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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?

In the illustration below, you’ll see a graduated 7 day protection mask.


In the first line, you’ll see 1 red X on the 00. That marks today’s play, so you likely only need 1 X on the first line. Now we set up the rest of the days. Day one would be equal to a 1-day, 3-Hour Day Offset Window. Day two equals a 2 hour Day offset – so on and so forth. So for 7 days, you won’t have to worry about a song playing in that original hour.

I’ve personally started recommending replacing multiple offset rules with this one simple rule.

Of course, you may need to modify the structure of the illustrated rule, if your library can’t manage that much protection.

The Play Exclusion Mask works the same way, but instead of counting “days” back, it counts “plays” back. You wouldn’t use a Play Exclusion Mask for a small category that turns over multiple times in a day, but would use it for larger categories where the turnover is longer than one, two or three days.

mask2The Play Exclusion Mask has an additional option that you should consider. The “Max Days” option is a rule cut off threshold. After the Max Days number of days has been reached, the rule resets. The ramifications of NOT setting the Max Days up, is that MusicMaster can look back for a very long time and continue testing the song and not allowing it to play in the same hour. I like to use Christmas music as an example of why you should have your Max Days set. Andy Williams White Christmas played last year on Christmas Day at noon. This rule, without the day cut off, would stop the song from playing at 11am the following year, no matter what. So, my best advice to all – if you see this option on any of our rules, set it up. The number of days is subjective, my rule of thumb is 3 or 4 times, the category’s average turnover.

If you have any questions – contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.

Happy Scheduling!

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