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Shoutcast User Guide

     Thank you for your interest in our SHOUTcast hosting services.  Below is all the information you will need to know to setup your station and start streaming!

1. Accessing Your Account

1.1. Logging In

Your hosting provider should have provided a username and password to access your account, as well

as an URL at which you may login. To access your account, simply launch the login URL and enter

your username and password to login.

1.2. Retrieving Your Password

If you have forgotten your password, you may reset it using the Forgot password? link at the

bottom of the login page. Simply enter the E-mail address on file for your account, and instructions for

resetting your password will be sent to you via E-mail.

If you no longer have access to the E-mail account on file, you will need to contact your hosting

provider to have your password changed manually.

2. Dashboard

Immediately after logging in, you will be presented with the dashboard view for your account. The

dashboard provides the following information:

Current listeners: Indicates the number of listeners currently tuned in to your stream, as well as

the maximum number of listeners your stream will accomodate.

Host and Port: Indicate the hostname and port number of your stream, respectively.

Data transfer: Indicates the total data transfer used by your stream to for this month, as well as

your monthly data transfer limit.

Disk quota: Indicates the amount of disk space used by your uploaded media (if any), as well as

your disk space limit.

Maximum bit rate: Indicates the bit rate limit configured for your stream.

Projected data transfer: Indicates the amount of data transfer that your stream will use this

month if usage remains consistent for the remainder of the month.

Recent tracks: Provides a list of up to 10 of the most recently played songs or tracks on your

stream, as well as the times at which those tracks were played.

The dashboard, like all other pages in the client area, also provides a number of options for managing

your server. These options, shown grouped into sections at the left-hand side of the page, include:

The Realtime Stats section provides information about the status of the your stream, including

the following:

Listeners: indicates the number of listeners currently tuned-in to your stream

Server Status: indicates the status of your streaming server (online or offline).

Source Status: indicates the status of your streaming source (online, offline, or remote).

Source Connected: indicates whether or not a stream source is connected to your server.

The Management section provides options for managing the your account. These options are

described in detail below. They include:

Overview: Launches the dashboard, described above.

Configure Server: Provides access to the settings for your streaming server, described in

the Server Configuration section below.

View Current Listeners: Provides information about the listeners who are currently

listening to your stream at this moment in time.

View Statistics: Provides access to the statistics for your account, described in the

Statistics section below.

View Logs: Provides access to the logs for this account, described in the Server Logs

section below.

Server Administration: Provides access to the internal server administration interface

provided by your streaming server software (SHOUTcast or IceCast). For more

information, please consult the documentation for your streaming server software.

Quick Links: Provides a number of useful links and login information for managing and

working with your stream.

Code Snippets: Provides a number of JavaScript code snippets that you can use on your

own web site to display information about your stream.

Manage Playlists: Launches the playlist manager for your streaming source (if enabled),

described in the Playlist Manager section below.

Media Library: Launches your media library (if enabled), described under the Media

Library section below.

The Server Control section provides controls for stopping and starting your streaming server.

These options include:

Start Server: Starts your streaming server (and streaming source, if enabled).

Stop Server: Shuts down your streaming server (and streaming source, if enabled). This

will disconnect any listeners that may be tuned into your stream, and will take your

stream offline.

Restart Server: Shuts down your streaming server, then immediately starts it again. This

will disconnect any listeners that may be tuned into your stream. Restarting your server

may be necessary to apply certain configuration changes, and is equivalent to manually

stopping, then starting your server.

Reload Server: Attempts to re-load your server configuration and playlist without

disconnecting any listeners or interrupting your stream. This will apply many

configuration changes, but a full restart may be necessary in some cases.

Skip Song: Skips to the next song in your playlist. This option is only available if using

the server-side streaming source.

Deactivate Source: De-activates the server-side stream source (if enabled for your

account). If you want to switch from pre-programmed content to a live stream, you can

use this feature to stop your server-side stream source before connecting your live

stream source. When you finish your live broadcast, simply disconnect your live stream

source and click the Activate Source button to re-activate your server-side stream source

and return to pre-programmed content.

A stream information bar is also displayed at the bottom of each page, and is updated

approximately every 30 seconds to reflect your stream's status. This includes the current track

and bitrate of your stream, your stream's name, and links to tune into the stream using various

media players.

3. Server Configuration

Centova Cast provides access to a wide range of settings for your account which are broken down into

several tabbed sheets. Some settings may differ based on the type of streaming server or streaming

source being used by your hosting provider, and these differences are noted below.

The following tabs are available:

3.1.1. Stream

The stream tab includes general settings that will be required for virtually all accounts. These include:

Stream title

Specifies the title for the stream. This will be displayed by listeners' media players when they

tune into the stream.

E-mail address

Specifies your E-mail address. Centova Cast will automatically send notifications to this

address when necessary.

Company/organization

Specifies your company/organization name.

Website URL

Specifies the URL to the web site associated with this stream (if any).

Source password

Specifies the password required by streaming sources to connect to this stream and begin

broadcasting.

Administrator password

Specifies the password required to login to your Centova Cast account or the streaming server's

internal administrative interface.

Time zone

Specifies your time zone. This will affect the display of times in areas such as the Scheduled

Playlist editor.

Character encoding

Specifies your preferred character encoding. MP3 audio files do not contain any information

about the language or 'character set' in which they were encoded, so if you are using a non-

Latin character set (Russian, etc.), you will need to set your character encoding appropriately to

ensure that all of the letters in the alphabet of your language are interpreted correctly from your

3.1.2. AutoDJ

The AutoDJ tab includes options for configuring your stream's autoDJ, if enabled by your stream

hosting provider. These settings are only required if you are permitted to upload media (MP3 files,

etc.) to the server. If you will be providing your own, offsite source (such as a live broadcast, using

something like WinAmp with the Oddcast plugin, or SAM Broadcaster) then the autoDJ may be

disabled.

Options include:

AutoDJ status

Specifies whether the server-side streaming source should be enabled. Options include:

Disabled: If selected, server-side streaming support is turned off. This setting is

necessary if you plan to provide your own streaming source.

Enabled: If selected, server-side streaming support will be turned on. This setting is

necessary if you plan to upload your media library to the server and will not be

providing your own streaming source.

Note that if the autoDJ is enabled, but no media (eg: MP3 files) have been uploaded, or media

has not been added to an enabled playlist, the server will fail to start. As such, be sure to upload

at least one track, and add one or more tracks to an enabled General Rotation playlist, before

starting the server with autoDJ support enabled.

Royalty reporting capability

If enabled, the autoDJ will include a small tracking code at the end of the song titles shown in

your listeners' media players. For example, instead of:

Artist Name Song Title

You might see the following instead:

Artist Name Song Title [C51B]

This allows detailed reports to be generated (on the Tracks tab of the View Statistics page)

containing most of the information needed to make reports to the appropriate entities for royalty

determination purposes.

If this option is disabled, the generated reports will be much less detailed and may not contain

sufficient information for accurate royalty reporting purposes.

Rebuild playlist on startup

Specifies whether the playlist should be rebuilt automatically every time the server is started or

restarted. If enabled, Centova Cast will re-index your media library and build a new playlist

every time the server is started or restarted. If disabled, the same playlist will always be used

unless you manually update it.

Note that if no playlist exists, Centova Cast will always build one regardless of this setting.

Also note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e.,

when using ices-cc), this setting is ignored or hidden.

Randomize playlist

Specifies whether the playlist should be randomized automatically by the streaming source.

Enabling this setting is not recommended as it will interfere with Centova Cast's 'Interval'

playlist type. Instead, set your 'General Rotation' playlists to play in random order.

Note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e., when

using ices-cc), this setting is ignored or hidden.

Genre

Specifies the genre of your stream.

Mount point

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by

your hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

Specifies the mount point to which the streaming source should connect. If unsure, simply set

this to /stream as a default value.

Description

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by

your hosting provider.

Specifies a description for your stream, which is used when submitting metadata to various

directories.

3.1.3. Start Page

The Start Page tab includes options for configuring the stream 'start page' provided by Centova Cast.

Activate start page

Specifies whether or not the start page will be available for your stream.

Enable song request widget

Specifies whether or not the Song Request widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as

a code snippet). If enabled, users may use the song request widget to request songs, and the

requests will be sent to your E-mail address.

Enable on-demand content widget

Specifies whether or not the On-Demand Content widget will be enabled (both on the start

page, and as a code snippet). If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a media browser with which

the visitor can browse, download, or stream any media that you've published in your

'ondemand' folder.

Enable recent tracks widget

Specifies whether or not the Recent Tracks widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and

as a code snippet). If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a list of tracks and authors which have

played recently. If you have an Amazon.com access key ID, this feature can also display album

covers for each track.

Number of recent tracks

Specifies the number of tracks which will be shown in the Recent Tracks widget.

Enable Google Maps widget

Specifies whether or not the start page will use Google Maps to plot the geographic locations of

your listeners on a world map in realtime. This option may not be available depending on how

Centova Cast has been configured by the administrator.

Amazon access key ID

Specifies your Amazon.com access key ID. If specified, Centova Cast will automatically fetch

album cover images from Amazon.com to be displayed in the 'recent tracks' list. This will also

activate a 'Buy album' link next to each album, and any sales generated through these links

will be credited toward your Amazon.com affiliate account. This option may not be available

depending on how Centova Cast has been configured by the administrator.

3.1.4. Files

The Files tab includes options for uploading various sound files for use by the streaming server. These

include:

Introduction file

Specifies the introduction media file for the stream. The introduction file is an MP3 file that is

played immediately after each listener connects, before tuning in to the live stream. This may

be useful for for station identification or advertisement purposes.

Fallback file

Specifies the fallback media file for the stream. The fallback file is an MP3 file that is played in

a loop if the source stream disconnects. Without a fallback file, listeners will either hear

silence, or be disconnected entirely if the source stream disconnects.

3.1.5. Master Relaying

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your

hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

The Master Relaying tab includes options for setting up a master relay for another IceCast server.

Using Master Relay, the remote IceCast server essentially becomes the source for your own server, and

all of the mount points from the remote server are made available on your server.

Options include:

Master server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master port

Specifies the port number of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master update interval

Specifies the interval at which the remote stream's configuration is replicated to the local server.

Master username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Master password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more

listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more

listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and

continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the

time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

3.1.6. Mountpoint Relaying

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used by your

hosting provider. More specifically, this option is for IceCast servers only.

The Mountpoint Relaying tab includes options for setting up a relay for a single stream on a remote

server. Using Mountpoint Relay, the remote stream essentially becomes the source for your own

server, and listeners tuning into your server will hear the remote server's stream.

Options include:

Stream server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream port

Specifies the port number of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream mount point

Specifies the mount point for the desired stream on the remote server. If the remote server is a

SHOUTcast server, you should specify /stream here.

Local mount point

Specifies the mount point for the relayed stream on the local server. If in doubt, you can

specify /stream here as a default value.

Stream username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Stream password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more

listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more

listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and

continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the

time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

Relay metadata

If enabled, the metadata provided by the remote streaming server will be passed through to your

own listeners. If disabled, the locally-configured metadata will be used instead.

3.1.7. Advanced

Note: the settings available on this tab will vary depending on the server software being used by your

hosting provider. As such ,they are broken down into two sections below.

The Advanced tab includes options for configuring various advanced settings, and normally does not

need to be adjusted.

3.1.8. Advanced: IceCast

When using IceCast as your streaming server, options include the following. Please consult the IceCast

documentation for more information about these options.

Directory listings URL

Specifies the URL to your directory listings or 'yellow pages' service.

Directory listings port

Specifies the port number of your directory listings or 'yellow pages' service.

Suppress metadata

Prevents IceCast from sending song artist/title information to your listeners.

Relay password

Specifies the password required to relay your stream, if any.

4. Current Listeners

Centova Cast provides a comprehensive overview of the listeners who are currently tuned into your

stream. The current listener report includes the following information:

Current Listener List

Country:

Indicates the country in which the listener is located, if this information available.

IP Address:

Indicates the IP address of the listener.

User Agent:

Indicates the name and version of the software with which the user has connected to your

stream.

Agent Type:

Indicates the type of software being used by the user; either a player (a standard media

player used to listen to music) or a ripper (a program which can 'steal' music from your

stream and save it on the listener's PC).

Listen Time:

Indicates the total length of this listener's session.

Top Countries

Provides a breakdown of the top countries from which listeners are currently tuned in to you

stream. The country list is ranked by number of listeners from each country.

Top User Agents

Provides a breakdown of the top software with which your listeners are connected to your

stream.

Geographic Listener Locations

Provides a realtime world overview of your current listeners' geographic locations, plotted on a

world map. This service is provided by Google Maps and may or may not be available

depending on how your administrator has configured Centova Cast.

5. Statistics

Centova Cast provides the most comprehensive streaming radio statistics system commercially

available today. It provides information about listener trends and demographics, data transfer, track

performances and popularity, user agents, and much, much more.

To access your statistics, click the View Statistics link in your client area. The statistics

available are described in the following sections.

5.1. Recent Activity

The recent activity report provides a high-level overview of your stream statistics, including details of

listener trends, average session times, total listening hours, data transfer, track playback, and more.

Listener Minutes

This section contains information about listener trends over the past 7, 14, and 30 days, which

help you determine how your stream's audience is developing over time.

The total listening hours (TLH) is also provided for the selected period, which may be useful if

you need to report to a royalty/licensing authority.

Listeners

This section provides information about your listeners. Total listener sessions describes the

number of times a listener has tuned in. Unique listeners and unique countries indicate the

number of distinct listeners and countries (respectively) which have tuned in during the

reporting period.

Data Transfer

This section provides details of your stream's data transfer during the reporting period.

Tracks

This section provides details of the tracks played during the reporting period.

Peak Period

This section provides information about the time at which the most users were connected during

the reporting period. The number of listeners, track name, and date of that occasion are

provided.

Listeners for Today

Provides a graph of the total number listeners connections established during each hour

throughout the current day.

Listeners for Yesterday

Provides a graph of the total number listeners connections established during each hour

throughout the previous day.

5.2. Listeners

The listener overview provides information about listeners' usage of your station.

Average Listener Session Length

The average length of a listener session is broken down into common intervals and charted and

graphed.

Top Listeners by Listener Sessions

Top listeners are ranked according to the total number of times they have connected to your

stream during the reporting period

Top Listeners by Listener Minutes

Top listeners are ranked according to the total number of minutes they have spent connected to

your stream during the reporting period.

Both of the Top Listeners reports automatically determine the countries from which your listeners were

connected, and the software used by the listener to tune into the stream is noted and identified as a

media player or stream ripper to assist in abuse detection.

5.3. User Agents

The user agents report provides an overview of the software programs your listeners are using to tune

in to your stream.

Top Agents by Listener Sesssions

The top software used to connect to your stream is charted and graphed according to the number

of times each software application has connected to your stream during the reporting period.

Top Agents by Listener Minutes

The top software used to connect to your stream is charted and graphed according to the total

amount of time each software application has spent connected to your stream during the

reporting period.

In both reports, each user agent is also classified as a legitimate media player (such as WinAmp,

iTunes, etc.), or a stream ripper (a program used to steal music from your stream) to assist in abuse

detection.

5.4. Countries

The country overview provides information about the countries from which the majority of your

listeners are tuning in.

Top Countries by Listener Sesssions

The top countries connecting to your stream are charted and graphed according to the number

of times a listener from each country has connected to your stream during the reporting period.

Top Countries by Listener Minutes

The top countries connecting to your stream are charted and graphed according to the total

amount of time listeners from each country have spent connected to your stream during the

reporting period.

In both reports, each country is identified (where possible) and the appropriate flag is displayed to aid

in identification at a glance.

5.5. Tracks

The tracks report provides information about the frequency and popularity of the tracks played on your

stream.

Least Popular Tracks

Provides an overview of the least popular tracks played during the reporting period, by

disconnections per minute. The popularity of a track is calculated by determining the number

of times a listener disconnected or 'tuned-out' while the track was playing, averaged over the

total number of minutes the song was played throughout the reporting period.

Most Popular Tracks

Provides an overview of the most popular tracks played during the reporting period, by

connections per minute. This is calculated in the same manner as the Least Popular Tracks

report.

Top Tracks by Playbacks

Provides a list of the songs most frequently played during the reporting period, according to the

total number of times the song was played.

Top Tracks by Airtime

Provides a list of the songs which received the most 'air time', or total minutes, during the

reporting period.

Track Broadcast Reports

Provides access to your monthly broadcast reports for the past several months. These

downloadable (CSV spreadsheet) reports provide information about each and every song that

was played on your stream during the reporting period, along with information about how many

listeners heard each song.

Note that reports are generated on a monthly basis, and this section will not appear until at least

one report has been generated.

Each report contains two spreadsheets, either of which may be useful if you are required to

make reports to a royalty/music licensing authority:

A playback report, which individually records the date, time, artist, album, title, duration,

and listener information for each and every track played during the reporting period.

A performance report, which records the aggregate playback and listener information for

each unique song played on your stream during the reporting period.

5.6. Historical Statistics

Historical statistics provide detailed daily and monthly data transfer and listener statistics, complete

with graphs, allowing you to track listener trends and resource usage.

Unlike the other statistics provided by Centova Cast (which are limited to 60 days) historical statistics

provide information about your stream since it was first created in Centova Cast.

Graphs provided include:

Data Transfer

Indicates the total, combined data transfer for your stream over a period of time. Graphs are

displayed for one-month and one-year intervals.

Minutes

Indicates the total, combined number of listener minutes for your stream over a period of time.

Graphs are displayed for one-month and one-year intervals.

Listeners

Indicates the number of simultaneous listeners at each hour throughout the day for a one-day

period.

6. Server Logs

Centova Cast provides direct access to the log files created by your streaming server. To access your

logs, click the View Logs link in your client area. By default, the access log for your server is

displayed. To view the error log, click the View Error Log link at the bottom of the page.

The precise format of the logs displayed will vary depending on the streaming server software being

used by your hosting provider. If you require assistance, please contact your hosting provider.

7. Quick Links

Centova Cast provides a variety of useful links and connection information for your stream on the

'Quick Links' page. Information provided includes:

A link to your stream start page.

A link to your streaming server software's index page.

Tune-in links for a number of common media players, which you can paste into your own web

site.

Connection information for live sources. This can be used to connect to your stream with a live

source software application (such as SAM Broadcaster) and being a live broadcast using your

microphone.

Connection information for FTP access. This can be used to upload media to your stream if

your administrator has provided autoDJ capabilities to your stream.

A link to this user guide.

8. Code Snippets

Centova Cast provides a number of JavaScript code snippets which you can include in your own web

pages to display information about your stream. No programming knowledge is required anyone who

understands HTML (and, ideally, CSS) can make use of these snippets to easily add custom stream

information to a web page.

The code for each of these snippets can be obtained using the 'Code Snippets' link in your Centova

Cast control panel. 'Live' examples of all of these snippets are available on your stream start page.

The following code snippets are available.

8.1. Stream Status Summary

This snippet displays a brief line of information about your current stream status. Typically, this will

look something like the following:

Artist Name Track Title (Online)

In this example, Artist Name Track Title refers to the artist and track that are currently being played

on your stream, and Online refers to the status of your stream (which will be Offline if your stream is

offline).

The above text is hyperlinked such that, when clicked, it will tune in to your stream.

The status summary is also automatically updated using AJAX technology at 30-60 second intervals

such that it always displays the correct song artist and title.

8.2. Stream Details

This snippet is a more flexible version of the Stream Status Summary, for more advanced users who

wish to customize placement of the individual elements of stream information. Using this snippet, you

can place the <span> elements for the current song, stream title, bit rate, server status, and source

status individually, anywhere on your web page, and Centova Cast will automatically fill them in.

8.3. On-demand Content

This snippet allows you to embed an on-demand content browser in your web page, which allows the

visitor to browse, stream, or download the media you've published in your 'ondemand' folder. The ondemand

content browser operates using AJAX technology such that the page never re-loads, and thus

can be safely embedded into any web page.

8.4. Recent Tracks

This snippet displays a list of the 5 tracks which were most recently played on your stream, along with

the name of the artist associated with each.

If Amazon.com integration is enabled, and you've entered your Amazon.com access key ID on the

'Start Page' tab of the 'Configure Server' page, Centova Cast will also display the album cover (when

available) along with a 'Buy this album' link next to each track. Any sales generated through the 'Buy

this album' link will be credited toward your Amazon.com affiliate account, making this an effective

revenue-generation strategy for your stream.

8.5. Song Requests

This snippet displays a form allowing your visitors to submit song requests. When a request is

received, it is automatically sent via E-mail to the E-mail address configured for your account. Note

that you (as the stream administrator) are responsible for handling the request yourself, and queuing the

requested tracks if desired.

The Song Request form, like most of the code snippets displayed on the start page, can be disabled on

the 'Start Page' tab of the 'Configure Server' page if it is not wanted or needed.

8.6. Tune In

This snippet displays a list of tune-in links for various media players. Users can click on the

appropriate link for their media player to tune in to your stream.

8.7. Alternate Character Encodings

If you find that the code snippets show certain accented characters incorrectly when used on your web

site, it is possible that you are not using UTF-8 encoding on your web page. To correct this, you

should set the 'Character encoding' setting to the correct character encoding for your web page. This

will re-load the 'Code Snippets' page and update each snippet to use the correct character encoding.

(Note that after changing the character encoding, you must copy and paste the updated snippets into

your web site, replacing the originals.)

9. Playlist Manager

The playlist manager allows you to create and configure playlists to control how and when your media

is played. You can create as many playlists as you like, each with its own distinct settings, and

Centova Cast will automatically determine when to play each one based on your settings.

9.1. Creating a Playlist

To create a new playlist, click the Create Playlist link in the upper, right-hand corner of the page. This

will launch the playlist editor, described under Playlist Editor below.

9.2. Editing a Playlist

To edit an existing playlist, click the Edit Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to edit. This will

launch the playlist editor, described under Playlist Editor below.

9.3. Deleting a Playlist

To delete an existing playlist, click the Delete Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to delete. This

will permanently remove the playlist, its settings, and its list of tracks.

9.4. Enabling or Disabling a Playlist

To enable or disable an existing playlist, click the Enable Playlist icon next to the playlist you wish to

delete. A disabled playlist will be ignored by Centova Cast.

9.5. Updating your Media Library

Centova Cast maintains an internal list of information about all of your media artists, albums, and

tracks which is used to allow you to browse and search your media in the media library.

Whenever you add or remove media from your collection, you will need to click the Update Media

Library link, at the bottom of the Playlist Manager page, to allow Centova Cast to update its internal

list. Note that any new media you add to your collection will not appear in the media library until

you've clicked the Update Media Library link.

9.6. Playlist Editor

This will launch the playlist editor and allow you to configure the new playlist. The following fields

are available:

Title

Specifies the title for the playlist. This is used only to help you identify the playlist, and is

completely ignored by Centova Cast. Use a descriptive name like 'Heavy rotation' or 'Friday

night's top 10 countdown' to ensure that you'll remember what this playlist is for.

Status

Specifies the status of the playlist. If the playlist is Enabled, it will be included in your

stream; if it is Disabled, it will be ignored by Centova Cast and its tracks will never be

played.

Type

Specifies the type of playlist. There are presently 4 playlist types available:

General Rotation: General rotation playlists are used to play media from your library

when no scheduled, interval, or immediate playlists are due to be played. This is the

'default' playlist type, and most stations spend the majority of their air time playing

random tracks from general rotation playlists.

Scheduled: Scheduled playlists allow you to schedule a list of tracks to be played at a

specific date and time. These playlists can also be setup to repeat on a schedule, making

them ideal for daily/weekly countdowns or pre-recorded shows.

Interval: Interval playlists allow you to play tracks at regular intervals of several

minutes or several songs. These playlists are useful for playing frequently-recurring

content, such as station identification or commercial advertisements.

Immediate: Immediate playlists allow you to queue tracks to be played immediately

after the end of the current track. These playlists are useful for playing tracks on

demand, such as song requests.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists of different types

are activated, please see the section entitled Track Selection below.

Playback order

Specifies the track playback order for General Rotation, Scheduled, and Immediate playlists. If

set to Random (shuffled), tracks will be selected at random from the playlist. If set to

Sequential (in order), tracks will be selected in order from the playlist, starting with

the first track, and restarting when the end of the playlist is reached.

The playlist editor also includes a number of additional fields depending on the playlist type. Those are

discussed in the sections following immediately below.

9.6.1. General Rotation Playlist Options

General Rotation playlists include the following additional fields in the playlist editor:

Playback weight

Specifies the 'weight' for the playlist, which controls how often tracks from this playlist are

played relative to tracks from other General Rotation playlists. This can be used to ensure that,

for example, new releases (in one playlist) are played more frequently than older tracks (in

another playlist).

Take, for example, a scenario in which you have the following General Rotation playlists:

Title Playback weight

Power rotation 6

Heavy rotation 3

Light rotation 1

In this example, for every 10 tracks that are played, on average, 6 will be selected from the

Power rotation playlist, 3 will be selected from the Heavy rotation playlist, and 1 will be

selected from the Light rotation playlist.

As such, you might place your most popular tracks (new releases, for example) in your Power

rotation playlist, to ensure that they are played most frequently. You might place older

favorites in the Heavy rotation playlist to ensure that they are still played often, though less

often than the new releases. And you might place your less popular tracks in the Light rotation

playlist to ensure that they are played only occasionally.

Activation period

General rotation playlists can also be limited to a specific period of the day. This can be used to

play lighter songs in the morning and heavier songs in the afternoon, for example. If no time

period is selected, the playlist will be active for the entire day.

Note that setting a time period for a general rotation playlist is different than creating an actual

Scheduled Playlist. Scheduled playlists are exclusive to their time periods, and no general

rotation tracks will play during a scheduled playlist.

In contrast, if a general rotation playlist has a time frame configured, and there are other general

rotation playlists configured for the same period (or with no time restriction at all), Centova

Cast will select tracks from each of the playlists according to their weighting as described

above.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists are activated, please see

the section entitled Track Selection below.

9.6.2. Scheduled Playlist Options

Scheduled playlists include the following additional fields in the playlist editor:

Scheduled date

Specifies the date on which this playlist should be activated. The playlist will remain inactive

until this date. You may optionally click the '...' button to choose the date visually on a

calendar.

Scheduled time

Specifies the time at which this playlist should be activated, on the date specified in the

Scheduled date field. The playlist will remain inactive until the scheduled date at the scheduled

time.

Important scheduling note: All dates and times will be in the server's time zone unless you have

explicitly configured your time zone on the 'Basic Configuration' tab of the 'Configure

Server' page.

Repeat schedule

Specifies when (if ever) this playlist should repeat. If enabled, this allows you to have the

tracks in the playlist automatically re-played several times per week, month, or year.

Possible values for this field include:

Never (one time only): If selected, the playlist will play only at the scheduled date/time.

After it has played, it will effectively be disabled.

Daily: If selected, the playlist will play every day at the scheduled time, starting on the

scheduled date.

Weekly: If selected, the playlist will play every week on the selected weekdays, at the

scheduled time, starting on the scheduled date (or rather, on the first selected weekday

after the scheduled date). The weekdays on which the playlist should be activated can

be selected using the Repeat on field, which appears only when the Weekly repeat

schedule is selected.

Monthly: If selected, the playlist will play every month, on the scheduled day of the

month, at the scheduled time. You can alternately use the Repeat on field, which only

appears when the Monthly repeat schedule is selected, to have the playlist played on the

first or last day of the month instead of on the scheduled day of the month.

Yearly: If selected, the playlist will play every year, on the scheduled day and month, at

the scheduled time.

Playback style

Specifies how tracks are selected from the playlist.

Play all tracks sequentially (in order)

When selected, Centova Cast will play the all tracks from the playlist, in order, at the

scheduled time.

Play all tracks randomly (shuffled)

When selected, Centova Cast will play all tracks from the playlist, in random order, at

the scheduled time.

Play only one randomly selected track from this playlist

When selected, Centova Cast will randomly play a single track from the playlist at the

scheduled time.

Interruptible

Specifies whether or not this playlist may be interrupted by other scheduled playlists. Possible

values for this field include:

No, always play to completion: If selected, the playlist will always play through to

completion before any other scheduled playlists are permitted to play. If any other

scheduled playlists have been scheduled to start while this playlist is still playing, they

will be delayed until this playlist finishes.

Yes, terminate if another scheduled playlist is due to begin: If selected, this playlist will

be aborted if another scheduled playlist is due to start while this playlist is still playing.

Note that for technical (and aesthetic) reasons, Centova Cast cannot interrupt individual

tracks while they are still playing, so the new playlist will be started at the next available

opportunity (i.e., when the current track finishes).

Stop after

Specifies the maximum number of minutes for which this playlist should remain active once

started.

Note that this setting is subject to the standard playlist rules enforced by Centova Cast;

specifically, Centova Cast will never interrupt a playing track. For example, if your limit is set

to 5 minutes, and an 8 minute track is started, the track will play through to completion even

though it will exceed your limit by 3 minutes.

Also note that this limit is relative to the time at which the playlist actually started, not the time

at which it was scheduled. Take the following scenario for example: say you scheduled your

playlist for 3:00 and configured it to stop after 20 minutes, but it started 5 minutes late because

of a late-playing track in an earlier playlist. In this case, the timer will be started at 3:05

(instead of 3:00), and thus the playlist won't be stopped until 3:25 instead of 3:20.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists are activated, please see

the section entitled Track Selection below.

9.6.3. Interval Playlist Options

Interval playlists include the following additional fields in the playlist editor:

Repeat every

Specifies how often the playlist should repeat. You may specify that the playlist should repeat

either after every few songs, or after every few minutes. You may also specify an interval (in

songs or minutes) at which the playlist should repeat.

Playback style

Specifies how tracks are selected from the playlist. If Play only one randomly selected track

from this playlist is selected, Centova Cast will choose a single track from the playlist, then

consider it 'inactive' until the next interval. If Play all tracks from this playlist in order is

selected, then Centova Cast will play the all tracks from the playlist, in order, at each interval.

For more information about how tracks are selected when multiple playlists are activated, please see

the section entitled Track Selection below.

9.6.4. Track Selection

When creating playlists, it is important to understand how Centova Cast will select tracks when

multiple playlists are activated. At the end of each song, Centova Cast performs a number of checks, in

a specific order, to determine which playlist to select a track from next.

Note that Centova Cast will never interrupt a track to change playlists. That is, if a playlist is

scheduled to start at 10:30, and a 10 minute track starts at 10:25, the scheduled playlist will be deferred

until 10:35 to allow the track to finish. This is a common cause for concern for stations which play

'mix tracks' which may be an hour or more in length.

The following checks are performed in the order shown to determine which playlist to select a track

from:

1. Immediate Playlists. If an Immediate playlist is enabled, it will always take precedence over all

other playlist types, and it will be played through to completion before any other playlists will

be consulted, even if this requires interrupting another playlist. Upon completion, the status of

the Immediate playlist will be set to disabled to ensure that it is not repeated.

2. Scheduled Playlists. If it is time to play a Scheduled playlist, it will always take precedence

over all other playlist types (except Immediate playlists). Once a Scheduled playlist starts, it

will be played through to completion, or to its scheduled stop time, before any other playlists

are consulted.

If two Scheduled playlists conflict (i.e., if one is scheduled to start while another is still

playing), Centova Cast will consult the active playlist's 'Interruptible' flag. If it is configured

to be interruptible, Centova Cast will immediately abort the active playlist (leaving the

remaining tracks unplayed) and begin the second playlist. If it is not configured to be

interruptible, the second playlist will be deferred until the active playlist finishes.

3. Interval Playlists. If it is time to play an Interval playlist, it will always take precedence over

General Rotation playlists.

4. General Rotation playlists. If no other playlists are due for playback, a track will be selected

from one of the General Rotation playlists. Selection of tracks from General Rotation playlists

is 'weighted' as described under General Rotation Playlist Options above, to ensure that tracks

from 'heavier' playlists are chosen more often than those from 'lighter' playlists.

If a General Rotation playlist has been configured for only a specific time period, it will only be

included in the rotation during that time period. During that period, it will be treated just like

any other General Rotation playlist, and included in the rotation based on its weight. Outside of

the configured time period, the playlist will be treated as if it is disabled.

10. Media Library

The media library provides a powerful, convenient way to browse and search your media and organize

it into the playlists you created in section 6 above. The media library uses AJAX technology, so you

may find that it operates more like a desktop computer application rather than a web page.

10.1. Browsing Media

To browse the media in your library, click the 'Media Library' folder in the upper left-hand corner of

the page. This will launch the media library browser, which is organized into the following panes:

Playlist List

Displayed along the entire height of the left edge of the window, this pane lists all of the

playlists you have created (as described in section 6 above), as well as a folder for your media

itself.

To manage the tracks in a playlist (described under Managing Playlist Tracks below),

click on one of the playlists in the list.

To enable or disable a playlist, right-click on it and select Enable/Disable Playlist.

To return to your media library, click on the Media Library folder at the top of the list.

Artist List

Displayed to the upper left, this pane contains the list of all of the artists in your media library

(or, if performing a search, only the artist matching your search criteria are displayed).

To select an artist, click on its entry in the list, or hold Ctrl or Shift while clicking to

select multiple artists.

To add all of an artist's tracks to a playlist, select one or more artist(s), then drag them

with your mouse and drop them on the desired playlist.

To rename an artist, right-click on its entry in the list and select Rename artist.

Album List

Displayed to the upper right, this pane contains the list of all of the albums by the artists

selected in the Artist List (described above). If no artists are selected, no albums will be

displayed.

To select an album, click on its entry in the list, or hold Ctrl or Shift while clicking to

select multiple albums.

To add all of an album's tracks to a playlist, select one or more album(s), then drag them

with your mouse and drop them on the desired playlist.

To rename an album, right-click on its entry in the list and select Rename album.

Track List

Displayed across the lower portion of the page, this pane contains the list of all of the tracks in

the albums selected in the Album List (described above). If no albums are selected, no tracks

will be displayed.

To select an track, click on its entry in the list, or hold Ctrl or Shift while clicking to

select multiple tracks.

To add the selected track(s) to a playlist, drag them with your mouse and drop them on

the desired playlist.

To hear an short (several second) sample of the selected track(s), click the Preview

track(s) button (in the lower right-hand corner of the page) after selecting one or more

tracks, or right-click on a track and click Listen to Preview.

To rename a track, right-click on its entry in the list and select Rename track.

Note that when you drag and drop an artist, album, or track onto a playlist, it is immediately and

instantly added to that playlist. No further saving is necessary.

If the playlist's status is 'enabled' and your administrator has setup Centova Cast to use realtime track

scheduling, the new track(s) will immediately become eligible for playback after the current song

completes. If realtime track scheduling is not in use, you will need to re-start your server for the

changes to take effect.

10.2. Searching your Media

Centova Cast includes a powerful search feature allowing you to quickly and easily locate specific

artists, albums, and tracks in media libraries of all sizes. The search feature is located at the top of the

page, above the artist list, and is composed of the following fields:

Keyword field

Enter the word or phrase for which you want to search in the keyword field.

Criteria field

The criteria field is located to the immediate right of the keyword field, and contains the

following options:

Artists: Specifies that the search should match only the names of artists in your library.

Albums: Specifies that the search should match only the names of albums in your

library.

Tracks: Specifies that the search should match only the titles of tracks in your library.

All: Specifies that the search should match artist names, album names, or track titles.

Genre field

The genre field is located to the immediate right of the criteria field, and contains a list of the

music genres included in your media library. By default, 'All genres' is selected, which

specifies that you do not want to filter your results by any particular genre. Selecting a genre

will limit the search results to tracks of that genre.

Note that Centova Cast has no control over the genres associated with each track in your library.

The genre for each track is specified by the person who created the MP3 file at the time at

which the MP3 was created, and Centova Cast simply uses that information verbatim to classify

the track by genre.

10.3. Album Covers

Centova Cast is able to import album cover images when importing media for the autoDJ, to be shown

both in the media library and on the stream start pages. Centova Cast looks for cover images in the

following places (in order of preference) when working with the media you have uploaded:

1. In a JPEG file with the same name as the MP3 file.

Example:

Uploaded MP3 filename: My Music\demo_track.mp3

Cover filename: My Music\demo_track.jpg

2. In a JPEG file named "albumartsmall.jpg" in the same folder as the MP3 file. (This is a

standard filename also used by Windows explorer.)

Example:

Uploaded MP3 filename: My Music\demo_track.mp3

Cover filename: My Music\albumartsmall.jpg

3. In a JPEG file named "folder.jpg" in the same folder as the MP3 file. (Much like

albumartsmall.jpg, this is a standard filename also used by Windows explorer.)

Example:

Uploaded MP3 filename: My Music\demo_track.mp3

Cover filename: My Music\folder.jpg

4. In any JPEG file in the same folder as the MP3 file. If more than one JPEG exists, preference

will be given to those with filenames containing the words "front" or "cover". If no filenames

contain "front" or "cover", the first image Centova Cast finds will be used.

Example:

Uploaded MP3 filename: My Music\demo_track.mp3

Cover filename: My Music\any_filename_will_work.jpg

5. In the ID3 tags contained within the MP3. Many MP3s come with cover art embedded within

the MP3 file itself, so you don't need to upload any additional images to make this work.

If Centova Cast detects any of the above images during a media library update, it will automatically

import them and use them as the cover images for the albums associated with the track.

Note that if you upgraded to Centova Cast v2.2 from an earlier version, you will need to update your

media library, then click the "Perform full library update" button to pull in any cover images from your

existing library.

Also note that if Amazon.com integration is enabled, Amazon album covers will always override any

custom album covers you have uploaded.

10.4. Managing Playlist Tracks

After creating your playlists (as described in section 9 above) and adding media to them (as described

in section 10.1 above), you will likely need to re-organize or remove tracks from a playlist at some

point in time.

To display the list of tracks in a playlist, click on the name of the playlist in the playlist list at the lefthand

side of the media library page. This will display the list of tracks currently assigned to the

playlist.

10.4.1. Re-organizing Tracks

To change the sort order of the tracks in a playlist, select the track(s) to be moved (by clicking on the

track title, optionally while holding Ctrl or Shift to select multiple tracks), then use one of the

directional buttons at the bottom of the page to move the track(s). The directional buttons include:

Top

Moves the selected track(s) to the top of the playlist.

Up

Moves the selected track(s) up one position in the playlist.

Down

Moves the selected track(s) down one position in the playlist.

Bottom

Moves the selected track(s) to the bottom of the playlist.

10.4.2. Removing Tracks

To remove tracks from a playlist, select the track(s) (by clicking on the track title, optionally while

holding Ctrl or Shift to select multiple tracks), then use the Remove button at the bottom of the page to

remove the selected track(s) from the playlist.

Note that removing a track from a playlist in this manner only removes it from the playlist the track

will still appear in your media library and you can still add it to other playlists if desired.

10.4.3. Saving Changes

After re-organizing or removing tracks from a playlist, the playlist must be saved or the changes will be

lost. To save your changes, click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

If your administrator has setup Centova Cast to use realtime track selection (aka 'ices-cc'), the your

changes will immediately take effect after the current song completes. If realtime track selection is not

in use, you will need to re-start your server for the changes to take effect.

10.4.4. Discarding Changes

If, after re-organizing or removing tracks from a playlist, you decide that you wish to discard your

changes instead of saving them, click the Revert button at the bottom of the page. This will destroy any

changes made since the last time you saved this playlist, and revert the playlist to its previous track list.