Is This For You? - Internet

If you are a hobbyist, this may not be software for you.

In today's world, it is possible for anyone to have an internet radio station, of sorts. People can collect their favorite songs, then click-and-drag them into playlists, one-by-one. Or, maybe they just "shuffle" their songs to change the play order. The playlists can be delivered as an internet stream that can be shared with the world, but most of the listeners will be only friends and family.

But playlists are not Radio. There's a lot more to it than a collection of songs interspersed with station IDs and other audio elements such as station identifications, jingles, voice tracks, promo announcements and adverts if yours is a station with commercials. There are many factors that must be managed, plotted and planned. Examples: Song Rotations-how frequently should different groups of songs be repeated. Artist Separation-how to keep songs by the same artists from playing too close together. Music Flow-how to maintain the desired balance uptempo and downtempo songs. Aesthetics-how to ensure "this" type of song doesn't play next to "that" type of song.

The first thing needed is a playout software, or course. Playout systems for internet radio can be something as simple and WinAmp or Windows Media Player, but most people use a more robust player such as SAM Broadcaster, StationPlaylist, ProppFrexx, Ots A/V, etc. And some internet radio stations may use the more expensive professional systems that terrestrial stations use.

Many playout systems have their own, built-in song rotation functions, but while their "schedulers" are much better than click-and-drag and shuffle-created playlists, but they are bare-bones basic when compared to a dedicated, task-specific scheduling software like Music 1. Almost all of the playout systems are capable of importing playlists created by a dedicated music scheduler like Music 1.

Professional music scheduling apps are not toys, they are not "consumer" software. You can't just install M1, click around, figure out the basics and get ready-to-stream playlists a few minutes later. Eventually, you can achieve that kind of efficiency, but it requires some orientation, study and experimentation.

You will not master it overnight. Scheduling music and other audio content is somewhat like learning to sail. At first, you may go round and round in circles. With some experience, you become able to get your boat from one point to wherever it is you choose to go. Then you are amazed at how easy sailing actually is. That's how it is with Music 1.

You will soon find it to be an exceptionally versatile and efficient tool, maybe the most important one in your radio-life. If you have been trying to schedule with the rudimentary functions that are available in your automation/playout system, all of that will no longer be necessary.

M1 produces playlist files that can be readily imported by almost all of the world's automation/playout systems. When you finish each day's schedule with M1, it will automatically create-and-save a playlist file for playout. Each playlist file will be named with the date for broadcast. Each night at midnight, the playout will automatically load the playlist for the next day/date. 

When you download M1, be prepared to spend some time with it. So before you do that, you should download the QuickStart manual for the version of M1 you are insterested in. More importantly: watch some of our tutorial videos before doing anything else.

Contact Steve Warren at the M1 office with your questions.