Myriad Schedule is a very powerful Scheduling system, but Clocks can be a little daunting when first starting out, which is why it offers a "Simple Clock" mode where you define certain Goals for your music policy, and then leave Schedule to work out the fine details of how achieve those goals.
Important: In this article we’ll use the word Goal a lot – this is because these are "goals", not rigid rules - the system is designed to aim for these results but if they can't be achieved exactly then Schedule is allowed to deviate very slightly - for example if there are no songs available that match certain criterion, or songs in one category are radically different from those in another category, then Schedule will dynamically adjust to make sure it still produces a schedule, even if that means the end results aren’t exactly spot on the original goal.
Simple Clock Category Goals
The main thing that determines how a Simple Clock will schedule is the Song Category Goals. These allow you to say which categories can be used to schedule a given hour, and also proportionally how MUCH of that hour should be made up of each category.
The key field here is the "Value" field - and the best way to think of this is as a "Weighting value" meaning “How likely is a song position to be chosen to be this Category vs the others to achieve my end aim for the hour?”
In the example clock above I have 3 categories - Pop, Dance and Country - along with some example weightings:
At the start of the hour, the Dance category is twice as likely to be selected compared with the Country category (because 20 is double 10, so therefore twice as likely), and the Pop Category 7 times more likely to be chosen than Country
Note: Many users choose to enter Values that add up to 100 in total as they can then be thought of as percentages, but they don’t have to add up to anything in total, just depends if you prefer that way.
This resulting weighting is then used as a "minutage" goal for the hour – i.e. out of the 60 total minutes of the hour, the goal is that 10% of the minutage of the hour should be Country (i.e. approx. 6mins), 20% is Dance (i.e. approx. 12 mins) and 70% is Pop (i.e. approx. 42 mins). Of course, this is an ideal world, where all songs are exactly the same length and can be fitted in neatly!
|Category||Weighting Value||Ideal Minutes in hour|
Therefore, if Schedule chooses a Country song that is 8 minutes long, then this will use up a substantial amount of the goal minutes for the Country category immediately, meaning it may well only be able to choose one more song from that category for this hour. In the meantime, we are still free to choose quite a few Dance and Pop songs to fill out the rest of the hour.
The advantage to this method is that if you have certain categories of songs where the average durations are radically different from others - think of 60s songs that are less that 3 minutes long - then you don't have to worry about what that means in terms of song counts per hour, just in terms of minutage - i.e. I want about 10% of my output to be retro 60s tracks, even if that means actually playing one more song that the equivalent number of songs for 90s songs.
Of course, in many situations you DO want absolute control over how many songs are chosen from each Category for a given hour, and that's where an Advanced Clock is more useful, as you can then lay down exactly which category should be used for each clock position.
Advanced Clocks but with Category Goals
There is a hybrid of the 2 above modes that is incredibly powerful - using Advanced Clocks, but with Category Goals. To do this, instead of specifying a Category for each clock position, specify those you MUST lock in - for example always playing an A-List song out of the news - but leave other slots free for Myriad Schedule to pick Categories. It will then use the Song Category Goals to choose these other slots, and even take into account the ones you've locked in place. For example, if you have set 2 song clock positions to be Pop, then thats perhaps 8 minutes of your Pop Goal already done, so we only need to consider (42-8)= 34 minutes worth of pop songs throughout the rest of the hour.