MusicMaster Scheduling
Your viewing experience of the MusicMaster website, as well as the web as a whole, would be much improved if you upgraded your browser.

MusicMaster Blog

MusicMaster Rules: What’s behind your Exclusion Mask? posted on July 21st, 2014

By Marianne Burkett

There are all types of rules available to you in the MusicMaster Rule Tree to keep songs from playing in or around the same hour they last played. In working with so many clients, I’ve come to find many who are daring enough to use the Day or Play Exclusion Mask rules, but have them set up strangely. So, I will explain to the best of my ability how to set them up properly.

Let me start with the Day Exclusion Mask. What does it do and what rules can it replace? (more…)

Tags: ,

Filling in the Holes with Optimum Radial Spread posted on April 14th, 2014

By Paul Ziino

Take a look at this History Graph.

fillinginholes1The rotations look pretty bad.  Now compare that with this History Graph.

fillinginholes2What a huge improvement!  So now the question is, “what changed?”

In MusicMaster 5.0 we introduced a new Goal in Optimum Goal Scheduling™ called “Optimum Radial Spread.”  The MusicMaster Readme.txt file defines Optimum Radial Spread by stating, “This Goal attempts to favor replacement songs that have rested the longest in the region of the day being tested.”  So what does that mean?  Basically, Optimum Radial Spread fills in the holes in your history graph.

Our recommendation would be to use some base-line unbreakable rules, then add the Scheduling Goals to enhance what the rules are doing for you.  For example, use an Unbreakable Day Offset Window rule of 1 Day/1 Hour to make sure the song doesn’t play in the same hour two days in a row, for slower rotating categories use Play Offset Window set to 1 Play/1 Hour to make sure two consecutive plays don’t occur in the same hour.  Then add the Optimum Radial Spread Goal into the category’s Optimum Goal Scheduling folder.  Now save your Rule Tree.

fillinginholes3When you run the Automatic Scheduler, MusicMaster goes through the category’s depth (as set in Schedule Properties) and tests all the songs, weeding out those that fail the unbreakable rules you have in place to determine which songs are the best available.  If only one song is considered the best it is scheduled.  If multiple songs are considered equally the best, the Automatic Scheduler re-tests them against whatever Goals you have in place for that category.  Each song receives a score for each active Goal and those scores are weighted to determine which song will be scheduled.

Optimum Radial Spread essentially looks at the history graph for each song it encounters and asks, “when was the last time this song played around the time I’m trying to schedule?”  Then it tests those songs that are available and scores each one.  When the songs have been re-tested against all the active Goals MusicMaster evaluates the scores, determines which song really is the best and schedules it.

By the way, Optimum Goal Scheduling™ will not cause unscheduled positions in your log!  Using Optimum Goal Scheduling™ does tend to cause the Automatic Scheduler to take a little longer to process, but the end result is a log that requires less time to edit because the Goals in place have already chosen the best available songs!

I’ve had customers try out Optimum Radial Spread in recent months and they love the results.  Give Optimum Radial Spread a try in some of your depth categories—Optimum Goal Scheduling is ineffective in categories whose depth in Schedule Properties is set to 1—and enjoy the improved rotations.

If you have questions about this or any of the other options in Optimum Goal Scheduling™, contact your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant—we’re always here to help!

Basic Rotation Rules posted on March 25th, 2013

By Marianne Burkett

Of all the calls that come my way on a weekly basis, one of the top 5 is “Rotations” and how to improve them.  Rotations are a sensitive subject. Program Directors worry about them constantly.  Even the slightest changes in your library or clocks can throw your rotations off… so you need to install the correct rules to stop that from happening. (more…)

Tags: ,

Rules Reality Check posted on December 3rd, 2012

By Marianne Burkett

The majority of calls I receive during any given week, tend to pertain to poor rotations or too many unscheduled positions after running the automatic scheduler.  Typically, the results are due to rules that don’t really fit the categories, coding or categories with excessively high minimum rest settings.  You may also have rules that conflict with one another.

What should you do?   Of course, you can always call me or your Music Scheduling Consultant to help shed some light on your problems, but if you’d like to roll up your sleeves… here are the steps I personally take each and every time someone calls me for help. (more…)

Good Rotations posted on December 16th, 2011

By Marianne Burkett

I have many clients who call and ask why their song rotations aren’t what they want.  In most cases it is simply because the wrong rule is being used.  So, which rules should you use? (more…)

MusicMaster TSL Booster Rules! posted on November 14th, 2011

By Marianne Burkett

In the Programming department of any radio station, the final product flowing from the speakers is really all that matters.  Compelling content, cool promotions, contests and stand out imaging, news and weather are important, but well-crafted music logs are really key to spiking the stations Time Spent Listening. (more…)

Ideal Turnovers posted on February 1st, 2011

By Drew Bennett

Let’s say you have the rare opportunity to totally overhaul your database. You’ve been thinking about new clocks and rotations and you want to get started on bringing better rotations to your station.

When it comes to scheduling music, clocks are ‘where the magic happens.’ (more…)

Auto Kick (and Beyond) posted on October 4th, 2010

Exactly what is “Auto Kick”?

As a review, the Auto Kick rule property is used to prevent a song from playing at the same time on consecutive days. You can adjust the windows size, which is the amount of time around a play yesterday that you would like to protect. (more…)

Tags: ,