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Play Number Option

When a song is added or moved into a new/different category, it is added to the bottom of the stack. Even if you then manually move it to the top of the stack, that does not necessarily mean it will be immediately scheduled at the start of the next schedule/log that you create. The Play Number is a controlling factor here. If you are not yet familiar with the Play Number, why it is important and how it operates, then please take time to read the other extended post about it on this blog.

All songs in a category have a Play Number that is one of two sequential numbers. 28 and 27; 6 and 5, etc. If the songs in a category have Play Numbers of 10 and 9, then those with the 10 have been scheduled in the current pass through the list. The first song with the 9 is currently the “top” of the stack, it will be the first song to be scheduled from the category when the next log is run. The Higher Play Number “marks” the song as having been played in the current pass through the list. The Play Number is like a little traffic cop making sure that when a song is scheduled, it won’t be eligible for scheduling again until all the other songs in the category have gotten their turn.

There have always been differing opinions about how to handle new songs that are added to the category; should they come into the category with the Lower number and thus be eligible for scheduling very quickly; or should they come in with the Higher number and not be available for scheduling until the remainder of songs in the category have scheduled? Here’s the choice: You have a category with 30 songs in it. You schedule two from the category every hour. The song in Rank position #28 was scheduled at 11:45pm Monday night, so when the Tuesday log is run, songs #29 and #30 will be scheduled in the Midnight hour, then the category turns over, M1 schedules song #1 in the category in the 1am hour.

But now before you schedule Tuesday, you add four new songs to the category. If those songs come into the category with the Lower number, they will then schedule immediately; two of them in the 1am hour, two in the 2am hour, then the category will turn over and the song at the top of the stack (Rank #1) will schedule in the 3am hour.

But if the new songs are added to the category with the Higher Play Number, then M1 would schedule songs 29 and 30 at Midnight, jump back to the top of the stack to schedule songs 1 and 2 in the 1am hour. The new adds won’t be scheduled until M1 has made another full pass through the list and gets down to the bottom of the stack in that second, full pass. Even if you manually move the songs up to the top of the Rank Order in the category, they will still not schedule very soon because they have the Higher Play Number attached to them.

For many years, we had M1 give the Lower Play Number to songs as they were moved into a category, thus making them eligible for scheduling quite soon. Most people liked it that way, indeed most didn’t even notice. But a few music directors had a complaint, not liking the fact that “all my new adds schedule right away.” So, we changed it so that new adds to a category came in with the Higher Play Number. This was ok with most, but a few said, “Hey, I put new songs into the category but they didn’t get scheduled until several days later.”

With Revision 220 you now have the option to have M1 set the Play Number the way you want it to be.

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