The challenge when running an automated service or perhaps an automated hour is how to make the content fit perfectly within an hour.

This becomes crucial when you need to hit a News Junction or top of hour junction. Having a song start and then for it to be faded after 10 seconds doesn’t sound so good! That’s where the RunToTime command comes into play.

The RunToTime command makes several calculations when it’s activated on the playlist to decide how best to fit your content into an hour:

Stage 1: Delete or Fill

When the command is run, PlayoutONE will begin deleting items from the back of the hour if the Gap Time is + until the gap time is as close to +00:00 as possible. If the Gap Time is under then PlayoutONE will fill with items from your fillset until the Gap Time is as close to +00:00 as possible.

 Just deleting / filling rarely achieves a perfect Gap Time of 00:00. Usually, it’s always around a few seconds out and so to refine this further we need Stage 2.

You can set within the type manager which types can be dropped / deleted by PlayoutONE. You can set within the settings menu which Type / Category PlayoutONE can fill from.

Stage 2: Stretch

PlayoutONE can speed up or slow down content throughout an hour to make the Gap Time 00:00.

If the Gap Time is under after Stage 1 (-) then PlayoutONE will slow down the content. If the Gap Time is over after Stage 1 (+) then PlayoutONE will speed up the content.

You can set within the type manager which items can be stretched. You can also set in the main settings by how much stretching PlayoutONE can do (Stretch Threshold)

E.G. if you set a stretch value of 10% that means of the total content that’s available to be stretched within hour PlayoutONE can speed up or slow down items by 10%. If we say that over an hour we have 45minutes worth of content that is stretchable then PlayoutONE has 4.5 Minutes to play with. 

TIP: Setting a too high a stretch value can make your songs sound very slow or very fast! Try setting the stretch value to 3% and see how you get on!

Stage 3: Fade

Stage 3 is activated if the Gap Time can’t be achieved by stretching.

Stage 3 allows PlayoutONE to fade up to a set amount of time of each fading item within the hour. This is value is usually set to 30seconds and you can be altered in the settings menu. You can also choose from the type manager which items can have time faded from them. 

Once PlayoutONE has worked out what it can fade, it applies an equal fade on all fading items to achieve the Gap Time. For example, If the Gap Time before stage 2 was +01:00 and we had 10 items in the log that could be faded, PlayoutONE would apply a 6-second fade to all 10 items. 

TIP: Make sure you tell PlayoutONE what items can be faded. This can be set within the type manager. You wouldn’t want your adverts being faded half way thorough or sweepers! <br>

Running The RunToTime Command

To active the RunToTime command you need to make sure you have a time marker (Hit or Soft) somewhere in your hour for PlayoutONE to back time too.

This is usually set just before the end of the hour or perhaps before an ad break leading to the news.

Insert the RunToTime command near the top of the hour before your first Song. Once PlayoutONE hits the command it will work out the Gap Time within a few milliseconds. 

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