Clockwheel rotation controls when songs are played to avoid randomly generated tracks and repetition.
The first step consists of organizing your music into specific categories. For example, a Top 40 station might use the categories “Golden Oldies,” “Current Hits,” and “New Music.”
To create new categories, follow these steps:
- Click on the “Categories” window on Desktop A
- Right-click on “Playlists”
- Select “New”
- Type a category name
Add music to these categories by dragging and dropping music files from Windows Explorer, from your “Queue,” or even from other categories.
Configure Playlist Rules
Next, you need to configure playlist rules. To do this, click on “Config” in your toolbar, then select “Playlist rotation rules.” In this window, you can decide how often an album, artist, title, or track should play. Note that more than one track can have the same title (e.g. “Believe” by Elton John vs. “Believe” by Cher).
To configure your playlist rules settings properly, make sure all the songs in your playlist contain valid song information. Also make sure these rules match your library’s size. For example, if you set a rule to 1,000 hours, your library must have at least 1,000 hours or more of music.
You can also configure the number of songs you want to have in your queue. If ever there are fewer songs than the number specified in this rule, SAM Broadcaster will automatically add another song to your queue.
We recommend leaving “Use ghost queue…” checked since it will cache the next song into its memory, so SAM Broadcaster will load the next song faster.
Leaving “Cache queue count” checked will improve SAM Broadcaster’s performance by avoiding a database query each time the queue is empty. We recommend unchecking it only if you change the SAM Broadcaster queue using external scripts and database queries.
Under “Playlist logic module,” you’ll find a selection of 3 built-in logic modules. We recommend the default “Clockwheel (Category Rotation) logic module” because it makes it easy to specify your station’s format when you select songs from categories in a certain order. The “Weighted Playlist rotation logic module” assigns each song a “weight,” which increases each time the song is requested, meaning popular songs will play more often than unpopular ones. The “Web scripting based logic module” will contact a website each time you want to use a song. So if you know PHP, ASP, or any other Web script, you can manage SAM Broadcaster’s playlist rotation logic according to your own script.
Build your Clockwheel
In the “Playlist rotation rules” window, select “Clockwheel Category Rotation logic module” and click “Configure.” A “Category rotation logic configuration” window will pop up. From here, you can format your clockwheel.
Here is what the buttons on the right do:
- + Category: Select a song from a category rule
- + Directory: Select a song from a directory rule
- + Request: Select a pending request and move it to the queue
- + Comment: Add a comment or description to the clockwheel that provides more information
- - Clear: Empty the clockwheel
- Load: Load a clockwheel format from a file
- Save: Save the current clockwheel format to a file
When you set your clockwheel, it will select a track from a specific category using the rules you configured. Once selected, it will go to the next clockwheel entry and repeat the process until all songs have been played. Then it will start over again.
Here’s an example of how to set a simple clockwheel:
- Click on “- Clear.”
- Click on “+ Category,” and the “Select category” window will pop up.
- On the left side of the window, select the “Tracks” category.
- On the right side of the window, choose a “Selection method,” which will determine what logic to employ when selecting a track.
- For example, “Least recently played song” will select the song that hasn’t been played for the longest time.
- For this exercise, leave “Enforce playlist rotation rules” checked and select “Lemming Rules (random logic),” then click “OK.”
- Your clockwheel script will look like this: Cat['Tracks'].QueueBottom(smLemmingLogic, EnforceRules);
- Click “OK” to save this configuration.
- With this configuration, SAM Broadcaster will only select a song from the “Tracks” category each time it requires a song for rotation.
Tips: We recommend using “NoRules” if you select items like “Station ID,” where the rules are too strict. You should also apply a balanced mix of logic methods to spread out the rotation across your music library.