Executing Interactive Programming with Tether and WideOrbit

This article is part of a series on WideOrbit.

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

  • "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 WideOrbit-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. In almost all cases, stations choose to pre-schedule these features in their music schedulers, although WideOrbit does allow you to execute sessions on the fly as well.


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), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"UPickStart",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title UPickStart, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
LDR Vote Options Start- Goes before the first vote option of a UPick session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"LDR Vote Options Start",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title LDR Vote Options Start, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
LDR Vote Options End- Goes after the last vote option of a UPick session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"LDR Vote Options End",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title LDR Vote Options End, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
Begin Top Song- Activates a Top Song session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"Begin Top Song",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Begin Top Song, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
End Top Song- Ends a Top Song session.Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"End Top Song",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title End Top Song, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
Begin Song Replacement- Begins a Takeover or Countdown session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"Begin Song Replacement",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Begin Song Replacement, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
End Song Replacement- Ends a Takeover or Countdown session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"End Song Replacement",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title End Song Replacement, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
Begin FaceOff- Begins a FaceOff session. Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"Begin FaceOff",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Begin FaceOff, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
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), MusicMasterCreate a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"End FaceOff Next",,,,,,
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title End FaceOff Next, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
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) with the following syntax: ,,.,..,"Empty Song Slot",,,,,, and specify a duration of 3:30 on that element.
PowergoldIn the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Empty Song Slot, give it a duration of 3:30, put a period (.) in the Time Synch field, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).

"UPick" voting sessions

For a "UPick" voting session, the vote options are typically pre-scheduled in your music scheduler, and at the end of the session, WideOrbit will automatically delete the losers (so you'll only play the winner). 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 WideOrbit by Memos called LDR Vote Options Start and LDR Vote Options End. The only elements between these two Memos should be the songs you want listeners to vote for (not imaging positioners, for example). Several minutes before these songs in the log, you'll have another Memo called UPickStart.


When the UPickStart plays in WideOrbit, it will be exported to Futuri, and we will trigger the next scheduled voting session. Echo will then "check-in" with Futuri once every 30 seconds to see which song is winning at that moment. Then, when there are 60 seconds left until the LDR Vote Options Start, WideOrbit will automatically delete the losing songs, leaving only the winner to play next. The voting session on your station's website will then close when the winning song plays.

Some technical notes on voting sessions:

  • The frequency of Echo's "check-ins" with Futuri are configurable in Echo's wideorbit.xml file under  in the  section of the XML. Echo will start checking in for a winner 5 minutes before the end of the voting session, but that can also be configured under  in the  section of the XML.
  • WideOrbit will delete the losing songs between 30-60 seconds before the winner plays, usually as close as possible to that 60-second mark. If you need to change that window, you can adjust the  and  values in the  section of the wideorbit.xml file.
  • We'd recommend that you enable reconciliation between WideOrbit and your music scheduler, so that at the end of each day, the songs that didn't play are deleted from that day's log in your music scheduler. WideOrbit Support can help you to set up reconciliation if you aren't already using it.

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 inserted into WideOrbit to play.  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 "Empty Song Slot" Memos in each hour where you want a winner to be placed.


To turn Top Song "on," you'll insert a Memo called Begin Top Song. 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.


Each hour when you want a song to be inserted, you'll add a Memo called Empty Song Slot. Echo will check in with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out which song is currently being voted #1, and then 60 seconds before each Empty Song Slot, that memo will automatically be replaced in WideOrbit by the most recent #1 song.


When you're about to play your last Top Song winner, you can turn Top Song "off" with one more Memo, called End Top Song. It's recommended that you play this Memo 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 Empty Song Slot, because the winner will have already been inserted 60 seconds prior.

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 inserted into WideOrbit.


For more information about Takeover goals, click here.

For more information about Takeover clock setup, click here.


To turn Takeover "on," you'll insert a Memo called Begin Song Replacement. 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.

Wherever you want a song to be inserted, you'll add a Memo called Empty Song Slot. Echo will check in with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out which song is currently being voted #1, and then 60 seconds before each Empty Song Slot, that memo will automatically be replaced in WideOrbit by the most recent #1 song.


At the end of your Takeover show, you'll want to turn it "off" with one more Memo called End Song Replacement. It's recommended that you place this Export Comment at the top of the NEXT hour (so it doesn't inadvertently get synced out at the end of the show).


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 inserted into WideOrbit.


For more information about FaceOff, click here.

For more information about FaceOff clock setup, click here.


To turn FaceOff "on," you'll insert a Memo 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.


Wherever you want a song to be inserted, you'll add a Memo called Empty Song Slot. Echo will check in with Futuri every 30 seconds to find out which song is currently being voted #1, and then 60 seconds before each Empty Song Slot, that memo will automatically be replaced in WideOrbit by the most recent #1 song.


Right before your second-to-last Empty Song Slot, place Memo 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).


At the end of your FaceOff show, you'll want to turn it "off" with one more Memo called End Song Replacement. It's recommended that you place this Memo in a position where it will NOT be synced out (i.e. by padding the end of the hour with pre-scheduled songs).



J
Jasmine is the author of this solution article.

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