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Centova Cast Manual 2.2.8




 

 

1. Accessing Your Account

1.1. Logging In

Your hosting provider should have provided a username and password to access your account, as well as an URL at which you may login. To access your account, simply launch the login URL and enter your username and password to login.

1.2. Retrieving Your Password

If you have forgotten your password, you may reset it using theForgot password?link at the bottom of the login page. Simply enter the E-mail address on file for your account, and instructions for resetting your password will be sent to you via E-mail.

If you no longer have access to the E-mail account on file, you will need to contact your hosting provider to have your password changed manually.

2. Dashboard

Immediately after logging in, you will be presented with the dashboard view for your account. The dashboard provides the following information:

  • Current listeners: Indicates the number of listeners currently tuned in to your stream, as well as the maximum number of listeners your stream will accomodate.

  • Host and Port: Indicate the hostname and port number of your stream, respectively.

  • Data transfer: Indicates the total data transfer used by your stream to for this month, as well as your monthly data transfer limit.

  • Disk quota: Indicates the amount of disk space used by your uploaded media (if any), as well as your disk space limit.

  • Maximum bit rate: Indicates the bit rate limit configured for your stream.

  • Projected data transfer: Indicates the amount of data transfer that your stream will use this month if usage remains consistent for the remainder of the month.

  • Recent tracks: Provides a list of up to 10 of the most recently played songs or tracks on your stream, as well as the times at which those tracks were played.

The dashboard, like all other pages in the client area, also provides a number of options for managing your server. These options, shown grouped into sections at the left-hand side of the page, include:

  • The Realtime Stats section provides information about the status of the your stream, including the following:

    •  
      • Listeners: indicates the number of listeners currently tuned-in to your stream.

      • Server Status: indicates the status of your streaming server (online or offline).

      • Source Status: indicates the status of your streaming source (online, offline, or remote).

      • Source Connected: indicates whether or not a stream source is connected to your server.

  • The Management section provides options for managing the your account. These options are described in detail below. They include:

    •  
      • Overview: Launches the dashboard, described above.

      • Configure Server: Provides access to the settings for your streaming server, described in the Server Configuration section below.

      • View Current Listeners: Provides information about the listeners who are currently listening to your stream at this moment in time.

      • View Statistics: Provides access to the statistics for your account, described in the Statistics section below.

      • View Logs: Provides access to the logs for this account, described in the Server Logs section below.

      • Server Administration: Provides access to the internal server administration interface provided by your streaming server software (SHOUTcast or IceCast). For more information, please consult the documentation for your streaming server software.

      • Quick Links: Provides a number of useful links and login information for managing and working with your stream.

      • Code Snippets: Provides a number of JavaScript code snippets that you can use on your own web site to display information about your stream.

      • Manage Playlists: Launches the playlist manager for your streaming source (if enabled), described in the Playlist Manager section below.

      • Media Library: Launches your media library (if enabled), described under the Media Library section below.

  • The Server Control section provides controls for stopping and starting your streaming server. These options include:

    •  
      • Start Server: Starts your streaming server (and streaming source, if enabled).

      • Stop Server: Shuts down your streaming server (and streaming source, if enabled). This will disconnect any listeners that may be tuned into your stream, and will take your stream offline.

      • Restart Server: Shuts down your streaming server, then immediately starts it again. This will disconnect any listeners that may be tuned into your stream. Restarting your server may be necessary to apply certain configuration changes, and is equivalent to manually stopping, then starting your server.

      • Reload Server: Attempts to re-load your server configuration and playlist without disconnecting any listeners or interrupting your stream. This will apply many configuration changes, but a full restart may be necessary in some cases.

      • Skip Song: Skips to the next song in your playlist. This option is only available if using the server-side streaming source.

      • Deactivate Source: De-activates the server-side stream source (if enabled for your account). If you want to switch from pre-programmed content to a live stream, you can use this feature to stop your server-side stream source before connecting your live stream source. When you finish your live broadcast, simply disconnect your live stream source and click the Activate Source button to re-activate your server-side stream source and return to pre-programmed content.

  • A stream information bar is also displayed at the bottom of each page, and is updated approximately every 30 seconds to reflect your stream's status. This includes the current track and bitrate of your stream, your stream's name, and links to tune into the stream using various media players.

 

3. Server Configuration

Centova Cast provides access to a wide range of settings for your account which are broken down into several tabbed sheets. Some settings may differ based on the type of streaming server or streaming source being used by your hosting provider, and these differences are noted below.

The following tabs are available:

3.1.1. Stream

The stream tab includes general settings that will be required for virtually all accounts. These include:

Stream title

Specifies the title for the stream. This will be displayed by listeners' media players when they tune into the stream.

E-mail address

Specifies your E-mail address. Centova Cast will automatically send notifications to this address when necessary.

Company/organization

Specifies your company/organization name.

Website URL

Specifies the URL to the web site associated with this stream (if any).

Source password

Specifies the password required by streaming sources to connect to this stream and begin broadcasting.

Administrator password

Specifies the password required to login to your Centova Cast account or the streaming server's internal administrative interface.

Time zone

Specifies your time zone. This will affect the display of times in areas such as the Scheduled Playlist editor.

Character encoding

Specifies your preferred character encoding. MP3 audio files do not contain any information about the language or “character set” in which they were encoded, so if you are using a non-Latin character set (Russian, etc.), you will need to set your character encoding appropriately to ensure that all of the letters in the alphabet of your language are interpreted correctly from your media.

3.1.2. AutoDJ

The AutoDJ tab includes options for configuring your stream's autoDJ, if enabled by your stream hosting provider. These settings are only required if you are permitted to upload media (MP3 files, etc.) to the server. If you will be providing your own, offsite source (such as a live broadcast, using something like WinAmp with the Oddcast plugin, or SAM Broadcaster) then the autoDJ may be disabled.

Options include:

AutoDJ status

Specifies whether the server-side streaming source should be enabled. Options include:

  • Disabled: If selected, server-side streaming support is turned off. This setting is necessary if you plan to provide your own streaming source.

  • Enabled: If selected, server-side streaming support will be turned on. This setting is necessary if you plan to upload your media library to the server and will not be providing your own streaming source.


    Note that if the autoDJ is enabled, but no media (eg: MP3 files) have been uploaded, or media has not been added to an enabled playlist, the server will fail to start. As such, be sure to upload at least one track, and add one or more tracks to an enabled General Rotation playlist, before starting the server with autoDJ support enabled.

    Royalty reporting capability

If enabled, the autoDJ will include a small tracking code at the end of the song titles shown in your listeners' media players. For example, instead of:

Artist Name – Song Title

You might see the following instead:

Artist Name – Song Title [C51B]

This allows detailed reports to be generated (on the Tracks tab of the View Statistics page) containing most of the information needed to make reports to the appropriate entities for royalty determination purposes.

If this option is disabled, the generated reports will be much less detailed and may not contain sufficient information for accurate royalty reporting purposes.

Rebuild playlist on startup

Specifies whether the playlist should be rebuilt automatically every time the server is started or restarted. If enabled, Centova Cast will re-index your media library and build a new playlist every time the server is started or restarted. If disabled, the same playlist will always be used unless you manually update it.

Note that if no playlist exists, Centova Cast will always build one regardless of this setting. Also note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e., when using ices-cc), this setting is ignored or hidden.

Randomize playlist

Specifies whether the playlist should be randomized automatically by the streaming source. Enabling this setting is not recommended as it will interfere with Centova Cast's “Interval” playlist type. Instead, set your “General Rotation” playlists to play in random order.

Note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e., when using ices-cc), this setting is ignored or hidden.

Genre

Specifies the genre of your stream.

Mount point

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

Specifies the mount point to which the streaming source should connect. If unsure, simply set this to/streamas a default value.

Description

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your hosting provider.

Specifies a description for your stream, which is used when submitting metadata to various directories.

3.1.3. Start Page

The Start Page tab includes options for configuring the stream “start page” provided by Centova Cast.

Activate start page

Specifies whether or not the start page will be available for your stream.

Enable song request widget

Specifies whether or not the Song Request widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet). If enabled, users may use the song request widget to request songs, and the requests will be sent to your E-mail address.

Enable on-demand content widget

Specifies whether or not the On-Demand Content widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet). If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a media browser with which the visitor can browse, download, or stream any media that you've published in your “ondemand” folder.

Enable recent tracks widget

Specifies whether or not the Recent Tracks widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet). If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a list of tracks and authors which have played recently. If you have an Amazon.com access key ID, this feature can also display album covers for each track.

Number of recent tracks

Specifies the number of tracks which will be shown in the Recent Tracks widget.

Enable Google Maps widget

Specifies whether or not the start page will use Google Maps to plot the geographic locations of your listeners on a world map in realtime. This option may not be available depending on how Centova Cast has been configured by the administrator.

Amazon access key ID

Specifies your Amazon.com access key ID. If specified, Centova Cast will automatically fetch album cover images from Amazon.com to be displayed in the “recent tracks” list. This will also activate a “Buy album” link next to each album, and any sales generated through these links will be credited toward your Amazon.com affiliate account. This option may not be available depending on how Centova Cast has been configured by the administrator.

3.1.4. Files

The Files tab includes options for uploading various sound files for use by the streaming server. These include:

Introduction file

Specifies the introduction media file for the stream. The introduction file is an MP3 file that is played immediately after each listener connects, before tuning in to the live stream. This may be useful for for station identification or advertisement purposes.

Fallback file

Specifies the fallback media file for the stream. The fallback file is an MP3 file that is played in a loop if the source stream disconnects. Without a fallback file, listeners will either hear silence, or be disconnected entirely if the source stream disconnects.

3.1.5. Master Relaying

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

The Master Relaying tab includes options for setting up a master relay for another IceCast server. Using Master Relay, the remote IceCast server essentially becomes the source for your own server, and all of the mount points from the remote server are made available on your server.

Options include:

Master server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master port

Specifies the port number of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master update interval

Specifies the interval at which the remote stream's configuration is replicated to the local server.

Master username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Master password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

3.1.6. Mountpoint Relaying

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

The Mountpoint Relaying tab includes options for setting up a relay for a single stream on a remote server. Using Mountpoint Relay, the remote stream essentially becomes the source for your own server, and listeners tuning into your server will hear the remote server's stream.

Options include:

Stream server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream port

Specifies the port number of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream mount point

Specifies the mount point for the desired stream on the remote server. If the remote server is a SHOUTcast server, you should specify/streamhere.


Local
mount point

Specifies the mount point for the relayed stream on the local server. If in doubt, you can specify/streamhere as a default value.


Stream username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Stream password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

Relay metadata

If enabled, the metadata provided by the remote streaming server will be passed through to your own listeners. If disabled, the locally-configured metadata will be used instead.

3.1.7. Advanced

Note: the settings available on this tab will vary depending on the server software being used by your hosting provider. As such ,they are broken down into two sections below.

The Advanced tab includes options for configuring various advanced settings, and normally does not need to be adjusted.

3.1.8. Advanced: IceCast

When using IceCast as your streaming server, options include the following. Please consult the IceCast documentation for more information about these options.

Directory listings URL

Specifies the URL to your directory listings or “yellow pages” service.

Directory listings port

Specifies the port number of your directory listings or “yellow pages” service.

Suppress metadata

Prevents IceCast from sending song artist/title information to your listeners.

Relay password

Specifies the password required to relay your stream, if any.

4. Current Listeners

Centova Cast provides a comprehensive overview of the listeners who are currently tuned into your stream. The current listener report includes the following information:

  • Current Listener List

    • Country:
      Indicates the country in which the listener is located, if this information available.

    • IP Address:
      Indicates the IP address of the listener.

    • User Agent:
      Indicates the name and version of the software with which the user has connected to your stream.

    • Agent Type:
      Indicates the type of software being used by the user; either a player (a standard media player used to listen to music) or a ripper (a program which can “steal” music from your stream and save it on the listener's PC).

    • Listen Time:
      Indicates the total length of this listener's session.

  • Top Countries
    Provides a breakdown of the top countries from which listeners are currently tuned in to you stream. The country list is ranked by number of listeners from each country.

  • Top User Agents
    Provides a breakdown of the top software with which your listeners are connected to your stream.

  • Geographic Listener Locations
    Provides a realtime world overview of your current listeners' geographic locations, plotted on a world map. This service is provided by Google Maps and may or may not be available depending on how your administrator has configured Centova Cast.

5. Statistics

Centova Cast provides the most comprehensive streaming radio statistics system commercially available today. It provides information about listener trends and demographics, data transfer, track performances and popularity, user agents, and much, much more.

To access your statistics, click theView Statisticslink in your client area. The statistics available are described in the following sections.

5.1. Recent Activity

The recent activity report provides a high-level overview of your stream statistics, including details of listener trends, average session times, total listening hours, data transfer, track playback, and more.

  • Listener Minutes
    This section contains information about listener trends over the past 7, 14, and 30 days, which help you determine how your stream's audience is developing over time.

    The total listening hours (TLH) is also provided for the selected period, which may be useful if you need to report to a royalty/licensing authority.

  • Listeners
    This section provides information about your listeners. Total listener sessions describes the number of times a listener has tuned in. Unique listeners and unique countries indicate the number of distinct listeners and countries (respectively) which have tuned in during the reporting period.

  • Data Transfer
    This section provides details of your stream's data transfer during the reporting period.

  • Tracks
    This section provides details of the tracks played during the reporting period.

  • Peak Period
    This section provides information about the time at which the most users were connected during the reporting period. The number of listeners, track name, and date of that occasion are provided.

  • Listeners for Today
    Provides a graph of the total number listeners connections established during each hour throughout the current day.

  • Listeners for Yesterday
    Provides a graph of the total number listeners connections established during each hour throughout the previous day.

5.2. Listeners

The listener overview provides information about listeners' usage of your station.

  • Average Listener Session Length
    The average length of a listener session is broken down into common intervals and charted and graphed.

  • Top Listeners by Listener Sessions
    Top listeners are ranked according to the total number of times they have connected to your stream during the reporting period.

  • Top Listeners by Listener Minutes
    Top listeners are ranked according to the total number of minutes they have spent connected to your stream during the reporting period.

Both of the Top Listeners reports automatically determine the countries from which your listeners were connected, and the software used by the listener to tune into the stream is noted and identified as a media player or stream ripper to assist in abuse detection.

5.3. User Agents

The user agents report provides an overview of the software programs your listeners are using to tune in to your stream.

  • Top Agents by Listener Sesssions
    The top software used to connect to your stream is charted and graphed according to the number of times each software application has connected to your stream during the reporting period.

  • Top Agents by Listener Minutes
    The top software used to connect to your stream is charted and graphed according to the total amount of time each software application has spent connected to your stream during the reporting period.

In both reports, each user agent is also classified as a legitimate media player (such as WinAmp, iTunes, etc.), or a stream ripper (a program used to steal music from your stream) to assist in abuse detection.

5.4. Countries

The country overview provides information about the countries from which the majority of your listeners are tuning in.

  • Top Countries by Listener Sesssions
    The top countries connecting to your stream are charted and graphed according to the number of times a listener from each country has connected to your stream during the reporting period.

  • Top Countries by Listener Minutes
    The top countries connecting to your stream are charted and graphed according to the total amount of time listeners from each country have spent connected to your stream during the reporting period.

In both reports, each country is identified (where possible) and the appropriate flag is displayed to aid in identification at a glance.

5.5. Tracks

The tracks report provides information about the frequency and popularity of the tracks played on your stream.

  • Least Popular Tracks
    Provides an overview of the least popular tracks played during the reporting period, by disconnections per minute. The popularity of a track is calculated by determining the number of times a listener disconnected or “tuned-out” while the track was playing, averaged over the total number of minutes the song was played throughout the reporting period.

  • Most Popular Tracks
    Provides an overview of the most popular tracks played during the reporting period, by connections per minute. This is calculated in the same manner as the Least Popular Tracks report.

  • Top Tracks by Playbacks
    Provides a list of the songs most frequently played during the reporting period, according to the total number of times the song was played.

  • Top Tracks by Airtime
    Provides a list of the songs which received the most “air time”, or total minutes, during the reporting period.

  • Track Broadcast Reports
    Provides access to your monthly broadcast reports for the past several months. These downloadable (CSV spreadsheet) reports provide information about each and every song that was played on your stream during the reporting period, along with information about how many listeners heard each song.

    Note that reports are generated on a monthly basis, and this section will not appear until at least one report has been generated.

    Each report contains two spreadsheets, either of which may be useful if you are required to make reports to a royalty/music licensing authority:

    • A playback report, which individually records the date, time, artist, album, title, duration, and listener information for each and every track played during the reporting period.

    • A performance report, which records the aggregate playback and listener information for each unique song played on your stream during the reporting period.

5.6. Historical Statistics

Historical statistics provide detailed daily and monthly data transfer and listener statistics, complete with graphs, allowing you to track listener trends and resource usage.

Unlike the other statistics provided by Centova Cast (which are limited to 60 days) historical statistics provide information about your stream since it was first created in Centova Cast.

Graphs provided include:

  • Data Transfer
    Indicates the total, combined data transfer for your stream over a period of time. Graphs are displayed for one-month and one-year intervals.

  • Minutes
    Indicates the total, combined number of listener minutes for your stream over a period of time. Graphs are displayed for one-month and one-year intervals.

  • Listeners
    Indicates the number of simultaneous listeners at each hour throughout the day for a one-day period.

6. Server Logs

Centova Cast provides direct access to the log files created by your streaming server. To access your logs, click theView Logslink in your client area. By default, the access log for your server is displayed. To view the error log, click theView Error Loglink at the bottom of the page.

The precise format of the logs displayed will vary depending on the streaming server software being used by your hosting provider. If you require assistance, please contact your hosting provider.

7. Quick Links

Centova Cast provides a variety of useful links and connection information for your stream on the “Quick Links” page. Information provided includes:

  • A link to your stream start page.

  • A link to your streaming server software's index page.

  • Tune-in links for a number of common media players, which you can paste into your own web site.

  • Connection information for live sources. This can be used to connect to your stream with a live source software application (such as SAM Broadcaster) and being a live broadcast using your microphone.

  • Connection information for FTP access. This can be used to upload media to your stream if your administrator has provided autoDJ capabilities to your stream.

  • A link to this user guide.

8. Code Snippets

Centova Cast provides a number of JavaScript code snippets which you can include in your own web pages to display information about your stream. No programming knowledge is required – anyone who understands HTML (and, ideally, CSS) can make use of these snippets to easily add custom stream information to a web page.

The code for each of these snippets can be obtained using the “Code Snippets” link in your Centova Cast control panel. “Live” examples of all of these snippets are available on your stream start page.

The following code snippets are available.

8.1. Stream Status Summary

This snippet displays a brief line of information about your current stream status. Typically, this will look something like the following:

Artist Name – Track Title (Online)

In this example, Artist Name – Track Title refers to the artist and track that are currently being played on your stream, and Online refers to the status of your stream (which will be Offline if your stream is offline).

The above text is hyperlinked such that, when clicked, it will tune in to your stream.

The status summary is also automatically updated using AJAX technology at 30-60 second intervals such that it always displays the correct song artist and title.

8.2. Stream Details

This snippet is a more flexible version of the Stream Status Summary, for more advanced users who wish to customize placement of the individual elements of stream information. Using this snippet, you can place theelements for the current song, stream title, bit rate, server status, and source status individually, anywhere on your web page, and Centova Cast will automatically fill them in.

8.3. On-demand Content

This snippet allows you to embed an on-demand content browser in your web page, which allows the visitor to browse, stream, or download the media you've published in your “ondemand” folder. The on-demand content browser operates using AJAX technology such that the page never re-loads, and thus can be safely embedded into any web page.

8.4. Recent Tracks

This snippet displays a list of the 5 tracks which were most recently played on your stream, along with the name of the artist associated with each.

If Amazon.com integration is enabled, and you've entered your Amazon.com access key ID on the “Start Page” tab of the “Configure Server” page, Centova Cast will also display the album cover (when available) along with a “Buy this album” link next to each track. Any sales generated through the “Buy this album” link will be credited toward your Amazon.com affiliate account, making this an effective revenue-generation strategy for your stream.

8.5. Song Requests

This snippet displays a form allowing your visitors to submit song requests. When a request is received, it is automatically sent via E-mail to the E-mail address configured for your account. Note that you (as the stream administrator) are responsible for handling the request yourself, and queuing the requested tracks if desired.

The Song Request form, like most of the code snippets displayed on the start page, can be disabled on the “Start Page” tab of the “Configure Server” page if it is not wanted or needed.

8.6. Tune In

This snippet displays a list of tune-in links for various media players. Users can click on the appropriate link for their media player to tune in to your stream.

8.7. Alternate Character Encodings

If you find that the code snippets show certain accented characters incorrectly when used on your web site, it is possible that you are not using UTF-8 encoding on your web page. To correct this, you should set the “Character encoding” setting to the correct character encoding for your web page. This will re-load the “Code Snippets” page and update each snippet to use the correct character encoding. (Note that after changing the character encoding, you must copy and paste the updated snippets into your web site, replacing the originals.)

 

9. Playlist Manager

The playlist manager allows you to create and configure playlists to control how and when your media is played. You can create as many playlists as you like, each with its own distinct settings, and Centova Cast will automatically determine when to play each one based on your settings.

9.1. Creating a Playlist

To create a new playlist, click the Create Playlist link in the upper, right-hand corner of the page. This will launch the playlist editor, described under Playlist Editor below.

9.2. Editing a Playlist

To edit an existing playlist, click the Edit Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to edit. This will launch the playlist editor, described under Playlist Editor below.

9.3. Deleting a Playlist

To delete an existing playlist, click the Delete Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to delete. This will permanently remove the playlist, its settings, and its list of tracks.

9.4. Enabling or Disabling a Playlist

To enable or disable an existing playlist, click the Enable Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to delete. A disabled playlist will be ignored by Centova Cast.

9.5. Updating your Media Library

Centova Cast maintains an internal list of information about all of your media – artists, albums, and tracks – which is used to allow you to browse and search your media in the media library.

Whenever you add or remove media from your collection, you will need to click the Update Media Library link, at the bottom of the Playlist Manager page, to allow Centova Cast to update its internal list. Note that any new media you add to your collection will not appear in the media library until you've clicked the Update Media Library link.

9.6. Playlist Editor

This will launch the playlist editor and allow you to configure the new playlist. The following fields are available:

Title

Specifies the title for the playlist. This is used only to help you identify the playlist, and is completely ignored by Centova Cast. Use a descriptive name like “Heavy rotation” or “Friday night's top 10 countdown” to ensure that you'll remember what this playlist is for.

Status

Specifies the status of the playlist. If the playlist isEnabled, it will be included in your stream; if it isDisabled, it will be ignored by Centova Cast and its tracks will never be played.

Type

Specifies the type of playlist. There are presently 4 playlist types available:

  • General Rotation: General rotation playlists are used to play media from your library when no scheduled, interval, or immediate playlists are due to be played. This is the “default” playlist type, and most stations spend the majority of their air time playing random tracks from general rotation playlists.

  • Scheduled: Scheduled playlists allow you to schedule a list of tracks to be played at a specific date and time. These playlists can also be setup to repeat on a schedule, making them ideal for daily/weekly countdowns or pre-recorded shows.

  • Interval: Interval playlists allow you to play tracks at regular intervals of several minutes or several songs. These playlists are useful for playing frequently-recurring content, such as station identification or commercial advertisements.

  • Immediate: Immediate playlists allow you to queue tracks to be played immediately after the end of the current track. These playlists are useful for playing tracks on demand, such as song requests.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists of different types are activated, please see the section entitled Track Selection below.

Playback order

Specifies the track playback order for General Rotation, Scheduled, and Immediate playlists. If set to Random (shuffled), tracks will be selected at random from the playlist. If set to Sequential (in order), tracks will be selected in order from the playlist, starting with the first track, and restarting when the end of the playlist is reached.

The playlist editor also includes a number of additional fields depending on the playlist type. Those are discussed in the sections following immediately below.

9.6.1. General Rotation Playlist Options

General Rotation playlists include the following additional fields in the playlist editor:

Playback weight

Specifies the “weight” for the playlist, which controls how often tracks from this playlist are played relative to tracks from other General Rotation playlists. This can be used to ensure that, for example, new releases (in one playlist) are played more frequently than older tracks (in another playlist).

Take, for example, a scenario in which you have the following General Rotation playlists:

Title

Playback weight

Power rotation

6

Heavy rotation

3

Light rotation

1

In this example, for every 10 tracks that are played, on average, 6 will be selected from the Power rotation playlist, 3 will be selected from the Heavy rotation playlist, and 1 will be selected from the Light rotation playlist.

As such, you might place your most popular tracks (new releases, for example) in your Power rotation playlist, to ensure that they are played most frequently. You might place older favorites in the Heavy rotation playlist to ensure that they are still played often, though less often than the new releases. And you might place your less popular tracks in the Light rotation playlist to ensure that they are played only occasionally.

Activation period

General rotation playlists can also be limited to a specific period of the day. This can be used to play lighter songs in the morning and heavier songs in the afternoon, for example. If no time period is selected, the playlist will be active for the entire day.

Note that setting a time period for a general rotation playlist is different than creating an actual Scheduled Playlist. Scheduled playlists are exclusive to their time periods, and no general rotation tracks will play during a scheduled playlist.

In contrast, if a general rotation playlist has a time frame configured, and there are other general rotation playlists configured for the same period (or with no time restriction at all), Centova Cast will select tracks from each of the playlists according to their weighting as described above.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists are activated, please see the section entitled Track Selection below.

9.6.2. Scheduled Playlist Options

Scheduled playlists include the following additional fields in the playlist editor:

Scheduled date

Specifies the date on which this playlist should be activated. The playlist will remain inactive until this date. You may optionally click the “...” button to choose the date visually on a calendar.

Scheduled time

Specifies the time at which this playlist should be activated, on the date specified in the Scheduled date field. The playlist will remain inactive until the scheduled date at the scheduled time.

Important scheduling note: All dates and times will be in the server's time zone unless you have explicitly configured your time zone on the “Basic Configuration” tab of the “Configure Server” page.

Repeat schedule

Specifies when (if ever) this playlist should repeat. If enabled, this allows you to have the tracks in the playlist automatically re-played several times per week, month, or year.

Possible values for this field include:

  • Never (one time only): If selected, the playlist will play only at the scheduled date/time. After it has played, it will effectively be disabled.

  • Daily: If selected, the playlist will play every day at the scheduled time, starting on the scheduled date.

  • Weekly: If selected, the playlist will play every week on the selected weekdays, at the scheduled time, starting on the scheduled date (or rather, on the first selected weekday after the scheduled date). The weekdays on which the playlist should be activated can be selected using the Repeat on field, which appears only when the Weekly repeat schedule is selected.

  • Monthly: If selected, the playlist will play every month, on the scheduled day of the month, at the scheduled time. You can alternately use the Repeat on field, which only appears when the Monthly repeat schedule is selected, to have the playlist played on the first or last day of the month instead of on the scheduled day of the month.

  • Yearly: If selected, the playlist will play every year, on the scheduled day and month, at the scheduled time.


Playback style

Specifies how tracks are selected from the playlist.

  • Play all tracks sequentially (in order)
    When selected, Centova Cast will play the
    all tracks from the playlist, in order, at the scheduled time.

  • Play all tracks randomly (shuffled)
    When selected, Centova Cast will play
    all tracks from the playlist, in random order, at the scheduled time.

  • Play only one randomly selected track from this playlist
    When selected, Centova Cast will randomly play a single track from the playlist at the scheduled time.


    Interruptible

Specifies whether or not this playlist may be interrupted by other scheduled playlists. Possible values for this field include:

  • No, always play to completion: If selected, the playlist will always play through to completion before any other scheduled playlists are permitted to play. If any other scheduled playlists have been scheduled to start while this playlist is still playing, they will be delayed until this playlist finishes.

  • Yes, terminate if another scheduled playlist is due to begin: If selected, this playlist will be aborted if another scheduled playlist is due to start while this playlist is still playing. Note that for technical (and aesthetic) reasons, Centova Cast cannot interrupt individual tracks while they are still playing, so the new playlist will be started at the next available opportunity (i.e., when the current track finishes).


Stop after

Specifies the maximum number of minutes for which this playlist should remain active once started.

Note that this setting is subject to the standard playlist rules enforced by Centova Cast; specifically, Centova Cast will never interrupt a playing track. For example, if your limit is set to 5 minutes, and an 8 minute track is started, the track will play through to completion even though it will exceed your limit by 3 minutes.

Also note that this limit is relative to the time at which the playlist actually started, not the time at which it was scheduled. Take the following scenario for example: say you scheduled your playlist for 3:00 and configured it to stop after 20 minutes, but it started 5 minutes late because of a late-playing track in an earlier playlist. In this case, the timer will be started at 3:05 (instead of 3:00), and thus the playlist won't be stopped until 3:25 instead of 3:20.



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