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Music Before After Light Show


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Why not just have a musical sequence with no channels turned on?

Your implementation is a nice idea, but I'm not sure why you would want to. The more you use your LPFM transmitter, the greater your chances of annoying someone. And complaints are what bring a 'visit' from the FCC.

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Richard Hamilton

I'll be watching this thread. I do this technique. In fact, I run my transmitter all year long because we play music for listening all over the house, pool, etc. With the power I transmit, I'm not worried about the FCC. In fact, the transmitter got accidentially unplugged a couple of months ago and 2 neighbors called up to ask what happened. They want it back on ;-)

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I do not use a show director. Here is what I do. I built a playlist in media player that is 2:00 hours long. I then use the scheduled tasks to run at 8:59 am. Every two hours the task runs again up until 4:59. The LOR scheduler then runs from 5:00 until 9:00. Here is the tricky part I have to figure when the show will actually end, I then wait one minute and have the scheduler run the playlist task again. It worked great for me last year, once I figured the end time of the show.



greg

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Guest wbottomley

Greg wrote:

I do not use a show director. Here is what I do. I built a playlist in media player that is 2:00 hours long. I then use the scheduled tasks to run at 8:59 am. Every two hours the task runs again up until 4:59. The LOR scheduler then runs from 5:00 until 9:00. Here is the tricky part I have to figure when the show will actually end, I then wait one minute and have the scheduler run the playlist task again. It worked great for me last year, once I figured the end time of the show.



greg


That's what I started doing but rather use radio automation software.

It's hard to figure when a show will end. Once the show timer has been tripped, it might end at 1,2, or 3 after the ending time.

That's why I'm using a DMTF tones to trip the software automatically.
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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

I do not use a show director. Here is what I do. I built a playlist in media player that is 2:00 hours long. I then use the scheduled tasks to run at 8:59 am. Every two hours the task runs again up until 4:59. The LOR scheduler then runs from 5:00 until 9:00. Here is the tricky part I have to figure when the show will actually end, I then wait one minute and have the scheduler run the playlist task again. It worked great for me last year, once I figured the end time of the show.


greg

Interesting! I do about the sme thing, except I am usin "ZaraRadio (free), which I REALLY like. For a long time I was using media player, but ZaraRadio gives a LOT more flexibility. You may want to experiment with it.
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richard,

is there a specific link? I believe I searched this last week but couldn't find any "freeware" Sure I'd like to check it out.

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It's hard to figure when a show will end.

It took me a few days to figure it out last year. I actually started a show and since I run my shows back to back it made it easier to figure out the timing. I just watched when it ended and added 1 min. It worked great.
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William,

I checked out the program last night. I really like it, and may try to use it this year. One thing how do you trigger it with DMTF tones. Do you have LOR play a final sequence with the tones, also is there a way to trigger the schedler from zara using tones?

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Guest wbottomley

Greg... here's how I'm using the DMTF tones.

In the opening sequence of the show, the tone will emit at the beginning triggering ZaraRadio to stop playing. Whe it's time for the show to end, I'll put another tone at the end of the closing sequence, which is 11pm.

I'm picking up a cable (male to male sterio) to connect the director card to the pc.

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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

richard,

is there a specific link? I believe I searched this last week but couldn't find any "freeware" Sure I'd like to check it out.

Here is a good thread on the fourm about the ZaraRadio link I mentioned, but there are also some other players mentioned.

http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=15525&forum_id=80&highlight=zararadio

Hint to Folks: Use the LOR "Search" features. It works real well. I've seen that most issues or problems have already been discussed somewhere in the forum. The search feature will save lots of time waiting for answers from people.
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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

is there a specific link? I believe I searched this last week but couldn't find any "freeware" Sure I'd like to check it out.


Greg, one other thing I thought I would come back here to mention about ZaraRadio. When I switched to Windows Vista this year, ZR did not work. It gave errors and closed. From other forums and experimentation, I saw that the latest version of ZR that would work on Vista was 1.4.1. I still get an error when the program first opens, but by clicking the cancel button, no further errors occur as long as ZR is running. I've used it for a few months on Vista.

For Windows XP and earlier, use the latest version 1.6.1. ZR has not been updated in a long time and I am not certain if of when the next update will come out. Even so, it is a great program, especially to be free. I use it to run music before and my show. I have it set up to do time announcements, announce show times, and even some internet radio feeds.
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Richard,

I've been experimenting with the program... you are right it is a great program. My computer for the show is running XP, I don't plan on installing vista any time soon.



greg

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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

Richard,

I've been experimenting with the program... you are right it is a great program. My computer for the show is running XP, I don't plan on installing vista any time soon.





Goo, because if you use ZR on Vista, you will have to use a prior version that is missing some nice features... such as starting and stopping the radio as needed. I do exactly the same thing as Mountainwxman does.... using an LOR sequence to stop ZaraRadio at Dusk, play my LOR shows, and then generate tones to start ZR again after the show is over. Works like a charm.
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using an LOR sequence to stop ZaraRadio at Dusk,



Are your tones a seperate sequence or are they attached to the opening and closing sequences.
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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

using an LOR sequence to stop ZaraRadio at Dusk,

Are your tones a seperate sequence or are they attached to the opening and closing sequences.


I have a sequence called "Stop ZaraRadio" that is about 1 second long. I use tones "69" to stop Zara. Oddly ZR refers to it as "connect" in the options. I was always confused by that term because I think of it as disconnecting. "69" is often used in the industry for this purpose. I put that sequence in my LOR startup.

I have another sequence called "Start ZaraRadio" that is also about 1 second long. These tones are "90" which are also fairly industry standard. This sequence goes into my LOR shutdown.

The tones in each file are 300 milliseconds each DTMF tones. That is about the minimum time needed for ZaraRadio to reliably detect the tones.
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sounds interesting... I can get a tone to start zara but can't get the "90" tone to stop zara. I was thinking about putting a imediate event to stop playlist a few seconds the show would start.

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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

sounds interesting... I can get a tone to start zara but can't get the "90" tone to stop zara. I was thinking about putting a imediate event to stop playlist a few seconds the show would start.


Really? Maybe something is wrong with your stop file. We can talk about this off line if you want. I am not sure how many other people are doing this with LOR. I can send you my "90" audio file if you want to try it. I know it to work properly.

Also, are you sure that you set up the options correctly in ZaraRadio to have the 90 DTMF restart it?

Note, I am using 90 to start zara, not stop it. Sounds like you are doing something different.
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John Hertig wrote:

Why not just have a musical sequence with no channels turned on?



This is exactly what I've done for three years now. I just make blank sequences for all my "background" music and run it all the time the show is not running
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Richard,

I just thought of something, are you using a second computer or the lor director?

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I can get the play tone to work, however i can't get the stop tone to work. I am runing my show and zara from the same computer maybe that is why but since they share the same clock using the stop in the event list works fine for me.

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Richard Hamilton

pixeldigger wrote:

John Hertig wrote:
Why not just have a musical sequence with no channels turned on?

This is exactly what I've done for three years now. I just make blank sequences for all my "background" music and run it all the time the show is not running


Well as you already know, that solution will work, but I've been there and done that long ago. It was too time consuming for me and had no flexibility without needing to go back in and make changes to the sequence. There are lots of reasons why I don't do this.

1. I don't want to run LOR all year long when I want to listen to other music.
2. Using some sort of radio software like Zara gives a LOT of features I use that is simpy not possible with LOR sequences.
3. I like having the time and temperature announced on the half hour and on the hour. Remember, we listen to this music throughout the house. I can have automatic critical news updates interrupt if necessary.
4. Zara will automatically select songs either in order or random (as I choose) from thousands of songs in our library. I can't imagine entering all those into LOR manually. Adding new songs at any time is as simple as drag and drop.
5. Christmas is a little different as we only have about 60 Christmas songs we play through the day. Still, I don't want to have to enter those manually in LOR.
6. I have Zara announce certain messages a specific times between songs to announce the upcoming shows or end of show.

So to sum it up, I would not do without Zara now that I've used it for 3 years.
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Richard Hamilton

Greg wrote:

Richard,

I just thought of something, are you using a second computer or the lor director?

My setup is as follows:

No, I use a single computer for LOR. It is a home computer that I use as a server. It's only purpose is to record security camera video and backup files from 2 other computers in the house. It is locked in the attic. I don't need to access it. The computer does not even have a heyboard, mouse, or monitor. I access it with "Remote Desktop Control."

During Chrismas season, the computer runs LOR in addition to its other backup and recording duties. Thus, I have the 485 box connected to a USB port and transmitting data to the controllers wirelesslessly. the FM transmitter is also beside the computer and connected to the audio output..
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