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Time Saving Tips – Part 2 posted on January 30th, 2020


“Takin’ Care of Business” – Part 2

Time-Saving Tips When You Don’t Have Enough Time

This is a guest article written by MusicMaster ProTeam consultant Kristopher Jones, Owner of M3 Merge Music Media.  In this article, he shares Part 2 of his favorite time-saving tips in MusicMaster. You can find Part 1 here.

When you think about it, the quality of your music programming is perhaps the single most important aspect of your radio station. Then why is it that the music rarely gets the time and attention it deserves?

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

When you’re running a busy radio operation time is the most valuable resource you have. Some say that you can’t make more time. I beg to differ.

In Part 1 of “Takin’ Care of Business” I shared my philosophy on ROTI (Return On Time Investment). By investing time up front you can make your weekly or daily routines more efficient, ultimately saving you more time than you initially spent. It’s an investment that pays off every time you open MusicMaster.

In Part 1 I shared several time-saving tips and tricks to setting up MusicMaster, from saved queries and views to setting up favorites. Many of the routine things that you do in MusicMaster can be done in the future with just a click.

But time savings is not the only goal. The goals are high quality music programming AND more time to put out all those other fires around the radio station.

Checking the quality of your scheduling is another worthy investment and we can save time there too.

History often reveals some surprising things about your radio station and the health of your MusicMaster database. In Part 1 I talked about having a variety of favorites saved in the History Browser. It’s an excellent data analysis tool. And even though I spend a big chunk of my days looking at playlists on spreadsheets, I’m a very visual guy. When I want to see what’s really happening I pop open the History Graph.

Bring up a category in Library Maintenance, then from the menu at the top select View > History Graph. Then you can arrow down through your category and see the days and hours each song played on a grid. If you have your category rotations and hour rotations set up well your music probably looks pretty good in Song View.

Now, on the History Graph hit the dropdown, change the view to Keyword and click the red thumbtack icon to pin it. Now what do you see when you scroll through your library?

Here’s a simple example: two Men At Work songs in the Power category of a Classic Hits format. Individually, “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?” look pretty good.

But look them together on the Artist Keyword view.

Yikes! Not so pretty. Artist Hour Rotation would fix that.

You might also notice that I have weekends highlighted. That helps me visually isolate weekday vs. weekend plays. You can set up that highlight in Tools > Options > Display Colors, scroll down to History and choose your highlight color for WeekendBackColor.


I also use highlights in the Schedule Editor for critical editing information. Depending on what’s important I’ll use highlights for Decade or Era, Sound Codes or Tempo. It is a quick and easy visual way to check your work and balance the hour.

To set up highlights in the Schedule Editor, select the Song Highlight Filters icon at the top. Be sure to label them in the Column Header field, then add them to your saved Schedule Editor View.

Schedule Analysis

The Schedule Analysis icon at the top can also give you a quick look at how balanced your radio station is based on any code you choose. This quick count provides really good feedback on how consistent your radio station sounds throughout the day.

For me, maps and grids and color highlights help me see how my stations sound and help me process information faster. Because it’s all about two things… saving time and making your radio station sound great!

Remember: ROTI!

If you have any questions, please email me at the address below. I’d love to hear from you!