Author Topic: Beginner questions  (Read 3723 times)

Spindoctor

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Beginner questions
« on: June 01, 2015, 07:37:33 PM »
I hope I don't sound too green, but I'll admit I'm green.

I found out about RadioDJ from a friend.  Up till now I've been using DJ software to run a small Part 15 radio station for certain events.  It can be done but it's obvious RadioDJ can do a better job -- IF I can figure it out.

I've looked at tutorials on the website, on the DJ-Jhonny site, and I've DL'ed the manual.  I think all three are helpful, but I think all three assume the reader has worked at radio stations before, are somewhat familiar with similar software, and are simply trying to find out where the buttons are in RadioDJ.

For me, this is new territory, and probably why I'm having trouble figuring it out.  So please bear with me.

My goal is simple, to set up RadioDJ, familiarize myself with it, and put it to use.  What I've done so far:  I've got MySQL installed.  I've got RadioDJ installed.  For database, I've got a music library of about 8500 songs which I have imported as Music, Oldies.  I also have some vintage commercials, imported as Commercials, Paid.  I have some recorded announcements and jingles, all imported as jingles.

From these 8500 songs, I've built a playlist of about 1400 songs.  I can load the playlist, and play either manually or automatically.  I can manually insert a jingle or other track simply by dragging it from the database on the right, to the decks on the left.

for a newbie that's an accomplishment.  but that's as far as I've got.  My next step would be to set up an autoDJ queue -- with commercials and breaks for announcements -- but first things first.  I just want to get the music in the playlist to play randomly, the set priorities, etc., before moving to the next step.  I open the rotation window and stare at it.  At this point -- what do I do?  Do I have to somehow import the playlist, or songs from it, to this window?  Am I supposed to skip the playlist and select tracks from the database?  Maybe if someone can simply give me an overview of what I'm supposed to do, it wil help me immensely to get there.

Thanks!

ricky

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2015, 02:21:02 PM »
All I do is in the track rotations box from the 5 top boxes choose the category ie music subcat the year in the play list the genre ie any or me I choose alt rock least recently played lost box I have without . Then you have the repeat rules if you tick this the rotation will run to the repeat times you are using OK when you have set the top boxes as you want them you now click on OK that is then your first rotation and so on I have 5 rotations I play 4 random songs then a jingle the jingle has no repeat rules as I only have a few I hope this helps

AndyDeGroo

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 12:39:53 AM »
Hi Spindoctor,

Welcome to RadioDJ community.

Let me clarify a bit what Ricky tried to explain.

RadioDJ is using rotations to select tracks for playback according to active rotation. Simply put, rotation (aka clock) is a list of rules RadioDJ is using to select tracks when running unattended. Each rotation entry (rule) defines parameters for selecting single track from category, subcategory and, optionally, having a particular genre.
The rule also defines selection type (or sorting order) used when selecting tracks from database - least recently played/most recently played sorts by playback timestamp, least/most times played sorts by playback count, by priority is using track priority (which can be reduced when track is played by value defined in RadioDJ options) and random is just random order. Try mixing various ordering rules to get better results.
Finally, the repeat rules determine if tracks are excluded if last playback time and artist playback time is more than minutes defined in Auto DJ setting in the past. Repeat rules have to be used to not have same track and other tracks by same artist played repeatedly or too often.

Note: If jingles are queued using rotations, repeat rules should be disabled for jingle entries or they will not be queued.

DJ Jhonny has a nice visual explanation of rotation editor on his site.

@DJ Jhonny It looks like we need a general introduction for newcomers and this post could be a good starting point for explaining rotations.

Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 01:40:42 PM »
Ahh, thank you VERY much for the replies.

Indeed, getting into this for the first time has been quite a learning curve for me.  Adding to the frustration, I originally could not get into the forum.  I registered, it was supposed to send me an e-mail and it never did, I wrote for support -- never got an e-mail but suddenly I was able to sign in -- but still could not post.  I wrote AGAIN, now I can post.  Thanks very much for taking care of me, but I wonder if there's a problem of some sort with the e-mails.  I checked for spam filtering and nothing.  I got no notifications of replies either.  If someone wants to work with me privately to troubleshoot the e-mail, I'm willing.

My background:  never worked at a commercial radio station, but have DJ'ed at car shows and other events for years.  For quite awhile I've actually used 45's and turntables -- it's fun and makes quite a visual impression, but the turntable casket is 98 pounds and 600 records takes up a lot of space -- and is still limited.  I've used DJ software which emulates two turntables or decks with the crossfader.  It works well, and for this purpose it's still the best.  But for radio station purposes RadioDJ is of course much better suited -- but is entirely different in structure.

So as you're suggesting, a beginner's guide, RadioDJ for dummies, giving an overview of how we do things, would be quite beneficial to anyone in a similar situation.

The part I'm still not understanding, and maybe I'm taking this in the wrong direction, is what I'm actually doing with the rotations.  My Music Library is 8500 songs, plus jingles, vintage commercials, sound FX, and other items.  All 8500 songs are Music, Oldies.  Now, we're talking 1940's swing, 1950's pop, 1950's doo-wop, 1960's pop, 1960's hard rock, 1960's album, 1970's disco, 1980's and 90's, and plenty of country.  If I wanted to make up playlists for several stations of different genre, I could do this from my master library.

I've imported the entire thing into the RadioDJ database.  From there I've made a playlist of 1400 songs, the format being what a typical pop station would have played in the mid-1960's.  This would include SOME rock 'n roll, but also Dean Martin, Doris Day, and "recent" oldies from the 1950's and 40's.

With this in mind, I want to set up a rotation to automatically play music from this playlist.  But the rotation window doesn't mention playlist, just asks to put in a category, subcategory, and, well, there's the rule.  So what exactly happens -- does this ignore my playlist and go right to the main library and start playing everything under that listing?  Does it work with whatever happens to be loaded into the queue?  I don't see an option to use this playlist or that playlist, and if I set up a second rule to play jingles -- well, I'm totally lost here.

I'm considering making a very short playlist, of maybe 5 or 6 songs, just to experiment and see how everything acts.  Push buttons and see what it does, live and learn.


Jhonny

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 03:33:18 PM »
Quote
So as you're suggesting, a beginner's guide, RadioDJ for dummies, giving an overview of how we do things, would be quite beneficial to anyone in a similar situation.

I started a tutorial for it, will take some time before it is ready.

Jhonny
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Jhonny

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 03:57:25 PM »
@Spindoctor, It is possible that you create a text file for me.
 With the problems you encountered for the first time use of RadioDJ, I ask this because if you use rdj are already and grown in the development of rdj, you do not know directly or sees what is not understandable.



It will only improve the tutorial site.

J.
R.T.F.M. means to me, Read The Fantastic Messages.
Einstein says: Make things simple, but don't make simple things simpler! (wise) this is just my life lesson you know.

I don't do drugs ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

rniblett

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 06:20:35 PM »
Hi Spindoctor and welcome:

First let me say that RDJ will do exactly what you want, and it will do it very well if you do a bit of planning and preparation beforehand. The guys have all given the correct info but let me see if I can explain in a way that makes sense to you:

Forget your playlist for the minute, it seems you have imported all your 8500 tracks into one category, ie Oldies? If so you will only be able to create a rotation from the entire library. To do what you require, your tracks will need to be imported into separate categories, eg: 40's, 50's, 60's etc (which you create using Options>Categories).

Once you have done this, open the rotation tool and use the drop down boxes to build a list to tell RDJ what category of track to play and in what order. Our rotation looks something like this:

1 Play track from category Rock (Sweeper over end of track)
2 Play track from category Pop (No Sweeper)
3 Play Station ID
4 Play Jingle from category Vintage
5 Play song from category 60's .... etc etc etc

Are you with me so far?

This may not be what you want to hear, especially if your library isn't already separated out into years/genre's etc. I had to learn the art of rotation building from scratch and the best advice I can give is, do all the planning and preparation beforehand, it will pay dividends in the long run. Check out our rotation at piratenationradio.com

Just one thing, if you have already imported your tracks into a single category, you will have to use the Tracks Manager to clear what you've already imported before you can bring the tracks back in under the categories you've set up - if you try and re-import them without doing this, RDJ will recognise the tracks already exist and skip them. In theory, once you have set up your categories, you could use the Tracks Manager to move the tracks you've already imported into the correct categories, however I found this to be a little tedious, it's easier to start again.

So to summarise:

1 Organise your music library into the categories you require
2 Set up categories within RDJ to reflect the above
3 Clear the existing import
4 Re-import your library category at a time
5 Set a rotation to give RDJ it's list of instructions

That's the way I've done it for our station and we kinda like the result. If you do this, set RDJ to 'AutoDJ' and 'Automated', then hit play, all being well you will have what you want. Hope that helps, but whatever you do, don't give up, this is a fabulous bit of software which can sound every bit as good, if not better than the big boys of radio automation.

Cheers,

Rich
www.piratenationradio.com
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Jhonny

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 06:42:59 PM »
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4 Re-import your library category at a time
In a event....

PS. In the meantime you get a lot of tips.  :D
R.T.F.M. means to me, Read The Fantastic Messages.
Einstein says: Make things simple, but don't make simple things simpler! (wise) this is just my life lesson you know.

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Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 03:03:29 PM »
Quote
Are you with me so far?

This may not be what you want to hear, especially if your library isn't already separated out into years/genre's etc. I had to learn the art of rotation building from scratch and the best advice I can give is, do all the planning and preparation beforehand, it will pay dividends in the long run. Check out our rotation at piratenationradio.com

In other words, the playlist has nothing to do with the rotation list.  That's what I was wondering.  So what exactly is the purpose of the playlist?  Just to put in a string of songs and let them play once?

So now I at least have an answer -- Rotation uses the entire database.

So now it breeds several new questions.  Would it be better to erase the entire database and start over, or delete whatever is not in the playlist?  If I start making categories for these tracks, does it affect the metatags in the tracks themselves, or just stores this data in MySQL?  These songs, and jingles, etc., all have genres already metatagged in them -- Jingle, commercial, swing, rock, etc.  But of course my playlist, or what I want to play, includes songs of different genres and I don't necessarily want to change the meta information in the library.

So what's the best way to delete what's not in the playlist?  Is there a way to print out the list so I can manually delete every track that's not in it, or somehow flag each track that IS in it?  Please tell me the best way to select the songs I want to rotate.  We'll start there, then later deal with jingles and such.

Jhonny

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2015, 07:11:51 PM »
Quote from: Spindoctor
In other words, the playlist has nothing to do with the rotation list.  That's what I was wondering.  So what exactly is the purpose of the playlist?  Just to put in a string of songs and let them play once?

I do not want to confuse you.
 There are three types of play lists

 Main playlist (Or as it is called the queue)
 RDJ playlist (made with the playlist builder).
 M3U playlist (imported in the playlist builder or in the queue).

Quote from: Spindoctor
So now I at least have an answer -- Rotation uses the entire database.

Yes and No.

Just the way you setup the rotation.
R.T.F.M. means to me, Read The Fantastic Messages.
Einstein says: Make things simple, but don't make simple things simpler! (wise) this is just my life lesson you know.

I don't do drugs ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2015, 09:17:55 PM »
The playlist I have is the RDJ playlist, made with playlist builder.

Can this be used for the rotation, or do I skip over this?

If I can make a rotation based on category and subcategory, maybe I can go into the playlist I have, and edit each one with a new subcategory.  Do I have to use an existing category from the menu, or can I add a subcategory by making up a new name?  Am I on the right track?


Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 01:22:58 AM »
I give up.

One of my pet peeves is when I ask and ask and ask again, and cannot get an answer, so I try to do it my own way and the response is, "Oh no!  You shouldn't have done it THAT way!"

There are three types of playlists -- wonderful.  What do you DO with them?

Once again I've tried to go into the Rotation window and the entire dad-blasted thing is totally meaningless.  How in the Sam Hill do you ask it to play a track, play another track, and play a jingle?  Where do you go to even ASK this?

I was told in school, many many years ago, that the key to any product is documentation.  If you build a digital voltmeter, you can include a page of instructions with it that says, "congratulations -- you've just bought the greatest meter in the world, good luck with it" and it may very well be a great meter, but useless to anyone who does not understand how to operate it.

I've just wasted two weeks trying to get this software to play music automatically.  I still haven''t reached square one.  I've asked what a playlist is for -- I'm told there are three playlists.  What FOR?  I've asked if I can edit the tracks in my playlist to get them flagged.  Silence.  I've asked if there's a way to print the playlist so I can re-enter it -- silence.  I suppose the only thing I can do is erase the entire shebang and start over from scratch, and enter each and every track, all 8500 of them, manually.  I suppose I can get started, and in three years I'll come back and then ask again what to do with it.  Will I have done something ELSE wrong?

I give up.

Maybe some day in the future I'll play with it again.  Maybe this is the greatest piece of software on the planet.  but for me it's totally useless.

Sorry to have bothered you all.

Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2015, 03:35:34 AM »
I figured it out!!!

Before chucking it entirely, I decided to get back in and give it one more try.

YES -- I can make a new subcategory, which I did -- Radio Central.  I can edit each track in the playlist I wrote, and make the subcategory Radio Central.  For testing I only did this to about 6 tracks.

THEN, in the Rotation windows I could select Music, Radio Central, and for now Least Recently Played, then Add.

I added another, same thing.

I added another, this time a jingle.  Saved the whole thing as "Test."  Enabled AutoDJ, and it loaded two songs and a jingle, two more songs and a jingle.  YES!

Next I'll deal with Events, but for now I'll work on what I've got.  Yes, this is much better than deleting the entire library and starting over.  Now I can make one for Album Rock, for Country, and whatever else, and change formats on a dime.  This makes MUCH more sense!


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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 05:05:42 AM »
Congrats!

Just think of Rotations as your STATION FORMAT and away you go.   You can use events to change Rotations at certain times of the day for instance.   Say a MORNING ROTATION - Current Hits, Jingle, Power Cut, Jingle etc and then have an event say to start at Noon til 4pm for AFTERNOON ROTATION etc.

There are so many ways to configure RadioDJ to your liking and once you get it, which it looks like you have, the possibilities are endless.

Cheers
Forest Green - Music in Nature's Frequency
www.forestgreenradio.ca

Spindoctor

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Re: Beginner questions
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 01:37:12 PM »
I'll deal with events later -- and hopefully this won't be that hard to pick up.

Right now I'm going through the tracks in the playlist I made, and editing them one by one.  I'm doing two things -- changing the subcategory to Radio Central, and setting the priority for each.  If the song is a popular hit, I'm leaving it at 50.  Certain ones I'm putting at 60.  Lesser hits are 40; those I don't really care for (but belong in there anyway) are 30 or 20.  This is actually going fast; I've done over 200 of the 1400 that's in there.  Yes, it'll take awhile but this should be the only mass-editing of its type I'll need to do, for now anyway.

Then I'll edit the jingles and station ID's.  Jingles can go in the rotation, the ID's will most likely wait till I get to Events (top of the hour).

Finally I feel like I'm on my way!