Here are some things you should know about ClockWheels and track rotation schedule. Please read the introduction to ClockWheels first.

Chose Only One Category Per Type.

Currently, ClockWheels does not support using the same Category across more than one track Type. Remember, a "type" is a file such as "Music" or "Promo." A category is like a tag, such as "Top 40 songs" or "80s Rock."

Here is an example: 

Let's say you used a category called "Top 40 Songs" to organize your recently uploaded Music files. You also used the "Top 40 Songs" category on your Station IDs. This is going to cause unexpected results when generating a ClockWheel that calls for a track from the "Top 40 Songs" category. 

We recommend limiting your use of categories to only one type of file. Instead, you could "tag" the Station IDs using a different phrase such as "hotIDs" to stay consistent with your library organization. By using unique categories for different types of tracks, we can ensure that the ClockWheel understands what we are trying to accomplish with each line item.

Separation Rules and How They Affect ClockWheels:

The AutoDJ Separation Rules you have configured directly affect the pool of available tracks that a ClockWheel has to pick from when generating a new event. The ClockWheel module first looks at the specifications of each line item you've entered. It then checks the separation rules before creating the event on the Scheduler. Just as with regular playlists, it needs to check which tracks are playing 4 hours before and 4 hours after the event.

Because of this check, it is possible that you may see an error message about not being able to generate the event. If your rules are in conflict with the configured Selection Algorithms and the length of the event, the system will not be able to create the event as requested. For example, let's say your ClockWheel had 4 items as shown here:

The scheduled event will play 4 kinds of elements for every loop that is scheduled. It will start with a Random ID, then select the Oldest Track from the "TOP 40 SONGS" category followed by a random track from the "Music" category, and finally, it will select the Oldest Artist from the "80S ROCK" category. This pattern will repeat for the length of the scheduled event, so about 4 to 6 times an hour depending on the length of the songs. 

Below, we have added the event "New Year Clock." In this example, it will start 1/1/2020 at 16:00 (4:00pm) for a duration of 3 hours, recurring Monday, skipping Tuesday, and then running Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The event will continue until 11:45pm on Jan. 31, 2020.

However, we get an error when we go to schedule the ClockWheel for this 3 hour-long event.

Why did we get an error? It is because we only have 2 tracks in the "Top 40 Songs" category and it knows not to repeat those tracks over and over. In this example, it is a DMCA violation, but you may also see a similar message due to a Separation Rules violation.

Advanced Clockwheel Q&A:

Q: So any tracks I have as non-categorized will not play in a Clockwheel?
A: ClockWheels would still be able to play tracks that do not have a Category assigned, as long as they have an assigned "Type." For example, you can instruct the ClockWheel to play a random track from the "Music" type and all tracks from that type would be eligible, even if they do not have a category assigned.

Q: I have only programmed "categories" and "IDs" in my Clockwheel. Does it know to grab my music tracks?
A: Tracks that are not included in the categories you've programmed in your ClockWheel will not get picked up. This basically includes all your music that does not have a Category assigned, as well as tracks that have a category assigned, but they're not in one of the categories you've instructed the ClockWheel to play from.

Q: What does "least recently played" do? A song that has not played in 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks? It would be great if it could pick the oldest last date played, then our library would get exhausted.
A: Yes, exactly! Including a healthy number of "least recently played" tracks in your ClockWheel will ensure that all tracks in your library get a fair chance to place, and none of them get left out.

Q: What happens when one type (music) is marked by two categories and the Clockwheel programs those two categories, i.e. a song is marked "GOLD" and "COVER" as categories and my Clockwheel has "GOLD" and "COVER" in it?
A: A track with two or more categories has a chance to play whenever one of its categories is scheduled.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may see error messages by not having enough unique tracks or by having tracks with incorrect metadata such as "Untitled Album." It is important that before you upload tracks, you check to be sure that ALL tracks have the proper metadata. This includes the Artist, Title, and Album. When ClockWheels displays an error, it is caused by either your separation rules or you are trying to make an event that would repeat an artist, title, or album too many times.

Related Articles:

ClockWheels as AutoDJ

AutoDJ Separation Rules