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MusicMaster Blog

View Category Rule List posted on September 19th, 2011

By Paul Ziino

We often are asked by customers to help them figure out why songs are scheduling that violate rules. Usually, the problem is that the rule being violated isn’t active for the category in question. How can we figure this out? The answer is “View Category Rule List”.

The call goes something like this, “I have artist separation turned on at 3:10, but I still get songs scheduling much sooner than that in my Bs.” We take a look at the data and sure enough, the rule is listed under All Categories, and it is Unbreakable. I have him open his Rule Tree, right-click on the B category and select “View Category Rule List” from the list of options. When the Rule Review window opens, it will show all the rules that apply to the B category—by default at Midnight on Thursday.

We take a look and as we go through the list of rules, we don’t see any artist separation rule in place. The customer then says he sees the Artist Keyword Time Separation rule turned on under All Categories and it is set to 3:10. So we close the Rule Review window, right-click on All Categories and select Rule Tree Properties. In the All-Category Bypass window, we see a check mark next to the B category. This indicates that the B category is not testing any of the All Categories rules. I had him make sure no other categories were checked in this list.

We can now either remove the check mark for B in the All-Category Bypass, which will result in the B category following every rule in the All Categories folder, or we can add the Artist Keyword Time Separation rule into the B category directly to remedy this problem.

Another scenario…Right-click the category in the rule tree, select View Category Rule List, and the Artist Keyword Time Separation rule is not present even though we see it listed under All Categories. Verify the All-Category Bypass, and the category is not checked. So why is this rule missing from the Rule Review window? Take another look and you’ll see you can change the time that is being reviewed. So instead of Thursday at Midnight, we switch to another time (for this example we use Wednesday at 1pm) and click GO.

Now the rule appears. Why? This is a situation where a Rule Group with time restrictions is in use. In this example, we check Thursday at midnight, and the Artist Keyword Time Separation rule is missing, but we switch to 1pm on Wednesday and there it is. You can see it listed within the rule group, so now we know which rule group to double-check if we want to make adjustments.

Similarly, Rule Groups that reside in All Categories can actually be deactivated for specific categories. So if the time restriction wasn’t an issue, then it’d be time to open the properties for the rule group in question and click the Categories button within to verify which categories are checked.

Another reason to look at the View Category Rule List is to see the order in which your rules are being tested. This view combines your All Categories and individual category rules into one list. So if you’re using multiple breakable folders, all those rules will be listed in the order tested. Beyond that, View Category Rule List displays what Optimum Scheduling Goals are in use as well—they come at the bottom of the rule list as they are tested after all the other rules.

Whether your Rule Tree is complex, simple, or somewhere in between, remember to right-click on the individual category in the Rule Tree and select View Category Rule List to determine which rules apply to what categories and when.