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Tracks disappear from players

At Vintage Radio we are using PIL in the studio and generally find it a great package. But when we populate the players (irrespective of the number of players) and play in a 4 player example, say player 3, rather than say  player 1 (left hand one) the other players to the left of player 3 are emptied of their tracks. The tracks that are emptied then get marked as having been played on the playlist.This occurs in any of the Live Assist player options. Our studio machine is a Windows 8.1 system and I have tested it on my Windows 10 system and it exhibits the same symptoms. I am using the latest build (1.5) on my W10 system, although the studio system currently has  the previous build to build 1.5.


I would expect tracks to fill sequentially and then as they are played in the players they just pull the next track off the playlist. This is important to us as many of our presenters like to chop and change the sequence of tracks they play that they have loaded into their playlist. As a workround I have changed our studio system so it only has two players and this mitigates the problem to an extent.


The 29th March (V1.5 1440) build doesn't seem to exhibit this problem anymore.

 

I thought the 'losing a track from player' problem was cured in1400 and 1444 but still can repeat  the problem on my test W10 installation. I have two players and when I play play right hand one rather than the left hand one it then deletes the track in the left hand player. then loads a new track from the playlist.

 

We are using v1.6 and the problem if anything is worse than the previous builds. Our presenters at Vintage Radio find PIL unusable. We had hoped to change over to PIL from our other playout system but am getting deluged with complaints from our presenters here at Vintage Radio. I have tried changing to two players  but that's not much better. The GUI is great and one of the best but sadly at the moment we cannot use the  system

 

I have tried the latest build of 1.16 (1596) and it still exhibits the problem. I have two players equipped on my W10 system here at home and if I play a track in the the right hand player the track the track will disapear from the left hand player and be set as having been played. This also hapens on our studio Windows 8.1 system. Its now so bad that our presenters will now not use Play It Live here at Vintage Radio and have moved to Virtual DJ. I think you have a great system but its still seems to have this one major flaw. Is there any chance of a fix soon?

 

Hi Mike,


What you describe is actually by design. If you want to play a track out of sequence, you should order it correctly in the playout log under the players. If you have a list of tracks in this order:


Track A (Player 1),

Track B (Player 2),

Track C (Player 3)

Track D (marked for Player 1 when available)


And play Track B first, when would you expect Track A to play in sequence? PlayIt Live assumes you do not want to play Track A, and marks it as skipped, and fills Track D into Player 1 ready to be played.


Are you expecting Track A to be placed in this order instead?:


Track B (Player 2) (now playing)

Track C (Player 3)

Track A (Player 1)

Track D (Player 2?)


This would effectively change the playout order from the original scheduled log.


Another option would be to scrap the play buttons on each of the players completely, and force the user to use the master controls at the bottom-right.


I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.


Kind regards,

Jason

Hi Jason,

A few thoughts which hopefully will explain or clarify our position and use problem. I hadn't twigged, nor  had our presenters that you had designed the tracks to be played this way but I think I see what is happening now that you have explained what you have designed.

For many years we used RS player 2 but we have found that to be unreliable and doesn't appear to be supported any more, in addition the GUI is pretty messy. But it only has one player, as does Radio DJ ( well it has others but .....) We do also use Radio DJ for our back office scheduling for non-live studio days and it is very reliable running 24/7 for  several years - barring stopping for Windows updates!  I wanted to use PIL,  as it was the closest thing to MYRIAD I could find. It had a simple and clear GUI and many of our presenters liked it almost immediately liked it until they started to have problems with tracks disappearing.  ( I dont present so thats why this issue eluded me) They want tracks to be loaded into a free player and to be able to play the players as required. They find that they like the way in which Virtual DJ works. VDJ I consider to be a good system for a DJ but not a studio and its has lots of functions e.g. virtual folders etc which appear to have been grafted on to give greater flexibility and move away from the direct linkage to the music in folders rather than via the track selection database you use (as well as does RS player, Radio DJ)

Part of the problem is  the way we tend to work at Vintage Radio. We do not run from a master pre scheduled list of tracks (playlist), it may sound a bit random but many of our presenters just decide to play tracks as and when, usually to a genre or artist but choose the order via the players to suite the mood, pace of the show etc. In other words they use the playlist as a temporary bucket of tracks which are usually but not always played in order.

I guess we could change to Decks mode but we do sometimes have to  load a set of tracks into a playlist and then kick it off to run for a while automatically by disabling the next segue option which we can't do in decks mode. I think there may be  a slight issue there but I won't go there just for  the moment.

Maybe there are several options?

1) have a single player option which is always filled from the main playlist which in turn is filled from the track selection. This would be like RS player or Radio DJ which we started with many years ago. However, many like to use two or more players, like Virtual DJ, which they can populate at will from the database rather than a playlist. This suggests that a queue or playlist  is required per player as an option?  Radio  DJ, for example,  will allow you to fill a queue and play each track in any sequence

2) Make the playlist work  a) as a bucket which fills the next available player automatically (so is largely sequence independent) or b) via drop and drag of tracks from playlist or queue into a player (s) or  c) make the players only play in sequence as per a preset playlist.

With Radio DJ you can create a playlist which you play in sequence from the main playlist / queue and there are three aux players which you can populate a track at a time from the track selection database.  Clicking on a track moves it into the main player.

I am not sure if I have answered your question, or confused you but it does seem we (I) haven't fully understood your track from playlist to player allocation algorithm basing our perspective on RS Player and to an extent Virtual DJ.  The only reason I didn't go down the Radio DJ route was  that I thought your GUI for selection and playing tracks was far superior. I would like PIL to be the system of choice but with the way it is working I am fighting a losing battle against the Virtual DJ software which I consider to have a poorer more cluttered GUI with many the functions  not required for studio use. In addition it has tried through its Automix and virtual folders to add the functionality inherent in RS player, Radio DJ and PIL; mainly, I think, to move away from the inflexibility of selecting tracks direct from the windows folders.

So where do we go from here?
regards,
Mike
Vintage Radio

 

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