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The Keyword Separation Wizard posted on May 9th, 2016

By Paul Ziino

Recently I wrote an article on how to set unique values for specific keywords. But did you know that MusicMaster can make those adjustments for you?

Go to Dataset/Library/Keywords. Then use the dropdown to select the desired keyword field. Within Keyword Maintenance click Tools and Separation Wizard.


Click Next and you’ll enter the Calculation Properties screen where you can adjust the properties used to calculate new separation and hour rotation values for your keywords.


When you run the separation wizard, MusicMaster goes through your active library and based on clock calls and the makeup of your library, determines the optimum turnover speed for each of your keywords. The first setting on the Calculation Properties screen asks what percent of that optimum number you want to use as your unique separation value for your keywords. Forty Percent is the default, and it’s a perfectly fine starting point. If MusicMaster determines 10 hours is the optimum, it will recommend a separation value of four hours.

The next setting is where you determine the threshold for just leaving the Auto setting from the Rule Tree. By default, that is 3:00, but you can set this to any number you want. Set it to 13:00, or 1d 17:00, or 18d 5:00, it’s your choice. The larger you set this, the more likely that each keyword will get a specific separation time.

Up next is how you want the separation times rounded. Default here is 5 minutes, but you can go to 10 or 1 or whatever you choose—most will leave this at 5. You can also check the box to “Avoid full-hour recommendations,” that way you don’t get artist separation values of 60 minutes or 120 minutes, etc.

“Don’t recommend values that are higher than the existing settings” basically says if we have a unique value in there and the wizard thinks it could be higher, ignore it. I generally leave this unchecked.

“Remove separation from keywords that do not require any” basically says if the artist is played so rarely or never that it requires no value to set it to 0:00. I leave this unchecked just in case I put that artist back in rotation that way it has some value assigned.

“Recommend basic Hour Rotation settings” asks MusicMaster to set Keyword Hour Rotations. If you’re not using that rule in the Rule Tree for this field, you can leave it unchecked.

So here’s how I have mine set up.


When you click “Next”, MusicMaster starts calculating and tells us how many keywords need adjustment.


There are a couple options here. I like to see all the recommended settings in separate columns, not just the recommended changes, so I select that first option. I also like to see what the Separation Wizard determined was the estimated or optimum turnover speed, so I leave that checked. Click Finish.


This is the list of all the keywords in the database. Those in blue show the recommended wizard settings. We can display only those with recommended adjustments by clicking the Filter icon. We can also sort this list by any column by clicking on the column header. I like to sort on the Recommend column.


So now at the top of the list we have the artist with the lowest recommended value and the bottom of the list shows the artist with the highest recommended value. If I want, I can accept all these recommendations and update the Separation value for all by clicking Change All. Or I can double-click any of those recommended values to change just that one artist.

Remember, these values only work if there’s an active Keyword Time Separation rule for this field in place in the Rule Tree that applies to the categories in question. That rule sets the Auto value. As I scroll through the list of recommended changes, it looks like I could use 5:20 as my Auto value and the majority of my artists would have no problem achieving that. Those with a recommended value less than 5:20 I can accept their unique recommendations.

A lot of programmers start with a low artist separation rule of maybe 1:10. With this exercise we can clearly see that only two artists in this data have a recommended value lower than that. But we can get so much more as a result of the Separation Wizard. So I say we go for it!

If you have questions about using the Keyword Separation Wizard or any other MusicMaster feature, make sure to reach out to your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant for help.

Spotlight on the Keyword Separation Wizard posted on February 17th, 2014

By Aaron Taylor

As your format evolves, the competitive situation changes or you receive new research data, it often become necessary to make significant changes in your MusicMaster database. Fairly obvious items that need attention in these circumstances include revision of your clocks and assignment grid, adjustments to your Rule Tree and expansion or contraction of the size of your categories.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of working with the MusicMaster Keyword Separation Wizard.

This helpful tool can help you make decisions on whether the AUTO or custom settings for particular artists or groups are sufficient, or if it might make sense for you to manually override those settings and either put in custom settings or change the ones that are currently set in place for particular keywords. The settings recommended are based upon the currently active clock assignment grid.

To access the Keyword Separation Wizard, go to DATASET-LIBRARY-KEYWORDS.

separationwizard_1From there, you’ll see a window open to the Keyword Maintenance screen. For the purposes of this example, use the drop down menu in the upper left hand corner and select the Artist Keywords list. You can utilize the Keyword Separation Wizard for any keyword field you wish in the future.

separationwizard_2Next, find Tools, and from the drop down list, select Separation Wizard.

separationwizard_3Then, you’ll be at this screen. Go ahead and click the Next button to continue.

separationwizard_4You’ll now be given a Calculation Properties selection box that it will be fine for you to accept the default settings offered here. Below is a brief summary describing the options here if you would like to make adjustments.

separationwizard_5Recommend separation times that are no more than what percentage of the estimated keyword turnover time. This allows for a cap on how high the recommended values can be.

Set to Auto when the recommended separation exceeds the following value.  Anything that exceeds the setting here will be set to Auto and follow the settings for keywords defined in your Rule Tree. This is the one you can have some fun with.  How about 9d, 7h, 23m or 11d, 5h, 42m? What would happen?  You don’t have to accept any settings when you click Next, so see how much separation you can really get.  You don’t have to be worried about core artists, they will get some of the smallest times while your one-hit-wonders will have some of the longest. There are no “rules” here as far as what is acceptable, which is why we encourage you to make something up and put it in to see what happens.  We’ll talk about how you can see what it did when you get to the next screen.

Round recommended separation times to the nearest:  Allows you to fine tune the Wizard settings.

Avoid full-hour recommendations – This will adjust the suggested values either slightly higher or lower if the suggested separation value ends up being something like 1:00.

Don’t recommend values that are higher than the existing settings. No recommendations made for these if selected.

Remove separation from keywords that do not require any.  It will perform this operation if selected.

Recommend basic Hour Rotation settings. The Wizard will perform this operation if selected.

Once you’ve reviewed your setting choices, again click the Next box. The Keyword Separation Wizard will then take a few moments to calculate its suggestions to you and present the following box.   In this case 19 active keywords changed.  We had 243 Artist Keywords in the database to start.  Simply math says only eight percent can’t meet the three hours we picked. That would be a hint to perhaps make the setting higher to see what might be possible. This is why it’s fun to put in a much higher setting.  You may still find that a large percentage of your Keywords can meet the setting you pick.

separationwizard_6Next, you’ll be offered choices on how to view the suggested changes. Again, you can accept the default settings here if you wish.

Now, go ahead and review your list. Click twice on the header column for Recommended to see all of the recommended changes sorted together in the teal colored list.

separationwizard_7At this point, you may elect to Change All of the keywords the wizard has suggested to the separations or hour rotations indicated. If you’d like to just change specific ones to the settings indicated, click in each line and select Change to make adjustment on that one specific keyword.  Additionally, you can override the current setting or the recommended setting for any or all of the keywords by simply clicking in the box for Separation and/or Hour Rotation and selecting your own preferences.

separationwizard_8Even if you haven’t had the need to radically revamp your database for the reasons mentioned at the start, we’d suggest that it would be a great idea at least to review this list every six months or so. Inevitably, the prominence or importance of certain artists in any given format will ebb and flow over time. That separation setting of forty eight minutes you set on a particular artist or group when they were really “hot” in the format or had just released a new album will seem perhaps too aggressive or liberal six months to a year down the road. Also, you may want to set the separations and hour rotations for much longer periods of time for one off, novelty or potentially very “polar” artists in your format.

If you have questions about fully utilizing the power the MusicMaster Separation Wizard, schedule some time with your Music Scheduling Consultant for further assistance.