Frequently Asked Questions about NPR One
Please find a list of common questions below to help troubleshoot questions you may have while setting up your newscasts in NPR One. If you do not find the answer to your issue below, please email email@example.com.
Q.How do I access StationConnect?
A. Visit StationConnect.org. Your StationConnect login is the same login you use for nprstations.org. If you forget your password, there is a "Forgot Login/Register" link on the StationConnect login screen.
Please note BOTH your user name and password are case sensitive in StationConnect. In NPRStations only your password is case sensitive. Once logged into NPRStations you can check your user name and password by going to My Profile and pressing edit.
Q.Who do I contact for support during the set up phase?
A. Support questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q.How often do I upload the newscast to the ftp site?
A. Ideally, we want all the content in your news magazines as they are made available, ideally once an hour. The more content you provide, the richer the user experience will be for your listeners. Newscasts older than 2 hours will expire in order to ensure fresh content.
Q.How long do I wait in order to hear my newscast?
A. It may take up to one hour to surface your latest newscast in the app.
Q.Why don’t I hear my newscast?
A. Newscasts older than 2 hours will expire. 2 hours is the default expiration in StationConnect. You have the option to extend expiration to 4 or 6 hours. If you are not hearing a newscast, first ensure that you have provided a newscast less than the set expiration in StationConnect, if you still don't hear your newscast, check the troubleshooting steps below:
• Does your newscast have an .mp3, .mp4 or .wav extension?
• Have you updated the newscast file within the set expiration time in StationConnect?
• If you are FTP'ing the file, then make sure it is named newscast.wav, newscast.mp4 or newscast.mp3.
• Copy the newscast url in StationConnect into a new tab in your browser, and confirm that you can download and listen the newscast file.
• If you are not at the beginning of your flow in the App you may need to tap the Explore button and scroll down until you see 'Catch Up' where you will see the National Newscast listed and your Local Newscast listed if it is ingesting into the app.
Q.What is the recommended audio spec for my newscast?
A. .Wav is the preferred file format. You can upload a .wav to the ftp server and we will transcode it to a .MP4 prior to ingest. This provides an easier workflow for your station and ensures consistent quality and predictable performance in the app.
.MP4 files are also preferred and provide higher quality audio, faster loading times and predictable performance in the app.
.MP3 files are accepted but please be aware that the audio may not be of good quality and may be skipped in the app due to longer load/buffering times.
Read more about the audio specifications required for your newscasts.
Q.How does the mix between local and national newscasts work?
A. Currently, local newscasts play immediately after national newscasts. National and local segments will follow.
Q. How long does it take for a newscast to expire?
A. A newly uploaded newscast will overwrite the existing newscast, however, if no newscasts are uploaded, the existing newscasts will expire 2 hours from the hour of the timestamp on the file by default. Minutes and seconds are ignored.
You may adjust the expiration time of the newscast in StationConnect to be either 2, 4, or 6 hours.
Q.Will the NPR One app run on my iPad?
A. There currently is no iPad NPR One App. NPR One will run as an enlarged iPhone App on iPad, however there is a plan to add support for iPads on our Roadmap. Additionally, Android tablets will be supported at launch.
Q.How can I measure the loudness of my audio file?
A. NPR Labs has created a loudness measurement tool which is available for download here. This tool is supported on Windows systems only. Adobe Media Encoder (CS 5 and above), which is included with Adobe purchases, is also a useful tool.
Otherwise, you can either adjust your audio to -20 LUFS or if you do not have that measurement available, adjust your audio to -3DB.
Q. What does this involve in terms of getting my station’s content into the NPR One app? How much work will this create for my team?
A. Local defaults are in place so all eligible stations will be represented in the app on day one with station branding and sonic IDs. To optimize the local station presence in the NPR One app, stations will need to produce a digital newscast which will be included in the app’s content flow to convey a sense of place for the listener. They will also be encouraged to provide a few items to expose their branding, including a station logo, sonic IDs, and a station identification audio piece (optional). Some stations currently produce digital newscasts so the only additional work for those stations would be to drop the newscast into an ftp folder feeding a static URL that is placed into StationConnect. Stations that don’t have a digital newscast will need to create one and upload it to the ftp location. If your station does not have an FTP location readily available, Digital Services can provide a location for hosting newscasts files.
Q. What’s the difference between this and the station streams in iTunes Radio? Our station JUST uploaded a local stream for iTunes Radio – why can’t you just use the same one instead of making us do this again?
A. The iTunes Radio stream is another distribution point for your live stream. Essentially you set it up once. NPR One is a new digital listening smartphone app that will blend NPR and Member Station content into a rich, localized, on-demand experience. Read the detailed product description here.
Q. What kind of analytics will I get for audience and listening?
A. NPR One provide stations the ability to connect and capture listener information, so that stations can build relationships directly with this new audience with Membership Leads Reports.
In these reports you will learn:
- How many users are localized to my station?
- What is their total listening time over a set period (last seven days, last 30 days, etc).
Q. How is the station selected when you first log into the app?
A. The initial Welcome email goes out immediately upon initial login, so will include the user's "best-guess," geo-IP assigned station. If the user changes his station, all subsequent emails (including the donation email) will display the NEW station, not the best-guess station. We'll be watching our auto-assign success percentage. So far, less than 15% of users change their station.
In markets with more than one NPR News station, we use a weighted algorithm that assigns stations based on share of market and amount of NPR programming that the station airs. Only stations that air Morning Edition and All Things Considered are included in NPR One, so no music stations will be assigned.
Q. Local stories?
A. Email 2 in the Welcome Series will include local stories only if they are promoted for national distribution via Morning Edition or ATC. Any local stories that are nationally distributed will be attributed to the station in email.
Once we have a critical mass of stations with local content in the app, we will be initiating a 4th email that will be entirely focused on station content. Once we have a good idea of how much content we're getting across the spectrum, we'll define the process that determines what local content is featured in the email. In general, we try to rely on making use of existing assets and processes for email, rather than adding to the work that either NPR editors or station producers need to do. I hope to see this in late September, but the timing may change based on how complex we decide we need to be and how quickly individual stations are able to onboard.
Q. How long do the donation emails take?
A. 2-3 minutes sounds about right. The email "trigger" is received and processed by ExactTarget in under a minute (usually closer to 15 seconds, but dependent upon volume), but it can take longer for them to travel through "the tubes" for various ISPs. University ISPs in particular tend to have super-sensitive spam filters that may delay the receipt of our emails.
Q. Personalization in the pledge message?
A. We can only include a user's first name in the pledge message if we know it. We get name information for all Google and Facebook logins, but name is not *presently* required for an NPR.org login. (How I long to fix that!) So if you've logged in using NPR.org credentials and your profile didn't include a name, you'll be addressed as Friend.
As of today, about 33% of logins are from NPR.org credentials.
We'll also be working to improve the overall NPR.org user management process in Q4 2014.
Q. When will you see updated station data in emails?
A. StationConnect and ExactTarget are not linked in real time. We have a process that runs nightly to bring current data from the stations API into ExactTarget.
If you update your station logo on Monday, it will start appearing in email communications around 1 am on Tuesday.
We hope to connect these two systems in real-time in the future.
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