Executing Interactive Programming with Tether and SS32

This article is part of a series on SS32.

There are several types of voting features that you can execute with SS32:

  • "UPick" voting sessions - A few songs (typically 3) are pre-scheduled and listeners vote for the one that plays. At the end of the session, the losing songs are automatically deleted from NexGen. Learn more about "UPick" voting sessions here. This same functionality also works for Stylized Voting Sessions.
  • Top Song - A larger list of songs (typically 15-25) is available for voting online, and the song with the most votes is automatically inserted into NexGen. Learn more about Top Song here.
  • Takeover - Your music library is available online, and listeners pick every song that plays for an hour, a daypart, or a special weekend (within the parameters defined by your program director). The winning songs are automatically inserted into NexGen. Learn more about Takeover here. This same functionality also works for Takeover Countdown.
  • FaceOff - Pit two songs against each other, and also let listeners choose which two songs will face off next. Winners will be automatically inserted into NexGen. Learn more about FaceOff here.

This article will outline the SS32-specific details for these features. We'd recommend that you consult with Futuri VIP Support before running any of these features for the first time so that we can answer any questions about your station's specific programming plan.


Breaknote syntax for music schedulers

In case you want to set up all of the possible breaknotes/commands at once, below is a handy cheat-sheet on each available breaknote:


Breaknote infoMusic schedulerHow to create
UPickStart- Activates the next pre-scheduled UPick-style voting session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "UPickStart." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "UPickStart." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "UPickStart." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"UPickStart",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
LDR Vote Options Start- Goes before the first vote option of a UPick session.Selector V12 (DOS)You'll create a Link called "LDR Vote Options Start" that will NOT need to have any audio associated with it. It's essentially a lognote to mark where the vote options start.
MusicMasterYou'll create a Lognote directly on the clock called "LDR Vote Options Start"
StratusYou'll create a breaknote in Stratus using the following syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field): ,,,,"LDR Vote Options Start",,00:00,,,,
LDR Vote Options End- Goes after the last vote option of a UPick session. Selector V12 (DOS)You'll create a Link called "LDR Vote Options End" that will NOT need to have any audio associated with it. It's essentially a lognote to mark where the vote options end.
MusicMasterYou'll create a Lognote directly on the clock called "LDR Vote Options End"
StratusYou'll create a breaknote in Stratus using the following syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field): ,,,,"LDR Vote Options End",,00:00,,,,
Begin Top Song- Activates a Top Song session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Top Song." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Top Song." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Top Song." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"Begin Top Song",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
End Top Song- Ends a Top Song session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "End Top Song." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End Top Song." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End Top Song." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"End Top Song",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Begin Song Replacement- Begins a Takeover or Countdown session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Song Replacement." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Song Replacement." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin Song Replacement." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"Begin Song Replacement",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
End Song Replacement- Ends a Takeover or Countdown session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "End Song Replacement." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End Song Replacement." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End Song Replacement." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"End Song Replacement",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Begin FaceOff- Begins a FaceOff session. Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin FaceOff." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin FaceOff." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "Begin FaceOff." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"Begin FaceOff",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
End FaceOff Next- Disables the bottom portion ("who should face off next") section of FaceOff (but does not entirely turn it off). Selector V12 (DOS)Create an audio cart in SS32 called "End FaceOff Next." Add that element (either as a song or a link) in Selector so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID.
MusicMasterCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End FaceOff Next." Add that element in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. Note its MusicMaster file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
StratusCreate an audio cart in SS32 called "End FaceOff Next." Add a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check SS32 for the cart number/cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is  ,,607,DA9600,"End Song Replacement",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Empty Song Slot- Denotes a position for Takeover, Top Song, Countdown, or FaceOff to insert a winning song. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) called Empty Song Slot. The ID number does not matter. The Empty Song Slot link will be replaced by placeholder carts when you export your log, and Echo will insert winning songs into those placeholder carts.
StratusYou'll create a breaknote in Stratus using the following syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field): ,,LDR,DA9998,"EMPTY SONG SLOT",,03:30,,,, The Empty Song Slot element will be replaced by placeholder carts when you export your log, and Echo will insert winning songs into those placeholder carts.


"UPick" voting sessions

NOTE: In order to execute a "UPick" voting session, the session must be pre-scheduled in your music scheduler so that Futuri has the vote options on file.


For a "UPick" voting session, the vote options are pre-scheduled in your music scheduler, and when you export a music log, the individual vote options will be replaced by a placeholder (i.e. LDR/0901 for the first voting session of the 9am hour). Most stations wrap these voting sessions around a commercial break to drive Time Spent Listening and AQH.  Click here for more general information about voting sessions. 


The vote options are bookended in SS32 by lognotes called LDR Vote Options Start and LDR Vote Options End. The only elements between these two lognotes should be the songs you want listeners to vote for (not imaging positioners, for example). Several minutes before these elements in the log, you'll have a piece of audio called UPickStart (typically LDR/9999). This element will also need to be pre-scheduled in your music scheduler. In SS32, its title MUST be "UPickStart" and it must be at least 1 second long before it segues into the next element.


When the UPickStart plays in SS32, it will be exported to Futuri, and we will trigger the next scheduled voting session from our copy of your music log. For this reason, voting sessions must be scheduled in advance in your music scheduler. Echo will then "check-in" with Futuri once every 30 seconds to see which song is winning at that moment, and copy that song's audio into the next sequential placeholder for that hour, as well as the first placeholder for the next hour, in case you're intending to play the winner after the top of the hour. The voting session on your station's website will then close when the winning song actually plays.


Placeholders' names are tied to their position in the clock. For example, the first voting session of the 10am hour is LDR/1001, and the second voting session of the 9pm hour is LDR/2102.


During the first voting session of the 10am hour, Echo will save the audio to LDR/1001 and LDR/1101, just in case the winner will be played in the next hour. Once LDR/1001 has played, winners will be saved to LDR/1002 and LDR/1101, etc.


Remember, voting sessions must be pre-scheduled in your music scheduler (so that both your automation system and Futuri can see what's scheduled). Click here for instructions on setting up voting session clocks in your music scheduler.


Top Song

With Top Song, listeners view a list of songs on your Tether voting window and vote them up and down in a queue. The song with the most votes each hour (taking basic artist/title separation into account) is that hour's "top song" and is automatically copied into a placeholder in SS32.  Click here for more general information about Top Song.


Most stations run Top Song for an entire daypart (i.e. 7p-12a) or as a workday feature (10a-5p). When doing this, it's only necessary to turn Top Song "on" at the beginning of the daypart, turn it "off" at the end of the daypart, and then to insert placeholder carts in each hour where you want a winner to be placed.


To turn Top Song "on," you'll play a piece of audio called Begin Top Song (typically LDR/9995). This element is typically scheduled in your daily music log. When this element plays, Top Song will appear in your station's voting window online, and Echo will begin to "check-in" with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out what song is currently being voted #1, and copy that song's audio into the next sequential placeholder for that hour, as well as the first placeholder for the next hour, in case you're intending to play the winner after the top of the hour.


When you're about to play your last Top Song winner, you can turn Top Song "off" with another audio command called End Top Song (typically LDR/9994). It's recommended that you play this command right BEFORE you play the last winner. That way, users aren't voting after the last winner has already started to play. It's safe to disable the feature right before the last winner because the winner will have already been copied by that time.


We'd recommend that you enable reconciliation between SS32 and your music scheduler so that at the end of each day, the songs that won during Top Song are inserted into that day's log in your music scheduler. WideOrbit Support can help you to set up reconciliation if you aren't already using it.


Takeover

With Takeover, listeners view your music library online and vote their requests up in a queue. The song with the most votes when it's time for the next song to play (taking your separation goals into account) is automatically copied into a placeholder in SS32.


For more information about Takeover goals, click here.

For more information about Takeover clock setup, click here.


To turn Takeover "on," you'll insert an audio command called Begin Song Replacement (typically LDR/9997). When this element plays, Takeover will appear on your site, and Echo will begin to "check-in" with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out what song is currently being voted #1, and copy that song's audio into the next sequential placeholder for that hour, as well as the first placeholder for the next hour, in case you're intending to play the winner after the top of the hour.


When your log is first exported from your music scheduler, Echo will automatically insert the placeholders needed for Takeover (as long as you have lognotes called "Empty Song Slots" in the original version of the log). Placeholders' names are tied to their position in the clock. For example, the first winning song of the 10am hour is LDR/1001, and the second winning song of the 9pm hour is LDR/2102. During the first winner of the 10am hour, Echo will save the audio to LDR/1001 and LDR/1101, just in case the winner will be played in the next hour. Once LDR/1001 has played, winners will be saved to LDR/1002 and LDR/1101, etc.


At the end of your Takeover show, you'll want to turn it "off" with another audio command called End Song Replacement (typically LDR/9996). It's recommended that you place this command at the top of the NEXT hour (so it doesn't inadvertently get synced out at the end of the show).


We'd recommend that you enable reconciliation between SS32 and your music scheduler so that at the end of each day, the songs that won during Takeover are inserted into that day's log in your music scheduler. WideOrbit Support can help you to set up reconciliation if you aren't already using it.


FaceOff

With FaceOff, your station can pit two songs against each other, and also let listeners choose which two songs will face off next. Winning songs are automatically copied into a placeholder in SS32.


For more information about FaceOff, click here.

For more information about FaceOff clock setup, click here.


To turn FaceOff "on," you'll insert an audio command called Begin FaceOff. When this element plays, FaceOff will appear on your site, and Echo will begin to "check-in" with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out what song is currently winning, and copy that song's audio into the next sequential placeholder for that hour, as well as the first placeholder for the next hour, in case you're intending to play the winner after the top of the hour.


When your log is first exported from your music scheduler, Echo will automatically insert the placeholders needed for FaceOff (as long as you have lognotes called "Empty Song Slots" in the original version of the log). Placeholders' names are tied to their position in the clock. For example, the first winning song of the 10am hour is LDR/1001, and the second winning song of the 9pm hour is LDR/2102. During the first winner of the 10am hour, Echo will save the audio to LDR/1001 and LDR/1101, just in case the winner will be played in the next hour. Once LDR/1001 has played, winners will be saved to LDR/1002 and LDR/1101, etc.


Right before your second-to-last Empty Song Slot, play an audio command called End FaceOff Next. This is done because there is no payoff for the “which songs should face off next” at this point in the hour (because after the next head-to-head, the feature will be done for the day).


Finally, at the end of your FaceOff show, you'll want to turn it "off" with another audio command called End Song Replacement. It's recommended that you place this command at the top of the NEXT hour (so it doesn't inadvertently get synced out at the end of the show).


We'd recommend that you enable reconciliation between SS32 and your music scheduler so that at the end of each day, the songs that won during FaceOff are inserted into that day's log in your music scheduler. WideOrbit Support can help you to set up reconciliation if you aren't already using it.

J
Jasmine is the author of this solution article.

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