Myriad 5 Playout (v5.31 and higher) introduces the ability to play 'split' content to allow you to have individual adverts and jingles for different transmission paths.
There are two types of content that can be 'split' in Myriad 5 Playout.
- Split Advert Breaks - Used to play different adverts simultaneously for separate transmission paths.
- Split Groups - Used to play other content (jingles, sweepers, other content) simultaneously for separate transmission paths.
The traditional example use for this would be if you have a single station that transmits to two geographical areas (say Manchester & Liverpool for example). By using Splits, you could sell local advertising in both Manchester and Liverpool with all other content the same for both cities. You could further expand this by using Split Groups to brand each transmission area (Hot FM Manchester and Hot FM Liverpool) as well as localise other content such as weather, news or travel.
There are a couple of things you need to consider when planning your split playout system. Both advert breaks and Split Groups need to be the same duration so that the simultaneous playout finishes at the same time and both return to centralised content.
This is fairly easy to achieve with Split Groups, just create content that is the same duration. It is more complex with adverts because although Myriad Playout (in split mode) can time stretch split advert breaks, it will only do so within the normal maximum time stretch limits (around 3%) so the content of split advert breaks needs to be balanced by the advert scheduling system to get them to matching lengths. It is not possible to do this with the Advert Scheduling built into Myriad Schedule (or Advert Manager) so you will need to use a 3rd party solution such as AdMaster (AdMaster | Traffic and Billing software for Radio and Television).
In order to enabled Split Playout, you will need to have the following features enabled on your Myriad Playout system:
- Myriad Playout License with Splits enabled - This is a top level license feature that has to be enabled to allow the workstation to access and control Split Stations. Split playout is licensed 'per split' so you will need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to upgrade your license to cover the number of Split Stations (ie Hot Manchester + Hot Liverpool would be two Split Stations).
- Station Enabler per Split Station - You will also need to get Station Enabler codes for each Split Station you want to run. Splits Stations are a special variation on a standard 'Station' in Myriad Playout but they are restricted to only play Split Advert Breaks and Split Groups. The Station Enable also determines whether you can use OCP Standard or OCP Pro with this Split Station. In our example we would need to get two new Station Enablers (Hot Manchester and Hot Liverpool) from the Broadcast Radio team to allow the creation of the Split Stations.
- Multi-Station Mode - You need to enable this mode on all Myriad 5 Playout workstations that need to run Split Stations. Please note that switching to Multi-Station mode prevents switching between 'Stations' on the fly.
To discuss upgrading to Split Playout and which architecture will be best suited for your needs, contact email@example.com.
The next thing to consider is how you would like to design the architecture of your split playout system. In previous generations of our software, the options were fairly straightforward as studio playout (music, jingles etc) was performed by Myriad Playout and splits were played by separate software called Myriad Network which ran on a separate PC.
Splits Playout is now built directly into Myriad 5 Playout meaning that you have several options for how you deploy your Split Playout architecture.
There are far too many potential configurations to cover in a single document, but the three scenarios below will cover the majority of deployments.
Single workstation configuration
The simplest deployment is when you have a single Myriad Playout system (ie automation PC or a Cloud.Radio solution) and you want to add Split Playout to that system. The diagram below shows the fundamentals of this configuration.
All playout (both Log and Splits) is done from a single workstation. You would need a minimum of three sound cards outputs for this (one for Myriad Playout plus two for Splits). If this is a studio workstation connecting to a mixing console, you would need six sound card output (for individual channels for Myriad Playout plus two for Splits).
In either scenario, the combined audio output from Myriad Playout (Log) would need to be mixed 'downstream' with the audio output from Split 1 and Split 2 to create the two unique split outputs for feeding transmission.
In this setup, there would be a total of three Stations configured on the single Myriad Playout workstation, one would be a full Station and would play all the music, links and other content plus there would be two additional 'Split Stations' which only play adverts and Split Groups for each Split.
Traditional dedicated Split Playout
A more traditional approach is to have a dedicated workstation for Split Playout that sits 'down stream' of your studio or automation Myriad Playout system(s).
In this configuration, a cut down Myriad Playout license is required which will only allow the use of Split Stations. This can be installed on a dedicated PC and the 'On Air' Myriad Playout system can connect to the Split Playout workstation to trigger Split Adverts and Split Groups.
In this scenario, it is possible to switch 'On Air' control between Studio 1 and Studio 2 but you would also need to route the audio from Studio 2 to be mixed with the split content when broadcasting from Studio 2.
This configuration was the only option with Myriad Network and Myriad Network SE installations.
It is also possible to create a hybrid of these two configurations to allow Split Playout to be done within Myriad Playout but in a multi-studio environment.
In this configuration, the Myriad Playout licenses in both studios would need to be upgraded to allow Split Playout and you would also need to handle more complex audio routing to ensure the correct audio is fed from the On Air studio to your transmission chain.
Master / Slave expansion
In addition to the three configurations above, you can also expand your Split Playout system either locally or remotely with the addition of 'Slave' Split Playout systems that are controlled by a Master Split Playout system.
This type of architecture allows for near infinite expansion plus opens the possibility of Split Playout at alternative sites as Slave Split Playout systems are triggered by the Master but they do not report back to the Master system so this type of model can be used for a traditional network of geographically distributed stations that take central content but play localised adverts and other content.
The diagram above shows a Slave Split Playout system connected to a Master that is on a dedicated workstation but a Slave can also connect to a Master running on a combined Log / Split Myriad Playout system (as in diagrams 1 & 3) so Slave Split Playout can be used with all configurations.
Setting up Split Playout
The nature of Split Playout combined with a high number of possible configurations means it is not possible to cover all setup options within this document. The following section is intended as a guide to setting up a simple Split Playout system on a single workstation, but the process will be very similar for all configurations.
If you are struggling with Split Playout configuration then we recommend contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for more guidance or to discuss a remote configuration session.
In this example we are going to setup Myriad Playout to also include two Split Playout Stations. We will not be discussing methods for audio routing and mixing (aside from assigning soundcard output for each Split).
Before you start this process, ensure you have the following:
- Upgraded Myriad Playout License - This will allow 1 x Log Playout plus 2 x Split Playout (or more).
- Station Enabler Coder For Each Split Station - You will need an special Station Enabler code for each Split Stations.
- 2 x Additional Soundcard Outputs - You will need one per Split.
To obtain the necessary Licenses Codes and Station Enablers, speak to our team at email@example.com.
Once you are ready to proceed, follow these steps:
- Update your Myriad Playout license to enable Split Playout.
- In Myriad Playout, click on Settings Menu > Applications Settings and switch to the Options tab.
- In the Applications Station Mode section tick Multi Station Mode. Then click OK.
- You will be prompted to select the Station you want to open automatically (if you have not already got this set).
- Select the main Station that you want to use for Log Playout and click OK.
- Restart Myriad Playout.
- Next we want to add in the new Stations for each of our Splits. In Myriad Playout, go to Settings Menu > Database Settings > Database Settings and then click on the Stations tab.
- Click on the Add A New Split Player Station button to add your first Split Station.
- This will open the Edit Station Details window.
- Add in suitable Station Name.
- Set a Station ID this determines the order they Stations are displayed in lists. We recommend using a high number for your Split Stations so they are grouped at the end of your list of Stations but it is not vital and you can leave it as the default if you wish.
- You do not need to change any settings on the Station Options section.
- Click on OK.
- Repeat steps 8 to 14 to add in each additional Split Station you need. When you have finished you will see all your Split Stations listed under the Stations Tab.
- You need to close this window by clicking on OK. Then click on Settings Menu > Database Settings > Database Settings followed by Stations tab, this will reload the settings from the Database including your new Split Settings.
- You still need to apply the Station Enabler Code for each of these Split Stations to enable the Split Playout features.
- Click on the Station Details button for the first Split Station.
- Click on the Manage Enabler Code button.
- Paste in the provided Split Station Enabler code and click on Install.
- Repeat this process for all Split Stations.
- You should now see that each Split Station has Split Playout enabled in the list of Features. When you are happy, click OK.
- Next we are going to setup the soundcard outputs for each Split Station. To do this, click on Settings Menu > Applications Settings then the Options tab.
- In the Stations To Open section, tick the two Split Stations that were just setup (or as many as you have).
- Ensure the Media Engine drop down for each is set to Use Dedicated Engine.
- Click on the button to the right of each Split Station and select the Sound Device you want to use for playback for that Split Station.
The default setting is for six Media Players, the first four are used for Split Groups and the last two for advert playback. In the example above, all Media Players are set to use the same soundcard output. When you are happy click OK.
- Repeat this process for all Split Stations. You will need to restart Myriad Playout once you have setup all the sound device allocations.
- Next we are going to set a unique Shared External Reference that will be used by all the Split Stations to ensure they are correctly triggered by the Station Log.
- The first step is to set the Shared External Reference in the main Station. Go to the Stations Menu > Station Name (Hot FM) > Station.
Then go to the Splits tab.
You will see the Shared External Reference field at the top of the window. Type in a suitable unique reference. It does not matter what it is but you will need to accurately add the same reference to all Split Stations so make sure you make a note of it!
- While we are in this window, we will also set the Connect to Split Station mode.
There are a number of options here depending on whether you want to trigger Splits with a hardware event (for example satellite radio feed) or connect to a remote Split Playout system.
In this example, Station Log and Split Playout are on the same PC so we need to select Local Splits running within Myriad 5 Playout. There are also options for the amount of hours to check ahead for changes to the advert log as well as some other operational options. In this example, we will leave all the other options on the default settings so just click OK.
- The next step is to configure the Station Settings for each individual Split Station to use the Shared External Reference as well as set a few other options. Click on Settings Menu > Database Settings > Database Settings and then select the Stations tab. Then click on the icon for the first Split Station in the list.
- Switch to the Split Playback tab and then add the Shared External Reference exactly as previously in step 28 (we recommend pasting it to ensure it is identical).
The other options in this tab allow you to configure this Split Station as a 'Slave' (see Master / Slave Expansion) by adding in the name or IP address of the 'Master' Split Station.
Finally, you can set whether Split Advert Breaks and/or Split Groups are time stretched / shrank to fit the duration in the Log. Please note that standard maximum stretch / shrink percentages apply.
- While we are have this window open, we will also configure the location and file name/format for the Advert Log files that will be used for this Split Station. Switch to the Adverts tab.
In here you can set the network Log Directory location that the Log files will be available from. You can also set a file Prefix and Filename Date Format etc. These need to march the format that your Advert Scheduling system will export.
In the example above, the Advert Scheduling system will need to generate a Advert Log file called MancMon.log in the C:\HotRadioV5\Data\Logs\Adverts\ folder. The Hot Manchester Split Station will use this file for adverts on a Monday. There are a lot of options to allow you to match the file output of your Advert Scheduling system with the ingest process. Click on OK when you have finished adding the relevant details.
- Repeat steps 30 to 32 for each Split Station.
- Once you have set the Shared External Reference and Log file settings for each Split Station, Myriad Playout is essentially setup for to play split content, however, there are a few more steps to complete before you are ready to use them on air!
Creating Split Groups
Split Groups are used to play split content (other than adverts) on your Split Stations. The more obvious use is for playing split jingles (ie HotFM Manchester & HotFM Liverpool) but you can use Split Groups for any type of content that needs to be different on Split Stations.
You can setup a maximum 400 Split Groups with a Media ID set to be played for each Split Station within the Split Group.
Remember that as Media Items can also be lists or rotating lists of other Media Items, it is possible to have a single Split Group that will play multiple Media Items (either in a list, randomly or in rotation), however, it is important to remember that the duration of Media Items within a Split Group should all be the same!
To setup your Split Groups, follow these steps:
- Click on Settings Menu > Database Settings > Split Groups.
- This window allows you to set the Media ID for each configured Split Station for each of the 400 Split Groups.
- Start by adding a Name for the Split Group. In the example above we are naming Split Group 1 as 'Network Station Jingle'.
- If you want Myriad to time stretch the content in the Split Group to an exact duration, tick the Time Stretch option and set the target duration.
In the example above, each of the Media Items in the Split Group will be time stretched or shrunk to be 5 seconds exactly.
- Next add in the Media ID for each Split Station that should be played when this Split Group is triggered.
In the example above we have a jingle at Media ID 19 that is for Hot Manchester and one at Media ID that is for Hot Liverpool. The duration for each is around 5 seconds already but as we have set this Split Group to time stretch / shrink to 5 seconds, any small discrepancies will be corrected.
- Repeat these steps for all the Split Groups you want to configure.
Please note that for convenience, Split Groups are arranged in sets of 20 which can be renamed within this window. This is because Split Group sets can also be accessed by the Favourites tab and manually triggered by presenters. They can also be manually dragged into the Log from the Favourites tab.
Please note that Split Groups are only displayed in Favourites on the Myriad Workstation that has On Air Control of your Split Stations.
Adding Split Advert and Split Groups to your Clocks on Myriad Schedule
Split Advert breaks
Just like regular advert breaks, Split Advert breaks need to be added to your Clocks on Myriad Schedule to allow Myriad Playout to know where to place the adverts in the Log. We will assume you are familiar with Myriad Schedule and comfortable working with Clocks in this document but extensive documentation and tutorial videos are available regarding Myriad Schedule if required.
To add Split Adverts breaks to an existing Clock, follow these steps:
- Click on Station Menu > Station Name > Edit Myriad Schedule Clocks.
You can also access the Clocks via the stand along Myriad Schedule application.
- Select the Clock you want to add a Split Advert break to and then click on Edit Clock (or double click on it).
- You can see that in this example Clock, we already have some standard Advert Breaks which need to be removed and replaced with Split Advert breaks. If you do not have standard Advert Breaks then obviously you can skip over the next step.
- To remove an existing Advert Break, click on the X button to right of that item in the Clock.
- To add in a new Split Advert, drag the Split Advert Break Clock Item from from left hand 'tree' to the desired position in the Clock.
- This will add the new Split Advert break to the Clock. But the Advert Reference Time will be set to xx:00:00.00. This will need to be changed to match the Advert Reference Time used by your Advert Scheduling system.
- Double click on the Clock Item (or click on Spl.Advert) to edit the details for the Split Advert break.
- Add in the Reference Time and click OK. Please note this Reference Time needs to match a Reference Time in the Advert Log Files (generated by your Advert Scheduling system) so Myriad Playout know where to place adverts in the Log. When you are happy, click on OK.
- Repeat this process for all the Split Advert breaks you need in the Clock.
- Repeat this whole process for all Clocks that need Split Advert breaks.
Once this process is compete, the next time you schedule, the Log will contain empty Split Advert breaks ready to be filled from your advert log files.
Split Groups can be added to your Clocks in much the same way.
- Click on Station Menu > Station Name > Edit Myriad Schedule Clocks.
You can also access the Clocks via the stand along Myriad Schedule application.
- Select the Clock you want to add a Split Advert break to and then click on Edit Clock (or double click on it).
- Drag the Split Group Clock Item from the left hand 'tree' to where you want it in the Clock.
- To change the Split Group, click on the option and select the Split Group you want from the list.
- When you have finished adding Split Groups to your Clock, click on OK. Remember to do this for all Clocks that need to have Split Groups!
When you schedule the next period, Split Advert Breaks and Split Groups will be added to the Log. The 'On Air' workstation will then automatically load Split adverts from the appropriate Advert Log file in two hour sections. The system periodically checks the Advert Log files (every 5 minutes) and will update the Split Advert breaks if the Advert Log files are updated.
In the studio, the main Log will display a single 'Split Advert Break' Log item of the correct duration and when the Split Advert Break is played, progress will be displayed in the Dashboard (just like any other Log Item) but the Split Stations will play the individual adverts within the advert break.
The same is also true if Split Groups are played from the Log.
Displaying Splits within Myriad Playout
As with other elements in Myriad Playout, you can use the Dynamic Layout feature to customise how Splits are are displayed on your Myriad Playout system.
To make incorporating Split Stations into your Dynamic Layouts as easy as possible a new Split Manager Tile can be used which will amalgamate all the Split Stations and Split Groups that share the Shared External Reference, into a single tile on your Myriad Playout system.
We have provided two pre-built Dynamic Layouts that include Split Manager tiles to help you get started.
Default layout with Splits
The Default With Splits layout adds a Splits tab to the Log Tile to allow you toggle between a view of the main Log and the configured Splits.
The Default With Splits layout config file can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this article or you can visit https://www.broadcastradio.com/dynamic-layout-gallery to view all Dynamic Layouts.
Dedicated Splits layout
Alternatively, if you are building a dedicated Split Playout workstation then you may prefer to use our Dedicated Split layout.
The configuration file for this layout is also included in the links at the bottom of this page as well as being available from our Dynamic Layout gallery page - https://www.broadcastradio.com/dynamic-layout-gallery
In either case, you may need to modify the Dynamic Layout configuration files to adjust the amount of Split Stations displayed or to alter the Station ID's used for the Main Station.
For more information on how to edit Dynamic Layouts see - Creating & Editing Dynamic Layouts In Myriad 5 Playout.
Split control status
When you take On Air control from a Myriad Playout workstation, you also take control of all Split Stations that share the same 'Shared External Reference'. This allows you to do a visual check to ensure you have taken control of the correct amount of Split Stations.
If an issue is detected, these Split Status indicators will change colour to alert you.
Presenting a show using Split Advert breaks and Split Groups
The best way to use both Split Advert Breaks and Split Groups is to either schedule them into the Log or manually drag them into the Log. Once in the Log, both Split Advert breaks and Split Groups can be treated like any other Log Item.
Playing Split Advert breaks
This example is using the Default with Splits Dynamic layout (see previous section)
In the screen shot above, you can see that the next item in the Log is a Split Advert Break.
Once the Split Advert Break is the current Log Item, you can see they progress of the break in the Dashboard but as the Split Stations are playing the actual advert content, none of the standard Media Players are in use.
If we switch to the Split Manager tab, you can see the progress of the individual Split Advert Breaks.
Miss-matched or missing Advert breaks
It is important that Split Advert breaks match in duration as if one break is longer than another, it will either result in returning to main Log playout too early or one of the split transmission paths having a period of silence.
As the screen shot above shows, the Split Manager tile will flag any miss-matched durations by displaying a red background on the Duration section.
A more serious issue is if an Advert Break is missing from one or more of the Split Stations. In this scenario, the Split Manager tile will set the background for the missing Advert break to be red.
In either case, you will need to contact your Advert Scheduling department to correct the issue in the Advert Log files prior to broadcast.
Playing Split Groups
Now let's see how a Split Group works.
In the Log, you can see that a Split Group is coming up in a couple of Log Items.
As with the Split Advert, the Split Group is displayed in the Dashboard when it is active (but not played by the local players!).
In addition to playing Split Groups from the Log, you can also manually trigger them in two ways.
If you switch to the Split Manager tab then you can manually trigger a Split Group by clicking on it in the Split Groups section.
Alternatively, you can also view and trigger Split Groups from the Network section of Favourites.
You can use these just like any other Favourite so you can play the Split Group by clicking on the Favourite or you can drag it into the Log.
Dumping Split Advert breaks and Split Groups
If you need to dump either a Split Advert break or a Split Group and carry on with the Log, click on the Split Manager tab and then click on either Dump any playing Groups or Dump any playing breaks as required.
Setting up Split Playout on a dedicated 'splits' PC
In the example above, we setup Split Playout to be done on the same PC that is running Myriad Playout and for splits content to be played from special Split Stations within the Myriad Playout application. But what if you want to have a dedicated PC to run just your splits?
This is the more traditional configuration used for older Myriad Network SE installations and there are advantages to configuring your system this way which include:
- Simplified audio routing.
- Myriad Playout in the studio does not change.
To setup Split Playout on a dedicated PC, first you will need to install and license Myriad Playout on that PC. We will provide (on request) an additional Myriad Playout license that is restricted to only allow Split Stations (so you cannot use it for main playout) at no additional charge, however, you will need to purchase (or subscribe) the Split Station Enabler codes, one per split.
Once you have installed and licensed Myriad Playout on your dedicated Split Playout PC, run through the steps above as the vast majority of the process is identical.
When you get to Step 29, instead of using the 'Local Split' option, use the Myriad Playout v5 based Split on a remote computer option and add in the IP address of the dedicated splits PC.
This setting resides in the main Playout Station so when you transfer On-Air control between studios (if you have multiple studios), the control off the Splits will also transfer.
The rest of the setup is basically the same as when setting up Splits to run in the local Myriad Playout instance.
This configuration can also be used with a central 'Automation' PC that is sometimes used for main Playout (to free the studios) but always used for Split Playout. In this scenario, the Myriad License would need to allow both standard Playout Stations and Split Stations (in Multi-Station mode). When you are broadcasting from Myriad Playout in a studio, the configuration would be just as in the diagram above. When the 'automation PC' has on-air control, playout would come from that workstation and it would connect to itself to play split content. This will allow you to use your hardware most efficiently.
Adding additional 'Slave' Split Playout PCs
If you need to add multiple dedicated Split Playout pc's then you can 'daisy chain' them to allow you to build a network of local or even remotely located Split Playout systems.
The setup for this scenario is slightly different as the 'slave' Split Playout needs to connect to a 'master' Split Playout (either dedicated or running within standard Myriad Playout) via IP address.
To configure an additional 'slave' Split Playout PC, you will need to have Myriad Playout installed and licensed on the PC, as above, we can provide a free host Myriad Playout license but you will need to purchase (buyout or subscription) an additional Split Station Enabler license.
To connect the 'slave' Split Playout to the 'master' Split Playout, you need to go to Settings Menu > 'slave' Split Station Name > Station Settings to edit the Station Setting for the specific Split Station.
On the Station Settings window, switch to the Split Playback tab.
Select the option for Connect to Myriad Playout v5 Split Stion over the network to act as this split's 'Split Controller' option and enter the IP address of the 'master' Split Station.
In this configuration, the 'master' Split Station will get triggers to play split content from the Myriad Playout system with 'On Air' control and will pass these on to all 'slave' Split Stations that are connected to it. These can be on the local network or on a remote network with appropriate IP connectivity.
Need more assistance
Configuring Split Playout can be a complex process as there are a high number of configuration options as well as 3rd part software and audio routing challenges to consider. If you need some additional assistance, talk to our team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to explore remote configuration or onsite installation options.