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Which Rules are a Top Priority? posted on February 27th, 2024

By Chris Hulsether

What rules are the most important? Which ones do you want to pass first? Why does it matter? That’s what we are talking about here.

First, let’s break down the Rule Tree. You will have folders for Breakable and Unbreakable Rules.

The first folder you see in the tree is for All Categories, and it includes Breakable and Unbreakable folders. These rules apply to all categories. So, if you have a gold-based format and you want to apply Artist Keyword Time Separation to every song, drag the rule over from available rule types and place it in one of the folders. This will apply to All Categories, and you won’t have to put the same rule in each category.

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But what if you want the rule to apply to MOST categories instead of ALL categories? Right click on All Categories and select Rule Tree Properties. That’s where you can select which categories should be bypassed. Meaning they will not be subject to rules in All categories.

You can then set rules for those categories inside each individual category’s folder where they can play by different rules. Typically, Imaging categories or small high rotating current music categories would have different rules than the rest of your categories.

You can also set which rules should have highest priority. By default, the All-Categories rules get tested first and then the individual categories get tested. But in the Rule Tree properties, you can switch it so that Individual categories are on top, and the Individual category rules will be tested first. Once an Unbreakable rule fails in All Categories, the Automatic scheduler will not bother to test against the others. So, whatever rules you list first are most important. You should have your rules listed in order of importance. For example, if you list a Sound code rule first and a song fails that rule, it will keep it from scheduling, but if Artist Keyword Time Separation is more important you may want the song to clear that rule before testing other rules that may not be as important.

Of course, MusicMaster will stop testing once it fails an Unbreakable Rule, and that song will be skipped. But it will also stop when it fails the first Breakable Rule. That song may still be in the running, but MusicMaster will move onto checking the next song to see if it performs better. There’s no point in worrying about lower priority rules if a higher priority one fails.

To see the order in which your Rules are tested, you can bring up the Rule List. Right-click on the category in your Rule tree and select View Category Rule list. This will show you the order in which the rules will be tested.

Note that you can also create more Breakable folders if you need. For example, right-click on Breakable 1 and choose Add Breakable Rule Folder, and a Breakable 2 will be created.

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You may ask: Why would you want to have multiple Breakable rule folders? It has to do with the way the rules are all merged together when testing. Remember, rules are tested in order of importance. So the rules in each Breakable folder on your rule tree will merge with the rules in their corresponding numbered folder. This keeps all your higher priority rules above your lower priority rules, no matter which category folder they came from.

Prioritizing your rules can make it easier for the Automatic Scheduler to find the best songs possible for you and can reduce the number of unscheduled songs you may get. If you have any questions, talk to your Music Scheduling Consultant.