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Auto Platoon for Classical Stations posted on June 13th, 2022

Auto Platoon for Classical Stations

By The W.I.Z.A.R.D.

If you were tempted to stop reading just because the title of this article mentioned “classical”, I encourage you to read on. Even though the examples are tailored to that format, any format can take advantage of Auto Platoon to play rested music in their format.

With so much music to choose from, classical programmers have the dilemma of how to program all of it. Honestly, you really can’t, at least not well. The question is how to take advantage of all the amazing music in your library while still maintaining appropriate turnovers for your categories. One answer is Auto Platoon. Auto Platoon lets you move pieces in and out of rotation to keep the category fresh while maintaining your category size.

We’ll start with some basic premises:

You have categories that have a general size and clocks that call for these categories in a way that you have the category turning over in a time frame you want. What that time frame is, is not important. Whether the category turns over in 30 days or 90 days, is up to you. The point is that the turnover is what you want.

There is far more music you could be playing but to do so would slow the rotation of your categories down too much.

With these things in mind, here are two different examples of how you might use Auto Platoon to take advantage of all that music.

You have all this music in your Hold categories that you do not play regularly. When you review the Hold categories, there are pieces there you’d like to play but prefer not to sacrifice the turnover of your active categories.

Create a new category for this music. When you open Schedule, Auto- Platoon, pick the original category and then this new category. Set the Move By to Category Plays so you know the piece will play in the category that many times before being available to move. We’ll skip Filters in this example. The Schedule can be what you’d like. There are many choices available. Finally pick the number of pieces you want to move. You might pick 10 pieces.

The result is that 10 pieces are moved out of the category and 10 moved in. The number of total pieces remains the same so you retain the turnover of the category. The specific pieces change a little at a time. That means you are giving pieces a little rest and playing something else.

Click on the Analyze button to get details. The information about how long it will take a piece to go out and come back is important to understanding how long the piece will rest.

Keep making adjustments to the Schedule or number of pieces until you get the amount of desired rest.

One of my favorite examples of this is to use the Filter option in Auto Platoon.

Vivaldi wrote about 500 concertos. Does every one need to be in active rotation? For the sake of argument, let’s say you have recordings of 100 of these concertos. At any given time, you could have 10 in active rotation and 90 resting. Using the Auto Platoon Filter option, you can specify that you want to move pieces that match the criteria of Composer equals Vivaldi and Title contains Concerto. You might move one or two a week. You’ll continue to have the same saturation of Vivaldi concertos in your active library, 10, but at any given time, the specific 10 will change. That means your core will understand you are playing more of his canon while your likers will simply enjoy another Vivaldi Concerto. Win. Win.

You might do this for several composers to continually refresh which specific titles are playing.

Once you have your Auto Platoon settings in place, the action will be performed when you automatically schedule your log.

One more caution: If you add or subtract music from either Auto Platoon category, revisit the settings to make sure they are still working as you’d like.

If you program a format other than classical, you now know why I wanted you to read on. You also have music in your library that just missed the tested cut or maybe you have older work that still fits the format. You can use Auto Platoon to move these songs in and out of rotation the same way to give you audience the “Oh, wow, I haven’t heard that song in a long time” experience.

Should you need any assistance in setting this up, contact your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant.