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MusicMaster Blog

Reconciliation posted on December 13th, 2021

Log Reconciliation

By Brian Wheeler

Are you taking advantage of our log reconciliation feature?

There are several benefits to reconciling logs. Your actual music histories are updated according to what happened on-air. If you dropped a song, the history is removed from that song for that play. If you added a song, the history is added. If a song was moved within an hour, your aired time now reflects the true time the song played. Not only is this handy for future scheduling sessions, but when your reporting agencies like ASCAP, BMI, SoundExchange, and the CRTC come knocking for reports, you can provide the reports with confidence and ease.

So how does it work? First of all, if you’re using one of the automation systems that has an enhanced Nexus interface with MusicMaster, you may already have automatic real-time reconciliation between MusicMaster and your playout system. To learn more about Nexus-enhanced systems and features, click here (Link: https://www.musicmaster.com/nexus.php).

However, even if you are using a system that doesn’t have Nexus integration, the process is still very simple. When you run Reconciliation in MusicMaster, you get an easy-to-read report that shows you exactly what was added, deleted or changed in the schedule dates you choose to reconcile.

It is likely that your automation system is already generating what we’ll call an “as run” report on a daily basis. You’ll want to consult the documentation on your system, the technical support department for your hardware, (or your MusicMaster Scheduling consultant) to help you identify where these files are being generated and their filename format. We’ll use these daily ACTUAL aired logs from your play out system to compare what was scheduled in the MusicMaster database log for the date(s) in question.

Once located, we’ll request that you send us a sample or two of some past dates along with a backup of your MusicMaster database. Additionally, we’ll request that you tell us the “path” on your network or machine that MusicMaster will look to each time you decide to reconcile a day.

Chances are, we’ve seen an “as run” file before from the vendor of your automation system, and we’ll be able to quickly configure what we call a Reconciliation Definition file (we call them “defs” for short) that will work perfectly with your individual MusicMaster database. Shortly thereafter, you’ll receive a “turnkey” .def file from us that is ready to plug into your MusicMaster directory and reconcile some dates!

It is important to make certain you’ve made a data backup in advance of testing out the reconciliation process for the first time (let your MSC know right away if you are not clear on this step!) That way, once the process is run and you have a chance to put a keen eye to the report that is generated for your test date, if you notice any discrepancies or items you have questions about, you can “put things back to the way that they were” (before you ran reconciliation) and we can work together and discuss the issues that come up, or make any additional tweaks that may be needed to your database or the provided definition file.

To access your reconciliation definition file inside your MusicMaster database, Go to DATASET-SCHEDULE-RECONCILE. From the window that appears, select the date you want to reconcile. The first time you run this, we would suggest you select just a single day so you can be certain the process has run correctly.

A few notes on the process and the report that is generated. MusicMaster will only match to items that exist in both the automation system file and your MusicMaster database (typically automation file numbers are used for a match) so it will not add anything to your MusicMaster database that wasn’t already there as part of the reconciliation process. Additionally, it will not be able to account for any information that is part of your MusicMaster database via log notes. It is a good idea to wait until the end of the current broadcast day to reconcile that days “as run” file. Here is a small sample of what you might see:

In this example, no changes (other than updated airtimes) were made to the 8am and 9am hours. In the 10am hour, two songs were added and two songs were removed from the log. These changes were made in accordance with the aired log file MusicMaster used to reconcile. Again, your MusicMaster consultant will be able to help you interpret what you are seeing in the report that is generated, as well as assist you in addressing any special circumstances that may require either changes in your database or in the definition file for your specific circumstances. You can save the report using the icon on the toolbar if you wish to review it at a later time.

Once set up, you’ll have an accurate way to know what has and hasn’t played. That means any report you run, whether for yourself or for a governmental agency, will be an accurate reflection of what really happened on your station.

Reach out to your Music Scheduling Consultant at MusicMaster to get the reconciliation ball rolling!