Shift Register to Prepare Future Content


It's been a long time since I've posted anything here - which means everything has been running very well at our end.  Thanks !

For the last 2 years I've been using the RadioBOSS Scheduler to run some DOS batch files which move some playlist.m3u files around.  Two techniques I've used have been:

1.  Using a daily DOS batch file to rename 12 playlist.m3u files so that there is a progression of the 12 playlist.m3u files each day.  These 12 playlist.m3u files each contain a block of adverts and the rotation allows the adverts to be broadcast at a different time each day.  The RadioBOSS scheduler is set to broadcast each playlist.m3u file at a given time (or times) every day - and by renaming the playlist.m3u files we are able to change the content automatically without having to change any of the scheduler times.  It's very simple and very reliable and has been doing this job now for just over 2 years.

2.  About 8 months ago we started to use a new technique of shuffling playlist.m3u files for our Community Notice Board broadcast.  This time we used a structure of playlist.m3u files set out in days and weeks - in fact 7 days for week 1, and 7 days for week 2.  The daily content goes to air every day on the correct day - then on Sunday night at midnight we do the "shift register" operation and move all of the week 2 content over to week 1.  This has proven to be very successful because it allows us to pre-populate the playlist.m3u files with content a week or two weeks in advance - and eliminates the need for a person to be there on the day to change content.

Item 2 has been so successful with the Community Notice Board material that we intend using the same "shift register" technique for all of of daily programs so that the playlist.m3u files can be pre-populated 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 weeks in advance.  For us this is a HUGE advantage because it allows us to do this work when we have some spare time - and it never gets left to the last minute - and the shows go to air on time every time without any stress to the scheduler person (and that's me) !

Does all of that information above make sense to you ?  If not please ask me some questions and I'll answer them for you.

None of the above relies upon dates of the month - the whole lot is defined by weeks and days like this:


As I said above, we intend rolling out this "shift register" strategy so we can pre-populate all of our daily content in advance - things like:

1.  Daily shows
2.  Daily adverts (so a new advert can replace an old one on a given day)
3.  Daily station promos (so station promos can be more relevant to the day they are being broadcast)
4.  Daily show promos (so show promos are more specific to the shows being broadcast on each day)
5.  Daily Community Notice Board broadcasts (so that events cease to be broadcast when the event has been run)
6.  Daily emergency alerts like Bushfire Warnings and Alerts (so that they can be pre-scheduled to start at midnight and run for the 24 hour period and then expire at midnight)

The BIG benefit of this "shift register" approach is that we set up the RadioBOSS Scheduler only once and it continues forever.  The ONLY thing we have to do after that is to pre-load the playlist.m3u files with the content and it changes automatically.

So, question time:

1.  Is there any standard feature within RadioBOSS that does all of the above already ?

2.  Sometimes changing the playlist.m3u at midnight every day is not adequate and it needs to be changed more frequently than that on some days but not others.

Example:  On the Community Notice Board the local movie theatre might have a movie showing on Saturday morning at 10am.  Our Community Notice Board is broadcast on the hour every day from 6am to 6pm.  To continue to promote that movie after 10am on Saturday morning is a waste of time AND very annoying to listeners.  Can you think of a better way to do this so that it's more adaptive without making it overly complicated ?

Thanks,  Jamie C.



Well-known member
Staff member
Jamie, I'm sorry for a delayed reply. I don't think there's a standard feature in RadioBOSS to do exactly that. It involves lots of file system operations (renaming playlists etc) while RadioBOSS tries to make as few modifications to files, as possible. If your approach works fine for you, and does its job, I'd recommend to stick with it.

It can be possible to use RadioBOSS's features to get the same (or similar) result - specifically, using Playlist Generator Pro. You can make it generate playlists (in advance or just before they need to play), and this will eliminate most of the manual work (and also you won't need to rename playlists as they are created when they needed), but the initial setup can take some time. You can also use the "week days" in scheduler to run adverts, different on each day. I'm not sure if moving towards a titally different approach worth the effort, though, given that you already have a working system.

Thanks for the reply.

We'll stick to this process because it does what we need.

I'd prefer to use Playlist Generator Pro wherever possible but I'm not sure how it could be configured to do the tricky things.

Thanks,  Jamie C.


Well-known member
Staff member
radiodungog said:
I'd prefer to use Playlist Generator Pro wherever possible but I'm not sure how it could be configured to do the tricky things.
In your case, instead of playlist rotation, it may be possible to make Playlist Generator create those playlists. If those playlists are prepared manually, then Playlist Generator is not suitable, of course.