Audio Submissions

The News Music Search Archive welcomes and depends on submissions from visitors and fans. If you have an off-air news open or news theme to submit, we ask that you follow a few simple rules so that the audio can be included on the site in the most consistent and expeditious way possible.


File Format

When recording audio, record in 44.1kHz, 16-bit, stereo. Regardless of whether the audio comes from the Internet, a cassette tape, or an old reel, this format is considered optimal, and recording at this quality will present the sound in the best possible way. Please save your files as MP3s with an encoding rate of at least 128kbps. This will mean that about 1 minute of audio will be 1MB in file size.


Recording & Editing


"But I'm trying to help," you might say. Thanks, but please don't.

We ask that you maintain about 3-5 seconds of the natural broadcast BEFORE and AFTER the open, talent open, rejoin, or whatever you are submitting. This will assist us in keeping the audio consistent with other samples on the site. Sometimes the audio will need to be filtered to remove annoying hiss, clicks, pops, or crackle. Please allow the NMSA to do this rather than submitting filtered audio that you prepared. Dozens of opens submitted in the past have been discarded because they were edited incorrectly and permanently mangled.

Furthermore, this extra padding of natural newscast audio is needed especially if the open does not have an announcer. Sometimes the anchor will say, "Good morning," and sometimes "Good evening," distinguishing which newscast the open sans-voice-over corresponds to. Other times they may identify that this is a 10pm/9pm newscast on their duopoly channel which is going by the same name as the 11pm/10pm newscast... important since many stations are retaining the main news brand an hour earlier.

How should I record these? First, DO NOT HOLD A MICROPHONE TO THE TELEVISION SPEAKER. Under no circumstances is that acceptable. This is almost as egregious as shooting smart-phone video in portrait orientation (Suggestion: let's all shoot video in landscape from now on!). Also, do not shoot video of your television (like using your iPhone to record the TV). This is worthless, and if you do, you should never be allowed to use a smart phone ever again. Ever. Really.

Your operating system may allow you to chose a "line in" from your own sound card in the sound card software settings: this will allow you to record what is playing out of your speakers. If not, you may have to secure a 1/8-inch audio cord (male to male) to take audio out of your speakers port on your sound card and connect it to the line in port on your sound card.


Submitting Through Email

There is no online submission form for uploading audio directly to the site. Each sample will be reviewed, edited, and scheduled for addition to the NMSA. (Yes, someone has actually listened to EVERY second of online audio -- sometimes more than once.) Submit audio via email with the subject line consisting of the station's Call Letters and the News Music Package Name.

Also, please do not group multiple stations/packages together. Instead, send station WXXX's use of Such-And-Such News Package in one email. This may be one MP3 attachment; this may be multiple.

For example, rather than sending samples of WABC's use of News Series 2000 and Eyewitness News together, send one email with the News Series 2000 audio (subject: WABC News Series 2000) and follow up with a second email with the Eyewitness News samples (subject: WABC Eyewitness News). (You may also include the year of usage if you know it.)

Why? It is easier for us to manage an update by knowing what the email contains with just a glance. We may be ready to make an update and see a new submission and wish to very quickly add your audio to the update.


File Names

When saving your audio as MP3s, please consider naming the audio file with this format:


Example: "WABC 2016 11pm Eyewitness News VANDYKE.mp3" (NOTE: No need to use underscores... spaces are fine.)

("AM" for morning newscasts is fine; "Noon" and "Midday" work better than "12pm" and "11am"; obviously you can't use colons, so "530pm" works great.)

This naming convention will assist the NMSA, as you have jump-started the process of placing this audio in its correct place online. When we are ready to make an update, we can easily see which files are included and have them sorted alphabetically by station name.

If you know that an open should go in a specific position in the ordering sequence, feel free to include that in the file name at the end in parentheses. If a package listing has 3 existing opens and your open should come first in chronological order, note this so that we don't put opens from 2000 after opens from 2010.

What if you don't know the year or cannot identify the voice over? That isn't a problem. There is no need to include "UNKNOWN" in the file name, rather just leave that information out. At the very least, a file should have a station name and a news package name (like the subject line of the email).

Note that we try to use this order for placing newscast opens used in the same year/era:
11pm, 10pm, 7pm, 6pm, 5pm, 4pm, AM, Noon, Weekend, Breaking/Special/Updates. (X:30 newscasts can appear in seqeuence.)

It is also advisable to include the open and the talent rejoin in the same file rather than sending in "Part 2" files.


What Samples Are Accepted?

At the very least, the NMSA likes to archive OPENS and TALENT OPENS (or REJOINS). We do not want to, nor do we intend to, begin archiving franchise opens: weather, sports, consumer, health, crime, etc.

If a station begins the newscast with a long pre-show tease where the voice over says, "Coming up next on Channel 2 News at 11..." and then the anchors/reporters tease stories before the animation officially opens the newscast with music and a proper voice over, we will likely include the pre-show or cold open in the audio sample. Some stations do a Weather First open; some stations do a station identification. All are acceptable and can be submitted. If we don't think it is worth including, we will edit it out.

What about closes? General rule: No, thanks. Now, there are a handful of exceptions. The best example is a close from KTRK in Houston using the Eyewitness News package. This sample is included because it uses a non-standard signature in place of the generic Eyewitness News musical logo. We opted to include this to highlight how a different version of the package was used.

What if every newscast daypart uses the same cut of music? If this is the case, we will probably just include multiple opens in one file from the same time period. While it is redundant, it does show that the station did not use much (if any) variation.

If a station changes announcers, we definitely want those samples to add to the archive.

Are news image songs or promos accepted? Yes and no. If a station used an image campaign song that is tied to their music package, we will include it. If the image campaign song is not tied to a package but is more of a one-off, we do not have a way to include this. If the station uses news music for a news, weather, or sports promo, we do not want those samples.

Finally, if a station uses music that is not listed, we want to complete the database with that information. Send in an audio sample of an open and let us know it is an "Unknown." If the station has a long close with clean parts of the theme, we want that as well.


In Summary...

  • Record audio at 44.1kHz, 16-bit, Stereo
  • Include 3-5 seconds of the newscast before and after the music ("silence" is especially useful)
  • Save MP3s as 128kbps or better
  • Name your audio files with our naming convention
  • Send one station/package combination per email (multiple attachments permitted)


  • DO NOT edit or filter audio
  • DO NOT record audio by videoing the television or holding a mic to the speaker
  • DO NOT sample your audio too quietly or too loudly; if the waveform is too small, up the line-in volume, if the waveform is too tall and you hear your speakers rattling, lower the line-in volume and try again



We thank you for your wanting to help make the NMSA a great site for news music junkies all around the world. We write this page not to impose a million rules for you to follow just for the sake of making things difficult. Instead, we write this page because we want things to be done consistently between the hundreds of contributors to the NMSA. Plus, we enjoy saving time, and if you can do a little more work on your end, we will have updates more regularly.

Finally, if you have any questions, please email the NMSA and ask. Unfortunately, we can't help you set up your computer to record audio, but there are plenty of resources on YouTube that can show you how to do that. We will be glad to answer questions about what types of audio qualify as a valid submission, etc.