Cue sheets are an essential tool for anyone involved in the editing, mixing, or broadcasting of syndicated shows or large music audio tracks.
In this help article, we will explore the basics of cue sheets, including what they are, how they are used on Live365, and the different types and formats that are accepted. By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of cue sheets and how they can be used to streamline your workflow when using the Live365 MultiTrack feature.
We will be covering:
- General MultiTrack cue sheets and CSV requirements
- Deep dive into .cue files
- Deep dive into .csv files
General MultiTrack cue sheets and CSV requirements
To create a cue sheet, there are several important requirements to keep in mind.
First and foremost, the file must be in either .cue or .csv format. These file types are commonly used in music and internet radio and provide a structure for organizing track data. When creating or generating a cue sheet, ensure that the file is saved in one of these formats.
While not a requirement, it's a best practice to have the first marker start at the beginning of the file (00:00:00). This provides a clear starting point for the track and ensures there is metadata displayed on your station throughout the entire track.
It's important to note that there cannot be multiple markers defined at the same timestamp. This means that each marker must have a unique timestamp, allowing for accurate navigation through the track. If there are multiple markers at the same timestamp, the file will be rejected by the Live365 system when trying to attach it to a MultiTrack.
The number of markers allowed per file duration varies based on the length of the file. For files that are 78 minutes or less, the maximum number of markers is 33. For files that are 30 minutes or less, the maximum number of markers is 13. For files that are 15 minutes or less, the maximum number of markers is 7. For files that are 10 minutes or less, the maximum number of markers is 5. These limitations are scalable, for example, you won’t be able to add more than 5 markers within the first 10 minutes of a 78 minute long track.
In conclusion, creating a cue sheet requires careful attention to file format, marker limitations, and a maximum number of markers. By following these requirements, you can create an accurate and reliable cue sheet that streamlines your MultiTrack files setup process.
Deep dive into .cue files
To generate a new cue sheet, we recommend using the cuegenerator.net tool. To get started, follow the steps below:
- Access the website cuegenerator.net.
- Select MP3 as the track type.
- Fill in the relevant information about your MultiTrack file.
- Copy and paste the tracklist and the timings from your favorite audio editing program. You can find some additional information on how to retrieve these details within this help article: cuegenerator.net/help.
- Review the cue sheet to ensure it includes all the necessary information and is formatted correctly.
- Download the cue sheet by clicking the Save cue to file button.
Note: Some additional options may be available depending on the type of cue sheet you choose to generate. Be sure to review all the options before generating your cue sheet to ensure it meets your needs.
Here is an example of a working cue sheet generated in the right format:
PERFORMER "Various Artists" TITLE "Friday night 90s mix" FILE "Friday night 90s mix" MP3 TRACK 01 AUDIO PERFORMER "Backstreet Boys" TITLE "I Want It That Way" INDEX 01 00:00:00 TRACK 02 AUDIO PERFORMER "The Black Eyed Peas" TITLE "Where Is The Love" INDEX 01 03:28:00 TRACK 03 AUDIO PERFORMER "Britney Spears" TITLE "...Baby One More Time" INDEX 01 07:55:00 TRACK 04 AUDIO PERFORMER "Aqua" TITLE "Barbie Girl" INDEX 01 11:22:00 TRACK 05 AUDIO PERFORMER "The Pussycat Dolls ft. Busta Rhymes" TITLE "Don't Cha" INDEX 01 14:24:00
Deep dive into .csv files
To create a valid CSV file, please follow the steps below:
- First, open Google Sheets in your web browser and create a new spreadsheet.
- In the first row of the sheet, create the headers for the cue sheet fields. Use the following headers:
- Enter these headers in row 1, starting from column A.
- Enter the details for each track or media content in the subsequent rows of the sheet. The required fields are offset, media_type, title, and artist. The optional fields are album and year. The offset field must be in the XX:XX:XX.XXX format, where the first two digits represent hours, the next two digits represent minutes, the next two digits represent seconds, and the last three digits represent milliseconds.
1 - HOURS
2 - MINUTES
3 - SECONDS
4 - MILLISECONDS
Below is an example of what the second row of your sheet should include:
C2: Track 1
D2: Artist 1
E2: Album 1 (optional)
F2: 2022 (optional)
Repeat this process for each track or media content in the cue sheet.
- Once you have entered all the data in the sheet, save the file as a CSV (comma-separated values) file. To do this, click on File in the top menu bar, then select Download and choose Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet).
- When prompted, select UTF-8 encoding for the file. This ensures that the file is saved in the correct character encoding for use with the Live365 software.
Note: Before finalizing the cue sheet, verify that the media_type field is in all lowercase letters. This field is case-sensitive. If any media type field is not in lowercase, you may experience unexpected errors when uploading the .csv file. You can use the "LOWER" function to convert it. For example, if your media type is in cell B2, you can convert it to lowercase by entering the following formula in cell B2: =LOWER(B2)
If you would like to edit the CSV file at a later time, please make sure you highlight Column A, click on Format, hover over Number, and click Plain Text. Some CSV editors, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, may automatically switch your offset field to a different format which will affect the functionality of the file.
This is an example of a .csv file that was generated correctly:
offset,media_type,title,artist,album,year 00:00:00.000,music,Track 1,Artist 1,Album 1,2022 00:03:20.000,talk,Segment 1,Talk Host 1,, 00:10:45.000,id,ID Jingle 1,,, 00:12:30.000,promo,Promo 1,,, 00:15:00.000,music,Track 2,Artist 2,Album 2,2022
Note that this example includes five tracks, with varying media types and optional album and year fields. The offset field uses the XX:XX:XX.XXX format and the media_type field is in all lowercase letters.
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