Getting your Conversion on the Air posted on January 20th, 2010
We have welcomed many new users to MusicMaster in the past 30 years. For many of you, that meant having your data converted from other scheduling software. Your converted data was returned to you set up, and ready for you to schedule and export a log to your automation system.
The adventure begins with learning a new program, and then figuring out how to maximize it to make your station sound great. As we continue to constantly welcome new users to MusicMaster, and have many who are currently in the process of switching, I thought I’d offer up some tips that will (hopefully) smooth your transition.
Make sure to check out our training videos and webinars. Our training videos are very short, and designed to cover just one topic at a time. You can learn how to add a song to a category, move it to a new category, schedule a log and change a position in the log in just a few minutes. There are over 100 training videos that cover the entire program. This means you can continue to come back as you need to learn about new areas of the program, and view them whenever your time allows. Our webinars are longer-form discussions about many topics within the software. With each, different databases that cover various formats are utilized. You should see a format you’re familiar with, so you can concentrate on the steps and processes, rather than the specific songs in the database. View as many as you wish, as often as you like!
Start playing with the Sample database that comes with every MusicMaster installation in advance of receiving the converted database. Consider this your “sandbox” database until you get your conversion. You can do anything you want to this database. You might decide to watch some of the videos, and then practice those functions in this database.
Talk to your Music Scheduling Consultant (MSC) about setting up a personal training session. All of the MSCs at MusicMaster have the ability to launch a video seminar. The best part is that these are interactive. That means we can have you at the controls, and teach you in the best way possible: while you’re controlling the program.
Be sure to discuss any specific concerns or questions you have about your special scheduling or format goals, as well as any “core” functionality that you might be used to using in another scheduling program and consider “critical” so that we can help identify parallel functionality in MusicMaster.
Once you get your converted data, make sure you make daily backups. I can’t emphasize this one enough. In fact, any time you make significant changes in your data, we recommend you back it up! You have the option of making a standard or custom backup (in the program, select TOOLS-BACK UP.) A standard backup will create a zipped up copy of your data in the same directory the files for the program are located. Your other more flexible option is to create a custom backup profile (or profiles!) These are great if you want to backup your data to a different drive (think USB flash drive,) or put your data on your local network for safekeeping. You can create backup profiles for multiple locations, or even one for each day of the week if you like. If you have any questions on this process and the setup of your profiles, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your Music Scheduling Consultant. The reassurance you’ll get from knowing you can simply restore a backup if something goes wrong, is priceless.
Get your hands dirty. Now that you have your database backed up, dig in, play around, make some changes, and see what happens. If you don’t like the results, remember you can restore the backup. As you become more skilled with the software, have your MSC show you how to clone your database. Then you can continue using one database on the air, while you manipulate a copy to see what kind of results you get. It’s so much better to know what will happen, than to just wonder.
Ask for help. It seems like an easy thing, but we want you to know we’re there for you. That’s why you have a specific rep. That MSC will get to know you, your station(s) and what you are trying to accomplish. As you start to review your converted database, look over the library, including all your usual fields of data, carefully look over your clocks and the rules that are in place. Consider exporting a test schedule to your automation system, and generating a printed music log as soon as you can, if something doesn’t work or look correct, or the way you want…drop us a call or e-mail, so we can help to make the music scheduling process the easiest part of your day! While we certainly hope you have a personal MSC, if you don’t, you can still get help by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.