Friday, July 30, 2010

Have you purged lately?

By Aaron Taylor

If you've never run the PURGE utility on your MusicMaster database, today is the day to try it out.  First things, first...Verify that there are no other users in your database before running this.  Also, it is a good idea to make sure you have backed up your database before running this utility the first time.

Then go to TOOLS-BACKUP.  A warning screen will display reminding you to check that you are the only user in the database and that you've backed up, if so click YES.

Don't be alarmed if this process takes a minute (or perhaps longer) to complete the first time.  Watch the lower left hand corner of the program sceen.  You'll see the various tasks the program is completing as part of the purge.  Finally, a message will appear in the center of the program screen indicating DATASET PURGE COMPLETE, and in the lower left hand corner a message will appear indicating the percentage that your database has been reduced by running this process. Click OK.

We think it is a good idea to run purge certainly after completing a database overhaul project (like when you add a bunch of new clocks, songs, or rules) but you can always run this anytime you wish (once a week is what I like to suggest) and certainly anytime you feel that perthaps the program or a Db isn't performing as you expect, or as it once did.  This process can often times resolve these issues.  Think of this much like a "defrag" that you might run on your computer as a whole, specifically for your MusicMaster database!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Networking your databases!

By Marianne Burkett
Clients often ask if they can have access to a database or multiple databases across their at-work network.  It's quite simple to set up - and here's your visual.  Draw a triangle, with 2 corners being the MusicMaster workstations and the 3rd corner being a folder out there on a server.  Create a folder on the server to store your MMwin databases and any definition files you may have for Library Sync, Reconciliation etc.
Then simply "point" your MMwin icons in the building to that server folder!  Right click on your MMwin icon, go to Properties.  If your server is called "S:\" and your folder is called "MMwindata" your Icon target would read C:\MMwin\MusicMaster.exe S:\MMwindata  Be certain you have adequate network speed (the connection between each station) for optimum performance and full read-write privileges to that folder.
Once you have it set up, your Standard Backups will also live on the server.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Re Order your Category order in MusicMaster

By Aaron Taylor

Want to re arrange the order of your categories on the info bar?  Go to DATASET-LIBRARY-CATEGORIES, or right click on the infobar itself and select CATEGORY EDITOR.

With your mouse, left click and drag and drop the grey squares (on the left hand side of the display) that correspond to each category designation up or down the order on the list.  Then click the OK button.  You'll note that the order is now changed.  Note this does not affect the Category SCHEDULING order.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How do scheduling goals work?

by Drew Bennett

Scheduling goals can work by themselves or with your existing rules to select the best song possible. Scheduling goals score your music between 0 and 100 to find the best scoring song possible to schedule. MusicMaster takes the search depth of your categories and tests them through the All Categories folder, the rules in your Category folder and finally your Scheduling Goals. The result is a scheduled song that scored the best out of the songs in your search depth.




Monday, July 26, 2010

Make Your Backup

by Paul Ziino

When's the last time you made a backup of your MusicMaster
database? If it's been a while, make today the day you start doing
so every day. Making a backup is as easy as going to Tools/Backup
and clicking Perform a Standard Backup. This creates a zip file of
your database and leaves it in the same folder as your database
(.mmd) file. You can also make custom backups that can include
additional files or be saved in alternate locations. Learn all about
making backups at

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are you using AutoComplete?

By Aaron Taylor

AutoComplete is a feature in MusicMaster that will finish fields as you type.  This is available for Keyword and Text type fields.  There is a two step process to activating this for field(s).  First, you must activate this feature in the appropriate fields under the Dataset, Library, Fields screen. To do this, highlight the field and when the details box comes upon the right-hand side, adjust the AutoComplete line to say “Yes.”

Second, you need to activate the feature on the Library Maintenance toolbar.  Look for the icon that says "AUTO" in a black/white box.  Click that icon to activate/deactivate.When you type in a field with this feature activated, the field will complete with the first match available. The more you type in the field, the more you narrow the choices. If you backspace in the field, you will disable the feature. The feature will be re-enabled if you press [Home], [End] or after typing at least two characters.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Check out the MusicMaster Genius Webinar Series

By Aaron Taylor

Did you know that MusicMaster has available on our website over THIRTY HOURS of in depth instruction on many areas of the application?  There is something here for every user level, and area of interest.  These files are in Windows Media format and can be viewed in Windows Media Player.

Check them out anytime from this link:


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The problem with One Hit Wonders

By Marianne Burkett
Today's blog focus is about dealing with One Hit Wonders scheduling more often than your core artist songs.  The reason this happens is because the One Hit Wonder has no artist conflicts.  It's really that simple.  When you've got a really deep search depth and a lot of coding rules accompanied with a reasonable minimum rest in any given category, those one-hit wonders will schedule with more ease than an artist that has a large number of songs. 
So, what to do?  There are a few very effective fixes to consider.  You can raise that One Hit artists "Individual Keyword Separation Time"(Dataset/Library/Artist Keywords).  Another option is to add a Title Keyword to the one hit wonder song.  Set the Separation time to somewhere around the average turnover of the category, and you can set the rest time right there as you create the new keyword!  Remember to put some kind of Title Keyword rule in the rule tree as well.  The Individual time separations override the Rule Tree settings (unless you've set the rule properties to ignore Individual Keyword settings).
Either way, the One Hit Wonder will slow down.  Conversely, you may need to adjust downward, the Individual Artist Separation times on your Core Artists which will enable those titles to play more freely. 
There are other types of solutions like Packeting or Auto Platooning - but the suggestions here address the issue directly.
As always, if you have any questions - contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

+ More

by Paul Ziino

When you are in the replacement window of the schedule editor you
have three display options: Show all available songs, Hide
Unbreakable failures, and Show only perfect songs...these are noted
by the flag icons. When in "Hide Unbreakable" or "Show only perfect"
mode, by default MusicMaster will display the ten most-rested songs
that meet those criteria. If more than ten are available, you'll see
the "+ More" button which will give you an additional ten songs that
meet the criteria each time you click "+ More", until all songs are
displayed. But did you know you can change how many songs will be
displayed to start with, and how many more will be displayed with
each click of "+ More"?

Go to Tools/Options/Additional Properties. Under the Schedule
section find "MoreDigDepth". By default this is set to 10, but you
can set any number you want--up to 99. If you set it to 99 you'll
get the 99 most-rested songs that meet the criteria, and "+ More"
will give you an additional 99 each time you click it--until all
songs that meet the criteria are on display. Or you can delete the
setting and leave it blank. Now MusicMaster will display all the
songs that meet the criteria right away.

One item of large databases where there could be 1000s of
songs available, setting this too high or leaving it blank could
result in a significant slow-down of the replacement window. Find
the happy medium and you're on your way!

A second item of note...when "+ More" appears, you can hold the Shift
button when clicking the icon and MusicMaster will display all songs
that meet the criteria. Again, this could take some time depending
on the rules being tested and the size of your data.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Default Values

by Drew Bennett

Let's say your automation system puts all of your songs in the same category and you have to add that category name to every song you enter into your database. Did you know that you can set the default value for that field so you don't have to type in that information when you add a new song? Go to Dataset, Library, Fields. Locate the field to which you want to add the default value and click on it. In the properties column on the right, locate the Default Value field and add in the default value in the space to the right. Click OK. You're done! You'll never have to fill that field again. MusicMaster does it for you. Happy Scheduling!



Friday, July 16, 2010

Three Ways To Packet

by Drew Bennett

There are three different ways to packet songs. Weighted packets allow you to schedule some songs more often than others. Diggable packets allow MusicMaster to follow a search depth applied to the packet. Standard packets simply rotate the songs within a packet and slow down the scheduling of those songs within a category. Check Dataset, Library, Packets to set them up and check Help, Search, Packeting to read more about them.




Thursday, July 15, 2010

Using Category Groups to Schedule and Query

By Drew Bennett

Category groups are exactly what they sounds like; groups of categories in your database. To make a category group, go to Dataset, Library, Categories. When the Category Editor shows, choose the Groups button on the right hand side of the screen. Choose New to create a new group and give the group a name. Hit OK. Now put a check mark next to any category you want to include in this group and then choose OK again. You've successfully created a category group. Now you'll find this group at the bottom of your category list in the info bar and you can use it for other things as well. Try using groups to schedule pass orders so you don't have to check on and off categories as you schedule multiple passes. Try using it in the Query box to search through those grouped categories only. Happy scheduling!




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Check out the Recap Report in MusicMaster

By Aaron Taylor

Here is a handy daily "report card" for your MusicMaster database.

The Recap Report is a graphic display of how the program did in relation to the rules that you have set up.

There are three types of Recap Reports you can view:  Rule Stats, Goal Stats and Category Stats.

Here is a brief description of each:

-Rule Stats

This display gives you detailed information on each rule that was tested.

 -Goal Stats

This report is activated when you use Optimum Goal Scheduling.  You can sort by any of the column headers that you have.

When using Optimum Goals Scheduling, you’ll see one entry for each category where that Goal is used.

-Category Stats

This graph gives you information on how far into the search depth the scheduler had to go to find the songs it scheduled

There are other options to view theThinking file, Print the Recap Report, or Copy it to a clip board or Word document (as an example).

You can view this report immediately after a scheduling run via DATASET-SCHEDULE-RECAP REPORT.   You can also make this report open each time following an Automatic Scheduling run by selecting RUN RECAP REPORT AFTER SCHEDULING on the OPTIONS tab of the Automatic Scheduler.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

User List

by Paul Ziino

Want to know who is logged into your database? Go to Tools/User
List. This will indicate every open connection to the database. You
may be surprised--sometimes people login and forget to logout, and
this will prevent you from making a successful backup!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Testing Over Multiple Databases

 By Drew Bennett

Let's say you work for a cluster of radio stations that focus on similar formats. For instance, you might have an oldies station and a classic rock station in the same building and those two stations might share a few songs or artists between them. MusicMaster offers a feature that allows you to test over multiple databases, ensuring that you don't play the same song or even the same artists on both stations at once. Cool! Here's how to set it up:

You will need to build a file called an INI file. INI files are basically configuration files that are simple text files with a basic structure to them. To write an INI file, open Microsoft's Notepad on your computer.

With Notepad open, you will need to type in the information the INI file needs to have for MusicMaster to test across multiple data.

The first thing you will need in this INI file is a line that reads:




That tells MusicMaster that you are going to be testing over multiple databases. Next, you will need to reference the path to the databases, the field number you want to use to match songs, e.g. 102 for the Title field, the separation you want to see between the databases and the names of the databases. When you are done filling in this information, your file might look like this:














You can find more information on each of these lines of information in the MusicMaster Help Section by choosing Help, Technical Reference, INI files, Database.INI

Once you have written the INI file, you need to save it. If your database is called ROCKDATA.MMD, then your INI file needs to be named ROCKDATA.INI. Place the INI file in the same location as your database file.

Now, open MusicMaster and let's test it out! Head to the Schedule Editor and locate the Results Bar. Right click anywhere on the Results Bar and choose Customize. When the Customize Results Panel pops up, locate Multi Station Separation on the left side of the screen and, using the single arrow pointing to the right, move it over to the right side of the screen making it a part of your Results Bar in the Schedule Editor. Now hit OK and you should see the new box in your Results Bar. Now, when you highlight a song, MusicMaster will tell you if that song or artist has also been scheduled in another database allowing you to make adjustments.

If you need help setting this file up for your cluster of stations, contact your Music Scheduling Consultant at MusicMaster. We will be glad to assist you in testing songs over multiple stations. Happy scheduling!


How to create one unpredictable clock!

Can you program randomly - with control, using only one clock in your assignment grid?  Yes!  Using MusicMaster's various clock elements - like Migrating & Proportional positions or using "Format Lists", you can control category usage and turnovers in addition to having a clock that is not predictable!  Take a look at the possibilities available to you.  Search the Help section, or call your Music Scheduling Consultant for guidance.
Marianne Burkett

Friday, July 9, 2010

In-software Tutorials

by Drew Bennett

Did you know that MusicMaster tackles some of the most common issues and questions you might have right there in the software? What if you want to schedule an A to Z weekend or a Top 500 Countdown? How can you evaluate your own data? How do you make a Weekly Spins Report in the History Browser? These and other issues are tackled in the Help Section of the software under Contents, Tutorials. In there you can find step by step setup instructions for some of the most common questions about music scheduling.




Thursday, July 8, 2010

Show Balloon Tips

by Paul Ziino

When you are in Library Maintenance, click the third icon from the
right "Show Balloon Tips". This comes in handy when looking at
coding in your library. For example, when Show Balloon Tips is
activated, you are able to hover on your sound code field for a given
song, and a balloon will appear that details what each code assigned
to that song means. For example, instead of just seeing BP in the
field, the balloon will indicate B=Ballad and P=Pop--or whatever
codes are assigned. In a multi-keyword field such as Artist
Keywords, instead of seeing only the primary/first keyword assigned,
when hovering your mouse on the field the balloon will display all
the Artist Keywords assigned to the song. For example, instead of
only seeing the primary keyword of BEATLES, the balloon will contain
all the keywords assigned to that song: LENNON, McCARTNEY, HARRISON, and STARR.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Clock Assignment Grid Tips

By Aaron Taylor

Here a a few quick tips on the Clock Format Assignment Grid.

To see which hours a particular clock is active, either click on one instance of the clock on your grid (remember the one with the YELLOW clock is the one that is currently active and MusicMaster is using to Schedule with...) OR use the drop list in the upper left hand corner to select a clock from the list.  The hours that the clock you have selected are active will be highlighted in the lighter color on the grid.

To change a clock designation for a particular hour, you can simply type the clock code into the hour(s) space (if you know it) or again, select it from the drop down list.

You can copy/paste and highliight and add/change to multiple hous in the grid (a huge time saver if you are creating a pattern on alternate days, for example)...

The replace clock utility (see the magnifying glass with the two red arrows at the top) is a quick way to swap out all instances of a particular clock across the entire grid with another clock of your choice.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Plan Early for Holiday Programming!

By Marianne Burkett
It's never too early to start planning for Fall/Winter programming.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Format scheduler, I'd encourage you to investigate! Click on your clock icon and look to the lower left corner of the screen.  Click on "Format Scheduler" and right click on any day you see on the calendar. There you will see your options. You can Automatically Schedule your Assignment Grids or Specific Clocks within a Grid.  Save and you're all set!

Friday, July 2, 2010


by Paul Ziino

A quick note for users of MusicMaster 4.0...the latest service
release, SR-19, was released earlier this week. You can retrieve
this latest update by clicking on Check for Updates in the Help menu
within the program. The full installer file is also available in the
customer support center at Please remember when
installing the program or its updates that you must have full
administrative rights on your computer. It may be wise to consult
with your IT staff if you are unsure of your privileges on your computer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Schedule Session Styles

by Drew Bennett

Next time you schedule, take a look at a section of the Automatic Scheduler that you may not have noticed. In the Options tab you will find Scheduling Session Style. Here, you can change how the scheduling session will be conducted. Schedule Entire Session schedules the category throughout the days selected. Schedule Each Day schedules each day and then moves to the next days selected to schedule. Schedule Each Level schedules the session based on the levels given in Schedule Properties. Schedule Each Hour schedules each individual hour in succession. Those four different methods can change the way your log looks when you schedule a day. Experiment with each of them to find your favorite way to schedule a log.