SYSTEM OVERVIEW

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INITIAL FILE STORAGE

Data is recorded into the computer via CD ripping or other third party recording software. Once recorded, data is saved on hard drive for mass storage. For easy and rapid access to the files, the data (songs) may be categorized into specific directories.



OVERLAP TIME, INTRO TIME, and FILE TAGGING

In order for transitions (segues) to occur seamlessly, transitions between songs (segues) should sound as if a live disk jockey were in the studio. Automatronix simulates this condition by monitoring and adjusting the time one file ends, and the next one starts. By allowing the operator to set the transition times of each file, seamless transitions will occur, resulting in a consistent, smooth program flow.

Each file (song) has a unique spot which would be a practical point to segue to the next song. A
selection that ends 'cold' (no fade) would have a different segue point then a song that fades. This point can be identified by simply listening to the song and 'tagging' this point. This would actually identify when the next song starts. This is a convenient, simplistic method to identify each song uniquely, hereinafter called the OVERLAP TIME.

Conversely, each vocal song has a time period from the start of the first note, to a point where the talent begins to sing (sometimes identified as the 'post time'). By 'tagging' this point, the INTRO TIME of each song can be easily identified.

Automatronix includes a FILE TAGGER program, that enables the operator to rapidly 'tag' each file with an identifier that makes Automatronix identify the OVERLAP TIME, and INTRO TIME of each file. Once each file is properly tagged, seamless transitions will appear 'live', as if someone was controlling the songs LIVE. See the File tagger instructions to operate the File Tagger program.



PLAYING FILES and EVENTS

For simplicity, break down the system block diagram into 3 areas: play items, events, and hot keys.

HOT KEYS- Automatronix contains 6 'Hot Keys' (see HotKey programming for specifics on setup and operation). which can be accessed independently of all other functions. By the simple click of a mouse (or keyboard press), HotKeys will play on the air, independent of the 3 main players

PLAY ITEMS- Any files can be played in the playlist area. Through the use of point-and-click action, any combination of files can be aired in an unlimited combination. Playlists can be saved, opened, and accessed for rapid file/format changes or transitions.

SUB PLAYLISTS- A 'sub' playlist can be programmed into any playlist. This allows specific files to remain sequential within itself, while still randomizing the main playlst. An example would be introducing a specific song with a specific voice-over track. This feature is also useful when a specific group of files is to be played that needs to have the play order unmodified in that specific list. When listed in the main playlist, it contains the .MPL extension. A sub-playlist can also be programmed into the event scheduler.

RANDOM SELECTION PLAY FILES- A playlist can be saved with the *.RPL file extension which, when selected by the main playlist, selects a file at random from the *.RPL playlist. The greater the number of files saved in the .rpl playlist, the better the randomization of the list. Each time an *.rpl file is accessed, Automatronix selects at random a file from the list, and loads into the appropriate player.

ROTATE/RANZONIZE FILES- A playlist can be saved with the *.ROT or *.RNR extension, which, when selected by the main playlist, selects a file in the order it is listed in the file. It then sets an internal index in the file, so that it can go to the next file in the list. When it reaches the end, it starts over. the *.RNR feature adds a ranzomize feature when reaching the end of the list. This type of file is usefull when creating selective formats from the main playlist, where you don't want repeats from the format.

SEGUE/VOICE OVER- The operator has the additional ability to add 'voice-over' files between song segues. By the insertion of a VOICE OVER file, Automatronix automatically fits the voice-over file between the overlap time of a song ready to end, and matches the INTRO TIME of the next song by holding off the start of the next song during the voice over, and 'back-timing' to the 'post' time of the next song. The result is effectively that of a live announcer 'talking-up' the next song. NOTE- If the voice-over file plays into a song without an intro time, it will start after the voice-over file. However , if this occurs on a SUB playlist, they will start at the same time. This is useful when you want to start a voice-over file as the song starts.

EVENTS- Any activity that is repetitive in nature, requires time/date sensitive implementation or cut-away from regular programming can be considered an event (see Event programming to learn more about programming events). Events that are scheduled to operate within a designated start period will load into the eventlist. When the load window time is reached, the scheduled event will load into the players, and start within the specified event's parameters. The event will cycle through the files in the event list, completing the event. NOTE- The events will interact with songs in a unique fashion. Events can be programmed as IMMEDIATE OR APPROXIMATE, and will smoothly transition in and out of transitions.

REMOTE INPUTS- Automatronix can open up external inputs on sound card. This is useful when a station pauses for news feeds, remotes, etc. Through the use of creating blank (no audio) files of minimized bandwidth/sample rate, and naming this file with specific codes, the user can control the external inputs for specified durations and times. These types of files can be inserted in either a playlist or eventlist.

SATELLITE CONTROL- Automatronix can be remotely controlled from a selected RS-232 serial port, or via TCP/IP communications. This can be useful when using a satellite-based music system, and Automatronix events are used for prescheduled breaks and hotkeys for liners, ID's etc.

SATELLITE ENABLE/DISABLE FILES- Useful when programming Automatronix to enter or exit Satellite Mode at a scheduled time. These files utilize the *.SAT and *.CLR extensions, and are only used in the Event Scheduler.

last modified 10/03/07

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