MusicMaster Scheduling
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MusicMaster Blog

Ins and Outs of the Format Scheduler posted on November 7th, 2011

by Paul Ziino

You can predetermine what clocks or assignment grids you wish to use on certain days.  For example, you want to use your “All Christmas” grid on Christmas Eve and Day.  Instead of having to remember on December 23rd to switch your grid before scheduling the 24th and 25th, then change it back prior to running the 26th, you could use the Format Scheduler to do it for you.

Go to Dataset/Clocks/Format Scheduler (or click the clock icon in the Tool Bar and click Format Scheduler at the bottom left of the window).  Advance the calendar to December, then Right-Click on the 24th and select “Assign a specific Grid to this date” and choose the grid you wish to use.

Do the same thing for December 25th.  Note the date will turn yellow in the calendar indicating that date has been altered from the standard grid.  Then click the Save icon and you’re all set.

You can take this a step further.  Let’s assume your station likes to slowly incorporate Christmas music into the rotation.  So each week leading up to the holiday you play one more Christmas song per hour.  Build clocks and grids accordingly so you have one grid for Christmas songs once an hour, another for twice an hour, and so on.  Now in the Format Scheduler you can right-click on the first day of the week and select “Assign a specific Grid to this week” and choose the appropriate grid.  So for the first week of December maybe play one Christmas song per hour, two per hour in the second week, 3 per hour in the third, and 4 in the fourth.  Once you’ve assigned grids, the dates in the calendar will be yellow.

You can do even more with the Format Scheduler.  On Friday night at 7pm you have a special feature running this week—it’s just the one time, and it will only be this Friday.  No sense building a new grid to accommodate, just build the appropriate clock and assign it to that hour in the Format Scheduler.  Left-click that date in the calendar, now on the right side of the screen you’ll see what clocks are assigned to that date.  In the 7pm hour, click and use the pull-down to select the desired clock for your special.

You’ll see a small clock icon to the left of the 7pm hour once you’ve selected that alternate clock, and the date will be yellow in the calendar.

The Format Scheduler also allows you to rotate assignment grids so that you play grid A in one week and B the next and so on.  You can rotate multiple grids, and MusicMaster will switch from one to the next on the first day of that week (based on your Broadcast Week Start Day set in Tools/Options/Broadcast Week).  Under the calendar you’ll see Grid Rotation.  List the grids you wish to rotate here.  The grid in bold is the one that will be used on the date selected in the calendar.  If you wish to change the rotation, just click and drag the grids via the grey number box to the left of the grid’s name.  In the picture below we’ve selected October 17th and see that Grid 1 will be used for that date and week.  And on the right we see what clocks are assigned to each hour of that date.  Note that already-scheduled dates display in Red.

When you are finished working in the Format Scheduler, make sure to click the Save icon to retain all your changes.

The Format Scheduler is a great tool for pre-scheduling grids and clocks for holidays and specials.  Use it year-round!