Oh, what a feeling to be on the road and get to interact with everyone again. NAB 2022 was incredible and thank you to the entire RCS and NAB team for making it all happen. We can’t wait for NAB 2023! If you didn’t get to stop by our RCS booth, we wanted to provide you with a recap of what you missed. Many of our users wanted to discuss RCS Cloud Disaster Recovery (Radio World 2022 Best of Show Award for Disaster Recovery), GSelector’s S3, storing forward content, Revma’s in-store radio, artificial intelligence and more.
Starting with RCS Cloud Disaster Recovery, many of our engineers wanted to further understand how they can back up all their audio, schedules, metadata, SQL backups and more in the cloud. Think of your RCS Cloud instance as a completely separate market, only in an AWS S3 container versus on site. We’ve done deeper dives into RCS Cloud in past RCS Lives, so if you’re interested in learning more about RCS Cloud, check out our archive at: www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live and keep an eye on future RCS Lives as we continue to evolve RCS Cloud from disaster recovery into everyday automation.
Next, many programmers are looking into ways to maximize their staff by connecting sites through GSelector’s S3, or Schedule Subscription Service. This allows a Format Captain or music scheduler champion to construct a single master music log, or a Publisher log, and then GSelector will export that log to an unlimited number of Subscribers that will receive the master log. There’s one important factor here: the Subscribers can still maintain a local identify with their own clocks, imaging, spot blocks and more. Plus, GSelector’s S3 features extensive customizable programming options for users to truly cater their local content, like overrides, subscription types, time shifts, and multiple programming profiles. In addition to GSelector’s S3 exporting a master music log, RCS clients incorporate Zetta’s Z-Cast to further share audio and metadata between sites. Now your clusters are all connected!
While at NAB, RCS was excited to debut the brand-new Aquira Cloud. This cloud companion piece to Aquira allows users to start to integrate with Triton and other advertising systems. Users would create the contract in Aquira, access Aquira Cloud through Aquira2GO and then any metadata or numbers are directly saved in Aquira. We’ll be showcasing Aquira Cloud in an RCS Live in a couple weeks.
Since it is NAB, what are some of our options regarding unique radio configurations? For example, we’ve seen a couple requests from users who want to feature programming offsite or without Internet. RCS has partnered with a couple vendors to feature a piece of hardware, like a Barix, Raspberry Pi or Sound4 box, that can include audio and schedules for playout. As in, a storing forward content workflow. And with Revma’s streaming options, like In-Store Radio, RCS is equipped to deliver unique methods of getting your programming from point A to point B.
Finally, if “the cloud” was 2019’s NAB buzzword, we heard a lot of questions surrounding AI, artificial intelligence. Understanding that there are many different forms and interpretations of AI, from our perspective, AI can directly relate to automatic voice translation or utilizing AI to achieve a desired workflow. The good news? RCS has been investigating both behind the scenes. As the worldwide leader in radio software, we’re always forecasting the future of radio and artificial intelligence is part of that discussion.
We’re continuing to hit the road in 2022! In the United States, we’ll be live at Momentum and Texas Association of Broadcasters, just to name a few. If there’s an RCS feature or concept you’re investigating, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCS contact to setup a time to review your questions.
Also, don’t forget about Beta users! If you want to test out the latest and greatest RCS software, become a Beta user today! You’ll get access to these non-public builds and get to work with a personal RCS Support agent to review your thoughts on the Beta. Zetta 5.21.2, GSelector 5.0 and Aquira 3.21.2 are currently all open for new Beta users! A friendly reminder to check your backups and we’ll catch you next and every Thursday at 11am ET for another RCS Live!
You’ve purchased an RCS product – what are the next steps? Brian Willard, Field Technician Services Manager, and Adrian Guanipa, Scheduling Support Manager, joined us to review the onboarding process. Since every client requires different solutions, it’s our goal to make sure to identify your needs. When you buy an RCS product, we like to treat our clients as a partnership with a common goal. Aside from reintroducing Brian and Adrian, your onboarding team leads, we reviewed some of the onboarding steps and reminders for new users.
The most important part of any install and configuration is knowing all the details. That’s why Brian and Adrian have complied a checklist of every small detail that you may have missed. Let’s be honest, you’re operating your stations and learning a new piece of software. That is a lot to juggle for you and your staff. Remember, this is a partnership. Let us help you with the process. As the first major step in the onboarding process, we’ll be asking a lot of questions. Of course, we encourage you and your team to also ask a lot of questions! For example, we can’t implement a particular Zetta setting if you didn’t tell us that the overall workflow was important to you. Our installation teams feature a wealth of information for all types of clients, formats, and situations. It never hurts to ask questions.
If your onboarding consists of Zetta and GSelector integration, we prefer to space out training sessions for you and your team so that we don’t overwhelm users. Usually, we schedule the GSelector training two weeks before the Zetta installation. Every new GSelector client will receive three one-hour training sessions and two half hour follow up sessions. If you’re upgrading to Zetta, then you’ve already purchased Field Technician Service time, in which our FTS team will conduct multiple training sessions for you and your team. We like to break these up between departments, so there might be a programming session one morning, traffic in the afternoon, and when we switch over to live Zetta, we’ll be on hand to answer any questions during the morning show. It’s important to make sure your entire staff becomes familiar with Zetta and again, ask questions!
When it comes to hardware, it’s all about your situation. As part of our initial checklist, we’ll be confirming where your server is installed, how many users will be accessing the software and more. Traditionally, Zetta in installed with new hardware, so GSelector usually requires additional questions like operations systems, RAM, etc… If you’re receiving both Zetta and GSelector, then we install GSelector on the Zetta server.
What about conversions? We have seen all types of ways users have created a database. Simply put, we’ll convert whatever metadata or audio you give us. Adrian demonstrated an example of how to properly match on External or Media IDs, combining multiple values to achieve the user’s desired result.
Then there’s cybersecurity. As the worldwide leader in radio software, we like to stay ahead of the curve, not behind it. That’s why we’ve already been implementing multiple security measures throughout our software and we’re continuing to develop our projects with your security in mind. If cyber security is important to you, then let us know and we’ll work together to identify your system, virus software, network and more so that our products work with your environment, not against it.
At the end of the day, our installation team has not only have seen it all, but they’ve also helped build it. From complicated conversions, unique setups, navigating restricted security, to virtual machines and more. Rest assured, we’ll be available to not only ease your mind, but provide any helpful tips or guidance along the way. And if you do have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your onboarding contact. if you would like a copy of any of the onboarding documents, please reach out to your local RCS Sales Representative and we’ll gladly forward them along.
Friendly reminder to check those backup paths and send those Data Exchanges. We’re also hiring! See all the open positions here. With Zetta 5.21.2, GSelector 5.0 and Aquira 3.21.2 on the horizon, become a Beta user! Finally, we’re excited to be back on the road. Catch us at NAB 2022 and we’ll see you at other events throughout the year.
RCS is all about total integration, getting your stations from music logs with GSelector, traffic logs with Aquira, to Zetta automation for sophisticated playout, remote capabilities with our line of 2GO products, disaster recovery with RCS Cloud and streaming solutions with Revma, our content delivery network. Revma is a flexible, user customizable streaming product with a global footprint, utilizing edge servers across the world to keep you and your listeners connected. This week, we reviewed some of the Revma benefits, alongside its extensive reports and analytics.
What bit rate does Revma offer? What about ad insertion providers? The beauty of Revma is that we work with all VAST protocols and can replicate whatever your encoder is exporting, along with additional streams, known as relays, to create various bit rate streams. Regarding bit rates, it really boils down to the device. There’s no need to push 320 kbps to your on-hold office music, so why not keep the main stream at a higher quality and use Revma’s Relays to broadcast at 92 kbps. Then, set rules based on geographic locations or IPs. Revma can cater to your streaming demands.
Revma also includes extensive reports and analytics that can offer unique insight to any programmer. Starting with listener streaming, Revma can breakdown your streaming audience by overall or station specific numbers. Administrators can view a streaming from their market / company perspective or isolate how a single station is performing online. User can view total sessions completed, total unique IPs, average listening minutes, total listening hours and total GBs, which are total gigabytes used to track bandwidth. Note the differences between sessions and IPs. For example, one listener that is engaged throughout multiple lengthy viewing sessions or multiple users with less frequent listening patterns.
So, a programmer can track listening length, but what about devices? Revma has that covered as well! Revma tracks multiple types of devices, including smart speakers like Alexa or Sonos, Android devices, Apple Products (iPhones, iPads), desktops and more. Revma even tracks country and city origins so that you can analyze your international numbers versus domestic local zip codes and more.
As we continue to showcase Revma’s reporting capabilities, let’s move onto Ads, which again, can be integrated with any VAST protocol provider. Ads reports features the same type of graph and interface as streaming listeners, with corresponding ad values like total request, total impressions, total ads started and a more detailed breakdown of ads that reached the first quarter, halfway mark, third quarter and total ads completed. This is a great resource to view your pre-rolls or commercial spot block retention rate. Plus, it an extremely helpful Sales tool with lots of research data.
Other reports include metadata daily and monthly track reports. This will provide a detailed list of elements that were played, either by yesterday, this week, this month, or a custom defined range, including Title, Artist, Time Started, Time Ended and Duration of the element. Use the Monthly Tracks report to view the same Title, Artist fields with total performances during that month.
All of these Revma features and we ran out of time to discuss the Conference App, a virtual studio where talent can start, invite guests, and digitally stream a long form content show using local user microphones. And of course we have integrated tools for Zetta and RCS Cloud to incorporate your Revma Conference App directly into your everyday workflows.
If you’re interested in seeing more of what Revma can do, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCS Sales Representatives. While you’re there, ask about become a Beta user for Zetta 5.21.2, Aquira 3.21.2 or GSelector 5.0. Or perhaps you want to make the jump and work for us? RCS is hiring and you can apply to multiple positions here . We’re also back on the road! We’ll see you live on April 23rd – 27th for NAB 2022.
As part of our ongoing “Scheduling with the Pros” series, we invited back John Bonou from our GSelector Development Team to offer his unique perspective on music scheduling. Let’s forget about our traditional 1:1 Category Groups to Category ratio and instead, think big picture. John’s favorite scheduling techniques focus on scheduling the “best” song, embedded in a more flexible clock structure. We reviewed why attributes are so important as the last steps during the scheduling process and introduced other tips to showcase why GSelector creates a better music log.
First, a little housekeeping, John demonstrated how to cater GSelector’s Library to your station’s needs. Note how John identified and filtered by Version versus the typical Packet. John’s station featured power intros, his primary category broken down into two versions of each song: one with a typical intro and another with a built-in intro. Which version plays when? Simple: Identify and control the attribute: Version: Power Intro from the Goals | Balance | Attributes subtabs. How can I only display Power Intro Versions for further manipulation? Use the Library’s Filter on the left to isolate any Versions with the attribute: Power Intro.
Next, we reviewed John’s love for “less is more” categories. Rather than have multiple categories, like 2000s Power Gold, 2000s Secondary Gold, Power Recurrents, Primary Recurrents, Secondary Recurrents, etc…John prefers to schedule based on the quality of the songs, typically based on research. We’ve all experienced those music changes session in which there’s a song teetering on a category or another power song that simply is outperforming the rest of the category. Why should you have to settle for equal rotations? Instead, John schedules roughly three Category Groups. Remember, GSelector Clocks call for Category Groups, not Categories. So, with three Category Groups, we feature: Powers, Secondary, and Reccurrents (or older music). The Power may only feature a couple primary songs, utilizing GSelector’s Shifts to further boost well performing songs, whereas the Secondary Category Group includes multiple categories like Secondary, New Currents (New Music) and New Night Music (new music that is only getting night/overnight spins). There are no restrictions on the number of songs in the Categories, instead, we focus on the Projected Turnover column and adjust the Category Share/Shift to get those songs matched with your desired turnover. If those number fluctuate, no issues with Clocks or rotations due to the already implemented Rules like Yesterday Song (Same Hour), instead simply take a look at this Goals | Categories subtab and make live, real-time changes to your ever evolving Projected Turnovers. Continue to apply that logic to your older songs in the Recurrents Category Group (again, this is simply a label. “Old Songs” could work just as well) and now we isolate Hot Recurrents, Recurrents, Golds and any additional sub-goal categories. Don’t forget to expand these Categories to further control an individual song’s shift and projected turnovers. The same technique can be applied to the Goals | Balance | Songs subtab.
We always emphasize our love for GSelector’s Goals tab, but here is where you can truly cater your rotations to match your music philosophy. Typically, with 1:1 Category Groups to Category ratios, we don’t utilize the Goals | Balance | Attributes | Category, however, with the concept of introducing goal based scheduling, this field is now a very powerful tool. Remember that “New Night Music” category? Switch to the midday shifts and simply ban the category from playing during that daypart. Want to up the spins of your Power Recurrents versus the rest of the typical Recurrents? Then up the Category Shift for Power Recurrents to a value of your choosing. With Shifts, first think of a target goal and then use Shifts to increase or decrease the turnover until you reach your desired value. There are also additional tools like defining a Category’s Max Per Hour or Minimum Separation. If you’re thinking in music sweeps, then set a Minimum Separation of 00 hour and 15 minutes, forcing the Category to move throughout the quarter hour.
But what about specific attributes and making sure similar values don’t schedule back-to-back? Now that we defined the Category rotations, we can focus on the attributes. If your station is Classic Hits, focusing on Era spread, then use the Segue Bans or Spread Goal to move Eras. If your station is Sound Code based, now is the time to implement your Sound Code Segue Bans and Goals.
To review, we start with the concept that we have “floating” clock positions, based on the initial quality of the Category Group songs as the most important part of the schedule. Then, we use smaller Categories to begin to truly rotate between songs. Finally, we identify attributes to separate transitions.
John reminded users that there are multiple ways in which programmers can define what’s a “great scoring song.” Aside from integrated research from Media Monitors, Mediabase or Test All Music, GSelector also offers custom Research Attributes that can be defined by specific value ranges or users can manually insert their own scores via the Library | Song | Main | Research Groups (Bottom right window). We have a full RCS Live video covering Research Attributes here: https://www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live-research-scheduling-with-gselector/
You may have noticed GSelector 5.0’s slick new look and themes. You can become a Beta user and get advanced access to this new version of GSelector right now! We also have open Betas for Zetta 5.21.2 and Aquira 3.21.2. Don’t forget that RCS is currently hiring rare positions in Support, Development, FTS and more. If you want to work for the worldwide leader in radio software, you can find out more information here./. If you missed any of our previous videos, we have a full archive available for you 24/7 here.
Between remote work and trying to fit in one more podcast or blog, voice tracking has become a necessity for many stations. For this RCS Live, we broke down how to “work smarter, not harder” with Zetta voice tracking features, RCS Cloud advanced remote workflows, new expanded voice tracking features in Zetta2GO and finally, how to distribute voices to multiple stations or destinations. If you’re a voice tracker, this video is made to be bookmarked for future references.
Starting with Zetta, we’re all about making you more efficient. Zetta’s voice tracker is equipped with multiple options to make your life easier. Enable Auto-Ducking so that your voice isn’t fighting with the music. Don’t want it? Then simply disable that function. If you messed up the intro of your voice track, don’t stop and re-record it. Just give yourself a proper, “3..2..1…” intro and use Trim In to remove any unwanted content. The same applies for the end of your voice track – utilize Trim Out. Let’s say that you stumble over your long content break, but you don’t want to lose the great delivery from the rest of the voice track, then right click on the voice track from the Log module and Edit Audio in either the single or multi-track editors. Just remember, if you edit the voice track, you are editing the transition and you must reset the heads and tails, which is super easy with the Log’s segue editor module.
Pivoting to Zetta2GO, we have the newly, completely redesigned voice track module. We listened to our users and understanding that there’s a growing need for advanced remote audio functionality, we went ahead and quickly replicated Zetta’s voice track module in Zetta2GO. Now, users can set those same Trim In, Trim Outs, Volume Points and more – remotely with Zetta2GO!
But let’s say that you have a voice tracker that you don’t feel comfortable with giving them VPN access to your system. In that case, embrace your RCS Cloud Disaster Recovery instance and schedule Empty Voice Tracks so that talent can record breaks in RCS Cloud and those same tracks will land back in your Zetta system. It’s important to note that we maintain a sense of security with RCS Cloud two-factor authentication, user assigned email / password and Zetta’s internal Site Replication service. So, although we’re not requiring the need for a VPN, we’re still securely recording and exporting a voice track. Don’t forget, once recorded, that same voice track is also available from your Library | Voice Track folder.
After answering a couple user questions, we reviewed Zetta and Zetta2GO user specific settings. Zetta is all about customizing the user experience and we want to empower you, the user, to cater Zetta to how you work. Within Zetta, at the top right of the screen, you’ll find your username with a dropdown that features User Preferences. This is a great window that allows you to truly customize your Zetta experience. Aside from multiple other options, the Logs subtab offers settings like One-Button Voice Tracking. In Zetta2GO, the voice track module features a gear icon that will open the voice track settings. Here, talent can adjust for poor internet connection from the Audio Settings tab or enable “Use Spacebar for record/playback,” One or Three Button voice track record mode and cursor positions. Talent can also utilize Hot Keys in Local mode to add beds or other audio elements into their voice track. Make a note of the Hot Key volume bar fader to adjust the volume of your non-microphone audio.
RCS Live continues to showcase the latest and greatest RCS enhancements and if you’re looking to get your hands on some of these features before anyone else, become a Beta user! We’re currently looking for Zetta 5.21.2, GSelector 5.0 and Aquira 3.21.2 Beta users. All these versions include some groundbreaking technology! Don’t forget that RCS still has some rare openings. So, if you want to work for the worldwide leader in radio software, you can apply here. Otherwise, we’re see you on the road at your local radio conference or next Thursday on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch or Twitter Live for another RCS Live!