Myriad Playout contains a large number of settings that allow you to exercise a very high degree of control over it's behaviour, and one area that can make a big difference to how your log plays back are the Scheduled Log Settings on the Station Settings window.
1: "Number of items ahead to pre-cue and show in the dashboard"
Apart from the obvious of how many items to show in the dashboard, this is also how many items are actively being held in the Log Playback Engine's memory.
This means the actual play instructions for those log items are loaded into the engine ready to be executed without any need to do a round trip to the database when “go” is pressed.
2. Additional number of log items ahead to cache (experimental)
This is how many additional items are ALSO held in memory in the engine ready to be executed without a round trip to the database, but are not being shown in the Dashboard.
The higher this number is set, then the longer Myriad Playout can run without the SQL server even being available.
For example, if you had a problem with the Microsoft SQL Server software, such that it was no longer responding to requests for information, Myriad would be able to carry on for this many items before it could no longer operate.
The downside to setting this number very high is that it means that Myriad has to watch much more of the log for any changes, so can slow Myriad down slightly.
In the screen shot above, this has been set to to 45 items, and for our fictional station, let us assume that covers the next 2 hours worth of log items in the Scheduled Log. Therefore ANY changes to ANY of those 45 items will result in Myriad having to check and update the log playback engine.
3. Number of items to fully cue into players
This determines how many items from those held in memory (based on the above settings) are actually cued ready in the Media Players - i.e. the audio file has been opened, and the first audio data of the audio files are held in memory ready to be played out.
On older or slower systems, this setting was necessary as those systems would sometimes be slow to actually cue and play the audio, however with modern systems being so fast at delivering content from network data locations to the PC’s, this is no longer an issue.
Instead, this setting is more often used so that presenters in the studio are able to see in advance which player (and therefore mixing desk channel) the next item and the one after that and so on are going to play out of - for example if this was set to "2", then the next item would be cued into a player, AND the item after that, so you can easily see which faders will be being used.