The PlayIt Software Users Facebook group provides a much faster response to questions. Please consider joining.
Start a new topic

Clocks - can I...?

Can I set up a clock and set it to repeat every week in the schedule but change the files within it?

I am wanting to load up our radio shows, lots of them, that will play out on the schedule but change the physical files each week.

I currently have a clock that runs, fixed time marker, station ID from a track group (IDs), the show (Pt1) from a track (shows), station ID from a track group (IDs), the show (Pt2) from a track (shows), station ID (IDs)  then finally a random track from another track group (songs) - folders/groups in brackets

Each week the shows segments will change. My thought is to create a track group for each segment of every show so I would have track groups like Jacks_show-1, Jacks_show-2, Berts_show-1, Berts_show-2, Berts_show-3, Emmas_show-1, Emmas_show-2 and so on. Some shows have up to 6 parts.

A sample clock would run as
Hard time marker

Station ID (track group IDs)

Berts_Show-1 (track group Bert1)

Station ID (track group IDs)

Berts_Show-2 (track group Bert2)

Station ID (track group IDs)

Berts_Show-3(track group Bert3)

Station ID (track group IDs)

Promo (track group Promo)

Station ID (track group IDs)

Random song (track group Songs)

- hopefully that's a full hour, if not I'd add additional songs to pad out.

Having set that clock, and scheduled it for weekly repeat, I then want to change the files in each of the show track groups - my idea is to have individual directory folders for each show/part as well so I only have to change what is in a folder rather than go through setting up a new clock every time.

The timings will change from week to week - but would this work?  I've already realised that the way I've done it to start with will not work as I have picked the individual track (Berts_show-1 etc) and many of the shows will change filename and ID tags.

At present each segment has an individual MP3 tag I cannot tell which is which when I look at the tracks in the list of shows I've imported. 

My worries are that the existing 'random' settings are not actually random, but not checked it out yet. What I mean is, if I set a station ID in a clock, it seems to assign a fixed time as though a fixed selection has been made, but it would be the same ID that plays every time that clock is actioned? 

I'm only the tech guy for the station who is looking to replace the existing automation service so I'm testing PlayIt at present.  If it works as we need we will no doubt go with it but I have my worries... 

To explain a little further. Each show part would have it's own track group and each of those track groups would load one choice from a directory containing only the one piece of audio. 

My problem is in defining the track parts and identifying them so this method would work. If an item is labelled 'Berts Show Part 1' and has a filename 'Bert wk14 Pt1.mp3' with part 2 labelled similar, the week after I would load 'Berts Show Part 1' with a filename 'Bert wk15 Pt1.mp3' and likewise for part 2. In the track group PlayIt would be looking for 'Berts Show Part 1' and that is there, but the actual mp3 file has a slightly different name due to the change in week number.

Until I try this for myself I do not know if it will work or not. For a station like ours we need a 'schedule' clock that can do this sort of thing without falling over. The system we use at present (and I admit we pay for it) allows me to set up a schedule per show, on the lines I described above, and when I upload the various audio files I just tag them with a pre-defined label like Berts-1 etc. and they play out, quite simple really. 

Sadly, when the audio files have been loaded in PlayIt, I cannot see the filenames any more and some will have simplified names like 'Jacks Show' with the parts only defined in the filenames. This is another reason why I need to define track groups and directories to keep the parts apart. 

A work in progress, I can only spend so much time on this as I have a live station to look after at the same time.  IF I can get this running as needed we may well look at using it for 2 stations. 

And to answer my own question - yes, I can.

I have had to spend more time on this than intended but I can say that I have things working more or less as I want them to. 

Each section of a show has it's own directory, to make it easier loading the tracks - I can do them direct to a track group this way. Some shows have only one part, but I use the same method of an individual directory and track group. 

A show is loaded into a clock using these track groups. and once set, the clock remains the same and is scheduled into the system. When I come to update a show I delete the old tracks from the track groups, move new files into those folders and load the tracks, specifying the track group per item. That's it, I don't have to change the clock or anything beyond that.

I've run some tests, let shows play through for a day then changed the contents and set the system running again, the shows play fine (*) according to their clock. 

(*) Apart from one particular show which had failed to load. I'm looking into that as I don't know what it fails. It plays OK in Winamp, and the show has played out on our existing system as well. Same file, I even copied it over again in case it had corrupted or something. 

For anyone following this thread, or looking to use PlayIt to set up a full broadcast station that can handle pre-recorded material, have a backup AutoDJ, take live programming from remote URL's and more - it is all working for me here. 

Thanks to the addition of 'monitored folders' in a recent release the type of setup I described above works very well.  I can now delete the old and replace with the new audio file for each segment of the shows we carry and PlayIt takes care of the rest.  

By having a broadcast module as a plugin the connection to the remote server is very simple, unlike my old method of using WinAmp with Shoutcast which also saw me adding a secondary sound card to take the audio output from the PC's original soundcard to provide a usable source for Shoutcast to broadcast.  None of that messing about here :-) 

I'm just waiting for word from our station owner as to when this can go live, we need a UPS and a backup PC that will mirror the setup and files. Other than that I am pleased to say my testing as been quite successful and there are only minor blips to sort out. Thanks to those that have answered my questions and to Jason for providing the software in the first place.  Such a shame that it will be hidden away from view when it's running 'live' :-) 

That's good to hear.  I currently have Zara doing all that sort of thing - but it's getting a bit long in the tooth now.  The ability to dump stuff in a folder without having to manually update a database is critical requirement for me - we have all sorts of remote contributions coming in via Dropbox and OneDrive!

Glyn, the monitored folders are great - delete the old, add the new, the software does the rest, including deleting the old file from the database and adding the new one in. I have the audio files set up in track groups which are then brought in to clocks, I no longer have to remove the old and add the new, saving me loads of time.

We have been using - all on-line with their servers. After setting the schedule and playlists up I just had to upload and tag files to the correct show/segment and these were incorporated in a playlist, just like a clock here. The slow part was uploading to their server, it could take up to an hour to load a couple of days shows, just under 2GB at worst. Then I have to go through the uploaded files to delete the old and add the new. Now I just spend a few minutes loading the directories, great!

We will probably go 'live' with this in the next week or two. Just a couple of niggles to sort out.