We’re Countin’ ‘Em Down All Weekend Long! posted on March 4th, 2010
By Drew Bennett
Back in the day, (I won’t say what day because it will seriously date me) I was in charge of scheduling the music at an AC station in Kansas City. It’s gone now but it was a great station and I enjoyed the people I got to work with. We really tried to make our station compelling and special programming was something we focused on to really try and stand out. I’m sure you’ve done all of that, too. If you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ll remember the days when you scheduled your themed weekends and countdowns by hand…with index cards…in a cave…before we invented fire. That’s what we did in Kansas City and I always swore there had to be a better way. Well, you can come out of the cave now! You don’t have to schedule by hand anymore. In MusicMaster for Windows, Song Lists and Saved List Elements will help you automate the whole thing.
The first thing you want to do is create a Song List. A song list can contain songs that are in order, e.g. a song list created for a countdown where the songs will schedule one right after the other, or it can contain songs that share some sort of commonality, e.g. a song list created for a group of songs that contain the word, ‘Love, ‘in the title. You can query the library for those songs and create a Song List with them. For more on creating Song Lists, see Song Lists in the MusicMaster for Windows Help section of the software. You might also wish to view our training video on this subject.
After you create your Song List, it is time to create the clock that you will use in your assignment grid to schedule the specialty show. By now, you are familiar with some of the elements you can use in a clock. If you have not explored the Saved List element, now is the time to get familiar with it. A Saved List element schedules a song using a Song List. When you choose to use a Saved List element in a clock, the following screen will appear and ask you to make some setting changes.
See that dropdown box? You can change that to import a specific Song List you have available in your database or can choose to leave it to its’ default setting: [Use Session List]. When this setting is used, MusicMaster allows you to choose the Saved List you want to use in this element right before you schedule a day. I’ll show that feature to you in just a bit. For now, let’s focus on the basic settings of this element. If you look at the Import Options of this element, you’ll note the various methods you can use to schedule a song. Once you’ve made your settings changes click OK and MusicMaster places the element within the clock. Themed weekend clocks might have as few as one or two Song List elements in them while Countdown clocks might consist of nothing but Saved List elements and Lognotes. Either way, setting up the Saved List element is the same for each.
Once you have set up your Song List and clock and you have assigned your clock to the active assignment grid, you are ready to schedule. If, when creating your clocks, you used the [Use Session List] option in your Saved List element, you will want to note a crucial step in the successful scheduling of your Song List. When you choose to automatically schedule your day, you will need to define the Song List you will be using for that particular scheduling session.
Find the Session Song List section in the Session tab of the Automatic Scheduler. Here, you will use the dropdown box to tell MusicMaster which Song List you will be using to schedule with during this scheduling session. This is a great feature because it allows you to create clocks that can be used with any Song List you choose right before you begin scheduling a day. It saves you time and effort when creating your themed weekends and countdowns.
Once you have scheduled a day using your Song List and Saved List elements, check the log using the Schedule Editor to make sure your hard work paid off. If you set up your Song List and clocks correctly, you should see a perfectly scheduled weekend or countdown using the Song List you made. No more scheduling by hand! Good luck with scheduling logs using Songs Lists and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call your Music Scheduling Consultant. We are always here to help!