MusicMaster Scheduling
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MusicMaster Blog

The MusicMaster Shift Pattern Rule posted on June 7th, 2010

by Drew Bennett

Today, I want to let you in on an interesting rule in the MusicMaster for Windows Rule Tree. It’s called, Shift Pattern Rotation and it may change the way you schedule your bigger categories. Why? Because it’s so cool!

In your Rule Tree, look at the Available Rules folders on the right side of the screen and locate the Shift Pattern Rotation rule inside the Hour Rotation Rules folder under Song/History Rules. (Hint: It’s the second rule from the bottom.)

Let’s decide if the Shift Pattern Rotation rule is right for you by taking a look at the properties of the rule to find out what it does. To see the properties of a rule, pull it over to a Breakable or Unbreakable folder in your Rule Tree.

When the properties box pops up, you can see how we are able to set up the rule. The Shift Pattern Rotation rule tests songs to make sure they schedule within the shift pattern that you define within the rule. To set the pattern you want your songs to follow, click on the numbered boxes in the rule. As you click the boxes, they will move to the Shift Pattern line. The order they in which they appear are in the order that will be used to move the songs through your shifts. Basically, you are restricting the songs to only play in the shift that follows the last shift they played in within this pattern. Cool, huh!
This is how I set up my rule. I only have 8 shifts defined in my Shift Editor so I don’t need to include the 9th box in my pattern.

Don’t forget to set your shifts in the Shift Editor. You can find the Shift Editor by choosing the Shift Editor button from within the rule properties. You can also find Shift Editor by going to Dataset, Schedule, Shift Editor or through the Related button in the Rule Tree.

See? I have 8 shifts defined in the Shift Editor and that is why I used 8 boxes in my Shift Pattern rule. Keep in mind, however, that you do not necessarily have to use all of your shifts in the rule. For instance, if you don’t want to consider Overnights when creating the pattern in the rule, leave out the shift number that corresponds with your Overnight shift. Also, any play that occurs in a blank shift will not be counted against the test as it is configured.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, ‘What about dayparted songs within the category?’ Dayparted songs are handled a bit differently when it comes to the Shift Pattern Rotation rule and it’s because of their limited ability to rotate. When MusicMaster comes to a dayparted song that must be tested for Shift Rotation, it will determine the number of shifts that song is allowed to play in. If that number is one or zero, the rule is disabled for this song, otherwise, the song would have no opportunity to play. If the number of shifts the song can play in is less than or equal to the number of plays requested in the rule properties, then the actual number of plays in other shifts required for that song will be the maximum number possible minus one.

For control on how your songs schedule through your shifts, consider using the Shift Pattern Rotation rule on your larger Gold categories. It’s a great way to space your plays evenly throughout your shifts.