The beauty of GSelector music scheduling is that it can cater to any type of format or programmer’s music philosophy. You’re not restricted by the old school, “Don’t do this, or this,” instead, GSelector empowers the user to also include, “Do this, this and do that.” This week, we highlighted 5 quick and efficient scheduling tips for programmers looking to improve their rotations, without sacrificing their time. Tighten a category’s spin count with Airplay Starvation, separate segue bans for more specific transitions, work smarter by using copy functions in the Rotation Rules window, make sure you understand the subtle differences between Hour Rotation Rule versus Hour Rotation Goal, and finally, intentionally define your Yesterday, Prior Day and Past Days Rules to help guide GSelector to work with you so that you’re not laboring on the same mundane Editor massages. Remember to identify what you want each transition to sound like and then apply those goals and rules to your Priority List.
Starting with Airplay Starvation, this is a quick on/off goal that allows users to quickly tighten their category spins. For example, if your category rotates roughly 7 spins per week, but you find there are songs that schedule 10 times versus 4 times, this is simply because some of those 4 spun songs feature additional Priority List violations based on the defined attributes. Without having to mathematically analyze all your clocks, rotations and more, try and enable Airplay Starvation. Found within Setup | Station | Features | Advanced, Airplay Starvation works within a 150% – 200% window. Essentially, 150% is 1.5 times though a category and 200% is 2 full cycles through the category. As you near closer to the 150% – 200% window, if a song hasn’t played yet, GSelector will encourage that element to schedule. Important to note: Airplay Starvation is not meant for tight categories with heavy turnover. Save this goal for your recurrents and golds and make sure to copy your Priority List to isolate the categories that could benefit from Airplay Starvation.
While you’re working within the Setup | Station | Features | Advanced subtab, enable the Separate Ban Priorities. This will now separate your Segue Bans within the Priority List. For example, if you’re a Top 40 station and you’re ok with a “Sound Code: Pop into Pop into Pop” transition, but you’re not ok with “Sound Code: Pop into Pop into Pop into Pop,” then don’t sacrifice your Priority List with a single Segue Ban Rule, “Segue Ban: Sound Code,” instead, enable this setting and now you can mark “Sound Code: Pop into Pop into Pop” as breakable and “Sound Code: Pop into Pop into Pop into Pop” as unbreakable.
Pivoting to the Rotation Rules window (found within Goals | Priorities or Goals | Balance), this is a very powerful tool for programmers. Control any attribute for any daypart for any category and don’t be intimidated. This window offers you more control based on the attributes you specifically care about. And don’t forget to work smarter, not harder. Note the F3 to Copy Above Cell and F8 to Copy Above Row. Set your values, isolating the Attribute, Daypart or Category from the Filter above and then F8 to mimic the remaining values. Also, friendly reminder that if you cannot see your desired Attribute, Daypart or Category, simply uncheck “Show Assigned Values.”
Working within the Rotation Rules window, many users like to enable the Hour Rotation Rule. There’s one important distinction that users should remember, Hour Rotation Rule and Goal are based on the hour within the defined daypart. So, if you blindly set the Hour Rotation value to 4, think about each of your dayparts: Overnight (Midnight to 6am) would work, whereas AM Drive (6am – 9am) doesn’t include enough hours to properly rotate the hour and GSelector will do exactly what you tell it to do: rotate out of the hour 4 times, leaving the fourth day in AM Drive unscheduled. Same applies for your Daypart Rotation Rule, especially if you have Alternate Categories or elements that are not called for by the clocks for specific dayparts, like a Saturday Night Party Mix. When all else fails, try switching from Rules to Goals or decrease the values.
Finally, users can properly define their Yesterday, Prior Day and Past Days by going to Setup | Station | Days of the Week or Past Days. Important to note the Station subtab, so these are in fact station specific days. Many programmers prefer to highlight Monday’s Yesterday as Friday, whereas others are fine with Monday’s Yesterday as Sunday. If your programming mind doesn’t worry about specific days of the week, perhaps Past Days would work better for you. Past Days utilizes the number of days back from the current spin. So, if we’re scheduling Monday, 1 Past Days back would be Sunday, 2 would be Saturday, all the way to 7 being the previous Monday. Many users set the % Protect at 100% for 1 (Yesterday), 75% or 100% for 2 (Prior Day), then greatly decrease the values until 7 (Previous Monday), in which case they’ll revert back to 100%. Again, this is all based on your music philosophy.
Speaking of GSelector, we’re now looking for Beta users for GSelector 5.1.0! Test out the latest and greatest scheduling techniques from the worldwide leader in radio software. Don’t forget that RCS is still hiring rare opportunities, double check those backup paths, and we’ll see you next week on your platform of choice: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Live or Twitch for RCS Live. If you missed the live feed, check out our past videos on the RCS Live Archive: www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live.
Zetta 5.21.2 is officially released! Since the latest version of Zetta includes redesigned Hot Keys features, we thought we would breakdown all the traditional and nontraditional ways users interpret Hot Keys. In addition, we reviewed how to add, edit, and customize Hot Keys, adjust play streams, use Hot Keys Bank navigation, On-Air versus Audition, Zetta2GO Hot Keys behavior and more. Don’t forget, with Zetta2GO, you can continue to remotely control Zetta by executing non-audio Hot Keys triggers.
Starting with the basics, we added a new Hot Keys Bank via the + and defined the number of rows, columns, stations and more. Users could always edit an existing bank, including adjusting these same rows and columns. Since Zetta features a simple drag and drop, just left click, and drag an asset from any other Zetta module into a Hot Key. Or, brand new to Zetta 5.21.2, editing a Hot Key will open the new Edit Hot Key window. Now users can edit the name, color, Event (type of asset) and Stream, all from a single location. Use the highlighted boxes from the top right to make a mass change to a single Hot Key, row, column or entire bank. Make a note of the new Event: Execute Command, Load Bank and Macro for quick advanced Hot Key designs. Speaking of Load Banks, users can now build out their Zetta layout with quick and easy navigation. Either create a new master Hot Key Bank or embed navigation Hot Keys in each local bank to toggle between the master and specific banks.
Next, let’s talk about Zetta’s flexibility. We know that programmers can customize their Zetta experience, but to demonstrate how extensive this customization can become, look at Hot Keys’ Play Streams. You can define a Zetta Play Stream based on a single Hot Key button, row, column or an entire bank. So, if we’re a morning show team member, who’s role is to play Hot Keys, be it sound effects, winner beds, or whatever, you can have multiple Hot Keys Banks assigned to “Audition 1,” followed by “Hot Keys 2” or “Utility 3” on the board. There really isn’t a wrong way to configure your Hot Keys or Play Stream assignments in your Zetta environment. It’s also important to note that if an asset is not allowed to play on a station, be it activations, run dates or hour restrictions, there is no way for that element to play – via the On-Air or Hot Keys module.
Now that we’ve reviewed Hot Keys basics, let’s start to understand more advanced workflows with non-audio triggers in the form of macros, execute commands, GPIOs, etc… For example, in the Hot Keys Bank featured in the RCS Live, we featured an Empty Voice Track that can quickly be dragged into the log (Editor’s Note: Don’t forget that every Zetta transition can be voice trackable. In this exercise, it’s a Program Director quickly dropping in voice tracks for talent to know where they need to voice track). We have a Conference Link, our Revma feature for morning shows to remotely broadcast live, Rotators, and then we get into some simple play functionality. Many users prefer to have nice, large Hot Key with play commands like play, play next, stop, etc… We even feature a Publish macro that took five morning shows, each with their own five podcast destinations, combining them into a single Hot Key with custom name instructions for the board operator to trigger the Hot Key Fridays at 3pm. Or perhaps you’re syndicated overnights and you want to build a macro that will disable the board and change to Auto mode – all with a single click. Don’t forget, with Zetta’s detached play button, Zetta is always on the air, despite being closed. If anyone enters the studio after hours, they can press any board button without affecting the on-air product. Then, since Zetta is closed, there’s no way for them to compromise Zetta. When the morning show arrives, they log into Zetta with their username, which opens their corresponding layout, they trigger the “Live Studio” Hot Key, now Zetta is in Live Assist mode and the board is enabled.
But what about remote Hot Keys with Zetta2GO? If we follow the air chain, Zetta2GO is tied to Zetta, making live real time changes to the Zetta environment. So, if we’re in On-Air mode in Zetta2GO and we fire a Hot Key, then that Hot Key will play live over the air on its defined Play Stream. If we trigger a non-audio element, then it will still execute its function. For example, if we have a Hot Spare macro in a Hot Keys engineer Bank, then engineers can continue to switch Hot Spares via Zetta2GO. Even better, if your station is a News/Talk or requires multiple audio route changes or feeds, we can control those changes from the comfort of your couch with Zetta2GO’s Hot Keys. Enable a Comrex, Tielines, Bric Links or setup analogue telephone lines, activating them via Zetta2GO Hot Keys! Typically, if you’re looking to design a remote workflow, we recommend building out your Hot Keys within Zetta first and then you’ll be able to fire your newly created Zetta2GO Hot Keys.
Other highlights from our Hot Keys overview, when in On-Air mode versus Audition mode, users can specify if they want to include or exclude assets within the log for reconciliation purposes. This can be defined via Configuration | Stations | Log Event Settings and then note the “Reconcile plays from other modules via Log” settings. This includes Hot Keys, Stacks and Z-Player, as well as a percentage or value from the Played Threshold.
We have more helpful RCS Lives coming down the pipeline, each and every Thursday at 11am ET on your platform of choice: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or Twitter Live. Don’t forget about confirming those backups or Data Exchanges and if you want to become a Beta user, we’re always looking for programmers who want to test out the next generation of innovative radio features. Simply reach out to your RCS contact or stop by your local radio conference, as we’re back on the road for 2022!
Oh, what a feeling to be on the road and get to interact with everyone again. NAB 2022 was incredible and thank you to the entire RCS and NAB team for making it all happen. We can’t wait for NAB 2023! If you didn’t get to stop by our RCS booth, we wanted to provide you with a recap of what you missed. Many of our users wanted to discuss RCS Cloud Disaster Recovery (Radio World 2022 Best of Show Award for Disaster Recovery), GSelector’s S3, storing forward content, Revma’s in-store radio, artificial intelligence and more.
Starting with RCS Cloud Disaster Recovery, many of our engineers wanted to further understand how they can back up all their audio, schedules, metadata, SQL backups and more in the cloud. Think of your RCS Cloud instance as a completely separate market, only in an AWS S3 container versus on site. We’ve done deeper dives into RCS Cloud in past RCS Lives, so if you’re interested in learning more about RCS Cloud, check out our archive at: www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live and keep an eye on future RCS Lives as we continue to evolve RCS Cloud from disaster recovery into everyday automation.
Next, many programmers are looking into ways to maximize their staff by connecting sites through GSelector’s S3, or Schedule Subscription Service. This allows a Format Captain or music scheduler champion to construct a single master music log, or a Publisher log, and then GSelector will export that log to an unlimited number of Subscribers that will receive the master log. There’s one important factor here: the Subscribers can still maintain a local identify with their own clocks, imaging, spot blocks and more. Plus, GSelector’s S3 features extensive customizable programming options for users to truly cater their local content, like overrides, subscription types, time shifts, and multiple programming profiles. In addition to GSelector’s S3 exporting a master music log, RCS clients incorporate Zetta’s Z-Cast to further share audio and metadata between sites. Now your clusters are all connected!
While at NAB, RCS was excited to debut the brand-new Aquira Cloud. This cloud companion piece to Aquira allows users to start to integrate with Triton and other advertising systems. Users would create the contract in Aquira, access Aquira Cloud through Aquira2GO and then any metadata or numbers are directly saved in Aquira. We’ll be showcasing Aquira Cloud in an RCS Live in a couple weeks.
Since it is NAB, what are some of our options regarding unique radio configurations? For example, we’ve seen a couple requests from users who want to feature programming offsite or without Internet. RCS has partnered with a couple vendors to feature a piece of hardware, like a Barix, Raspberry Pi or Sound4 box, that can include audio and schedules for playout. As in, a storing forward content workflow. And with Revma’s streaming options, like In-Store Radio, RCS is equipped to deliver unique methods of getting your programming from point A to point B.
Finally, if “the cloud” was 2019’s NAB buzzword, we heard a lot of questions surrounding AI, artificial intelligence. Understanding that there are many different forms and interpretations of AI, from our perspective, AI can directly relate to automatic voice translation or utilizing AI to achieve a desired workflow. The good news? RCS has been investigating both behind the scenes. As the worldwide leader in radio software, we’re always forecasting the future of radio and artificial intelligence is part of that discussion.
We’re continuing to hit the road in 2022! In the United States, we’ll be live at Momentum and Texas Association of Broadcasters, just to name a few. If there’s an RCS feature or concept you’re investigating, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCS contact to setup a time to review your questions.
Also, don’t forget about Beta users! If you want to test out the latest and greatest RCS software, become a Beta user today! You’ll get access to these non-public builds and get to work with a personal RCS Support agent to review your thoughts on the Beta. Zetta 5.21.2, GSelector 5.0 and Aquira 3.21.2 are currently all open for new Beta users! A friendly reminder to check your backups and we’ll catch you next and every Thursday at 11am ET for another RCS Live!
You’ve purchased an RCS product – what are the next steps? Brian Willard, Field Technician Services Manager, and Adrian Guanipa, Scheduling Support Manager, joined us to review the onboarding process. Since every client requires different solutions, it’s our goal to make sure to identify your needs. When you buy an RCS product, we like to treat our clients as a partnership with a common goal. Aside from reintroducing Brian and Adrian, your onboarding team leads, we reviewed some of the onboarding steps and reminders for new users.
The most important part of any install and configuration is knowing all the details. That’s why Brian and Adrian have complied a checklist of every small detail that you may have missed. Let’s be honest, you’re operating your stations and learning a new piece of software. That is a lot to juggle for you and your staff. Remember, this is a partnership. Let us help you with the process. As the first major step in the onboarding process, we’ll be asking a lot of questions. Of course, we encourage you and your team to also ask a lot of questions! For example, we can’t implement a particular Zetta setting if you didn’t tell us that the overall workflow was important to you. Our installation teams feature a wealth of information for all types of clients, formats, and situations. It never hurts to ask questions.
If your onboarding consists of Zetta and GSelector integration, we prefer to space out training sessions for you and your team so that we don’t overwhelm users. Usually, we schedule the GSelector training two weeks before the Zetta installation. Every new GSelector client will receive three one-hour training sessions and two half hour follow up sessions. If you’re upgrading to Zetta, then you’ve already purchased Field Technician Service time, in which our FTS team will conduct multiple training sessions for you and your team. We like to break these up between departments, so there might be a programming session one morning, traffic in the afternoon, and when we switch over to live Zetta, we’ll be on hand to answer any questions during the morning show. It’s important to make sure your entire staff becomes familiar with Zetta and again, ask questions!
When it comes to hardware, it’s all about your situation. As part of our initial checklist, we’ll be confirming where your server is installed, how many users will be accessing the software and more. Traditionally, Zetta in installed with new hardware, so GSelector usually requires additional questions like operations systems, RAM, etc… If you’re receiving both Zetta and GSelector, then we install GSelector on the Zetta server.
What about conversions? We have seen all types of ways users have created a database. Simply put, we’ll convert whatever metadata or audio you give us. Adrian demonstrated an example of how to properly match on External or Media IDs, combining multiple values to achieve the user’s desired result.
Then there’s cybersecurity. As the worldwide leader in radio software, we like to stay ahead of the curve, not behind it. That’s why we’ve already been implementing multiple security measures throughout our software and we’re continuing to develop our projects with your security in mind. If cyber security is important to you, then let us know and we’ll work together to identify your system, virus software, network and more so that our products work with your environment, not against it.
At the end of the day, our installation team has not only have seen it all, but they’ve also helped build it. From complicated conversions, unique setups, navigating restricted security, to virtual machines and more. Rest assured, we’ll be available to not only ease your mind, but provide any helpful tips or guidance along the way. And if you do have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your onboarding contact. if you would like a copy of any of the onboarding documents, please reach out to your local RCS Sales Representative and we’ll gladly forward them along.
Friendly reminder to check those backup paths and send those Data Exchanges. We’re also hiring! See all the open positions here. With Zetta 5.21.2, GSelector 5.0 and Aquira 3.21.2 on the horizon, become a Beta user! Finally, we’re excited to be back on the road. Catch us at NAB 2022 and we’ll see you at other events throughout the year.
RCS is all about total integration, getting your stations from music logs with GSelector, traffic logs with Aquira, to Zetta automation for sophisticated playout, remote capabilities with our line of 2GO products, disaster recovery with RCS Cloud and streaming solutions with Revma, our content delivery network. Revma is a flexible, user customizable streaming product with a global footprint, utilizing edge servers across the world to keep you and your listeners connected. This week, we reviewed some of the Revma benefits, alongside its extensive reports and analytics.
What bit rate does Revma offer? What about ad insertion providers? The beauty of Revma is that we work with all VAST protocols and can replicate whatever your encoder is exporting, along with additional streams, known as relays, to create various bit rate streams. Regarding bit rates, it really boils down to the device. There’s no need to push 320 kbps to your on-hold office music, so why not keep the main stream at a higher quality and use Revma’s Relays to broadcast at 92 kbps. Then, set rules based on geographic locations or IPs. Revma can cater to your streaming demands.
Revma also includes extensive reports and analytics that can offer unique insight to any programmer. Starting with listener streaming, Revma can breakdown your streaming audience by overall or station specific numbers. Administrators can view a streaming from their market / company perspective or isolate how a single station is performing online. User can view total sessions completed, total unique IPs, average listening minutes, total listening hours and total GBs, which are total gigabytes used to track bandwidth. Note the differences between sessions and IPs. For example, one listener that is engaged throughout multiple lengthy viewing sessions or multiple users with less frequent listening patterns.
So, a programmer can track listening length, but what about devices? Revma has that covered as well! Revma tracks multiple types of devices, including smart speakers like Alexa or Sonos, Android devices, Apple Products (iPhones, iPads), desktops and more. Revma even tracks country and city origins so that you can analyze your international numbers versus domestic local zip codes and more.
As we continue to showcase Revma’s reporting capabilities, let’s move onto Ads, which again, can be integrated with any VAST protocol provider. Ads reports features the same type of graph and interface as streaming listeners, with corresponding ad values like total request, total impressions, total ads started and a more detailed breakdown of ads that reached the first quarter, halfway mark, third quarter and total ads completed. This is a great resource to view your pre-rolls or commercial spot block retention rate. Plus, it an extremely helpful Sales tool with lots of research data.
Other reports include metadata daily and monthly track reports. This will provide a detailed list of elements that were played, either by yesterday, this week, this month, or a custom defined range, including Title, Artist, Time Started, Time Ended and Duration of the element. Use the Monthly Tracks report to view the same Title, Artist fields with total performances during that month.
All of these Revma features and we ran out of time to discuss the Conference App, a virtual studio where talent can start, invite guests, and digitally stream a long form content show using local user microphones. And of course we have integrated tools for Zetta and RCS Cloud to incorporate your Revma Conference App directly into your everyday workflows.
If you’re interested in seeing more of what Revma can do, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCS Sales Representatives. While you’re there, ask about become a Beta user for Zetta 5.21.2, Aquira 3.21.2 or GSelector 5.0. Or perhaps you want to make the jump and work for us? RCS is hiring and you can apply to multiple positions here . We’re also back on the road! We’ll see you live on April 23rd – 27th for NAB 2022.