Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gold Recycling

by Paul Ziino

Gold Recycling can be used to help expand the exposure of a given
category. Use it on any category you wish, but for best results,
consider only those with a natural turnover greater than 2
days. Gold Recycling "picks up" songs that played during one time
frame and "drops them off" during another. Access it via
Dataset/Schedule/Gold Recycle. You'll set it up category by category.

Here's a training video from the client support center at that describes how to implement Gold Recycling...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Clone Your Database and Make Adjustments Safely

If you're in need of a database overhaul, format adjustment or major clock adjustment - you may want to consider cloning your database!  Open MusicMaster to your Datafile Manager - highlight the database you'd like to copy and click on "Clone".  Give your database a new name and then make all your adjustments in the clone.  When you're finished and satisfied with the end result - just start using the clone and retire the original database!
Marianne Burkett

Monday, June 28, 2010

Questions about field types in MusicMaster

By Aaron Taylor

From time to time, we get calls about the fields that a client sees in their MusicMaster database.  One of the great things about MusicMaster Windows is that every database can be customized when you are gettting started, and as your needs evolve.  Did you know that you can rename fields to better match your descriptive needs (under DATASET-LIBRARY-FIELDS)?  Your Music Scheduling Consultant can help you identify field types you can re purpose for other needs, assist you with understanding what the appropriate type of data that should be entered in each field type is, show you how to "un hide" hidden fields, even work with you to determine if fields may need to be added to your existing database.  It is a straight forward process, that can be handled with an exchange of backups.

We are always happy to discuss questions or "bounce ideas back and forth" with you on how best to utilize MusicMaster Windows to its fullest extent!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Using the MusicMaster "Memo" field.

If you have a "Memo" field type in your database, consider it's uses.  You can import or type in an unlimited number of characters - so whether you want to import promo/psa copy or import lyrics from a notepad or asc type document, the memo field can accommodate.  You can check your field map to see if a Memo field is available in your database.  Dataset/Library/Fields  If you've got the field, once populated it can also be added to your paper log. ~Marianne Burkett

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Introduction to the Mass Changer utility in MusicMaster Windows

By Aaron Taylor

If you haven't had the opportunity (or the need) to utilize the mass changer, here is a quick overview. The Mass Changer utility is available in Library Maintenance by right clicking on the header row in the QuickEditor or in the field column of the Song Card. If the field does not allow mass changes, the option will not appear. These fields include:

Add Date, Category, Category Plays, Dayparting, Library Plays, Non-Music, Packet, Performance, and Song ID.

The Mass Changer will default to the field you clicked on originally, but you will be able to select any available field by selecting the Target Field.
When you have selected a field to change, you can select from the available mass change Operations. The type of operations available will change depending upon whether you are in a keyword, attribute or text field.

Options available to you (again depending on field type) include:

Convert to UPPER, lower, mixed case case.
Add, remove and assign specific keyword.
Clear field contents.
Extract sub-string and delimited sub-strings.
Assign sequential values.
Search and Replace

Plus several more!

There is also a separate mass changer available for keywords.

Please remember to back up your data before you utilize this tool, and don't hesitate to contact us if we can assist in advising on the best option for your project.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tiling Windows

by Paul Ziino

Did you know you can open multiple screens within your database at
the same time, and then tile them vertically or horizontally? For
example, open one of your categories. Leave it open, now open the
schedule editor. Now click on Window and Tile Vertical...the two
screens are now next to one another. You can click the grey pointer
for an item in the library, then drag it across to your schedule
editor and drop the song into the log! This can come in handy when
you're scheduling a countdown show or other feature.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Timing Out

By Drew Bennett

Did you know that choosing Ctrl-C on an element and then scrolling down and choosing Ctrl-C on another element shows you the amount of time between the two? It’s a great little tool to know when you need to time out pieces of the log or segments ramping up to a specific element or event.





Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Add Some Color

By Drew Bennett

You schedule music a lot. Otherwise, you wouldn't be using such a powerful piece of software, right? So, it stands to reason you would want to customize the software any way you can to make life easier or maybe just to brighten things up a bit and make time spent scheduling music that much more enjoyable. In the old days, you were forced to go with a predetermined color scheme or worse, no color scheme at all. With MusicMaster for Windows, you are not forced to use a set group of colors or color schemes in the software. You really can set custom colors and layouts in various sections of the software to make things more appealing to you.

Categories is a great place to start when you are building a database and setting category colors can help organize your categories better. To change the color of a category listed in the info bar, right click on the category and choose, Properties. You can also reach category properties from the main menu by choosing Dataset, Library, Categories and then double clicking a category. When you reach the category properties screen you will notice the word, "Sample," at the bottom of the screen. Double clicking that opens a color grid and this is where you can set the Foreground color (text) and the Background color of the category.

You can even change the way your songs look within your categories and within the library maintenance screen. In library maintenance, choose the "Show/Hide Fields" icon (eighth icon from the right.) The Edit Grid Layout screen appears and this is where you can change the foreground and background color of the song cards in a category. Songs in music categories can have different colors applied than songs in non-music categories. Here, you can also change the color or songs that you have marked within the database.

Editing the grid layout can also be done in the Schedule Editor. In the Schedule Editor, the Modify Editor Layout is the 5th icon from the right. When you click it, the Edit Grid Layout screen appears. On the right side of this screen you can change the colors for anything from Hour Markers in the log, to Lognotes, or even Stopsets. The color of Unscheduled Positions can also be changed here as well as how music and non-music looks within the Schedule Editor. Note: When creating or modifying layouts in either Library Maintenance or the Schedule Editor, don't forget to save your layout so you can come back to it later.

Highlight Filters in the Schedule Editor are a great way to add a little color to songs that meet a certain criteria defined by you. The 12th icon from the left in the Schedule Editor is called Highlight Filters. Here, you can set a value to a filter using the dropdown boxes in the Highlight Filters screen. You can also set a color to be displayed in the Schedule Editor when that criterion is met. Use the Modify Editor Layout icon to add these Highlight Filters to the Schedule Editor layout.

From the main menu, head to Tools, Options, Display Colors. Here, you can customize the colors of Clocks, History, Library and Schedule element types. For instance, changing the color of your weekends in the History Graph can help you to more easily identify weekend spins when you are editing a day. You might also want to change the color of element types in the pie chart tab of the Clock Editor.

You can also change the color of the Main Window Wallpaper you see when you open the software. To do that, choose Tools, Options, Dataset Identification. Find the Main Windows Wallpaper section and change the color that displays when you open the software.

Changing the colors around in various sections of the software can really be helpful when you use it as much as you do. It can be a difference maker in many cases so take the time to find your custom color settings in MusicMaster. It makes for happier scheduling and a better music log!





Custom Colors Everywhere...

If you like controlling the color of your categories in MMwin, you'll really like controlling the color of various elements as well!  Just go to Tools/Options and Display Colors!  You can add colors to your history graph and clock elements. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Copying Clocks

by Paul Ziino

When you need to make a copy of a clock, simply go to Dataset/Clocks/Format Clocks.  Highlight the clock you wish to copy, then click the Copy button on the right.  Now you'll assign a new clock code and description to the copy.  Don't know what code is available?  Just type "??" and press Enter--MusicMaster will assign a code for you.

The trick here is to highlight the clock to be copied.  The check box to the left of each clock is used for mass printing, deleting, and exporting.  You'll notice that if you check one clock and then click Copy, MusicMaster will do so for whatever clock is highlighted--generally that's the first clock in your list.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


by Paul Ziino

Dataset/Schedule/QuickView. Use this to see where you have
unscheduled positions lingering in your logs. Green means no
unscheduled items, yellow with a number indicates how many
unscheduled items occur in that hour. Double-click on it, and
MusicMaster takes you to that hour in your schedule editor so you can
edit, fill, or delete that position. There's also a shortcut for
Schedule QuickView in the Schedule Editor--it's 7 from the right
between Load Editor Layout and Vicinity Viewer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There's Logic in There Somewhere!

By Drew Bennett

You can take a look at every decision MusicMaster made when it scheduled your last session. It’s called the Thinking Process and to turn it on, you will head to Dataset, Scheduler, Automatic Scheduler, Options and choose “Save Thinking Process to Disk.” Once you’ve scheduled your session, find the Thinking Process button in the Recap Report by choosing Dataset, Schedule, Recap Report. You can also find Thinking_Process.txt in the directory with your database file. Inside, you will see a log of every decision MusicMaster made when it scheduled the last session. It’s a great way to identify problems during the scheduling session. Maybe you have several unscheduled positions but no clue as to why they happened. The Thinking Process will show you what rules passed and failed for that position making it much easier to identify a problem. Happy scheduling!



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

LogNote Management

By Aaron Taylor

Need to make a change across all clocks to the text of a specific lognote?  Fastest way to do this is in DATASET-CLOCKS-LOGNOTE TEXT.  If you make a change to the text in this window, it will be updated once saved. Sidenote...If you instead want to make an alteration to an existing lognote in just ONE clock, edit that lognote in the clock itself.  Then, once you revisit the LogNote editor, you will see that note has been added to the lognote list, along with the original.

You also have the option here to add or delete specific lognotes completely,  (Copy/Paste CTRL-C, CTRL-V does work here) as well as print the entire list if you wish.

A handy "housekeeping" option here is PURGE, which will delete any lognote(s) that are not currently part of ANY clock.  This cannot be reversed once you run this, so it is always a wise idea to make a backup FIRST.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who are your Core Artists?

I had a client email the question this morning: Is there a Core Artist report in MusicMaster for Windows?  Depending on your perspective, there are a few ways to generate that report with a few simple clicks.
If you'd like to have the report depend on frequency of plays - use the History Browser's Artist rank and spins report (Dataset/Analysis/History Browser).  If you'd like the report to depend on number of Titles each artist has - use your Library Analysis report on the artist field.  Just bring up your Active Music Categories group and right click on the artist field and select "Library Analysis".  This will give you an instant report from top to bottom of the Artists with the most to least songs.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Are you running the latest version of MusicMaster Windows? Let's check!

By Aaron Taylor

If it's been awhile since you've started working with MusicMaster or installed the application on your computer, its a good idea to check from time to time and verify you are running the latest release version.  The MusicMaster email newsletter will announce when a new service release is avaialable, but you can check for the latest version anytime in the application by clicking HELP-CHECK FOR UPDATE.  Click through the NEXT menu in the Software Upgrade Wizard window to see if there is a new version that you can download and install.  You'll need to remember to close the MusicMaster application completely after the download of the update is finished before running the update.  If the program indicates you'll need to restart your machine for the changes to take effect, please do that at your earliest convenience.  Also make sure to update all other machines in your facility to this version as soon as possible.

If you want to learn about what's new in the version you just updated to, check HELP-RELEASE NOTES.  Past the system requirements section, you'll be able to read everything that is included in this new service release.  As always if you have any questions about a feature or functionality in the update, or you encounter an issue along the way, reach out to us for help!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Search Bar

by Paul Ziino

Here's a quick tip for an easy way to search your database.  Go to View/Search Bar and make sure it is checked.  Via the Search Bar you can do a "contains any of" query in the Primary and Secondary fields of the data, without having to open a new query box. 

For example: type LOVE in the search bar and press Enter to receive a list of all songs with LOVE in the Primary or Secondary fields of the data (typically Title and Artist, this can be set under Dataset/Library/Fields.  For more info, search for Primary Field in the online Help).  You'll get titles such as "Love Walks In", "Looking for a New Love", "I Knew I Loved You", and artists including Loverboy, G. Love and Special Sauce, and Dana Glover.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Digging For Song Histories.

Thank you to client Jeff Jarnigan for this blog quickie.  If you pull up the history graph and don't see a complete accounting for the song histories you're looking at - use the "Shovel" icon on the top of the history graph... it will "dig up" more histories if they exist!  ~ Marianne Burkett

Monday, June 7, 2010

No Repeat

by Paul Ziino

Many radio stations offer a “No Repeat Workday”.  And when they do, they rely on MusicMaster to make sure this happens without any glitches.  Here’s how to set up No Repeat in MusicMaster.

First you’ll open your Rule Tree (Dataset/Rule Tree, or click the lightning bolt icon).  No Repeat is a “Song/History Rule” so click the + next to that folder under Available Rule Types.  No Repeat is the second option there.  You can drag that rule into the appropriate Unbreakable folder on the left side of the tree.  Note: You could make it breakable, but that would allow MusicMaster to violate the rule, thus not guaranteeing no song will repeat.

Once you’ve dropped the rule into position the Rule Properties box will open.  This is where you establish the parameters of this rule.  First, you’ll indicate a description.  This is where you’ll name the rule, for example “Monday”.

The Time Restriction box is where you indicate the hours this no repeat zone applies.  Note: place an X in the hours where this no repeat zone applies.  Once that’s established, click the “Save as new Restriction” icon, name it accordingly and click OK.  A Monday 9-5 No Repeat will look like this…

Click Apply and then OK on the No Repeat rule properties when finished.

You will want a unique No Repeat rule for each no repeat zone.  So if you require a no repeat workday Monday through Friday, you’ll need to turn on the rule 5 times—once for each day—and set the time restrictions accordingly.

There are many applications for No Repeat.  You could use No Repeat for a featured program such as “Get the Led Out” where at 9pm each day you play a block of songs by Led Zeppelin.  You want to make sure not to repeat any song within the week, so you could set up your No Repeat Time Restriction like this…

You can open an hour into halves or quarters by right-clicking on that hour in the Time Restriction box and clicking on Hour Mode.  In this example, we have a no repeat zone from 9:00-9:30pm every day of the week.

Another application might be protecting drive times so that songs that played in morning drive today will not play in afternoon drive today or tomorrow’s morning drive.  If today is Monday, here is what that time restriction would look like…

Just remember you’d want to set up a different no repeat rule for each zone.  So for weekday drive protection you would need to activate that rule 10 times—one for each day’s morning and another for each day’s afternoon drive.

These are just a few of the ways No Repeat can be put to work for you.  Of course if you have any questions on setting up No Repeat, you can refer to the Help section of MusicMaster or contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.

Trouble Shooting via the History Browser

by Marianne Burkett

From time to time, most people go to their Primary Care Doctor for a physical exam, take the car in for servicing or have their home HVAC inspected – just to be sure there isn’t a problem lurking.  In the same vein, it’s also wise to take a critical look at your MusicMaster database every so often.

There are a few important features in the software that can identify issues.  Today, I’m going to discuss troubleshooting via The History Browser.

(Dataset/Analysis/History Browser)

Select all of your active categories and a time period wide enough to where you believe every song should have aired at least 1x.  Your display tab should be setup in Mode “Individual Songs and should also include “Include Zero Plays”.

The reason you’d want to include Zero Plays in the report, is that there may be something in your rules stopping these songs from playing. 

There might be many reasons a song did not play, all based upon your rules.  The trick is for you to figure out what rule was the cause.  Like the late Rosanna Rosanna Danna used to say – “If it’s not one thing, it’s another…but it’s always something!”

Let’s say you have Hour Rotation rules in your database.  If you have a “Play Offset Window” or “Shift Rotation” rule, do you have “Max Days” engaged?  Inside each specific rule are properties – so whenever you see a “Max Days” option, it’s best to select a time frame so the rule will essentially reset after that period of time.  A good example is a simple Play Offset Window.  If you play Silent Night by Stevie Nicks at 12 Noon on Christmas day, a play offset rule without “Max Days” set, will stop the song from playing on Christmas day next year. 

Perhaps coding in your data is an issue.  You can add Extra Fields to your History Browser display so you can see the coding on each song.

Another “Zero Play” red flag is Artist Separation time for a specific artist.  Let’s take an artist like “Daughtry”, who may have a song in your Hot Currents, New Current, Recurrent and Power Library categories.  If you have say 5 Hot Currents – playing 1x per hour, Daughtry is going to play every 5 hours.  Then if you have Daughtry in New Current, and that category is also fairly small – Daughtry needs to lay down somewhere between that 5 hour period he’s turning over in Hot Current.  Then, we’re looking at the Recurrent and Library cuts for Daughtry.  The time between Daughtry plays becomes less and less with each pass in the scheduler.  In summation, Daughtry in the Power Library category may never have the opportunity to play because of his Artist Separation…thus giving you a Zero Play.  So, if you have some artists that are getting stuck because they are in Multiple Categories, you may want to consider either manually changing their Individual Artist Keyword separation times, (Dataset/Library/Keywords) or try the Keyword Separation Wizard. (Dataset/Library/Keywords/Tools/Separation Wizard).  The wizard will give you recommendations you can either accept or not.  It’s up to you!

No matter why a song is consistently failing – there is always a reason.  As the composition of your library changes, so should your rules.  Call up your Active Library and right click on any field and call up the Library Analysis on the field:
Do the rules fit the percentages?  If they don’t – you’ll likely run into spin inconsistencies. Running a few simple reports in MusicMaster for Windows can identify spin problems. 

As always, if you have a problem that is nagging you, contact your personal Music Scheduling Consultant.

New Rules Rule!

by Drew Bennett - Music Scheduling Consultant

Today, I want to let you in on a new addition to the MusicMaster for Windows Rule Tree. It’s called, Shift Pattern Rotation and it may change the way you schedule your bigger categories. Why? Because it’s so cool!

In your Rule Tree, look at the Available Rules folders on the right side of the screen and locate the Shift Pattern Rotation rule inside the Hour Rotation Rules folder under Song/History Rules. (Hint: It’s the second rule from the bottom.)

Let’s decide if the Shift Pattern Rotation rule is right for you by taking a look at the properties of the rule to find out what it does. To see the properties of a rule, pull it over to a Breakable or Unbreakable folder in your Rule Tree. In this case, I want to apply this rule to my B Category and I want the rule to be breakable so I am adding it to my Breakable 1 folder.

When the properties box pops up, you can see how we are able to set up the rule. The Shift Pattern Rotation rule tests songs to make sure they schedule within the shift pattern that you define within the rule. To set the pattern you want your songs to follow, click on the numbered boxes in the rule. As you click the boxes, they will move to the Shift Pattern line. The order they in which they appear are in the order that will be used to move the songs through your shifts. Basically, you are restricting the songs to only play in the shift that follows the last shift they played in within this pattern. Cool, huh!

This is how I set up my rule. I only have 8 shifts defined in my Shift Editor so I don’t need to include the 9th box in my pattern.

Don’t forget to set your shifts in the Shift Editor. You can find the Shift Editor by choosing the Shift Editor button from within the rule properties. You can also find Shift Editor by going to Dataset, Schedule, Shift Editor or through the Related button in the Rule Tree.

See? I have 8 shifts defined in the Shift Editor and that is why I used 8 boxes in my Shift Pattern rule. Keep in mind, however, that you do not necessarily have to use all of your shifts in the rule. For instance, if you don’t want to consider Overnights when creating the pattern in the rule, leave out the shift number that corresponds with your Overnight shift. Also, any play that occurs in a blank shift will not be counted against the test as it is configured.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, ‘What about dayparted songs within the category?’ Dayparted songs are handled a bit differently when it comes to the Shift Pattern Rotation rule and it’s because of their limited ability to rotate. When MusicMaster comes to a dayparted song that must be tested for Shift Rotation, it will determine the number of shifts that song is allowed to play in.  If that number is one or zero, the rule is disabled for this song, otherwise, the song would have no opportunity to play. If the number of shifts the song can play in is less than or equal to the number of plays requested in the rule properties, then the actual number of plays in other shifts required for that song will be the maximum number possible minus one.

For control on how your songs schedule through your shifts, consider using the Shift Pattern Rotation rule on your larger Gold categories. It’s a great way to space your plays evenly throughout your shifts.

Setting Up MusicMaster On A New Machine

by Aaron Taylor

So, you just received some great news!  Your IT manager or Engineer just emailed that you’re (finally) getting that long promised new computer for the office.  It’s going to be a week or so before he has it all configured and ready to go, but among all the computer programs you are starting to make a mental note of that need to be loaded and configured on the new machine is (of course) MusicMaster for Windows.

I will outline the typical steps that we would recommend you follow when planning to migrate the software and your database(s) to a new machine.  If you already know the specifications on the machine you will be getting (or if your IT person has just come to you and asked “what does your new computer need to be able to run MusicMaster Windows” here are some resources to check to verify that this shiny new machine coming your way meets (and will likely exceed) the specifications to run the application.

First, you can check the HELP-RELEASE NOTES section on your currently installed MusicMaster to find out what operating systems that the application “natively” supports, as well as the major Microsoft system components that are needed for the program to run correctly.  If you do not see your OS represented or you have other questions about these basic specs, please contact your Music Scheduling Consultant (MSC) to discuss your circumstances.

On the MusicMaster website you can get the basic recommendations for the hardware specs we suggest at

For a more in depth rundown, visit the Support section of the MusicMaster website, you can also download (or direct your IT person to download) our ”MusicMaster IT Guide” PDF which can be found in the MusicMaster/Windows-User Guides section.  Beginning on page 2 of the guide you will find minimum as well as optimal recommendations for the computer hardware itself, your internet connection, the operating system, and additional requirements. 

Special note:  If you’ve not visited the support section of the MusicMaster website before, you will first need to create a username and password for yourself.  You can do this by going to SUPPORT-CUSTOMER LOGIN and selecting the hyperlink under the USERNAME/PASSWORD boxes.

Once you have filled out the form that appears and have submitted it, you will receive a confirmation e-mail once your application has been accepted.  After that point, feel free to visit the support site whenever needed.

Run TOOLS-PURGE, before making your database backup.  This utility removes extra space from your data that could cause your backup to be larger than it needs to be.  Make certain that no other users are in the database(s) you are backing before you run this process.  This will additionally have the benefit of speeding up your database.

Back up your data (TOOLS-BACKUP.)  Look for any .def files or special .ini files we’ve created for your specific databases.  Copy the zip file (typically something in the format Call letters-FM.ZIP).  If you have any questions about specific files that you think may need to be carried over to the new machine, please contact your Music Scheduling Consultant. 

If your database(s) reside on your office network (instead of the default C:\mmwin directory) you can skip this step, although it may be a good idea to verify that this is in fact the case with your IT support staff.

Download the latest version of the application from the support site once you’ve logged on to our web site (SUPPORT-CUSTOMER LOGIN.)  Once you are logged on, go to MusicMaster/Windows-Downloads,

and decide where you’d like to download the file to on your computer.

Once you’ve downloaded the full installer of the application (make certain you have Admin rights before you begin), go ahead and run the installer, and follow all of the prompts.  In most cases, you will not need to make any changes to the default settings the installer will suggest.

If your database(s) reside on your office network, the default desktop shortcut to the application will need to be modified slightly to launch the application locally then source the data from your network.  If this is the way the old machine was set, you can simply copy the target line for the shortcut in the old machine to the old machine, or consult with your IT staff or your MusicMaster MSC for assistance with proper setup.

Next, uznzip/extract your database(s) onto the new machine (typically) into the C:\mmwin directory. If your data is on your network, you’ll skip this step.

After you’ve installed MusicMaster on the new machine (and restarted if so advised) we’d suggest you click on HELP-SYSTEM INFORMATION and review the major Microsoft component list.  If you see a view similar to the one shown below (note the all green smiley faces)…

you should be “good to go” with MusicMaster on your new machine…Enjoy!

If you see any yellow or red faces on this list, drop a call or an email to your MSC for assistance in identifying what the next steps are to getting your machine up to spec for running the application.
If you have special circumstances surrounding this new machine upgrade (say perhaps it is a Mac, or you are still running an older version of MusicMaster) you will want to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant as soon as possible to discuss the best steps to migrating the application and your database(s) to your  “spiffy” new machine.

Bells and Whistles, Part 1

by Drew Bennett

There are lots of neat little bells and whistles inside MusicMaster and I want to cover one that I found to be especially handy once I set it up in my first MusicMaster for Windows database. I’ve always liked adding trivia to my songs. Call me old school, but I’ll include a birthday, a new tour or new CD information so my jocks know what’s going on. If your jocks don’t do their own show prep, MusicMaster makes it really easy to do it for them and it looks great when you show off your data to someone.

Today, I’m going to walk you through setting up your songs to display the band’s website when your cursor has the band selected in Library Maintenance and/or the Schedule Editor. It’s like having a personal assistant pull up artist information on the fly and precisely when you need it. When we’re done, it should look something like this:

The first thing you want to do is decide which field you’re going to use to hold the band’s web address. To make a choice, choose Dataset, Library, Fields.

In the example above, I’ve selected a field I called URL. It is a text field and the field length is 255. That will be plenty of space for web addresses. When choosing a field in the Database Field Editor, make sure you choose a Text field. If the length of the field is over, say, 100 characters, that should be plenty of space to hold a web address. If you find a Text field that you do not use, and the length of the field is long enough to hold your web addresses, you can rename that field to something like URL or Web Address and begin using it for the purposes of this tutorial. Once you find a field to use, hit OK. If you do not find a Text field that has a length to accommodate web addresses, consult your Music Scheduling Consultant to see about having a field added to your database.

Next, let’s set up MusicMaster to display a web browser inside the software. To do this, go to Tools, Options, External Database Links.

I use Firefox as a web browser so in the External Link Path, I typed in the path to firefox.exe, which is the executable file that Firefox uses when it launches a web browser for me. You can add any path in that links to the executable file for your favorite browser. Below that field you will see another field for Valid File Types. This field can be left alone or you can add in file types that can be played within your browser. Finally, you will use the dropdown box at the bottom of this screen to tell MusicMaster where you will be putting the web address for each artist in your database. You can see in my example that I’ve chosen URL as my Auto Link Field. Click Apply and OK.

Now, you will head to your first Song Card and bring your new web address field into your layout. You’ll type the artist’s web address into your new web address field.


Now it’s time to show it off. At the top of the software, choose View, Web Browser. If you’ve set everything up correctly, you should see your artist’s web page in MusicMaster’s browser window. Once you have web pages associated with all of the songs in your database, you can find artist information instantly when you’re maintaining the library or scheduling a day’s worth of music. Not only that, it looks really sharp when you’re showing off your data to the rest of the programming department or your consultant. All of a sudden, you have an assistant that pulls up artist information based on the web address you have in the song card. To enter that information into Trivia, click on the Trivia icon. (Hint: It looks like a folder with paperclip on top of it.) Finding and entering trivia and artist information was never easier.

Good luck with it! If you have any questions about how to set up this or anything else in MusicMaster for Windows, please don’t hesitate to call your assigned Music Scheduling Consultant. Happy Scheduling!

Schedule Editor Layout Secrets

By Drew Bennett

Inside the Modify Editor Layout icon of the Schedule Editor, you will see a section on the right hand side where the colors of elements can be changed. Double click the sample for Songs:Music here and change the Foreground Color AND the Background Color to white. Click OK again to get out of the editor. Now any song element in the Schedule Editor will be filled with the color of the category it resides in.




Friday, June 4, 2010

Tiling Windows

By Drew Bennett

If you have two or more sections of MusicMaster open, you can tile them on your screen and see them all at once. In the menu at the top of the software, choose Window, Tile Horizontal or Tile Vertical. MusicMaster will arrange the sections of the software in vertical or horizontal tiles on your screen. Explore all the drag and drop features you can perform from section to section. Happy scheduling!





Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time to clean up your Keywords!

If you are getting some undesirable results in artist separation and are wondering why, it could be something as simple as misspelled artist keywords!  Dataset/Library/Keywords will take you to the keyword editor.  Use your pulldown menu for Artist Keywords and start looking through them.  Do you have a keyword that is Last Name, First and First Last, or with a missing hyphen?  Any minor difference in the keywords will be looked at by the Automatic Scheduler as a different artist.  Once you fix your keywords in the Keyword Editor, don't leave there sure to go to Tools and remove unused keywords. ~ Marianne Burkett

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day Offset vs Sliding Day Offset Windows

by Paul Ziino

Often times we are asked which Hour Rotation rule to use, and many times we end up explaining the differences between “Day Offset Window” and “Sliding Day Offset Window”. Here’s the scoop…

Day Offset Window is used to protect X number of broadcast hours for Y number of days on either side of a play being tested. The most basic setting here is “Days=1/Window Size=1 Hour”. This protects a song from being played two days in a row in the same broadcast hour.

Sliding Day Offset Window with a setting of “Days=1/Window Size=1:00” would protect a song from being played two days in a row while sliding that 1:00 over the time being tested, splitting it in half so as to check +/- 30 minutes on either side of the play being tested.

Let’s assume we’re testing a play at 9:05am on Wednesday. Day Offset Window is in place with that “Days=1/Window Size=1 Hour” setting. This would look at the 9am hour on Tuesday (one day back) and Thursday (one day ahead), and if the song played anywhere within the 9am broadcast hour on either day, it fails the rule. Note: if the song played at 8:55am on Tuesday, the 9:05am Wednesday play would pass this rule as it is in a different broadcast hour.

Now if we have that same play at 9:05am on Wednesday, but this time we have a Sliding Day Offset Window in place with a setting of “Days=1/Window Size=1:00”, MusicMaster will look at Tuesday (-1 day) and Thursday (+1 day), and if that song played within 30 minutes either side of 9:05 (8:35am-9:35am) on either day, it would fail the rule. Note: if the song played at 8:55am on Tuesday, the 9:05am Wednesday play would fail this rule as it is within the +/- 30 minute window.

Let’s take it a step further. We’re still looking at that 9:05am play on Wednesday. This time our Day Offset Window is set to” Days=1/Window Size=3 Hours”. MusicMaster will look at Tuesday and Thursday in the 8am, 9am, and 10am hours (same hour plus the hour on either side for a total of 3 hours) and if the song played within those hours on either day, it would fail the rule.

But if we used a Sliding Day Offset Window set to “Days=1/Window Size=3:00”, MusicMaster will effectively slide that time frame centering it on the play being tested with an equal amount of time on either side. This would mean +/- 1:30 on either side of 9:05am, or 7:35-10:35am.

The Sliding Day Offset Window can be more precise than the Day Offset Window, because Sliding windows can be adjusted to the minute. For example, a setting of “Days=2/Window Size=1:44” will protect +/- 52 minutes on either side of the play being tested for 2 days back and ahead.

In both Day Offset and Sliding Day Offset windows you can check the “Test Past days only” box on the rule properties window to do just that. Then MusicMaster would only look at past play history and not test against future spins.

Using a combination of Hour Rotation rules including Day Offset and Sliding Day Offset Windows can help maximize a song’s day-to-day separation and exposure.

Running Purge

By Drew Bennett

Purging your database will re-index the data and put everything back in order. It’s much like the defragmenter on your hard drive. It removes errant characters and puts all of your data back in order. The result is a more efficient and faster database. To purge the data in MusicMaster, choose Tools, Purge. Make sure no one else is in the data when you run purge. It needs to perform that function without multiple connections open. I tell my clients to perform this once a week or when you think about it. Happy scheduling!





Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to create a working database from scratch!

Step by Step guide to creating a working database from scratch 

By:  Marianne Burkett


Imagine your owner or General Manager walking into your office or the studio telling you “Hey, we’re starting a new format, you’re in charge and we’re launching ASAP.”


Oh boy…your stress level has just risen 150% and you’re wondering …”Where do I start?


The order in which you implement the project is important.  The first 3 steps done in the order below will save you a lot of time and frustration.


  1. The first thing you do is acquire a library of music from a reliable source.  There are several companies that can provide libraries in a hurry, with a simple internet search.  You need the new library ripped into your playout or automation software.  When you do so, each cut is assigned an automation number – which is crucial in the early process. 


  1. Next, clone your existing MMwin database and strip the clone of its music and non-music.  That way, you’re retaining important files like your export to automation design and printed log design.


  1. The new library you’ve acquired can be pulled into MusicMaster using a Library Import utility, or you can copy/paste the new library right into MusicMaster from an Excel spreadsheet.  You may need to put a call into your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant for assistance, but both the Library Import and Copy/Paste are relatively simple procedures.


I recommend the next steps be done in this order:


  1. Create Categories
  2. Populate the Categories
  3. Code all the music you decide to use and make sure your Artist Keywords are in place.
  4. Build Clocks.  If you’re launching a brand new format – a few starter clocks should suffice.  Remember – Rome was not built in a day.
  5. Build the Clock assignment grid and activate it.
  6. Install some basic rules in the Rule Tree to get you started.  Click on the Rule Tree Wizard for some basic recommendations and build from there. Run the Scheduler to see the results of the rules you’ve created. 
  7. Test your export to automation to make sure the music is accepted into the playout software.

I promise if you follow these steps, the rest is easy.  Checking your rotations and turnovers – tweaking the rules etc...


Of course, as with any major undertaking – consult with colleagues – or put a call into your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant with questions you may have.  You can also access a world of knowledge within the MusicMaster website by accessing our webinar series or client center. 


Our job is to help you be successful.

Music Scheduling Consultant - Technical Support


All Category Bypass

by Paul Ziino

Have categories to which you do not wish to apply your All Categories
rules? Bypass them! Right-click the MusicMaster Rule Tree header of
the rule tree itself, select Rule Tree Properties, then check any
category you wish to ignore the All Categories rules.

Or you can click the Properties icon in the Rule Tree (third from
right), then check the categories to bypass.

Click OK, then save your rule tree!