Friday, April 30, 2010

So...what can I do under the TOOLS, OPTIONS menu?

By Aaron Taylor

If you are the kind of person that likes to dig into all the options and preference windows in the software you work with, then you may have already poked around a bit in the TOOLS-OPTIONS section of MusicMaster.

If not, I want to encourage you to do so when you have a few minutes!

This time, I want to touch on just two areas of the TOOLS-OPTIONS section this time, and we'll go over others in subsequent posts for sure...

First on the list here, Program Options-Language/Regional, is where you can make many of your MusicMaster menus appear in English, Spanish, French, German, Polish or Portuguese if you wish)...Many of our bilingual users LOVE to change this setting! 

Next, the options for "Dataset Options", and I really wanted to highlight "Dataset Identification" this time.

This is where you'll want to go if you want to:

1) Change the call letters or slogan that appears in your database.
2) Select a mp3 or Wav file that will play when you open up this particular database (another cool way to personalize your database!)
3 ) Select a station logo or other graphic to center or wallpaper on the opening screen of a particular database (make sure the .jpg or other graphic isn't monster sized and this should fit). (Very Cool!)
4)Change the color scheme for the database opening screen (first color you pick will show at the top of the screen, the second at the bottom, they "blend" together in the middle)...If you've got a good eye for color, you can get some great combos working here, (me...not so much!)

As you see, this list goes on under "Dataset options", but I will save some of those for another time!

There are tons of cool options/settings to play with here, and if you ever have questions about "what does this menu choice do?" and you'd like to chat about it, please get in touch!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Most Played Songs

by Paul Ziino

Need to do a top 20 list?  Here's a quick way to do so.
  • Go to Dataset/Analysis/History Browser.
  • Set the dates and times on the Time Period tab
  • Check only the categories you wish to include in the report on the Categories tab.
  • No Filters needed.
  • Set the Display Mode on the Display tab for "Individual Songs"
  • Under Display Options you'll want to change Show Rank to "Yes" and set the Maximum Rank to "20".  You can adjust Show Song ID, Category, RunTime, Turnovers, and Total Time to meet your needs.  Make sure Spins Mode is set to "Total Spins".
  • Click OK.
And now you have your top 20 songs for the time period selected.  You can Print or Copy that report using the icons at the top of the History Browser report.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rule Tree Spotlight - Filter the Rule Tree

by Aaron Taylor

Here's a cool way to "globally" review where a particular rule is in place in your Rule Tree.  On the right hand side of the Rule Tree list (the "Available Rule Types" side), open a folder for a rule type   Right mouse click to "FILTER RULE TREE".  This will show you on the left hand side of the screen (the "MusicMaster Rule Tree" side), a "filtered view"... if/where that rule is applied across the board in the database.  To remove the Filter and return to the complete Rule Tree, click on the Rule Tree icon (at the top) on the tool bar.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"We don't play that anymore, so why did it reconcile back into the logs?" Reconciliation Tip

MusicMaster has a fantastic feature called Automatic Reconciliation.  Once we set it up for you - it will look at your Automation System logs and reconcile that information back into your MusicMaster logs.  This is an especially helpful feature if your announcers have the freedom to drop, juggle or change out the songs they play - or if you over schedule your hours in MusicMaster.  Occasionally, I'll get a call from a client who says - "We don't play this song anymore, but after we run reconciliation - it adds it to the log".  The first thing you should do is look at the Automation number and run a Query for that number in MusicMaster.  In every instance - there is a duplicate number.  So if you have a habit of re-using automation numbers, you should clear the number from that field in the original song. 
Let me explain further: when MusicMaster goes to reconcile and see's 2 of the same automation numbers, it will ALWAYS default to the first song card created with that automation number.  Essentially, the internal field "Song ID" in MusicMaster - populates itself with a unique number every single time you add a song.  If you delete a song, that Song ID number goes away forever.  Song Histories are gathered based on the Song ID field, so you may not want to overwrite a song card's information with another song title - because the song history would be false.
Good rule of thumb when re-using Automation numbers: Just clear the field on the first song card using that number.  Problem solved. Song histories will remain intact and you won't see reconciliation issues.
~Marianne Burkett

Monday, April 26, 2010

Schedule Editor Wild Cards

by Paul Ziino

When you are in the Schedule Editor, you can tell MusicMaster exactly what song you want to plot in any given position.  Assume you have the Category, Artist Name, and Song Title fields in your view.  You can click directly in the Category field and type the code for any of your categories and press Enter.  This will open the contents of that category in the F9 Replacement Song List, from which you can select the song to schedule.

Or, click in the Artist Name field and type BEATLES and press Enter.  This will open the F9 Replacement window and display all songs with BEATLES in the Artist Name field.

Or click in the Song Title field and type YESTERDAY and press Enter.  This will open the F9 Replacement list and display all songs with YESTERDAY in the Song Title field.

Now take it a step further.  Using the double dots .. as a wild card, you can type "..LOVE.." in the Title field and MusicMaster will open the Replacement window to display all songs that contain LOVE in the title.  So you'll get songs like "Friends and Lovers", "Smell the Glove", "Beloved", "Love on the Rocks" and so on.

You can use the double dots at the front of your entry to indicate "ends with X" as in "..X".  Or place the double dots wild card at the end of your entry to indicate "begins with X" as in "X..".  Or place the dots on either side for a "contains X" query as in "..X..".  This works in any text field--Artist, Title, Composer, Album, etc.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rule Tree Spot light - View Category Rule List

Rule Tree ViewsBy  Aaron Taylor

Looking for a fast way to identify which rules (and in what order) are being tested on an individual category? VIEW CATEGORY RULE LIST is the answer!
In the Rule Tree, right click over a category folder.  On the context list tha pops up, select the choice for view category rule list. When opened, it will show you all of the rules, combining any All Categories rules with the rules applicable to the category. If you are using any Optimum Goal Scheduling, those rules will be listed at the bottom of the list. Should you wish to view the rules on a particular day and time, simply change that in the box and select "GO" to see the updated rule list.  You also have the option of toggling to amother category rule view after you've selected this for a previous category view.

I think this is a great way to "double check" your Rule Tree set up work, and/or often very quickly identify if a particular rule is being applied (or perhaps if it isn't and should be)...As always, if you have any questions about what you are seeing in the Rule Tree, get in touch and we'll be glad to look things over with you!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Did you know?

by Drew Bennett


In the bottom right hand corner of the software, you can see the name of your database displayed. If you double click here, MusicMaster shows the About screen where you can find your MusicMaster software version number and service release. You can also find links to your System Information, Release Notes and your License information here. This information can be handy when you are speaking with your Music Scheduling Consultant. You can also reach this screen by choose ‘Help,’ and then, ‘About MusicMaster,’ from the main menu.




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's inside that library of yours? The Big Reveal

You're just a click or two away from finding out the facts about your Music Library!  Right click on any Artist Keyword and go to Library Analysis.  Look at the results and find out instantly how many titles from each artist you have, who your core artists are, and if there are any duplicates because of a misspelled keyword.  Go to any other field like Tempo or Mood and get instant feed back.  Is your library primarily slow, medium or up-tempo or do you have too much of one thing and not enough of the other?  Use Library Analysis as a great foundation for building rules that fit your library.  As your library shrinks and grows, your Analysis will change - so from time to time it may be necessary to change your rules! ~Marianne Burkett

Deleting Old Clocks

By Drew Bennett


When you abandon old clocks for new ones, a lot of times the old clocks get left in the database and never used again. If you’re into Spring cleaning your database and you want to get rid of some old clocks, there is a quick way to delete anything that isn’t assigned to an Assignment Grid. First, choose the main Clock icon or choose Dataset, Clocks, Format Clock Maintenance. When the Format Clock Maintenance screen pops up, choose the Select button on the right hand side of the screen. You will see another menu appear and this time you’ll choose Assigned Clocks and then Assigned to Any Clock Grid. This puts a check mark next to any clock that appears in an Assignment Grid in your database. Now, choose the Select button again and this time, choose Invert Selection. This swaps the check marks on your assigned clocks and marks clocks that aren’t assigned to any grid at all. Now, you can run through the list, un-checking anything you want to save. When you’re done, choose the Delete button and delete the clocks you have checked. Now, you’ve deleted any clock you don’t use or any clock you don’t want to keep. That can really slim down a database.





Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Favorite Queries

by Paul Ziino

You can create a new query in MusicMaster by going to
Dataset/Library/Query the Library/New Query. Here you can select the
categories to be included as well as what operator you are looking
for. Want a query of all the Females in the data? Create the New
Query for the Gender or Role field, contains, Female code. Click
Add, and then click the Save As icon at the top of the query box to
name this new query.

Now when you are in Library Maintenance you'll see the third icon
from the left is a binoculars with a heart. This is the Favorite
Query icon. Click the little pull-down arrow to the right of the
icon and you'll see a list of all saved queries. Check your favorite
one, and now when you click the Favorite Query icon, it will
automatically load the songs that match that query!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Use of Clock timing in MusicMaster Windows

While most music stations have no real need for exact timing, there are those stations that provide a mix of Music and information and have the need for exact timing.  MusicMaster has exact timing features that can be incorporated into the clocks: Hour Timing and Segment Timing.  Depending on your needs - you can have MusicMaster for Windows do the back timing for you - up to the second!  Of course, as with any format - Voicetracks and anything that happens after scheduling with MMwin would have some effect on the end result.  If you'd like to find out more about Clock Hour Timing, try the Help section of the software or contact your personal Music Scheduling Consultant.  - Marianne Burkett

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spotlight on the Rule Tree: AutoKick

Here's a very cool Rule Type available in MusicMaster Windows.  Find it in the "Song/History Rules" folder, then in the subfolder of  "Hour Rotation Rules". While this rule type can accomplish the same goal as setting an Hour Rotation, Day Offset Window of 1 day, 1 hour, the window size you set can be more narrowly defined. You can set a breakable or unbreakable rule for a category that is defined to the quarter hour, half hour, as well as a full hour! I like to suggest this to programmers who have very fast music rotation categories, or where you are simply trying to make certain that the same non music items (sweepers,positioners,jingle elements, as an example) aren't falling into the same positions daily.  ~ Aaron Taylor

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick method to print your active clocks in MusicMaster Windows

Looking for a simple way to print all of your currently active clocks in MusicMaster Windows?  Go to DATASET-CLOCKS-FORMAT CLOCKS, or click on the clock icon on your tool bar.  No need to click the check boxes, or refer to the assignment grid to create your print job.  Just click on the SELECT rectangle on the right hand side, and then ASSIGNED CLOCKS-Grid:  (Name of the Currently Active Grid)...You'll then be returned to the FORMAT CLOCK MAINTENANCE list, where you'll note that all the clocks that are active on the grid you chose are checked.  Then, select the PRINT rectangle on the right hand side, and you'll be presented with the FORMAT CLOCK PRINTING OPTIONS box, where you can decide what you would like to include/exclude from the print job, and in addition to printed versions of the linear clocks, if you'd also like to have each of them print in a "hot clock" type fashion.  Next select the CONTINUE rectangular choice box, your selected printer choice, and then finally the OK box.  Done! ~ Aaron Taylor

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prompted Queries for the Variable in All of Us

by Drew Bennett


Let’s make prompted queries! They’re great when you want to search for something a lot but that something is always something different. Make sense? It will.


First, let’s head to Queries. You can get there several ways. I like to double click on a category in my info bar and then choose the black binocular Query button in Library Maintenance. You can also choose the Queries button in the info bar and then choose New Query or you can choose Dataset, Library, Query the Library, New Query. All of those options get you to the same place.


Now, you should be looking at the familiar library query box. This is where we will build the prompted query. For this example, let’s use Artist as the field from which we want to build the prompted query. First, let’s choose which categories will be a part of the query. Since it’s an artist we are looking for, check off all of your music categories. On the right side of the query screen, you should see 3 dropdown boxes. We are searching for artists so in the first dropdown box, choose the Artist field. We want the Artist field to contain something specific so in the second dropdown box, choose Contains. Now, here is where a regular Query becomes a Prompted Query; in the third dropdown box, type @PROMPT(Artist). The value in between the parentheses will be the label of the Prompt when you use the Query. You can type anything you want there and I typed Artist because that is the field I’ll be searching through. Now, choose Add and add this to the Query box below. You can set sort keys at the bottom if you’d like but make sure you save this Query so you can use it later.


Now, when you run this Query, a box pops up prompting you to enter an artist name. Try your hand at more prompted queries and see how many useful searches you can come up with. ~ Drew Bennett




Manual Scheduling tip! The use of Shift F9

If you're the type of programmer that elects to hand schedule - especially your heavy currents, make use of the Shift F9 key in the editor.  Rather than bringing up a song replacement screen, Shift F9 will select the first song in the category that passes the rules.   If you have unbreakable rules it cannot pass - it will alert you. If you don't have any rules in your category it will automatically bring up the most rested song! 
Happy Scheduling!  -Marianne Burkett

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Special History Reports

by Paul Ziino

Every so often we get calls from MusicMaster users indicating "
BMI report was rejected because they said it's blank." In most of
those cases, the user likely missed a very important step--filling
out the report's Options tab.

There are lots of pre-built reports in the MusicMaster program, all
available under Dataset/Analysis/Special History Reports. Here you
will use the pull-down menu to choose the needed report. Once you've
selected the report, check the needed categories, and set your start
and end dates/times.

Now click the Options tab. The Options tab is where you tell
MusicMaster what information belongs under each header. In general
you'll fill out the top half under Misc manually. It's the Song
Fields section that requires your attention. Double-click in the
space to the right of each field to open the drop-down menu. Here
you will indicate what field in your data contains the requested
information. For example: Artist Name will likely be in the Artist
field, Song Title in the Title field, Performers in the Soloists
field and so forth. If your data does not contain the requested
information, leave that field blank. Once you have the fields
matched up, go back to the Report Setup tab and click Print or Export
to generate the file, then send it to the appropriate agency and you're done!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What's New in MusicMaster?

On a fairly regular basis, MusicMaster developers are busy updating the software.  To get the most recent Service Release of MusicMaster - be sure to check Help/Check For Updates. If you see a new release is available, ask your station IT person to run the software update for you., or if you have full administrative rights - run the update yourself.  After the update is finished you can check Help/Release Notes to see what's new!  Marianne Burkett

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When Copying Clocks....

by Paul Ziino

A quick tip for you when copying clocks.  Make sure to highlight the clock you wish to make a copy of before clicking the copy button in Dataset/Clocks/Format Clocks.  The checkboxes are used for mass Deletion, Printing, Exporting, and Changing. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So Much to See in Turnover Analysis

by Paul Ziino

There is a ton of information available in Turnover Analysis
(Dataset/Analysis/Analysis, or the blue spinning arrows icon in the
tool bar)! You can see song and slot count, Short and Long Turnover,
and more...just right-click in the upper half of the screen and check
any of the items you wish to add to your view. Things like Suggested
Minimum and Maximum Rest, Average Spins per Day or Week, and Hour
Exposure to name a few. You can change which assignment grid is
being analyzed, too.

In the lower half of the screen you can adjust slot counts to see
predicted rotations with more or less slots in the category, you can
access the auto-burn spreadsheet, view format clock category usage,
and even more!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Few Simple Rules

by Paul Ziino

If you are a new MusicMaster user starting out with a brand new database, I like to recommend a few simple rules to get things going.
  • Day Offset Window, setting of Days=1 and Hours=1...this will prevent the same song from playing in the same broadcast hour two days in a row.
  • Artist Keyword Time Separation, setting of 1:10...this will prevent the same artist keyword from playing within 70 minutes of itself.  If you have a large library with a lot of artist diversity, you can go higher.  If you have a very tight library with fewer unique artist keywords, you may want to go lower.
  • Minimum Rest, setting is dependent on category rotation...Minimum Rest is the least amount of time required between spins of the same song within a category.  If you run the Rule Wizard (magic wand icon in Rule Tree) you will get suggested minimum rest settings for each category based on the number of items in the category and the number of times you call for that category in your active clock assignment grid.  Accept each of those suggestions as a good starting point.
For more specific rules and rule tree adjustments, visit the training videos section of the client support center on, or contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dayparting Options by the Full Hour, Half Hour or Quarter Hour!

Most of you are aware that you can daypart a song or promo in MusicMaster by using the dayparting field.  However, were you aware you can also restrict which part of the hour a song card is permitted to play?
Let's create a new restriction today on a song you NEVER want to play in the first 15 minutes of the 5pm hour. Double click on the dayparting field, put an "X" in the 5pm hour - then look to the Pink Pie icon  at the top of the Daypart Restriction box, and click on it twice.  That gives you the quarter hour options.  To restrict a song from opening the hour - just remove the X from the first quarter hour.  Save and Apply. Of course, be sure the dayparting rule is in effect in your rule tree as well!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Category Groups

by Paul Ziino

Always creating the same query over and over for the same bunch of
categories? You can create a Category Group instead!

Go to Dataset/Library/Categories, then click Groups. On the Category
Groups screen click New and name this group--something like "Active
Music" or "Current Rotation" or whatever you like and click OK. Now
check each category you want to include in this new Category Group
and click OK. Back to the Category Groups screen click OK once
again. Your new category Group will be listed in the Music tab of
the info bar beneath Entire Library, Music Categories, and Non-Music
Categories. You can also access this new Category Group when you are
in any query box by using the dropdown where it says "Entire Library".