Various Beginners Layout Questions

I’m beginning to get the hang of this software now - changing layouts using combination of layout designer and text editing the .ini files. I now have some “next stage” questions. Tony wasn’t sure on a few and suggested Torben - but he’s too busy at the moment. so suggested going public. Anyone got any ideas/suggestions?

1/ Is there a reference guide anywhere of all possible command lines in the .ini files?
2/ I’d like to get the player to default to auto mode when it opens, rather than assist mode - is this possible? If it’s not possible using normal functions is it possible using command line arguments, or even scripts that I’ve seen mentioned (but know NOTHING about yet!)
3/ I’ve managed to stop it flashing when in Auto mode, but I’d like it to flash when in assist mode! I tried guessing with a line of “AssistFlash=on” in mAirlist.ini but that didn’t work!
4/ Is it possible to swap the colours of Assist and Auto buttons? We’ll be mainly using it in Auto, so I want Auto to be green and Assist mode to be flashing red!
5/ Is it possible to make Assist and Auto mode buttons bigger? Reason being we have a touch-screen, so it will make things more ergonomic to use, but I also want to make such an important function blindingly obvious on the screen!
6/ I can change font colour in things like text boxes, time, date etc, but the background colour seems to steadfastly stay light grey no matter what I try to set it to in skin.ini. Presumably it is being over-ridden by a global setting somewhere? Any hints?
8/ Also is it possible to turn-off right mouse button menus? If so, is there another way to make it easy for someone to delete something that may have dragged into the playlist in error? (As they won’t have right click delete option). The reason I want to do this is because we have some presenters who like meddling - and so if it is possible then they will meddle making things difficult for the next presenter when things don’t work like they normally do!

Thanks as always, Glyn

Hi Glyn,

  1. Is not possible unless Cad or Charlie can achieve with a script.
  2. This is a current feature request for later addition.
  3. Touch screens are not yet supported, see here,2155.msg12500.html#msg12500
    6.This could most likely be your windows settings.

Right click a blank area of the desktop for display properties and appearence then color scheme. Any changes you make here will apply to all windows/software

8.Is not possible or if it is something I have not seen. It is a request I made long ago but on reflection we no longer need this but what does everyone think?

We tried various things to ensure everything works from one presenter to the next:

A playlist loading by Day and hour - preloaded for that presenter who should be in the chair.

A default cartset loaded for each presenter.

Before settling on a desktop for each presenter.

Ok so they currently need to open this themselves as scripts will not currently load a desktop but the benefits:

Both a playlist and cartset pre-loaded as is a browser to access only the audio that presenter needs.

Players playlists and carts work as expected with right click still enabled.

Once desktops can be loaded using a script, the correct desktop will load for each presenter (by day time) or they will be able to use a hotkey should they be presenting as a stand-in.

HTH tony

Not that I’m aware of. Incidentally, the entries in an INI file are techinically known as keys (just like the Registry).

Yes, but it’s the PLAYLIST which you need to put into AUTO mode (there’s no such thing as putting a single PLAYER into AUTO/ASSIST mode). This is easily done by writing a Notification Script which when ‘notified’ of mAirList Startup, places a Playlist into AUTO. I use this technique myself to put my second Playlist into AUTO. Let me know which Playlist you want to force into AUTO at Startup and I’ll post you a script. You may need to go into Config to set up the script once it’s written.

Not possible. Post a new topic in Feature Requests and Torben should be able to implement it.

Not possible AFAIK? Post a new topic in Feature Requests and Torben should be able to implement it.

I think it’s ToolbarSize in the Playlist section of skin.ini, but don’t quote me yet!
CORRECTION: No, I don’t think this is possible after all.

If you mean the application window background colour (underneath and between Playlists, Players, etc.), this is inherited from your Windows Display Properties (right-click Desktop, then Properties, Appearance tab, Advanced button). I think the one to change is Application Background but not 100% sure.

BTW, what happened to #7?!! :smiley:

It’s not possible to turn off the context menus. But if you could turn them off, you would use the Delete button in the main toolbar usually displayed at the top of the mAirList window to delete items (if your layout doesn’t display the main toolbar, you would be stuffed in this case!).


Hi Cad #7 & #9 were already answered. The remaining questions I had already answered too in a pm and expanding on some of them here. #1, #2 and that part of #5 had been a sticking point, the other part in #5 was the button size of players.

Kind regards tony


Just tried this, its 3d Objects to change the background colour of applications. Remember though it will be all applications.

A bit of an answer :wink:

[Playlist] NextButtonColor=#006000 NextButtonActiveColor=#00FF00 StartButtonColor=#006000 StartButtonActiveColor=#00FF00 StopButtonColor=#700000 StopButtonActiveColor=#FF0000 ToolbarFontSize=12 ToolbarFontStyle=1 ToolbarFontName=MS Sans Serif

ToolbarFontxxx will obviously increase everything such as the Auto/Assist buttons, Events box and Playlist Duration.

  1. I don’t have a complete list, because the objects just “pick” their settings as needed from skin.ini rather than choosing them from a pre-defined list. I will have to manually scan through the source code in order to create such a list. There are two articles in the German Wiki, but they’re also not complete yet:

  1. In the “scripts” folder, there’s a file named “”. You need to register this as a notification script in mAirListConfig. From mAirList 3.0, it will also be possible to enable the automation from the “actions at startup” mechanism.

3+4. Not possible yet.

  1. Already answered.

  2. For the screen objects like date, time etc. you just need to put a “Color=” line into the respective “ScreenObject” section of skin.ini. (The section name in skin.ini needs to be the same as in screenobjects.ini.) For the standard GUI components like buttons, toolbars etc. mAirList uses the default Windows theme as described above.

  3. Not possible. I also doubt that I will make disabling of specific menu items possible. Too much work. However, we could establish further categories in the “enabled features” list in mAirListConfig. For example a new option “Change options in runtime” - when it’s disabled, the “Options” and “GUI options” items will disappear from the context menu.


Hi Torben, if you make changes to allow right clicks to be disabled please make this optional.

Otherwise we need a new method of creating hook and standard containers “On the Fly”.

Kind Regards Tony

Sure, everything will be optional :slight_smile:

Thanks and vielen danke for all the hints. I was a bit slow replying because my e-mail notification of posts seems to have stopped working.

I’ll give those ideas a try over the next day or two if I can get a slot on the PC in between the kids!

The background color issue is definitely on inserted text, time etc fields, not windows - so maybe Torben’s hints about making sure the section headings in the ini files are the same is the answer - if not expect to see my ini files pasted here soon!!

Thanks again



No luck on the background colour issue. I tried adding a “Colour =#000000” field as Torben suggested and checked the section names were same between .ini files, but that didn’t seem to change anything either ;-(

I think some of my terminology is not perfect, thus I might be causing confusion. Thus I attach a screengrab showing what it looks like so far and what I want to do!! (you will see I have ripped-off one of the layouts from the forum!). I also attach the layout.ini, screenobjects.ini and skin.ini files so you can check if I have set the “Backgroundcolour” fields correctly. It seems to be difficult to identify which screen objects are which number, so just for reference the big “Thornbury FM” banner accross the top of the screen is Screen Object 7.

If I can get the background colour set correctly I think I’m nearly there. I know this is “only” a visual thing, but I think it will help the overall impression of simplicity that I’m trying to achieve (also our studio is pretty dark and red/green on black seems to work better on the eye for some reason!).

My next and probably final problem is getting database search to work. Even with small directories I can’t get “on the fly” working - the search bar appears in the layout, but when I search for a known song, it just gives an error sound and finds nothing! I tried creating a Itunes library, but that does not get the search bar to appear on the layout. And Media Monkey I don’t “get” how to link it’s capabilities to mAirlist (do you have to export its library to somewhere?) I tried creating an XML database but it did not like that either - itcomplained it was the wrong format or something! Any hints or pointers to other posts on the subject appreciated!

The playlist button size/colour/flashing/automation on issues area “nice to have” but non-essential. But I’m very interested to hear it might be possible to set automation on when it starts-up…

Cheers, Glyn

mairlist TFM smaller.jpg

skin.ini (6.46 KB)

screenobjects.ini (757 Bytes)

layout.ini (1.34 KB)

You’ve mis-spelled “colour” in your ScreenObject 7 section in skini.ini.

Color=#000000 not Colour (I know our spelling is correct, but we’ll blame the Americans!) Then put Color=#000000 into each Screen Object in skin.ini that you wish to have a black background.

Assist/Auto buttons - already covered, see my earlier post.

Browser - uncomment your Browser section in skin.ini, you’ve left them all ;commented The ones included aren’t pretty, but will give you a headstart.

Hi Glyn, you can also rename the browser tabs to something more friendly. Right click on the tab name in the top of the browser and rename. It also hides in the hard drive where things are from prying eyes.

Don’t forget to save the desktop in its new state.

What Charlie said: and also, in skin.ini [ScreenObjectn] sections, it’s definitely Color and not BackgroundColor or Colour.

Generally speaking, skin.ini uses Color to mean ‘background colour of this object.’ I use this in my own mAirList [ScreenObjectn] sections and it definitely works!

TIP: You can create a coloured ‘tile’ by creating a StaticText ScreenObject with no text in it. (If you hadn’t already worked that out!) Again, I use that here: for my 07:20 to top of hour display. The first bit is an HourCountdown and the rest is a StaticText. Why not put the text in the HourCountdown? To prevent the whole thing flickering every second! :wink: Which it does at the fairly large point size I use for it.

BUT to space it all out properly, I use three blank StaticTexts with the same skin.ini Color as HourCountdown and the ‘to top of hour’ StaticText to space them out horizontally.
From left to right: blank-countdown-blank-‘to top of hour’-blank.

It’s hardly a big effort, especially with Charlie’s excellent Layout Designer to tweak size/position of everything afterwards ;D, to do this.


Oops! sorry Glyn, just noticed that bit! Assuming you only have one Playlist (your layout.ini has settings for two Playlists?), look in mairlist\scripts\notification (or mairlist\scripts) for a script named If you accepted the mAirList installer defaults, this is one of the Example Scripts which should already be there.

Edit this script to look like this:

{------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Notification Script for mAirList

  Author: Torben Weibert <>
  Date: 2006-09-13

  Enables Automation mode on the first Playlist after startup.

  See for further information.

procedure OnStartup;
  SystemLog('Enabling Automation ...');

  // un-comment the line below to START Automated Play as well

  SystemLog('Welcome to mAirList!');


Obviously you can remove or amend the SystemLog messages if you like.

When it’s saved, start mAirList Config and click Scripts, Notification Scripts, Add…, then select your amended mls script file to add it to the list box, then click Save.

Every time you start mAirList, the script will run and put your first (only?) Playlist into AUTO.


Wow thanks for all the help guys - that “Color” vs “Colour” hint has got me much closer to where I wanted to be! I attach a latest screen grab of my “simply player”. When I’m totally happy I’ll post the .ini files in case anyone else has similar requirements.

The next two problems for me:

1/ I’ve set that script to run so taht it starts in Auto ratehr than assist mode. This works a treat EXCEPT it insist in automatically playing the first item I drag into the playlist before even pressing Play. It didn’t do this before. Hopefully tehre is a simple way of getting it to start in Auto mode, but without playing things like that?

2/ Database - no matetr which method I try it does not seem to work. I get the search window, but anything I type (even artists I know are in the library) it does not seem to even try to search. It just immediately comes back with a windows erros sound (“donk”!). I checked in teh database section of the Config application, and when you test the link to the database it says it is OK.

Any hints appreciated as always. I’m nearly there now!



Have you got this line PlaybackControl(0).AutomationPlay; in your Automation on Start script ? If so, delete it or //coment it out (Cad’s example has it commented out). That command is useful if you want mAirList to startup and begin playing after a reboot/power-failure. It’ll also explain why the Playlist is “armed” when you drop your item into it :slight_smile:

Database - need to see the database.ini file!

Hi Charlie

Thanks for the autoplay hint - one day I’ll ask you lot a question that you don’t know the answer to!

Attached is my non-functioning database.ini file.

One (possibly last) question - is it possible to change the clock format to 12 hour? I tried HH and hh but it did not seem to change things. If it is, is it also possible to change it in the LED clock as well, or is that fixed?

ta, Glyn

database.ini (89 Bytes)

The database works for me (using my own folder). Remember though that you’ll probably want the AutoReScan=true aswell, but depends how big your folder is. At Phoenix FM, we had 4 OnTheFly databases (A, B Lists, Library, All) totalling about 10,000 tracks - the original cache took about 100 minutes, but subsequent loads only took about 20sec.

When you load mAirList, you should be able to add a Database Search in the Browser, click in the search bar and press “enter” - this’ll load every file in the database. You should at least find something, because even if you didn’t have Artist fields set correctly, the search uses both Artist+Title fields.

12/24hr Clocks: The DateTimeFormat should allow you to specify h(12) and H(24) but I suppose it depends how Torben has implemented it.


For database searches, do you have a dropdown immediately BELOW the search text box? This only appears if you have more than one on-the-fly ‘database.’ If so, make sure ‘All Databases’ is selected.

Remember that you do need a separate DB per directory tree. For example, if ALL your files are under subdirectories of C:\audio, you only need one DB. BUT if you also have files under subdirectories of, say, C:\NewStuff, you need a SECOND DB connection for that ‘tree.’

On-the-fly DBs always recurse any subdirectories, so you only need a DB entry for each top-level directory (e.g. C:\audio) and NOT for any subdirectories.

Still not working? Go to your audio directory and use Notepad (or WordPad) to open the OnTheFlyCache.mlp file, which should exist in the directory specified in mAirList Config as your on-the-fly DB directory. Better still, use an XML file viewer/editor like Microsoft XML Notepad 2007, a freeware download available here:
(All mAirList data files are XML files, so this is a handy tool to have!)

Do you have entries in your OnTheFlyCache.mlp? If so, do those contain and tags? If your answer is yes to both, you should be able to use mAirList Search.

An OnTheFlyCache.mlp file (viewed in Notepad!) should resemble this:

    <Artist>(c) 2002 Ben Freedman</Artist>
    <Title>Instant  Radio Station Beds</Title>
    <Picture />
    <Filename>C:\Audio\Instant Radio Station demos\beds.mp3</Filename>
    <Artist>Ben Freedman</Artist>
    <Title>Instant Radio Station</Title>
    <Comment>encoded by Norman Barrington</Comment>
    <Picture />
    <Filename>C:\Audio\Instant Radio Station demos\irsdemo3.mp3</Filename>
    <Title>AudioTrack 01</Title>
    <Comment>more at</Comment>
    <Picture />
    <Filename>C:\Audio\PAMS Jingle Samples\pw1.mp3</Filename>
    <Artist>(c) Kenr LLC &amp; Pams</Artist>
    <Title>Power-Pellas Vol 4 Demo</Title>
    <Comment>more at</Comment>
    <Picture />
    <Filename>C:\Audio\PAMS Jingle Samples\pw4.mp3</Filename>


In my onlthefly.mpl, all I have is one line:

I guess this isn’t right!