RadioBOSS Scheduler - Reducing the number of scheduler entries

Hello Dmitry,

Firstly - happy birthday for JULY 18.

Secondly - at Radio Dungog (Dungog, NSW, Australia) we have been using RadioBOSS for more than 6 years with great success and reliability.  Thank you so much for putting in such a BIG effort to make RadioBOSS a good reliable product AND for keeping it updated with new and innovative features.


My question relates to the scheduler.

Over the last 6 years our scheduler entries have grown and grown - mainly due to our laziness to change the way we do things.  I'm keen to reduce the number of scheduler entries so that they are less confusing for me and others.

Here is the current summary showing the types of scheduler entries, qty of each, and estimate of future qty required (show in brackets):

School zones  -  4  (4)
News bulletins  -  40  (1)
Adverts day  -  36  (3)
Adverts night  -  24  (2)

As you can see that represents a BIG saving in complexity.  If we look at a single case - the News bulletins for example - we could do the following:

1.  Create a single scheduler entry that runs at top of hour for every hour we need the news on every day.  Typically that would be at (hh:mm) 06:00, 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 21:00 and 7 days a week.

2.  Get the scheduler to use a substitution macro to call a playlist

3.  Set up a series of 14 playlists that correspond to the hours where news needs to be played (as shown above 06:00 to 21:00)

Is this the logical way to do things ?

Could you please tell me how the scheduler command entry should look AND how each playlist should look ?

For example:

Scheduler Command:

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_?hh-?nn.m3u  (TYPO ERROR CORRECTED)

Playlist names:

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_06-00.m3u

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_07-00.m3u

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_08-00.m3u

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_09-00.m3u

w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_10-00.m3u

and so on ......


Is this the correct way of doing it ?  And is it necessary to include the hh-nn figures or can it be done with hh figures only for top of hour operation ?

Also, can the substitution macros support day names like Monday, Tuesday .... Sunday etc ?



Thanks,    Jamie C.
 

djsoft

Well-known member
Staff member
radiodungog said:
Firstly - happy birthday for JULY 18.
Thank you!

radiodungog said:
Is this the logical way to do things ?
Absolutely. News is a great candidate to be converted to one scheduled event. Just make the event start on specific hours and days and use the filename macro to run playlists.

radiodungog said:
Is this the correct way of doing it ?  And is it necessary to include the hh-nn figures or can it be done with hh figures only for top of hour operation ?
This is correct, but as you noted, using minutes is superfluous. The "00" part in the playlist is constant (same for every playlist), so your scheduler command can look like this (note that only ?hh is the part of the file name that changes):
w:\1_station_msg\blocks\news_block_?hh-00.m3u
You can even simplify it to just
w:\1_station_msg\blocks\?hh.m3u
and your playlists will be
w:\1_station_msg\blocks\06.m3u and so on.

radiodungog said:
Also, can the substitution macros support day names like Monday, Tuesday .... Sunday etc ?
This is not supported but is planned for the next version. It will be the number of the day (0-sunday, 1-monday etc)  - using day names is not as reliable as using numbers.
 
Hello Dmitry,

Thanks for the reply and extra details.  We will create our own procedure fact sheet for this so we can remember exactly how it was done then start work on the changes soon.


Thanks,  Jamie C.
 
Hello Dmitry,

I have got a test entry in and running using the scheduler and substitution macro and the 24 associated playlist files.    It has been working perfectly for a few days.

I can now remember why we have used 40 scheduler entries to do this in the past - to launch a heap of different music shows immediately after the news bulletins during the 7 day week.

So, with this in mind can you recommend the best fix for these two functions ?

Do I do them separately as:

1.  A dedicated news scheduling function  AND
2.  A dedicated music show scheduling function

Or, do I do all TOH (Top of Hour) scheduling functions with a common TOH scheduling setup ?

(I think keeping them as two separate scheduling functions might be a lot easier to understand for making show changes now and in the future.)

And, can RadioBOSS handle two scheduled functions being executed at exactly the same time ?


Thanks,  Jamie C.
 

djsoft

Well-known member
Staff member
You should have separate events for news and music - this will be easier to maintain.

radiodungog said:
And, can RadioBOSS handle two scheduled functions being executed at exactly the same time ?
Yes, it can, but it's not recommended - in this case there's no way to predict what event will launch first. You should separate events, e.g. news start at HH:00:00, and then music starts at HH:00:02 - two seconds later, it will be queued after news (make sure proper options are set for the event).

As for music - it should be enough to have only one event, that also uses filename macro to start (or generate) playlists.
 
Dmitry,

Following on with this thread can I do the following ?

Set up only 4 scheduler macros as follows - where the underscore 00 section is a descriptor and not part of the time:

\macro\content_block_?hh_00.m3u  set in the scheduler to go off at top of the hour

\macro\content_block_?hh_15.m3u  set in the scheduler to go off at 15 minutes past the hour

\macro\content_block_?hh_30.m3u  set in the scheduler to go off at 30 minutes past the hour

\macro\content_block_?hh_45.m3u  set in the scheduler to go off at 45 minutes past the hour


Set up (24 x 4) = 96 playlists for the content of the whole day

\blocks\content_block_06_00.m3u

\blocks\content_block_06_15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_06_30.m3u

\blocks\content_block_06_45.m3u

\blocks\content_block_07_00.m3u

\blocks\content_block_07_15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_07_30.m3u

\blocks\content_block_07_45.m3u

\blocks\content_block_08_00.m3u

\blocks\content_block_08_15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_08_30.m3u

\blocks\content_block_08_45.m3u

etc.

Would that work ?  The reason for structuring the playlist names in that way is to make an easy sequence for finding them to make changes to the content.


Would that work ?


Thanks,  Jamie C.
 
Dmitry,

Thanks, that is good news.

BTW my logic is if we use the above method we can manually initiate the scheduler at any time in the hour to have that content block inserted into the player screen and get played.

If we use the following strings then a manual operation of the scheduler will only allow that to happen during the one minute period specified.

\macro\content_block_?hh-15.m3u  set in the scheduler to go off at 15 minutes past the hour

\blocks\content_block_06-15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_07-15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_08-15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_09-15.m3u

\blocks\content_block_10-15.m3u

Is that a correct assumption ?

Under Waiting Options > Maximum time to wait in the queue - we generally use 15 minutes.

This is because Radio Dungog operates RadioBOSS automatically and unattended and with live presenters in the studio.  Sometimes our sports show presenters have long conversations with sports people and miss playing the content block and the "Maximum time in the queue" of 15 minutes is exceeded and that content is removed from the player screen.

The sports presenter can then highlight the appropriate scheduler entry and click the "Run Now" icon to have the content block reinserted and then played.

Have I got this right ?  Are these assumptions correct ?


Thanks,  Jamie C.
 
Hello Dmitry,

I decided to stick with the standard macro formula to test the concept and this is what I have running now:

On the event scheduler there are 4 scheduler entries shown as: 

HH-00  Content Slot    \macro\content_slot_?hh-00.m3u

HH-15  Content Slot    \macro\content_slot_?hh-15.m3u

HH-30 Content Slot    \macro\content_slot_?hh-30.m3u

HH-45  Content Slot    \macro\content_slot_?hh-45.m3u


Then in a folder called \macro\ there are the 72 macro playlist files named like this:

(72 because we have 4 slots during the day and only 2 slots during the night so (12 x 4) + (12 x 2) = 72

\macro\content_slot_06-00.m3u

\macro\content_slot_06-15.m3u

\macro\content_slot_06-30.m3u

\macro\content_slot_06-45.m3u

etc.

Everything looks simple, intuitive and neat and it's working well.  And when I operate the event scheduler manually it seems to do all the right things.


Thanks for your help on this big modification for us,  Jamie C.
 

djsoft

Well-known member
Staff member
radiodungog said:
BTW my logic is if we use the above method we can manually initiate the scheduler at any time in the hour to have that content block inserted into the player screen and get played.
Yes, because you only use the ?hh macro, only current hour is considered when processing the file name.

radiodungog said:
If we use the following strings then a manual operation of the scheduler will only allow that to happen during the one minute period specified.

\macro\content_block_?hh-15.m3u
It will work the whole hour: any time during the given hour, "content_block_?hh-15.m3u" will evaluate the same.

If you run the "content_block_?hh-15.m3u" at, say, 06.48, using the Run Now button, it will work fine. The "content_block_06-15.m3u" playlist will be started.

radiodungog said:
Thanks for your help on this big modification for us
You're welcome, I'm great this works :)
 
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