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Bowshock

I need a Zara Radio Guru to consult

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Hi All,

I'm going to try and use Zara Radio for constant music between shows. I know several folks use this program and I was wondering if one of you out there would be willing to answer the barrage of questions I'm sure will come up.

Thanks!!

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No problem, ask away.

This is exactly what I did last year (my first) and had no troubles at all with it. Zara is pretty easy to figure out and works like a champ.

There are a lot of people on here and on the PC forum that use it and can answer anything you can come up with.

Bill

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Well, lets start with the biggest question.

What's the best way to get LOR and Zara synched? I've heard of folks who design 6 hour shows and just synch Zara once and off they go. That probably won't work for me.

My plan is to run 4 10 minute shows each night, but I need music for about 1.5 hours before and the 50 minutes between shows. Can I set LOR to trigger Zara to fade out like 30 seconds before the show starts?

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The way I use zara to start and stop for the show is this way, since both programs run on the same computer they both use the same system clock so I program a stop event about 3 seconds before the start of the lor show. In the lor program I creat a sequence that only runs dtmf tones, as the last thing in the show close. I have zara set up to listen for the tones once LOR runs that sequence and zara detects the tones zara starts running the program until the next lor show run. Last year it worked great not a single problem

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Greg's got it covered.

One thing you will find with the Zara program is don't try to overthink it. It really is a simple to use and very friendly program.

Just don't set any announcements to come on within a couple of minutes of your show starting and end the Zara function a few seconds before your show starts.

I didn't use the dtmf tones with my show (didn't even know about them DUH), I just set Zara to restart about 15 seconds after my show shutdown for the night. I will use the tones this year now that I see how they work though.

Bill

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by the way, using tones is not the only way to do this, you could also time out your show and set up start and stop events in zara, and I'm sure there are even more ways

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Exactly the way I did mine last year. It does work fine to just use times to start and stop Zara with the show and you can get it to within a few seconds with little problems at all.

Bill

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Greg wrote:

The way I use zara to start and stop for the show is this way, since both programs run on the same computer they both use the same system clock so I program a stop event about 3 seconds before the start of the lor show.  In the lor program I creat a sequence that only runs dtmf tones, as the last thing in the show close.  I have zara set up to listen for the tones once LOR runs that sequence and zara detects the tones zara starts running the program until the next lor show run.   Last year it worked great not a single problem


Do the tones get broadcast? If so how obtrusive are they?

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Greg wrote:

The way I use zara to start and stop for the show is this way, since both programs run on the same computer they both use the same system clock so I program a stop event about 3 seconds before the start of the lor show.  In the lor program I creat a sequence that only runs dtmf tones, as the last thing in the show close.  I have zara set up to listen for the tones once LOR runs that sequence and zara detects the tones zara starts running the program until the next lor show run.   Last year it worked great not a single problem


Do the tones get broadcast? If so how obtrusive are they?

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yes the tones get broadcast but you can set it to 1 or 2 or 22 or whatever you like it is just a quick sound. contact micheal farney he did a presentation for us at ICE and did a great job.

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Bowshock wrote:

Do the tones get broadcast? If so how obtrusive are they?

Did u ever listen to Westwood One radio broadcasts of the NFL? Up until a few years ago u could hear the DTMF tones as they went out to break. That would be the local stations cue to take over and run their commericals.

That iz the same thing u are doing here.

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And, you only would want the tones at the transition from LOR to Zara. The other way, you just have Zara fade out a second before LOR will start. I actually never got around to finding recordings of the tones last year, and had music for most of the day. I just figured out the total show time, and left a gap that long after the show was scheduled to end. So we usually had about a half hour of dead air after the show.

That does bring up a question. What have people used to generate recordings of a couple of DTMF tones to put in that last shutdown sequence?

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I used adobe audition to generate the tones, here are the tones, if you have a problme with them pm and I will try to email them to you

Attached files tones.zip

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-klb- wrote:

And, you only would want the tones at the transition from LOR to Zara. The other way, you just have Zara fade out a second before LOR will start. I actually never got around to finding recordings of the tones last year, and had music for most of the day. I just figured out the total show time, and left a gap that long after the show was scheduled to end. So we usually had about a half hour of dead air after the show.

That does bring up a question. What have people used to generate recordings of a couple of DTMF tones to put in that last shutdown sequence?
I have a old copy of CoolEdit that i used to genrate the tones.

Id bet there are places on the Internet where you can download them as well.

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Do you use the free version or the version 2 that costs. Just started to play with this program.

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I've been using the free version for the last two years it work great for what I need to do

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I have also been using the free version - it was the only one available when I started using it. I don't think I need to upgrade to the paid version.

Have the "88.1 Reindeer Radio" come on around 5pm and play random christmas songs till our show starts at 8.30pm. It has never missed a beat for the couple of years that I have been using it.

You will find it works great.

Cheers

CraigG

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I'm using the free version. It does what I want it to, and works quite well.

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I started to play with it and it looks cool. To bad you cant have automated weather put in every 15 mins from weather channel or something. lol.

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I have not worked through setting it up, but allegedly you can have weatherbug put temp and humidity text files out there, and locate announcement sets so that zara can at least play time, temperature, and humidity periodically.

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-klb- wrote:

I have not worked through setting it up, but allegedly you can have weatherbug put temp and humidity text files out there, and locate announcement sets so that zara can at least play time, temperature, and humidity periodically.

Yes you can and it awesome. you need to download the weatherwatcher program and set it up with zara. you also have to download the voice annoucements. I know that Micheal Farney has them as he sent them to me. either pm him or i can ask him if i could send them to you.

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It is possible to do a full blown weather cast, there are several ways to do this. Here is how I do it. Since I have a friend at the television station I work at he simply cuts an audio track for me and FTP's it to a specific folder. I then schedule zara to run a cut of audio from that specific folder. This works for me great the only thing you need to do is empty the folder daily (i've been looking for a way to have windows scheduler do it for me). The trick is to have the audio file in that folder before it is set to play. I have been trying to do this with the juice podcast catcher program the same way except to use a local news podcast. It seems to work however if the folder is not emptied it may run old audio files.

You can also use the Time and temp files, they also work great. you can tag the files with extra audio for instance you can have a file that is attached to the time file for the 1300 hours that can say something like "merry christmas, the show is only 5 hours away stop by tonight at 6:00 the current time is 1...." . zara will play that file at the start of every time annoucement that runs in the 1pm hour and insert the appropriate min file where needed.

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friskybri wrote:

I started to play with it and it looks cool. To bad you cant have automated weather put in every 15 mins from weather channel or something. lol.


You can have your computer "scrap" the Weather Channel website and retrieve the info. I do this with my homeautomation server at 18 min till the hour. It is written to a text file, then at 2 min to the hour, is announced (voice) through all the computers in the house.

You do have to have a license from the Weather Channel, and agree to their terms and conditions regarding how many times an hour you hit their site. Without the license, they can and will ban the ip address of computers scrapping their info from their pages.

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