadio 1.6.2 to your RDS Encoder, Website, or Streaming Server? MetaRadio makes this possible. This article explains the setup of MetaRadio and ZaraRadio.

It’s been over ten years since I first used ZaraRadio myself, and it’s still a vary popular automation system. However, it doesn’t implement a very structured way of outputting data. We’ve developed a clever solution to this in MetaRadio, which allows you to utilise various filename formats and/or ID3 tags.

You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of MetaRadio.

For other setup guides, see out MetaRadio Support Site.

Prerequisites

Configuring ZaraRadio

ZaraRadio supports exporting a CurrentSong.txt file every time a new track is played on-air. It also write to an activity log file. MetaRadio takes advantage of both of these files.

To setup ZaraRadio, follow this process:

  1. Open the ‘Options’ window from the Tools menu
  2. Navigate to the “Log” section
    1. Enable Logging
    2. Specify a folder for the log files to be saved info
  3. Navigate to the “General” section
    1. Specify a folder for the CurrentSong.txt file to be saved to
  4. Save your changes

That’s it for the ZaraRadio side of things. Now we can move over to the MetaRadio setup.

Installing FFmpeg for MetaRadio

Using MetaRadio with ZaraRadio requires FFmpeg to be installed. After installing MetaRadio, download the latest 64-bit Static version of FFmpeg for Windows from this website: https://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/

Unzip the downloaded ZIP file, and copy ffmpeg.exe to C:\Program Files (x86)\Media Realm\MetaRadio\

Configuring MetaRadio to talk to ZaraRadio

In MetaRadio Config, you can add a ZaraRadio station. You’ll need to specify the full path to the CurrentSong.txt file, and also the folder that contains the log files created by Zara. You can use the ‘Text Format Type’ ‘%artist%title’.

  1. Open MetaRadio Config
  2. Add a New Station
  3. Select “ZaraRadio” from the dropdown menu
  4. Configure the station settings
    1. Enter the folder for the Log Files as specified in ZaraRadio (e.g. C:\Zara_NP\)
    2. Enter the full path to the ‘CurrentSong.txt’ file (e.g. C:\Zara_NP\CurrentSong.txt)
    3. Set the “Text Format Type”. If you use MP3’s, select “ID3”. If you have a constant naming format, select either “title-artist” or “artist-title” (Assuming your filenames are ‘Title – Artist‘ or ‘Artist – Title‘ respectively)
  5. Save Station Details, and save the global settings in the app.
  6. Restart the main MetaRadio app and confirm ZaraRadio is connected. You should see the track information displayed whenever the current on-air song changes.

Now that MetaRadio is receiving data from ZaraRadio, you can configure any outputs (RDS Encoders, Website, Streaming Servers, etc.) as needed.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a IT Professional, Broadcast Technician, Software Developer, and Solutions Engineer. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008, and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I provide freelance services through Media Realm - in particular, to the media and not-for-profit industries.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden