Custom Rule Settings for Special Sets posted on January 14th, 2019
By Dave Tyler
I had an interesting call the other day. The client is a talented super-user at one of the great radio stations using MusicMaster and he had an interesting dilemma. He uses “Special Sets” to schedule customized Artist Intros into songs. He has 3 of these Special Sets in each hour but only wants them to play a maximum of once an hour and on top of that not always in the same spot. The first thought would be to use a Max Quota per hour rule or Min/Max rule of some sort but the problem would be that if we set it at 60 minutes then it would always become available at the same time. Here is our solution to this unique request.
We decided to re-purpose a Yes/No Field and then add a Time Separation rule to it. To begin with go to Dataset/Library/Fields. I clicked on the header for Type twice to list the fields in descending Alphanumeric order as you can see below.
It turns out there was an available “User” field that I could use. You may have a Yes/No field you are not using and you can simply directly enter the name(type) into Name and abbreviation. If for any reason you do not have a field available any of our Music Scheduling Consultants would be happy go “Under the hood” and add one for you. It is as easy as sending us your data. I renamed the field “Artist Intros”. Now I open my Artist Liners category and add the new Yes/No field to my layout by clicking on the Show/Hide Fields icon, locating the field and dragging into my layout.
Now when I return to my Artist Intros category I have the new field with empty boxes. Place a check mark in each box to indicate “Yes”.
Now we open our Rule Tree and open the “Unbreakable” folder for the Artist Intros category on the left and the Yes/No Rules on the right. We then dragged the rule into the Unbreakable folder and set it for 1:07 (1 hour and seven minutes) and saved the rule tree.
Remember our Programmer wanted to play only one an hour but have it rotate around the clock each hour. By setting it for 67 minutes it will schedule an Artist Intro (If available for that song) in say “Position 1” and then an Artist Intro would not be available for Positions 2 or 3 that hour therefore successfully keeping it one an hour but then it goes further because the setting is at 67 minutes it will also disqualify Position 1 in the next hour and be available for Position 2. In this way we are not only limiting how many can play in an hour to one but we are also forcing it to rotate into different positions within the hour and keeping it unpredictable.
At MusicMaster we love when you call us and want to accomplish something we haven’t heard of before! We are all lifelong radio programmers and jocks so we speak your language and get excited when you come to us with a new way of looking things and challenging us to make it happen. As always if you have any questions never hesitate to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.
Custom Rules for Specialty Clocks posted on May 21st, 2018
By Marianne Burkett
So, you have a 5’oclock Free Ride feature and you want specific rules to fit the hour.
You want no slow songs, no buzz killer songs, right? Just music that will pick up the spirits of those stuck in the car, in rush hour traffic.
With MusicMaster, if there’s a will there’s a way.
Let’s go to the Rule Tree and set up some custom rules for your 5pm clock(s)!
Go to: Dataset/Rule Tree or just click on the Lightning Bolt Icon. At the top right-hand side of the Rule Tree in Available Rule Types is the folder “Special Rule Tree Items”. Inside that folder is “Rule Group”.
Pull the Rule Group over to the Unbreakable All Categories folder. The Rule Group properties will open up once you’ve dropped it in the folder.
You only have a few clocks assigned to your 5pm hour so this will be quick.
First fill out the “Description” field and give your rule group a name, then move over to “Group Mode” and select “Test Rules as if they’re not in a group”. (When you use the recap report, you’ll be able to see what rules in the rule group are failing or having difficulty if you chose this option.)
Next, go to the “Clock Restrictions” section and list the clocks you want to adhere to your specific set of rules for the specialty show. Be sure to separate the specific clock codes with a comma!
Click okay and your Rule Group is ready to fill up with specific rules for the show.
Drag and drop your rules over the title of the Rule Group and you should see the lightning bolt next to the rule, indent a bit. If the lightning bolt isn’t indented, it’s not yet in the rule group. If that’s the case, drag it over the name of the Rule Group and it should tuck in for you.
Save your Rule Tree and you are done! How easy was that?
The beauty of this is if your specialty show ever moves to a different time, the rules will just follow the clocks to the new time.
If you have any questions, please contact MusicMaster Support.
The MusicMaster Rule Tree – Making Your Rules Work Using Rule Groups posted on October 16th, 2017
By Marianne Burkett
I was called on not too long ago to review a database and explain why segue rules were not working using the automatic scheduler. When I opened up this databases rule tree, all the coding rules were repeated over and over and over again in each category. The same rules, but multiplied and inserted within the folders of each category. That’s a lot of work with no actual reward!
A good rule of thumb to consider when building rules for the automatic scheduler: Inside the category, the rule applies to that category, not the others. So, if a category is in each quarter hour and it is not next to itself, the “segue” tests in the rules within the category will not work like you might expect when using the auto scheduler. The rules you should be inserting in each category should be: Minimum Rest, rotation rules (i.e., Day Offset Windows, etc), Max plays per day, shift rules, specific artist separation rules and any Optimum Goal Scheduling rules you decide on. Why? Each category rotates differently and normally requires some kind of different setting in the areas listed above.
What are you to do with the coding rules? This is where the “All Categories” section of the rule tree comes in, and where you can build coding rules for specific categories using “Rule Groups”.
What is a Rule Group?
On the right hand side of the Rule Tree …the very first folder at the top contains Rule Groups.
Drag a Rule Group over to the All Categories section. When it opens set up your parameters in the Rule Properties.
There are 6 areas within each Rule Group
- Description: Give it a name so you know what coding rules should be applied.
- Availability: This allows you to set the rules to always be tested, never be tested, test only in the Auto Scheduler or only test in the Schedule Editor
- Time Restrictions: You can daypart rules in the rule groups so if you have a Saturday Night Jam, you can apply a completely different set of rules to those hours. In addition to the time restriction you decide when and where the rules are valid. Test against plays in ANY time period/Ignore FAILURES outside this time period or Ignore PLAYS outside this time period.
(i.e., this might be used to ignore plays from weekdays to weekends)
- Group Mode: You decide on how to handle failures. I personally always select “Test rules as if they are not in a group” so I can see specifically which rule failed when reviewing the “Recap Report”.
- Clock Restrictions: Rather than using dayparting rules you can apply rules inside a rule group to specific clocks.
- Song Restrictions: This is where you can select which categories your rules inside the rule group would apply to. You can also create Filters. For instance you can select a Specific attribute code(s) or Keyword(s) and apply specific rules to those items.
One last thing: Making sure the rules you want are actually IN the Rule Group!
I see the scenario from the image below a lot, during support calls.
None of the rules you see in the image above are actually in the Rule Group. You need to drag the rules INTO the Group. Drag directly over the Title of the rule group and release your mouse. The rule should INDENT so the little lightning bolt next to the actual rule is slightly to the right, like this:
Of course, you can use Rule Groups inside an individual category as well. Say you are plotting more Light Currents in the overnights than you are plotting during the day. You can use two Dayparted Rule Groups within the category, each with its own distinct Minimum Rest and rotation settings. You may need a one hour rest during overnights and a three-hour rest setting during the day. That will just depend on your clocks and turnovers.
Here is to happy, healthy Rule Tree’s in the land of MusicMaster!
If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Music Scheduling Consultant!
Optimum Rule Performance posted on September 1st, 2014
By Paul Ziino
Open a Music Category in Library Maintenance and add in the field called “Performance.” (more…)
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…)
Dayparting by Partial Hours posted on June 23rd, 2014
By Paul Ziino
Dayparting is used to prevent a song from playing during a specific time. (more…)
Filling in the Holes with Optimum Radial Spread posted on April 14th, 2014
By Paul Ziino
Take a look at this History Graph.
Rule Issues? Ask The Rule Wizard posted on July 15th, 2013
By Jesus Rodriguez
In this blog post we will take a journey like a storybook does to meet the Rule Wizard who is always available to help us in a time of need. We often get calls asking why certain rules are not functioning properly. Are my rules to tight? May be to loose? Do I have the right times set for my rules? I just did a new database what rules should I use? I inherited a database but I don’t know if the person before me had the correct rules? Can you help us because we made huge changes to the database and now it’s acting weird? (more…)
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…)
MusicMaster “Go To” Guide posted on March 11th, 2013
By Aaron Taylor
For this article, I thought I’d try to create a reference guide to some other common questions that seem to come up for us on an ongoing basis here at MusicMaster. My hope is that you’ll be able to utilize this as a “Go to Guide” the next time you have one of those “I know you showed me this once” types of questions. (more…)