MusicMaster Scheduling
Your viewing experience of the MusicMaster website, as well as the web as a whole, would be much improved if you upgraded your browser.

MusicMaster Blog

Duplicate Dilemma posted on May 18th, 2020

The Duplicate Dilemma

By Dave Tyler

As a Program Director we all have a lot of responsibilities. If scheduling music was the only thing you had to do then you would know every part of the program and be able to spend extensive amounts of time fine tuning every aspect and function in MusicMaster. The reality of it is you have a stack of production to cut, remotes to get scheduled or do, an air shift that isn’t going to do itself and a GM waiting on your next promotion to sell. You are busy. In the hustle of it all mistakes happen or polishing the sound ends up waiting until next time. One common issue that can get away from you is duplicates in your database. Having duplicates can cause all kinds of frustration long term including inaccurate histories.

Did you know that when you add a new item to your MusicMaster database, whether a liner or a song, that MusicMaster assigns it a “Song ID”? This is an “under the hood” number given to an item so MusicMaster can track it in your data. If you have two copies of the song, they will have different Song IDs. You’ll see how that can come into play with these examples.

I know some PD/MDs initially add songs, either manually or via Nexus, to a “New” category as a holding area before moving to the appropriate category for scheduling. I recently ran into a couple who would then make a copy of the song and move that copy to the category for scheduling. That’s two different Song IDs with the one in the “New” category having the lower number since it was added first. The thinking was that this allows the song to schedule while in their “New” category they maintain their entire library in one place. Sounds reasonable and in the end is fine if song play history is not important to you. These Programmers recently started reconciling their logs and found a problem: songs they know played because they were in their Powers were not showing any plays when they would open their History Graph. What went wrong?

Since they are playing a copy, all the histories are assigned to the original song, the one with the lowest Song ID. The good news? The play histories are there. The bad news? It’s on the wrong copy of the song. This was the case with one Programmer. The other was reporting that after reconciling they were looking at their logs in MusicMaster and seeing plays of the right song but from the wrong category. As a matter of fact, it was a category that wasn’t even scheduled. Somehow that song was playing in a specialty show every week even though Minimum Rest was set at over a month!

These are different examples all from the same problem. This PD had made a copy of a song he had in a “Hold” category and placed in it an “Acoustic” category that is only scheduled for an hour once a week. The lowest SongID was reconciled. In this case, that was the version in the “Hold” category.

There are a few ways you can address this. You could move the original song into the active category and delete the copy, you could link histories or even adjust your reconciliation.def to not look in specific categories.

If you’d like to link the histories, you’ll need an unused Keyword-Single field.  You can go to Library, Fields to see if you have one or create one there if needed.  Now that you have this new field, you can use it to “link” multiple copies together.  Much like you put the same Artist Keyword on songs by the same artist, you’ll put a common keyword on the songs you wish to link.

Here’s an example where we’ve put a link on an Aerosmith song.  Note that the History Link field has the same thing on both songs.  These songs are in two different categories.  They are now linked and you can see this by using the history graph and dropdown to show the “History Link” graph.  This now combines all the plays of both instances into one graph.

Learn more about history linking with our video on history linking

Having accurate histories is extremely important. You know it gives you the rotations you want but remember it also ensures any governmental Special History Reports you submit are correct. If you’ve run into this issue and need help addressing it, do not hesitate to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.