I’ve noticed that when I add new songs to one of my categories, they usually don’t get scheduled until a day or two later. Shouldn’t they get scheduled right away?
First, it is important to understand the Play Number and its function. The Play Number system is what allows M1 to deliver the most consistent song rotations in the music scheduling software biz. If you’ve used other music schedulers, you’ve no doubt noticed they sometimes over-play some songs in a category while under-playing others. To prevent such a thing, M1 uses the Play Number. It is not a ‘spin count’ and it is not song history. Rather, the Play Number is a simple yes/no thing.
When you display a Play Number column in your category view, you normally see just two numbers. It is not important what the numbers are, only that they are sequential. 54 and 53. 9 and 8. 105 and 104. The higher number means “yes, this song has been scheduled in the current pass through the category.” The lower number means “no, the song hasn’t yet been scheduled in this pass.”. The first song in rank order is the one that is currently at the “top” of the stack; meaning it will be the first song from the category to be scheduled when you begin your next playlist.
When every song in the category has the same number, M1 goes back to the top of the card stack and begins scheduling the songs again from the top of the rank order. As it does, it add a new ‘higher’ number as each song is scheduled.
When you move a new song into the category, it comes in with the highest Play Number, so it won’t be scheduled until the category turns over. Depending on the number of songs in the category and the current Play Number position, this could be from only a few hours later to several days after the move.
You can re-set the Play Number to zero, with the Category Shuffle command and clicking the box to “Clear Played Flags”.
When you do a manual search-and-schedule, you may have the song(s) Play Number incremented, or not. This is a universal setting, affecting all categories, so you need to consider which way to have it handled. The Option is found on the System Settings screen. There you’ll find a box labeled: “Count play of track scheduled through manual search.”
Example 1: Play Number NOT COUNTED
You have a category that turns over every other day. A song scheduled on Monday schedules again on Wednesday, then on Friday. When scheduling your Tuesday list, you do a search and drop the song into the log in the noon hour. The Play Number is not incremented, so the song will be scheduled again on Wednesday when it comes up in its regular rotation sequence. This way the song gets an extra play this week, it schedules four times instead of three times.
Example 2: Play Number IS COUNTED
Same scenario as above, the song is scheduled on Monday by M1. As you schedule the Tuesday log, you search-and-schedule the song in the noon hour. The Play Number IS incremented so this now counts as a “regular” play. The song now will not be scheduled Wednesday, but will next be automatically scheduled sometime on Friday . This way the song gets only the regular, normal three plays for the week, but they are on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
IMPORTANT EXTRA FACT: This system applies only to “empty” slots. If Music 1 has scheduled a song in a slot and then you click to select that song on the clock, do a search and drop a different song into the slot, that always counts as a regular play. If you do not want to have the song you searched-and-scheduled to be counted as a “regular’ play, then first you must click/select the song on the clock, then click the red X button at the bottom of the screen to ‘un-schedule’ the slot. Now, with the slot empty, you can search-and-schedule a song not have it not counted as a regular play (the Play Number will not be incremented).