ARCHIVED -  Circular No. 438

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Ottawa, 26 October 1999

For the attention of all radio licensees

Commission's Position Regarding Audio Logs in Digital Form

1. The Radio Regulations, 1986 require, among other things, that licensees submit to the Commission upon request, a clear and intelligible tape recording or machine readable record of all matter broadcast by the licensee.

2. In the past, audio logs were submitted in analog form. Over the past few years, however, an increasing number of licensees have been computerizing their operations and switching to digital technology. Consequently, a growing number of broadcasters have requested to submit their audio logs in digital form.

3. Digital audio technology is becoming the mainstay of the broadcasting industry in large part because of its facility for music program scheduling, its storage capacity, its capability to interface with a variety of software packages, and the potential for other applications.

4. Numerous broadcasters who have not yet updated or digitized their operations have indicated their intention to do so. In this regard the Commission has been asked if it intends to establish any particular standard or if it prefers any particular technology, specific hardware or software format.

5. There are currently many digital audio software and hardware technologies that are being used, most of which are mutually incompatible. In adapting to this new digital reality, the Commission has experienced some of these compatibility problems. In some cases it has been necessary to return digital audio tapes (DAT) to licensees, to be copied and resubmitted in a different format.

6. The Commission recognizes the importance of adapting to new technologies and facilitating the exchange of information with broadcasters and other related industries. It is, however, not capable of equipping and familiarizing its staff with all software and hardware formats currently available. The Commission notes that the chosen technologies must be compatible with existing computer facilities. This will ensure that the current efficiency of monitoring functions is maintained.

7. In the interests of finding a solution to these issues, the Commission undertook discussions with the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). These discussions examined ways that the Commission could accommodate broadcasters who wish to submit logger tapes in a digital format.

8. As a result of the discussions with the CAB, the Commission is satisfied that a vast majority of broadcasters continue to use analog systems and that numerous technological developments will take place before an industry standard for digital logging is adopted.

9. For the reasons noted above, the Commission has decided that, until an industry standard is established, it is prepared to accept logger tapes recorded in the following digital formats:


Real Player/ Jaz Disk (up to 2 GB) or Compact Disc (CD)

Media Player/ Jaz Disk (up to 2 GB) or Compact Disc (CD)

10. As noted earlier, some broadcasters already use DAT equipment for audio logging. In addition to the equipment noted above, the Commission has one unit each of the Eventide VP204 and RCS Tracker models, but has found that these machines are not compatible with its current computer operations. Therefore, although this equipment is available for occasional use, it is not efficient for the purpose of conducting programming analysis.

11. The Commission may also be prepared in the future to accept other formats, provided that the Commission is equipped to read or convert that format. In the interim, if the Commission does not own the appropriate equipment, it will ask the licensee to convert the logger tapes into one of the formats noted above.

12. Until such time as they digitize their operations, broadcasters are required to maintain and submit their audio logs in analog form, either on 15/32, 15/16 or 1 7/8 speed reel to reel tapes, standard play (SP) or extended play (EP) speed VHS cassettes or audio cassettes.

Secretary General

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