Training, Logging, Advice


As I’m getting closer to going live 24/7 with my project, I’m looking for some tips, training, advice for mAirlist as a new user.

Things I need to cover:-

Logging - Correctly setting up logging to record required data for PRS/PPL reporting. Other automation software I’ve used in the past has this built in and active as default, but as I understand it this needs to be configured in mAirlist.

Configuration - Have I got mAirlist setup right. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve picked through most of the older 3.x manual (only one in english) to configure it, but just need someone to check it over, or give me some top tips.

Training - Would be great to spend some time with an experienced user, in a 1 on 1 training session (remote as I’m in the U.K). Just to go over some day to day stuff. A lot of things are different to what I’m use to, such as on most automation software you can create playlists and store them in the DB, to be loaded in the Playout. As I understand it Playlists are stored in local storage as files.

Primarily I’m more concerned about logging (priority), and configuration. Just to make sure I got this right.

Can anyone help?

Matt, I consider myself to be a quite experienced user, but I have no experencience with logging. Whether I (or another user on this forum) can help you, depends on the detailled questions you have.

Probably the best person to help you is Torben Weibert. If you have a licence for mAirList V5 Professional, paid phone and e-mail support as well as remote installation assistance is offered.

I only have paid Home Premium currently.

The logging is important so I’m compliant with PRS/PPL reporting. But I’m also keen to ensure I’ve covered everything configuration wise, and really using the software to its potential.

Normally I consult a manual, but as the last english manual was version 3, I’m not confident that it covers what is new in the later v 5.x (I’m running beta).

Most stuff is common sense, but it is a very feature packed software, with an equally detailed configuration.

When asking questions, please try to be as precise as possible. For example: “I must post a log file for PRS/PPL with the following format: <example of valid PRS/PPL file> - how can I set this up with mAirList logging”?

Regarding mAirListDB and playlists, the hourly playlists that you generate with the Mini Scheduler, and edit in the mAirListDB playlist editor, are stored in the database obviously, not in files.

I will consult a station manager friend I know, and post the details I need.

As too playlist generation, in other automation software I’ve used in commercial broadcasting you can generate a playlist, save it as a name, say “Bonkers Bobs Disco Hour”, then load that playlist in the playout.

Then you can modify the playlist in the manager, say if you wanted to change only the tracks from the following weeks show, by loading it up again.

As I understand it with mAirlist, you simply create or generate the hour (either manually or automatically based on templates), but other than it being written to the database, you can’t save that as a separate playlist wit custom name, unless you save it as a file to the file system. That’s what I know from what I have so far picked up.

Hi Torben,

According to PRS they require the following information for licensing reports:

Fees are based on how much music a service uses. You need to tell us how much music you used at the end of each licence period. We can top up your licence if you underestimated your level of music usage at the start of the licence year.

As for PPL, I had to do some digging to get the right information. They buried the reporting info in there FAQ, but this is what they require:

Standard online radio services – must provide regular reporting of each recorded music track that has been played (including song title, main artist, record label, full duration and ISRC number); the channel on which it was broadcast; the total number of Performances for each track (where one Performance is one recorded music track streamed to one user); and which countries the service has been streamed to.

Hope that helps.

I assume you’re running a mAirListDB, and have all tracks added to the DB library.

So first of all, you have to enter the Label and ISRC as attributes for all tracks in the library - you can make Standard Attributes for that fields (mAirListDB app -> Administration -> Configuration -> Standard Attributes). Good luck if you have thousands of songs to edit…

For the actual report, I see to options:

  1. Use mAirList’s Logging facilities to create a realtime log file in text format, with start time, artist, title, etc.

  2. Write an SQL script that retrieves the data from mAirListDB. There’s a table named “playlistlog” in the DB, where a list of all played songs is kept. The data is also used for the “History” tab in the item properties dialog. With a little SQL knowledge, you can actually pull any report from it.

Not sure what’s the best option here. In fact, the requirements you quote bear some problems. In particular, the thing about the total number of performances. Do they really need the number of listeners at that particular time? You can output that number during file logging (%L), but it may not be accurate, for example when you have a network of (transcoding) servers, and not all servers are fed directly from mAirList.

Thanks Torben.

Luckily I’m using mAirListDB, and about to start compiling a new database, as I’ve recently formulate my playlists and rotation schema.

I also fully tag my MP3’s, although not the ISRC as these are purchased online from stores like Traxsource, or sent to me as promos from labels directly.

I guess the easiest option with total number of performances/listeners, is to pull that from my SHOUTcast logs weekly.

I was thinking about configuring mAirList to push the information to my webserver, but felt that was a little overkill, and the database might become seriously big after a year or two.

Hi Matt,

For logging we set up a local Postgres database with a ‘playoutlog’ table. We use the built in logging to add a new row to that table with Artist, Title, Time/Date, Comments, file path/name and ISRC - but only when the item type is set to ‘Music’ and ‘Unknown’ to avoid filling the table with ads and imaging.

We found it difficult to track down the ISRC numbers for a lot of songs and only applied them to those played most often.

This is also submitted to an online database which is used for the website’s Now Playing data, but also as an offsite backup. It does exceed 350,000 rows and comes in at about 25MB but I suppose most of those rows could be deleted now.

Those PPL terms sound like the ‘Standard’ online licence - are you definitely using that and not the Limited online licence (which I think is slightly less arduous on reporting/logging)? We provide our reporting once per quarter and can gather everything required from the reports of our streaming provider.

No, that is correct according to the LOML licence guide:

I think I’ll use an online database, the one on my web server will do. I’ll write an api bolt in to my framework. My web site backs up nightly to Dropbox, including the database.

I might also do a local log file too.