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Resources for Artists

Single-Tracking and Monitoring for Charting Purposes

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Texas Country Music Chart detects radio airplay from radio stations’ digital audio streams by using a digital audio fingerprint. A digital audio fingerprint is a compact digest derived from perceptually relevant aspects of a recording. Fingerprinting technologies allow the monitoring of audio content on continuous radio station streams without the need of metadata or watermark embedding.


An audio fingerprint is a content-based signature that are unique to every song and details an audio recording. Once the signature of a song has been established, the song is then considered to be “fingerprinted.”  Audio fingerprinting has attracted a lot of attention for its accurate audio tracking and monitoring capabilities. Audio fingerprinting or content-based identification (CBID) technologies extract acoustic relevant characteristics of a piece of audio content and store them to be used to monitor radio stations’ airplay of the audio. 


Once songs are submitted to Texas Country Music Chart, they are fingerprinted and uploaded into our monitoring system. Our system tracks that fingerprint on the stations we monitor and picks up every time that song is played and is detailed down to the station monitored, day and exact time of airplay. A report is generated based on that data of what days and times and how many times the song is played. The data is extracted directly from the software program and can’t be manipulated.


No need for radio stations to be actively involved in the reporting of audio airplay. Information provided by Texas Country Music Chart.

TRACtion detects radio airplay by monitoring the digital audio stream used by radio stations to simulcast their terrestrial radio signal over the Internet. It uses a wavelet-based approach to create digital “fingerprints” which represent a temporally-ordered set of characteristic identifiers unique to each and every song processed by the system. Once all identifiers for a song or audio clip have been calculated, that song is said to have been “fingerprinted.”


Our methodology is unique in its ability to detect song boundaries from anywhere within a continuous audio stream and to detect songs in the background of other media, such as part of a commercial. One of the most innovative aspects of the TRACtion methodology is its use of temporal correlations and statistical analyses of the resulting “fingerprint matches” over time, to achieve a false detection rate of nearly 0%. This system is truly one-of-a-kind in its ability to conduct real-time, live airplay monitoring with a nearly 100% success rate, without the use of invasive techniques such as metadata analysis, ID3 tagging, or audio watermarking.


Charts who use the digital fingerprint method include but are not limited to:

  • Texas Country Music Chart

  • American Country Music Chart

  • CDX TractionTX, True Indie, Mainstream Country, Southern Gospel & Positive Country, Triple A and Americana Charts

  • Country Aircheck


No need for radio stations to be actively involved in the reporting of airplay. Information provided by CDX Nashville/TractionTX.


API Monitoring

Unlike song “fingerprinting,” API tracking is when the song’s metadata is streamed, is timestamped and dated giving it an airplay detection. API tracking is not “fingerprinting”.  API tracking uses the song’s metadata which must be embedded with exact artist name, exact song, exact name of album and exact names of contributing artists and copyright holders along with PRO affiliations. (For more on how to embed metadata into your mp3 release, see below)


There can be no variations or misspellings, or the song will not be detected correctly, or detected as two separate songs, which takes away from the spin counts of the correct single. The monitored stations are pinged at set time intervals and tracks how many times that song is played on each monitored station. The data API stream comes from the radio stations who play the songs, and API recognizes only the metadata they are playing and not the “fingerprint” of the audio.


No need for radio stations to be actively involved in the reporting of airplay.


Charts who use this method include but are not limited to:

  • Texas Internet Radio Chart

  • Official Texas Music Chart

  • DRT Global Top 50 Country Airplay Chart

  • DRT Global Top 50 Gospel/Inspirational Airplay Chart

Fingerprinting & Digital Monitoring

An acoustic fingerprint is a condensed digital summary, a fingerprint, deterministically generated from an audio signal, which can be used to accurately identify an audio sample quickly from a radio station’s stream and locate it in an audio database.


Physical Reporting

Physical reporting is when a radio station manually reports the number of plays an audio title is broadcast on their station. The program director or other authorized station representative must physically send the number of times a recording is played for each song in their current playlist for the week.


These spin counts may be projected spins for the next week, or they may be last week’s past spins or a general range of spins for their various categories, such as low, medium, heavy, or power. For the most part manual reporting systems are not actual spins, but a general range of how many times a song was played each week.

Radio Stations must be actively involved on a consistent weekly basis in manually reporting airplay.

Charts who use this method

  • Texas Regional Radio Report

  • Music Row


Can I fingerprint my own songs?

No.  Unlike Metadata, which you can embed yourself in your song file (mp3, wav), fingerprinting is done only through the monitoring and tracking systems with fingerprinting technology such as systems used by Texas Country Music Chart and CDX Nashville.

Does physical reporting or API use fingerprinting?

No.  Physical Reporting nor API song recognition has the capability to fingerprint songs or accurately track airplay using fingerprinting technology.

What is metadata and how do I embed it?

Metadata, also referred to as ID3 tag for mp3 files, is hidden data in computer files, in this case music files, which tag the file with certain identifying information associated with your song, such as the composers, performers, song title, album title, copyright owners and PRO affiliations, contact information and other pertinent details of the recording.

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