Any tips for music library on playout?


I am not sure if this belongs in this category so sorry if it doesn’t.

We’re about to install a new playout system (Myriad) and transfer over our current music library and add to it. Over the years the old one has been in service it’s become a bit of a mess.

We have a wide output across a large range of music types and I am struggling to work out how best to categorise added music. Do you have any tips and tricks for how you organise your library? Do you categorise by genre, music era, music feeling, a combination of those or something else? Did you create your own categories or use a standard set?

Thanks for reading, any advice gratefully received.


Ian, Phonic FM

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Hi there Ian,
We’ve been using Myriad at Winchester Radio for many years. Like you, we play a wide variety of music. We use the “Pro” edition of Autotrack, rather than the standard version (which I believe is now built-in to Myriad itself), so you might not have the full flexibility that we have, but here goes anyway…

  • We use Song categories to determine the rotation (basically a variation on the ages-old A-list, B-list, C-list). Each Song is in a single Category.
  • We use Styles to specify genres (pop, rock, country, folk, classical, … (we have a long list) - each song can have many Styles, and a Clock only needs to match one of these styles for the song to be scheduled in that hour.
  • We use Eras to define the decade the song was released (allowing us to easily do a 60s hours, for instance, or restrict songs in a nostalgia hour to 40s and 50s).
  • We are in the midst of adding Gender (which we have specified as wider than just male/female - solo male, female group, male/female duet, etc), so that we can ensure that we get a good mix of voices in a programme, and not a long run of (say) male vocals.
  • Where there is more than one artist, Myriad 5 encourages you to specify these separately. We don’t do that. We record the Artist exactly as on the release, so that our presenters know exactly what the billing was on the track as released. We use Artist Groups in AutoTrack to then ensure that tracks where one artist features don’t appear close to a track featuring the same artist either in a group or in a different collaboration.

This means, for instance, our mainstream music hours can run with a wide variety of music genres, with different tracks on different rotations. We can also easily restrict programmes to songs from a particular decade or selection of decades, whilst retaining the different rotations, and, if needed, ensuring we don’t play two 1960s tracks next to each other. We can also do shows based on a particular genre (e.g. country, classical, …) still with the concept of different rotations for different popularities of tracks - even classical music has well-known pieces you want to appear regularly, and some more-obscure stuff you want to include on a longer rotation just to spice things up a bit!

I hope that’s of some use.


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That’s really helpful and one of the most understandable explanations I’ve heard.

Thank you Nigel

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