Playlist Manager

As we move closer to the full release of BoomBox 2.1, we will be releasing incremental upgrades to existing modules to fix customer issues and introduce new features. With that said, our developer gnomes have been busy and we are happy to announce the release of the new playlist manager.

The first thing you'll notice is that we consolidated playlist management, scheduling, song tracks and uploading into a single screen and removed a few menu items. This was to simplify the experience for customers. So let's get into the meat of it:

Playlist Menu Items:

We added quick links to the individual playlists in the top and side menu and added two new management items. "Create Playlist" opens an empty playlist form for you to build a new Playlist and "Invalid" where songs tracks are put that are either corrupt or unlicensed. Each playlist item is color coded. Green for enabled, Red for disabled which corresponds to the scheduled event status. The number after each menu item is the amount of song tracks associated with the playlist.

New Tabbed Interface:

If you click on a playlist, you'll be presented with a new tabbed interface that will allow you to quickly access playlist features, song track management and upload tools. One thing you should not is the menu bar at the top right of the screen. The red delete button will delete the playlist, The orange repair button will re-read your song tracks from the file system (useful if you upload your songs via ftp). The next three buttons facilitate uploading of tracks via the browser.

Drag & Drop Song Uploads:

Once you've selected a playlist, you automatically activate the file upload functions. At any time, no matter what tab you have active, you can simply drag and drop song files onto the browser window and they will automatically be loaded into the upload queue. Uploading won't start until you click the grey "Start" upload button. This way you can drag & drop files from different locations on your computer and then upload them all at once. Once you click start, you can change tabs a continue working on you playlist, but uploads will be stop if you go anywhere else.

Edit Tab:

The playlist editor form provides users with a conducive interface for entering playlist details. We used standard icons, preview values and tooltips instead of field labels to keep things uncluttered and easy to understand. Here is an ordered list of fields (top to left to bottom) and their associated function

  1. Playlist Name (Required): Enter at least 8 characters with no special characters. Spaces will automatically converted to underscores.
  2. Playlist Alias: Alias of your playlist name in human readable format.
  3. Facebook Link: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)
  4. Twitter Link: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)
  5. Google+ Link: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)
  6. Homepage Link: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)
  7. Image Url: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)
  8. Information: (For future use in SoniXFM 2.1)

Saving you changes will generate playlist files, directories (for ftp uploading) and default events that you can edit further.

Schedule Tab:

All playlists can be scheduled to play at certain times of the day, week, month or all the time and the event editor will help you make these settings. Although playlists are not required to run the Transcoder (Auto-DJ), setting up one in conjunction with the DJ-Manager is recommended in case a DJ is dropped from the stream so you don't present a muted radio to your listeners. In future versions of BoomBox we will be offering station managers the ability earn money by playing jingles and advertisements and you should assign at least one playlist for this purpose.

Use of the event manager is straightforward and easy to understand.

  • The "Enabled" field enables or disables the event (BTW: you can quickly enable or disable a playlist event by toggling the power button next to the playlist title at the top of the page). If you disable an event, then the playlist will play at all.
  • "Recurrence" is the cycle in which the playlist will play. "One-Time" allows you to schedule an event to play only once on a certain date at a certain time of the day. "Daily" allows you to schedule an playlist to play at a certain time every day or leave out the time option to play all day. "Weekdays" only plays the playlist Monday through Friday and "Weekends" only plays on Saturday and Sunday.
  • "Priority" sets the playback importance of the playlist. Your primary playlist (if you use one) must be set to high priority so that it will take precedence over other playlists. However you must set it to Low Priority to allow other scheduled playlists to assert their schedule.
  • "Date" You can set a date range in which you can have a playlist available. This setting works with the "Daily, Weekdays and Weekends" setting.
  • "Time" You can schedule a time when your playlists starts. The "Duration" allows you to set how long the playlist will play before reverting back to the next playlist depending on priority. This setting works with the "Daily, Weekdays and Weekends" setting.

Time settings are all UTC and ISO 8601 military time format. which is the "Server" clock in the BoomBox control panel. I know you're thinking "What a pain! I have to calculate the time offset and understand the 24 hour clock!" and assure you that in future versions we will add features to make that easier for you.

Event Examples:

Say you what to have a playlist play all day. well all you set Enabled to "Yes", Recurrence to "Daily" and Priority to "High". done. If you have two playlists, one that plays all day and one that plays Weekends in the morning, Playlist One you set Enabled to "Yes", Recurrence to "Daily" and Priority to "Low" and Playlist Two you set Enabled to "Yes", Recurrence to "Weekends", Priority to "Low" (so that the playlists have equal precedence) and Time to the time the playlist should start (0600 for 6 am) and the Duration for how long the playlist should play (i.e. 01:00:00 would be one hour).

Event scheduling is a powerful feature that can save you loads of time. Play around with it and let your imagination run wild. Need help, contact our support team at any time.

Songs Tab:

This is your Music Library manager for song tracks associated with your playlist. For most, usage should be intuitive, but we'll go over the features anyways. In order to move or delete files, you must first select one or more files which will active the Move and Delete buttons. You can only move files from one playlist to another. The search function is useful for large music libraries and searches by track name, artist and year. The table display shows either the track file name or title (if properly tagged), technical info about the track, the file size and playback order which will become effective in future releases.

The track table shows only 20 song tracks at a time which you can page through using the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. You can also change the amount of track shown per page.

Upload Tab:

This is where the files to be uploaded (upload queue) will be displayed. You have two option for uploading files. Click on "Add Songs..." and you can add multiple files to the queue or even easier, just drag and drop the files from your computer. Click the start button to upload or Cancel to empty the upload queue.

We will periodically update this article with new features and fixes as they become available.

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