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PBCore in Use
Applying PBCore: Case Examples
of the Elements in Use

PSD Consortium (HD Public Radio)
& PSD (Program Service Data)

PBCore Integration

Other Case ExamplesOther Case Examples




Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Radio International (PRI) has built a consortium of partners charged with developing the basic elements of a common data structure for HD Radio's Program Service Data (PSD) streaming text capability. Program Service Data is a text stream enabled by digital radio broadcasting technology (originally called PAD--Program Associated Data). PSD allows stations to broadcast text, such as artist and title information, in synch with a digital audio broadcast. Listeners see this text on their HD Radio™ receiver displays, usually by a small, built-in LCD screen.

PSD HD Radio Display
from the PSD Consortium website

At a minimum, a PSD stream can describe what is currently playing on the air—a basic consumer expectation in the digital media world. But PSD can also be used to support a variety of other radio station priorities (such as forward promotion, fundraising, branding, traffic/weather, or emergency broadcast messages) during both program broadcast and interstitial programming. PSD strategies can potentially support the work—and possibly affect the workload—of several departments within a station.

The PSD Consortium has created three Virtual Demonstrations of Program Service Data in action. These are programmed in Adobe Flash. The demonstrations are accessed from the following web page...


PSD should not be confused with SIS (Station Information Service) fields, which also appear on your listeners’ HD Radios. SIS text is static, and is typically used to display call letters and frequency. PSD can be updated as frequently as needs and resources permit.





PBcore is intended as a common metadata and cataloguing resource for public broadcasters and associated communities. With funding support from CPB, the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary (PBCore) was created through a number of years of collaboration involving representatives of local and national television and radio organizations, numerous constituencies, and related disciplines. PBCore was designed as a general-purpose metadata structure to be used across the variety of public broadcasting (television, radio, Web) distribution systems, as well as in related business and management systems.

The common goal of PBCore, PSD and other related metadata standards efforts, is to provide broad system integration of data collected to describe, organize, announce, and use collections of media assets.

On a basic business level, there is an obvious benefit in minimizing the number of times data entry is performed for any given asset, and to reduce or eliminate duplicate effort. Reducing the number of steps required to create, maintain and update information about individual series, programs, Web pages or other media assets has a potential cost benefit resulting from streamlined workflow. As changing technology and business practices support and create new distribution methods, there is an increasing need to break down traditional "information silos" within organizations and industries, and enable effective and useful exchange of information among systems, people, and organizations.

But creation of common terms and language of a metadata dictionary, while critical, is only a first step toward a goal of broad system integration. To be used effectively in media distribution systems, metadata must have rules and structures defined in terms that can be understood both by people and technology. And while the core structures must be clearly defined, there must also be enough flexibility in the metadata system to allow for modification and adaptation.

The use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is the most common method in current practice to provide data structures that are human-readable, machine-readable, and built to accommodate change. Virtually all professional broadcast and new media equipment vendors provide the ability to import and export data in an XML format.

Both PBCore and PSD have agreed to use XML as the language for data interchange. Descriptions about a media asset may exist as PBCore compliant data, in the XML file format, styled according to the PBCore XML Schema Definition (XSD), the structural rules for the presentation of XML data. Likewise, a media asset may exist as PSD compliant data, in the XML file format, styled by its own XML XSD.

Once an XML Schema is created and made available, it is possible to share and use it either as a "rulebook" in using a related XML document (file), or as a basis for creating further data structures. Data transformations can take place between one XML document (a PBCore compliant XML record) and another XML document (a PSD compliant XML record). Each document is mapped to the other, plugging in data where metadata fields match in meaning and syntax and data structure.

The PBCore set of metadata elements is well documented in this website www.pbcore.org. Similarly, a presentation of the PSD program field descriptions is published on the PSD website at this URL...


The semantic mapping of proposed PSD fields to PBCore V1.0 fields began in late May 2006. After an initial period of review, and based on feedback from the PBCore team, PRX, and vendors, a revised set of fields was proposed on July 10th, 2006. As of the autumn of 2007, a further review and revision process was undertaken in order to match PSD description fields to the revised PBCore v1.1 metadata dictionary published in January of 2007.

Once reviewed and approved by the PSD Consortium and PBCore, the mapping of PBCore to the PSD metadata scheme will be published and made available through the PBCore website's section on metadata mappings and crosswalks (see Mapping PBCore to other Metadata Standards).





Tim Halle
@ comcast.net
Daniel Mansergh, KQED Radio
@ KQED.org
PSD website
Virtual Demonstrations of PSD in Action
Suggested PSD Program Field Descriptions




Other Case ExamplesOther Case Examples


PBCore in Use


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