Alpha Tags?

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emerge911

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Can someone give me information on what Alpha Tags are? I saw this next to a feed this morning and I have never seen this before.
 

mtindor

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Can someone give me information on what Alpha Tags are? I saw this next to a feed this morning and I have never seen this before.
Alpha tags are the "friendly names" (or are supposed to be) for frequencies and talkgroups programmed in your scanner.

For instance, i might have a talkgroup 1024 programmed in my scanner for a particular system, and depending on the scanner I'm using I may be able to set up a "pretty" name for it such as "Podunk PD TAC 1", so that when that talkgroup becomes active, "Podunk PD TAC" is displayed instead of the talkgroup 1024. Or I might have "JEFFCO S.O." programmed in as an alpha tag description for frequency 39.88 so that when 39.88 becomes active I see "JEFFCO S.O." on the screen instead of [or in conjunction with] 39.88.

This is extendable to live audio feeds (a) if the feed provider's scanner supports alpha tags, (b) if the feed provider has a supported scanner that works with the feed software to send the alpha tag information and (c) if the listener is using Winamp, Itunes, or some other player that supports Alpha Tags.

The web player will not display alpha tags. On my feed, which sends alpha tags, if somebody listens to it using Winamp they will see the "friendly name" for talkgroups and frequencies when they become active so that they know what agency is actually talking.

On a feed that does not provide alpha tag information, the listener may not know what agency is actually talking.

Mike
 

engineer69

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I try the alpha tag on winamp and it never works. It always starts up a different player even if I pick win amp
 

longreach

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Hi all, no it works straight out of the box. it will only work on streams with 'alpha' tags enabled. the tags will generally pop up a grey box in the RH bottom corner of the screen for a few seconds. the tag will continue in the box up the top of the winamp player screen.
cheers
Matt
 

nexus

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So, if I use WinAmp as my player, I'm suppose to see these Alpha Tags? Is there an add-on I need to download?
If the feed provides alpha tags (like mine) all you need is the winamp player and nothing else. The software that we use to send our streams to radio reference are designed to also send the id3 text information used in winamp along with the audio portion of the stream.

Hopefully one day more players will use this format but for now it's only available in winamp. You don't have to do anything to your player at all. If the feed is truly sending alpha tags then you'll see them displayed in winamp's title screen.

the term alpha tag is actually short for alphanumeric tag. Most scanners only display the frequency or a channel number, then there are more advanced scanners that will also display an alphanumeric representation of that frequency/channel.

So instead of seeing 155.4900 on your display we can program 155.4900 to be "WONKALAND PD 1" etc.

I'm broadcasting 5 local police and fire departments, plus some state agencies on the state-wide networked system. It would be almost impossible to know who you're listening to without alpha tags enabled. That is why I encourage everyone to use Winamp. So at least you'll know who you're listening to when it comes across your computer speakers.
 
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