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Playlist Rotation Rules

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As any professional DJ or program manager knows - you can not simply play songs randomly. Each station requires a format that makes the station unique and appeals to listeners. Also, with new laws like the DMCA, it is actually illegal to play songs in a random fashion. Luckily, SAM's powerful technology can take full control of your playlist rotation logic and allow you to be legal while sounding professional. This option is only found in SAM Broadcaster and SAM Party DJ.

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Basic Configuration

Playlist Rotation Rules as seen in SAM Broadcaster
Playlist Rotation Rules as seen in SAM Broadcaster

The following fields should be set to avoid playing the same song or artist too often. This is not only against DMCA rules, but actually makes for bad programming. Playing the same song 4 times in a row, or even 4 times in an hour can make the song become old to listeners.

  • Do not play the same album within [xx] minutes: At least [xx] minutes must pass before SAM will consider tracks from the same album for rotation again.
    • Note: In order for this rule to be applied effectively, you must make sure all songs in the playlist contain a valid album entry.
  • Do not play the same artist within [xx] minutes: At least [xx] minutes must pass before SAM will consider tracks from the same artist for rotation again.
    • Note: In order for this rule to be applied effectively, you must make sure all songs in the playlist contain a valid artist entry.
  • Do not play the same title within [xx] minutes: At least [xx] minutes must pass before SAM will consider the same title for rotation again. This includes songs with the same title, even if performed by different artists.
    • Note: Title is the song title only. For example, Elton John's Believe just played then Cher's Believe will not play until ths time has lapsed.
  • Do not play the same track within [xx] minutes: At least [xx] minutes must pass before SAM will play the same track.
    • Note: Track matches are for the SongID.
  • Keep [xx] songs in the queue: If you set this to 1 or more SAM will check the queue every 5 seconds, and if there is less than [xx] songs in the queue, SAM will insert another song to the bottom of the queue (Using the current playlist rotation logic).
  • Use ghost queue: If checked SAM will cache the next-to-play song in memory, allowing SAM to load the next song faster. This occurs because SAM does not have to apply any rotation logic at the moment of play. Highly recommended.
  • Cache queue count: will improves SAM's performance by not having to make a database query each time it wants to check if the queue is empty. The only time you should disable this is if you modify the SAM queue via external scripts and database queries.
    • Note: The above playlist rules are applied globally over SAM, including the request policy. You do have the power to override the rules at different places to fit your needs. (i.e. The above rules do not generally apply to promos, station ID's, etc.)



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Playlist Rotation Logic Modules

SAM comes with a few built-in logic modules to suit the needs of most broadcasters. Here follows a brief description of each:

  • Clockwheel (Category Rotation) logic module: This is the default and recommended playlist logic module. It allows you to easily specify the format of your station by selecting songs from categories in a certain order using certain selection methods.
  • Weighted Playlist rotation logic module: This module is very easy to use. It applies a basic weighted rotation . In other words, each song starts out with a weight of 60. Each time the song plays, it gets aged by decreasing the weight by a fraction, causing the song to be played less and less. Each time the song is requested, the weight is increased, causing the song to play more. Thus, weighted rotation is "self-maintained": new and popular songs will be played more often than old and unpopular songs.
  • Web scripting based logic module: This module will make SAM contact a website each time it requires a new song for rotation or if a certain song event (like a song being requested) occurs. Thus, if you know PHP, ASP, or any other web scripting language, you can take full control of SAM's playlist rotation logic by writing your own logic with a web scripting language.
    • Note: The PHP web template that ships with SAM has a very basic web scripting interface. You can use that as a basis for your own logic scripts.

Each logic module has its own configuration section. Select the logic module you want to use, then click on the Configure button for the configuration section of the selected logic module.

Note: More advanced playlist logic can be achieved with SAM Broadcaster's Playlist Automation

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