Programme Information

The Programme Information app in Aiir lets you manage the broadcast schedule of your station and its programmes.

Until August 2019, Programme Information was two separate apps; On Air Staff and Schedule.

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Where is programme information used?

This information you enter for schedules and programmes is used in places including:

  • The schedule page of your website and mobile apps
  • On air now (and next)
  • Your website's player
  • Radioplayer, including being sent to their search engine
  • Published using the RadioDNS SPI standard for use in 3rd party devices and services

Schedules and Templates

Each station you add to the Stations app in Aiir has a corresponding schedule which can be edited in Programme Information.

It's divided into weeks, allowing you to edit the current week or jump ahead to a future week.

To save you the task of having to enter this information every week, you can create a Template.

A template is a single 7 day week where you'll create your station's permanent schedule. Templates aren't published anywhere - you can only find this information in our platform.

Once you have built a template and linked it with your station's schedule, our system will take care of automatically copying the template across to your schedule for you each week, a week in advance.

If you need to make temporary adjustments, such as if there's a substitute programme or presenter for a week, you should make that change in the schedule, not in the template.

Soon after you make a change to the schedule, it will become visible wherever you can find it - i.e. on your website and in your mobile apps.

Programmes

Terminology

When we use the term 'programme', we're referring to either a presenter, DJ or a recurring show, e.g. the morning show.

We refer to each instance of a programme on a schedule as an 'episode' e.g. Monday's morning show is a single episode of the 'morning show' programme.

Every episode on a template or schedule has to have a selected programme. You can create programmes at any time in the Programmes section of Programme Information, or at the time you're adding or editing an episode on a schedule. 

Each programme has a name, description, images and other properties. Any of a programme's attributes can be surfaced on your website, in mobile apps, or anywhere else the data is used.

While a programme might only appear once on a schedule, they're particularly useful for regularly recurring shows, so that you don't have to enter and maintain the same information every time a programme appears on the schedule.

A programme can be linked directly with a station. The only purpose this serves is to restrict access to edit or delete a programme. Only people who have been given access to a station by an Administrator will be able to edit programmes linked with that station.

Programme pages and contact pages

Each programme can have a page URL and a contact page URL. 

These can be linked to on your website when your programme appears on air, or on the schedule page. You can enter the path of a page on your website (or browse if that's easier), or the full URL of another website entirely if for example you're broadcasting a syndicated show. 

We've also included a really easy way to get these set up quickly - just tap the 'Create' button and you'll be able to create a new basic bio page or contact page easily. You can always come back and customise these later.

A default contact page URL can be specified in the settings of a schedule. This will be used if a programme's contact page URL has been left blank, so if you'd rather use the same contact page for all programmes, just set this one.

Building and editing your schedule

Whether you're editing your station's schedule or a template, you'll be working with a 7 day 24 hour grid. The first day of the week can be changed to suit your location - either Sunday or Monday.

Tap 'Add an episode' at the top to get started. You'll be able to select which days the episode airs on, the start and end time, and a programme. 

Episodes can run across midnight, e.g. 10pm to 2am. An episode can't be any longer than 24 hours. If you select an end time that is effectively before the selected start time, we'll assume it runs until that time the following day.

If you've already created the programme you'd like to add you can select it from the list, or search to find one not in the list at first. If you need to add a new programme, tap 'New' to the right to enter the details. Once you've saved the new programme, it will be selected for you.

You can override the name, description or images from a programme for specific episodes. Tap the option and more fields will appear. If you leave any blank, the selected programme's attribute will be used.

Schedule editing tips

There's lots you can do to make life easier when working with templates and schedules:

  • ↷If you're updating a programme that airs at the same time on multiple days, you can copy those changes to other days using the "Copy to" option just before you tap Save.
  • 🖱If you're using a mouse, you can right-click an episode to bring up a menu which lets you edit or delete easily.
  • 🖨Need a paper copy for the studio? You can print a schedule using the "..." menu at the top. You won't find this while editing a Template.
  • ✅While editing a schedule, tap the "W/C" menu at the top to see upcoming weeks. Weeks with episodes already scheduled will have a check/tick next to them.
  • 📆We'll automatically copy the active template to your schedule each week, but you can always skip ahead to any week and copy in the template, if you'd like to prepare some changes in advance.
  • 🧹Tap the top of any day of the week to see options, like clear the day, or copy one day to another.
  • ⏱The height of the schedule grid will automatically adjust, depending on the density of the episodes and their duration.

Mirroring another station's schedule

If your station takes programming from another station for periods of the day, you can use our 'mirroring' feature. It will automatically pull in the other station's schedule and music data, so you don't have to maintain the same schedule and programmes on multiple stations. Any changes to the mirrored schedule will be reflected on schedules which mirror it.

Add an episode and select "Mirror a station". The only further option you have to choose is which station. That's all there is to it.

No music data

If you have a programme which either doesn't contain music, you're unable to send music information to us, or would prefer we ignored any songs we do receive, you can enable the 'No music data' option for episodes. When enabled, it is indicated on the grid by a music note and cross icon.

For the duration of an episode with this option enabled, we'll show different information in the 'now playing' section on your website. You can customise this information at the station level by going to schedule settings, and on a per-episode basis, should you need this to vary. It does not affect what is shown in mobile apps.

Recording for On Demand

We've worked with our streaming partner Sharp Stream to make it easy to choose episodes which should be recorded by their software, to be made available on demand. 

This can be set up on the settings page for a schedule. When enabled for an episode, it is indicated on the grid by a red ® icon.

If this functionality is something you're interested in, contact us to discuss it further, as there are some caveats to its use.

Programmes Index Pages

Your website includes a Programmes Index page, which is a list of the programmes your station broadcasts. 

You can select which programmes appear and in what order by going to this section of the Programme Information app and selecting the station.

You can move this page around your website's structure in Page Manager, or hide it from appearing from the navigation.

If your site has Localisation enabled, a station will be linked with each location, so the programmes that will appear will depend on the visitor's location preference and associated station.

Image Groups

The images that can be set for each programme are defined in the Image Groups section. 

There are a few groups which we provide by default, with specific purposes:

  • On Air - the image will appear wherever "on air now" information is included
  • Programmes Index - this image will only appear on the Programmes Index page on your website
  • Radioplayer - if you're a Radioplayer customer, this image will be included in the metadata sent to their service to be included in their search engine and recommendations
  • Mobile App - if you have our mobile apps, this image will be used in the apps

You can create additional groups, if you have a need for further images to be associated with your programmes. They will be included in the data that is published for RadioDNS, and also available to be included in your website's template if that decision is made during the custom design process.

Making schedule data available publicly via RadioDNS

We support the RadioDNS SPI (service and programme information) international standard for publishing and making data available to be used by 3rd party services and devices. You may also wish to use this data in your own projects.

You can learn more in the Stations article.