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Genesis of the Music Scheduler

The video below was produced as a promo piece for our marketing partners. It runs 3:27 and briefly explains how a paper scheduling system influenced the blueprint for the way the M1 algorithm behaves.  If you’d like to read more in-depth about it and thinking that influenced the design, it is detailed in this old report of mine. So, it’s the genesis of my music scheduler, anyway. The origins of the other schedulers all trace back to DOS.

MusicONE’s algorithm was first developed for the Mac. The brief history is I got a Mac in the 80s and immediately wanted to put a format clock on the screen and be able to drag my categories and breaks and jingles and promos around from one position to another and print it out. I could send these cool looking things to my client stations along with my formatting recommendations and the other consulting services I provided.

I found a geeky college drop-out who was into weed and coding for Mac to do it for me. Soon, I had him developing an algorithm that would take my pen-and-paper rotation system into what became the first (and only) professional music scheduler for the Mac OS. That one was a marvel for the time but a financial bust.  No matter how much it wow’d music directors, the station manager needed to spend an additional three grand on new hardware to run just one application and that didn’t fly well. Flash forward to the 90s and I partnered with Neil Campbell to take my ideas into Windows and here we are today with you.

The thing is, both of my schedulers are based on the rotation grids of the paper system I’d been using for ten years before getting into software development. With my song numbers and scheduling grids I could be sure listeners were not going to be hearing the “same dang song at the same dang time”.  And I could be sure my Recurrents and Oldies, each and every one of them, were going to be played in every daypart before they repeated in any one of the dayparts. And each and all of my songs would get the exact number of spins that I planned for them.


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