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Ten Tips to Prepare for the Holidays posted on November 10th, 2014

As the holiday feasts begin, here are a few choice leftovers (holiday related and otherwise) from our blog vault to help you prepare for the “most wonderful time of the year” in your MusicMaster databases!

  1. Here’s our first tasty, albeit rewarmed holiday treats for you…A couple of great general checklists that Music Scheduling Consultant Marianne Burkett created to help you plan for your holiday programming! Get ready for the holidays and “Holiday Prep Time”.
  2. Maybe you had a format flip this year, or created a database from scratch and have a need to copy all those holiday chestnuts from one database to another. Here is how to do it.
  3. Did you know you can make customized Title keyword separations? Because no one needs to hear the only two versions you have in your database of “Feliz Navidad” within the same shift, right?
  4. Thinking that this year you want to packet together those tertiary versions of “Jingle Bells” or all of the novelty songs together, and have never set up packets before? Well, read on about your options for packeting in MusicMaster.
  5. Everyone has their own ideas, methods and numbers on how/when they start spiking in the holiday tunes. What is an easy way to get them into your regular rotation clocks, without having to modify the “master clocks”? Just copy em’!
  6. Here’s a wonderful gift from the software programming elves, it’s the fast way to change out specified element types in bulk within your MusicMaster clocks: All about the Clock Mass Changer.
  7. You’ve created your special holiday clocks already, and you’ve put them on Assignment Grids… Now wouldn’t it be perfect this year if you didn’t have to think about manually making those grid adjustments in the midst of all of the other seasonal madness? Remember that one time you forgot? Why not deploy the Format Scheduler this year?
  8. So you’ve created a perfect block of Christmas Eve/Christmas morning programming, and you’d like to repurpose it either for the next day, or perhaps you just want to have it repeat over and over in four hourly segments. Do that with the clone hour’s functionality!
  9. Planning on and end of the year countdown special, and haven’t a clue how to get started and create it within MusicMaster? We’ve covered it here, and here.
  10. We would love to hear about your special holiday programming ideas, and if you have questions about how to translate that engaging content into your MusicMaster database, reach out to your Music Scheduling Consultant for assistance. Happy Holidays from all of us at MusicMaster!

Summer Holiday Scheduling posted on August 4th, 2014

By Jesus Rodriguez

You may already have a holiday grid ready to go for the winter break. You may possibly even have clocks that flip your station to an all Christmas channel 24/7. Those concepts are great tools to have so that you’re prepared for the holiday season every year. (more…)

Holiday Prep Time posted on October 15th, 2012

By Marianne Burkett

Why wait until the last minute to be ready?

It’s never too early to prepare for Winter Holiday scheduling!



Ins and Outs of the Format Scheduler posted on November 7th, 2011

by Paul Ziino

You can predetermine what clocks or assignment grids you wish to use on certain days.  For example, you want to use your “All Christmas” grid on Christmas Eve and Day.  Instead of having to remember on December 23rd to switch your grid before scheduling the 24th and 25th, then change it back prior to running the 26th, you could use the Format Scheduler to do it for you.

Go to Dataset/Clocks/Format Scheduler (or click the clock icon in the Tool Bar and click Format Scheduler at the bottom left of the window).  Advance the calendar to December, then Right-Click on the 24th and select “Assign a specific Grid to this date” and choose the grid you wish to use.

Do the same thing for December 25th.  Note the date will turn yellow in the calendar indicating that date has been altered from the standard grid.  Then click the Save icon and you’re all set.

You can take this a step further.  Let’s assume your station likes to slowly incorporate Christmas music into the rotation.  So each week leading up to the holiday you play one more Christmas song per hour.  Build clocks and grids accordingly so you have one grid for Christmas songs once an hour, another for twice an hour, and so on.  Now in the Format Scheduler you can right-click on the first day of the week and select “Assign a specific Grid to this week” and choose the appropriate grid.  So for the first week of December maybe play one Christmas song per hour, two per hour in the second week, 3 per hour in the third, and 4 in the fourth.  Once you’ve assigned grids, the dates in the calendar will be yellow.

You can do even more with the Format Scheduler.  On Friday night at 7pm you have a special feature running this week—it’s just the one time, and it will only be this Friday.  No sense building a new grid to accommodate, just build the appropriate clock and assign it to that hour in the Format Scheduler.  Left-click that date in the calendar, now on the right side of the screen you’ll see what clocks are assigned to that date.  In the 7pm hour, click and use the pull-down to select the desired clock for your special.

You’ll see a small clock icon to the left of the 7pm hour once you’ve selected that alternate clock, and the date will be yellow in the calendar.

The Format Scheduler also allows you to rotate assignment grids so that you play grid A in one week and B the next and so on.  You can rotate multiple grids, and MusicMaster will switch from one to the next on the first day of that week (based on your Broadcast Week Start Day set in Tools/Options/Broadcast Week).  Under the calendar you’ll see Grid Rotation.  List the grids you wish to rotate here.  The grid in bold is the one that will be used on the date selected in the calendar.  If you wish to change the rotation, just click and drag the grids via the grey number box to the left of the grid’s name.  In the picture below we’ve selected October 17th and see that Grid 1 will be used for that date and week.  And on the right we see what clocks are assigned to each hour of that date.  Note that already-scheduled dates display in Red.

When you are finished working in the Format Scheduler, make sure to click the Save icon to retain all your changes.

The Format Scheduler is a great tool for pre-scheduling grids and clocks for holidays and specials.  Use it year-round!

Get ready for Christmas! posted on November 11th, 2010

By Marianne Burkett

The holidays are approaching fast, so here’s a summary of the things you need to be thinking about as you get ready to add Christmas music to your rotations. (more…)


Introduction to the Format Scheduler posted on May 28th, 2010

By Marianne Burkett

What is the “Format Scheduler”?

In a nutshell, the Format Scheduler allows you to pre-schedule your Clocks and Assignment Grids in advance on a calendar.  You can also “rotate” your Assignment Grids.

The Format Scheduler gives you the ability to “override” your active assigned clocks for a pre- determined time frame for a date range, or perhaps for just one hour on a particular day. Just what you need if you would like to have different clocks in place for the holiday Monday coming up (perhaps you have a specialty weekend or count down planned, or simply will be voice tracked Monday) and need to have those clocks in place to export to your automation system.

This functionality also would be perfect if you’d like to introduce variety into your schedule in conjunction with variations in your clocks. For instance, you might have three versions of basically the same clock (positions/elements re-arranged perhaps) . By rotating/scheduling them into different hours of the grid, you could create three different grids, so a specific clock isn’t always heard at a specific time.

Grid rotation might also be used for specialty or holiday programming. You could pre-schedule in advance when these new grids will start and end, then not have to worry about remembering it. How many times have you been getting ready to schedule Christmas programming and forgotten to activate your clocks with the Christmas songs in them?

A couple of other notes on Format Scheduler:

The screen has three sections: Calendar, Grid Rotation and the clocks used on the specific day you are looking at. The active window will be highlighted as you move about the screen.

The calendar will display scheduled dates in red. If you see yellow, this means there are forced clocks somewhere in that day.

The calendar will open to today’s date by default. When you click on a day the clocks currently scheduled will appear to the right in a page format.

The Calendar context menu has several options:

· Remove all Forced Clocks from this date – This will remove any changes you might have made, returning the listing to its original form.

· Assign a Specific Grid to this date – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific date. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

· Assign a Specific Grid to this week – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific week. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

I would encourage you to review the entire HELP section in the MusicMaster program on this topic if you are interested in utilizing this functionality, or schedule some time with your personal Music Scheduling consultant if you have questions.