This is a step-by-step guide for first time broadcasters. Topics include library organization, uploading tracks, creating Playlists, scheduling Events, and sharing your station with your listeners.
First, make sure you have selected the station where you want to make these changes. Highlight and click the station name to select it. If you are unfamiliar with how to navigate this part of Live365, please see this help article which describes dashboard navigation.
Once you have selected the appropriate station, you will be taken to that station's menu page. From this page, you will be able to navigate and make changes and adjustments to your station.
Step 1: Create Categories
Categories (formerly called Tags) are a great way to organize your uploaded music. Live365’s flexible design allows you to create your own Categories for sorting and searching through your music library. The method of sorting your library is up to you.
Categories are optional, but recommended, as they can also be used in the creation of ClockWheels. Most commonly, Live365 users sort their media by genre, but you could use your Categories to organize your library according to track language, artist, upload date, decade, or mood. Categories also aid in Playlist creation.
Create Categories by selecting Media -> Categories from the Station Menu navigation bar, as shown below.
In the Categories pane, click the orange "Add Category" button.
Follow these steps to add a new category:
1) Enter a descriptive name for your new category.
2) Choose a color to associate with the category. (Optional)
3) Click the green "Save" button to record your changes.
Once you have clicked the “Save” button, your Category will appear in the Category pane.
Edit or Delete a Category
1) First, click the "Actions menu" (. . .)
2) Select "Edit" to change the category name or choose "Delete" to remove it.
Editing a Category will change the Category for all of the tracks currently labeled with that Category.
Step 2: Upload Tracks
Before you can add content to your Events, you will need to upload tracks to your station's media library. Tracks don’t necessarily need to be music. You can also upload pre-recorded spoken word tracks such as interviews, station jingles, podcasts, etc.
|IMPORTANT NOTE: All copyrighted content must be in its own track in order to remain compliant with our music licensing. All metadata for each individual track must be sent in realtime. We currently do not permit uploads of DJ mixes, playlists (as one file), or syndicated programming. We realize that this is a popular feature that has been requested by our broadcasters and one that is planned in a future release. Visit our Live365 Feature Requests page here.|
Live365 currently only supports the upload of .mp3 and .m4a audio formats.
- Recommended bitrate: 128kbps
- Bitrate Mode: Constant
- Sample Rate: 44.1 KHz
- Channel Mode: Joint Stereo
Upload tracks by selecting Media -> Tracks from the Station Menu.
Next click the orange "Add Track" button on the Media -> Tracks page. For best results, upload similar tracks in each batch because you can only select one Type for all the tracks in each batch.
Once you have clicked the orange "Add Track" button, the "Upload Tracks" window will open. Choose Tracks from your computer or external hard drive to upload. These will be stored in your station’s media library and will ONLY be available to you. (At this time, Live365 does not have a shared music library.) Live365 will detect if you have already uploaded a copy of the current track and will not upload duplicate copies.
Once your have added the desired tracks, click the blue "Submit" button as indicated in the image below.
Be sure to set the Track Type in order for your station to function correctly!
This is the best way to add Track Types and Categories in bulk. Additional Categories can be added at a later time from the Tracks section of the Media tab, found in the Station Menu. Categories are an optional way to easily group your tracks for Playlists and ClockWheels. Each track can have more than one Category, but only one track Type.
|IMPORTANT NOTE: Track Type is required to comply with music copyright laws.|
Once you click "Submit," the "Categorize Tracks" window will open.
1) Select the appropriate Type from the dropdown menu.
2) Next, select one or more Categories for the tracks that you are uploading.
3) Finally, click the green "Upload Files" button to record the changes and upload the files.
Finally, verify the track Metadata of any uploaded tracks, then click the green "Save" button.
NOTE: You should verify the correctness of the metadata prior to uploading tracks. Adjustments made in the "Edit Track" screen will only be changed in the uploaded cloud version and will not update the file on your local machine.
Step 3: Edit Your Track metadata
You can update your track metadata from inside the Live365 interface. From the Station Menu, select Media -> Tracks. It’s a good idea to review the tracks that you’ve uploaded to ensure that they have correct titles, artist, and album information.
1) In the "Tracks" pane, click on the Actions menu (. . .) for the track that you want to edit.
2) Click "Edit" to open the "Edit Track" window.
When you have selected the "Edit Track" option, it will open a new window from which you can edit the track metadata. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the Metadata window to fill in all of the fields.
The Track "Type" is an important part of organizing your library, especially for station jingles, etc. Having complete metadata makes it easier for you to search for tracks in your Library.
You will also see an “Upload Album Art” button. Choose the desired album image file from your computer. The selected album art is displayed on your station page in the Live365 directory. Note that album art on the embeddable licensed player is automatically selected from a different directory. Uploaded album art is for the Live365 station directory and is optional.
Once you have added/edited all of the desired fields, click the green "Save" button.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The correct title, artist, album, and Type are required for compliance and for the proper operation of AutoDJ. Album Art, Year, and Categories are optional.
You can also preview the track by clicking the play button in the Media -> Tracks pane.
Step 4: Create Playlists
IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend a maximum of 6 hours runtime per Playlist.
Playlists help you curate tracks for your Events. All of the tracks in your Library can be included in your Playlists. The way you program your Playlist is up to you.
To get started with Playlists, click on the "Schedule" tab in the Station Menu. Next, select "Playlists" from the dropdown menu.
Add and Name Your New Playlist
To begin, click on the orange "Add Playlist" button located in the upper right hand corner of the "Playlists" pane
1) Create your first Playlist by adding a name in the Playlist Name textbox.
2) Choose a color to help you organize your Playlists. The color of the Playlist will affect the color of the Event when the Playlist is added to the Schedule.
3) Click on the green "Save" button to add your new Playlist.
When you have saved your new Playlist, it will appear in the Playlist pane.
NOTE: The way you program your station is up to you. One suggestion for beginners is to create Playlists labelled by the air date. There is no right or wrong way to label your playlists. It should be a format that helps you identify your Playlist with the Event in the Schedule tab. (Later, once your Playlist is finished, it's a good idea to add the runtime to the Playlist title, for ease of scheduling.)
Add tracks to Your Playlist
At first, your Playlist will be empty. The next step will be to add tracks to the Playlist. You can do this in one of two ways. You can click on the Playlist name (see image above) or select "Edit" from the "Actions" menu (. . .)
On the left side of the Playlist pane are the tracks that are currently uploaded to your Library. On the right will be your selected Playlist (empty at first).
You will find the "Add" (+) button to the right of the track length. Use this button to add a track to your current Playlist.
As soon as you’ve clicked the "Add" (+) button, you will see the track in the Playlist on the right. Keep adding tracks to create the perfect Playlist.
NOTE: You cannot edit track metadata from the Playlist itself. All metadata adjustments must be done from Media -> Tracks.
Use the search bar to find specific Tracks. You can add keywords from the track title, artist, or album. The search will examine all fields simultaneously as you type.
Refine the search of your music library by clicking the “Filters” button found at the right-hand edge of the search bar. You can use filters to refine your library according to Category or Media Type.
If you accidentally added a track that you don’t want in your Playlist, click the trash can icon to remove the song from the current Playlist.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When creating Playlists, you must comply with a law called the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The DMCA was enacted to protect artists from having internet radio broadcasters upload their entire albums in sequence. DMCA primarily restricts you from repeating an artist too many times in a row. Much has changed with online music since this law was enacted, but it is still a law today and must be followed.
Arrange Your Playlist
Tracks will play out in the same order that you’ve added them to the Playlist. You can arrange the songs by clicking and dragging the track to the desired spot in the Playlist (as shown below).
Manually arranging tracks in your Playlist might be an important step if you want to make sure that you aren’t playing the same artist too many times in a row, so as to comply with the DMCA.
Check the Runtime
As you add tracks to your Playlist, you will see a cumulative runtime at the top of the Playlist pane, displayed in hours, minutes, and seconds. Add tracks to the Playlist until you’ve reached your desired runtime. Playlists must be more than one minute long. We generally recommend Playlists with a maximum runtime of 6 hours.
Checking the runtime of your Playlist will also help you determine how many Ads you will need to insert into your Playlist, if you are part of the Ad Revenue Share Program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have not opted out of the Ad Revenue Sharing Program, you must manually insert the ad breaks into your Playlist. Find the Ad breaks in your Library by typing “Ad Break” in the Playlists pane search bar.
As per the Ad Revenue Sharing Program agreement, for each hour of programming, you must include 4 minutes of ads. Ads come in 30-second, 60-second, 90-second and 120-second increments. That means if you have a Playlist that is 2.5 hours long, you will need 10 minutes of ads total, making sure that they are spread fairly evenly across all 2.5 hours. If you are using the 120-second ad breaks, for your 2.5 hour-long Playlist, you will need to schedule 5 of those 120-second ad breaks in total.
Re-check the runtime after you’ve inserted the ads. This will help you know how long to make the Event for your Playlist.
|NOTE: If you schedule a Playlist of 45 minutes into an hour-long Event, the Playlist will loop again from the beginning to fill the entire Event. If you want to avoid looping, you can create your Event with a length that matches the runtime of your Playlist. Playlists need to be more than one minute long.|
Save Your Playlist
Once you have filled your Playlist, click on the orange "Save Playlist” button to make sure your Playlist passes the DMCA test. You can read more about the DMCA here.
If your Playlist passed the DMCA check and saved successfully, you will see a notification at the top of your Playlist pane.
Once you’ve created at least one Playlist, you’re ready to create an Event! Read more about Event creation here. It is also a good idea to add the final runtime to the name of the Playlist for ease of scheduling.
Step 5: Schedule Events
Click on the "Schedule" tab in the Station Menu. Next, select "Events" from the drop-down.
To create an event, click on the "Create Event" button in the upper right corner of the "Events" pane, or just click on the schedule itself.
If you create the Event by clicking on the Schedule itself, the “Add Event” window will have the date and time filled in according to the date and time in the Schedule pane that you selected.
Next, fill in the details in the "Add Event" window:
Title - Give your Event a title. Currently, your Event titles are not visible to your listeners. This will help you navigate your Schedule.
Start (Date and Time) - Check the Event Start date. If you opened the Create Event window by clicking on the Schedule instead of the “Create Event” button, the Event date and time will already be filled in for you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The system needs about 30 minutes to get tracks queued up for the event. You should schedule events at least 30 minutes from the current time if you are programming for the same day as the Event.
Duration - Select a duration for your Event. Make sure the Event is long enough to fit the desired Playlist. If the Event duration is longer than the Playlist, the Playlist will loop to fill the Event slot as long as it satisfies the DMCA.
Source - Select whether you will be populating the Event with a Playlist or by using the ClockWheels feature (Read more about the ClockWheels feature here.)
Playlist - Choose a Playlist with which you’d like to populate the Event. A Playlist can consist of a single Track or multiple Tracks. It can be music, storytelling, an interview, or a mix. The content of your Playlist is up to you.
Scheduling - Select a Strict or Flexible Event type. Strict Event types will start at the exact specified Event start time. They might cut off the previous track in the middle if the Event start time has been reached. Flexible Event types will delay their start until the previous track has finished. (You can read more about strict versus flexible Events here.)
Recurring - You can select the days that you would like to have the scheduled event play. Click the checkbox next to "Recurring" to open the options pane. You will see a checkmark next to the day you originally selected. If applicable, check each day that you would like the "Source" (Playlist or Clockwheel) to run. You can read more about Recurring Events here.
Crossfade - Check this option if you would like for the scheduled tracks to crossfade, based on the Duration, Type, and Fade in/out parameters that you set in Sources -> AutoDJ -> Crossfade.
Until - When you click to start a recurring event, you will be prompted for an "Until" date for your scheduled event. Click in the box to open the calendar, where you will be able to select the time and date the event will end.
If for any reason your Event does not pass the DMCA check, you will see an error at the top right of the Event window. If your Event passes the DMCA check, your schedule will show the Event you have just created.
Clicking on an Event in the Schedule pane will open a window from which you can view the Event details and the Tracks scheduled in the Event.
In the "Edit Event" window, you also have the option to "Delete Single Event" or "Delete All." If you made changes to the event, be sure to click the green "Save" button to record them. If you prefer not to make changes, click the "Cancel" button to return to the "Events" pane. Once you’ve scheduled your Playlists in Events, your station’s stream will launch within minutes!
IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend against having too many back-to-back Events in your schedule, especially if they have flexible starts. It can cause problems for troubleshooting and ad insertion. We recommend having at least 1 hour of gap in your schedule per 24 hours of programming. You can do this during an off-peak time. Don't forget to turn on AutoDJ to fill in the spaces between your scheduled Events.
Step 6: Share Your Station
Now it's time to share your station. Click on the "Station Settings" tab in the Station menu, then click on "Station Profile" from the dropdown menu.
Here you will find all the information about your station including a station background image (not shown), station logo image, station name, description, social media links, and genre selections (up to 5). Add all the information that you would like displayed on your Live365 Station Page. Be sure to click the green "Save Settings" button to record the changes.
To access your listen links, click on the "Listen" button located on your Station menu.
The "Listen" page will include the following links and codes to access your Live365 stream:
1) Embeddable Player Widget: This allows you to easily embed a Live365 player on your station's website. You can read more about the Live365 Embeddable Player here.
2) Last Played Widget: The best way for your listeners to see what has previously aired on your Live365 station. This widget is designed to be embedded directly into your web-page.
3) Quick Link: Click on the "Quick Link" to listen in your web browser. In addition, this link would be provided to third-party station listing services and directories.
|IMPORTANT NOTE: The Quick link should not be provided as a public listen-to link, as it is dynamic in nature and can change.|
4) Station Profile: To view your station page in the Live365 station directory, copy (ctrl c) and paste (ctrl p) the Station Profile link into your browser. You can also customize the links and the cover art on your station profile page in Station Settings -> Station Profile.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this guide, please contact the Solutions Team here.