Full Automatic Scheduling
M1 was designed for fix-it-as-you-go interactive scheduling. We get the daily schedules turned out in good form with just a few minutes editing. I like the editing process. When M1 stops for an editing decision, it gives me a pause to look at the clock and see how the flow is shaping up for that hour. But some guys are now scheduling two or three stations every day and that can add up to a half hour's work-time, scheduling and editing for multiple stations. Last year, I made a demo video about how to get M1 to fully schedule each log automatically, without any editing stops and without violating any formatting rule. It involves the use of Alternative Categories. The video has been posted since last fall on the Music 1 landing page (gomusic1.com). If you've not seen it, here it is. Runs 4:07
If you should choose to run in full automatic mode, be aware that it will bring a bit of rotational inconsistency to some songs within the categories that you designate as Alternative Categories. That is unavoidable because M1 is being directed to pull a song from there to fill a slot that originally belongs to a different Category. For example: I assign the Secondary Gold category to be the Alternative for Power Gold; if M1 can't fill a slot with a Power Gold song without violating one of my firm formatting rules, it can reach into Secondary Gold for a song to fill the slot. Now, if I've set my Secondary Gold category for a 5 day turnover, some of the songs in the category might get a repeat play just two or three days after it was last scheduled from within it normal Secondary rotation. Depending on your point of view, this may not be any big deal at all. If the music mix formatting is well constructed, calls to the Alternative categories should be relatively rare, maybe a few times a day. The important thing is: How the hour comes together, the consistency of the music blend. I do like the results I get from my interactive work with M1. Then again, one guy who uses full automatic for the three stations he manages recently told me that M1's automatic scheduling is "brilliant."