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SOS Blackouts

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Scheduled Blackouts Window

SOS' "Scheduled Blackouts" window found in the Control Window
SOS' "Scheduled Blackouts" window found in the Control Window

The interface allows you to Add, Edit or Delete a scheduled blackout.

A blackout is a period of time where the source stream must be covered with other content. A good example where blackouts are needed is when a terrestrial station broadcasts a live sports event. They purchased the rights to broadcast the event over the air, but another company has the right to broadcast online. This usually forces a station to shut down their online stream during that duration.

With SOS this is no longer required as SOS can fill in that time with music and other content.

Add/Edit blackout:

  • Event name – Give the event a name so you can easily identify the blackout event.
  • Intro file – An optional file to play as soon as the blackout starts. This is useful to announce to the online listeners that you are entering a blackout period, or relay any other information you want to the online listener.
  • Outro file – An optional file to play when the blackout period is over.
  • Programming source – Here you tell SOS what kind of content to send to online viewers during the blackout period.
    • Silence – The complete blackout duration will be just silence.
    • Playlist – An M3U playlist containing a list of tracks to play during the blackout period. SOS will play this list from top to bottom. If the duration of all the tracks in the list is longer than the blackout period, SOS will stop playback of this list once the blackout period is over. If the list is shorter than the blackout period, then SOS will fill the remaining time with silence. We thus recommend you always put in more tracks in the list than is required by the blackout period. Clicking on this button will open up a File browse dialog which will allow you to specify the filename of the playlist.
    • SAM – Another great way to provide a list of tracks to SOS is using a specially compiled version of SAM Broadcaster. You can configure SAM Broadcaster with certain playlist automation rules and it will provide SOS with a well defined rotation of tracks on the fly. That way you never have to worry about generating playlists for each and every blackout. SAM Broadcaster will always provide a fresh rotation list based on your rotation settings. As an added bonus SOS can actually pick up scheduled advertisements in SAM Broadcaster and properly overlay those – so you do not have to lose revenue during the blackout period.
    • HTTP – A list of tracks can also be provided via an HTTP call to a remove webserver. Clicking this button will bring up a dialog that allows you to enter the URL to the script running on the webserver that will provide the track information.

A blackout either happens only once, or on a regular interval. If it happens only once for a special event – then you only need to set the start date/time and the duration of the blackout as specified below:

Start date/time – the date and time the blackout will start.

Blackout duration – the total duration of the blackout, in hh:mm format.

  • Note: In the near future we will actually specify the end time of the blackout.

Otherwise, if the blackout happens on a regular interval, you can schedule the blackout via the Recurring blackout interface. Click the Make recurring button to show this interface. On this interface you need to specify the Months, Weekdays, Days in a month, Hours and Minutes the blackout will start on.

For example: If you have checked the 10 and 50 minutes, 08 hour, all the days, only the Sunday weekday and again all the months – then you basically specified that two blackouts will happen per week i.e. 8:10am, Sunday and 8:50am, Sunday

Blackout duration – the total duration of the blackout, in hh:mm format.

See Appendix C for more details on blackouts in SOS.

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