7 Lesser Known (But Very Useful) Features of ENCO DAD Radio Automation Software
ENCO Dad Radio Automation Software is flexible, customizable, and interoperable. DAD users know the audio playout and automation system for its Presenter On-air Interface and vast playout options. There are some features , however, that can be extremely helpful for the radio broadcaster that you might not know about.
We sat down with Aaron Johnson, Domestic Sales, ENCO, to pick his brain on some of the best lesser-known features of DAD. Here are his top 7.
1. Web Portal.
When it comes to radio automation, everyone has a different workflow and style of doing things, and that knowledge can be useful. ENCO has a web portal where users can look at other questions that broadcasters have asked and the support that has already been given. “In my daily interaction with DAD users, I always mention the web portal. It’s password-protected and getting a login is simple,” says Aaron. To access the portal, go to https://tracker.phaseware.com/ENCO/. You’ll need to email email@example.com to obtain access to the portal.
2. Tech Assessments.
“One of the things our support and sales department are willing and want to give is tech assessments where we will get on a call with a client to talk about their workflow and all the different tools that can make their lives easier,” says Johnson. “This is something users don’t usually know they can do…Let’s get on a call and talk about what you’re doing and what we can do to help.” Contact sales or support to get started.
3. ENCO PADApult.
Compatible with DAD, the PADApult Management and Messaging application gives users the power to create and distribute 'now playing' information, along with compelling message-casting content by sending real-time text data out to RDS, HD Radio, your web site, social media, and other destinations.
This is very useful if there is, say, a giveway or contest along with the on-air broadcast. PADApult puts the giveaway’s details on the website, social media, or wherever the broadcaster needs it, up to 10 locations.
The application also pulls in data. This is helpful for public stations that are NPR affiliates because that data supports NPR’s MetaPub—a service that gathers broadcast program metadata and makes it available to stations to deliver to end-user devices such as HD radios and smartphones. ENCO was one of the first to support MetaPub, in fact. “The data we provide is very granular and some clients don’t know it exists,” says Johnson.
4. DAD Plays Well With Video.
DAD integrates with and can even play video, which is becoming important to more and more clients who want to add streaming elements to their stations.
“They may have a show with live video cameras—morning or afternoon drive shows for example. DAD can integrate within that environment so the broadcaster can have a video stream as well and do it in a way that it not going to inconvenience the on-air talent…It happens automatically.”
Because DAD plays well with video, it adds a whole new content source that stations can use to sell to even more markets and integrate with visual radio systems. Video could come from existing cameras in the stations or video produced using a a visual radio system like the ENCO RUSHWORKS VDESK VISUAL RADIO solution, which made its premiere at the NAB Show 2023 as a standalone solution for radio stations wanting to make the transition to live video production and streaming.
5. Playlists Are For More than Just Audio.
Playlists aren’t audio-only when you are working in the DAD environment. You can embed scripts as part of your DAD playlists. If a live-read ad comes up, the script can pop up to the DAD Presenter interface and display on a second screen. The announcer doesn’t have to have separate physical piece of paper. Likewise, you can also add other information to help with your broadcast, like an artist’s Wiki page. This is most relevant for the Presenter and Playback Decks and the Library where it is all stored. Very convenient.
6. DAD Arrays.
DAD Arrays are our version of ‘hot key’ buttons. “A lot of people think these types of buttons can only play audio, but they can do much more than that,” says Johnson. For example, a button can have a command on it so that when a user clicks on the button they tell the audio router to control another DAD on the network. Or they could send a command to other hardware, such as audio consoles, to change the profile from one person to another.
7. Customizable Reporting.
Any piece of data in DAD can be shown in a custom report in the format the user wants, so they aren’t having to physically copy and paste into their own format. “Each station is different and wants to see different things in their report. DAD allows users to customzie reports any way they need and exported them to a spreadsheet right within DAD,” says Johnson. All of this helps broadcast facilities keep a tight watch on content, avoiding fines and paying royalties appropriately.
Are you interested in getting ENCO DAD Radio Automation in your own broadcast operation? Contact Aaron Johnson to see what DAD can do for you.