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### Automating Promotions with AI: How a Station Saved Time

“We’re at a point with technology where if there’s something you want to make or do, all you …

During my initial four months as the material operations manager at High Plains Public Radio, I dedicated several hours each week to downloading and editing current promotions with utmost efficiency and consistency. This often involved monotonously pressing the same five keys on my keyboard for an extended period. Despite the repetitive nature of this task, it did not demand much mental exertion, allowing me time to contemplate better approaches.

I pondered the possibility of leveraging the expertise of a skilled programmer to swiftly devise a code for audio editing, a realm where my proficiency was limited. My exposure to basic programming during high school was fleeting, but I possessed three advantageous assets: guidance from a mentor during my college internship, access to ChatGPT—an emerging AI interface, and unwavering support from an encouraging boss who granted me the freedom to experiment within my workday.

Our station’s development division primarily utilized two platforms for audio editing: Adobe Audition and dBPoweramp. While dBPoweramp was initially employed solely for converting records for our ENCO DAD technology program, I unearthed its remarkable functionality that had been underutilized. This software offered a plethora of additional features such as “generate silence,” “remove silence,” “normalize,” “fade out,” and “set minimum/maximum length” when selecting a folder for conversion. Despite the necessity to process files individually, these tools, coupled with some adjustments, significantly streamlined my editing workflow.

Exploring the capabilities of dBPoweramp further led me to discover a gem—CoreConverter, a component of the program that could be operated through command-line prompts. This method of interfacing with dBPoweramp via command-line instructions proved to be more efficient compared to manual editing or utilizing an auto-clicker program for Adobe Audition.

High Plains Public Radio, based in Amarillo, Texas, benefitted from these innovations in audio production.

Although my programming background was limited, my collaboration with Chris Ranck, the director of creation and functions at Delmarva Public Radio during my college internship, provided valuable insights. Drawing inspiration from his approach of renaming files in batch scripts for seamless integration with their ENCO program, I devised a plan to automate the entire editing process by combining CoreConverter’s capabilities with batch scripting.

The journey to crafting a functional batch script that utilized CoreConverter to process each file and extract filenames from text documents was arduous. Countless trial-and-error iterations were essential to refine the code gradually. Despite its imperfections, the AI-powered code served as a catalyst for significant time savings and operational efficiency.

The integration of AI technologies, particularly ChatGPT, has revolutionized various aspects of High Plains Public Radio’s operations, facilitating tasks such as crafting station promotions and preparing for membership drives. While AI-generated content may necessitate fine-tuning, the benefits of leveraging AI in content creation and design using tools like Canva’s AI art generator have been substantial.

As public radio embraces the advancements in AI technology, it is imperative to exercise caution and verify information provided by AI tools. While AI can enhance efficiency, it should complement—not replace—the human element that defines public radio’s unique connection with communities.

For inquiries regarding my code or potential collaborations, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. I may not have all the answers, but I am committed to guiding you in the right direction.

Best wishes and happy programming!

Alex Fregger, the material operations manager at High Plains Public Radio, has seamlessly blended his passion for music with a keen interest in technology and learning. His innovative work has been recognized in segments featuring his contributions to public radio programming.

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Last modified: February 3, 2024
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