The DRS 2006 Audio Manager (03/17/2002)
The encoded audio files, the files that you actually hear are placed in one of three available directories or folders within the Database Connector. The Audio Manager contains specific information about each of those individual sound files. The Audio Manager quite literally is what the name implies. Once the sound files are copied onto the system, into the already pre-assigned directories or folders, you make them available to DRS 2006 using the Audio Manager.

Adding new files to the DRS 2006 database
Inside the Audio Manager you have a variety of tools that will permit you to add or remove your audio files within the database. Several different sound files including mp3, mp2, wav, wma etc. can all be used.

A database is used, because to effectively make radio automation work you need more information for each item besides just the artist and the song title. Some of this information may already be stored in the mp3 file. The database is used to store additional information about each item, like cue points and fade times.

Overview
The steps showing how to add files will be described in detail, but first this overview will help you to understand why tag information is important as well as the other settings for files you will be adding. A clear understanding here will save a lot of time and trouble later.

To add audio files to the DRS 2006 database, you use the 'Insert New Items' button. A pop up box will appear and ask you to select the type of files you want to add to the database. By default the type 'New' will appear in the field.
NOTE: When files are added to the database a method is needed to identify the new files from the existing files. The name 'New' is used for the new file's 'Type'. We will cover this in a later topic about the classification of the file.

Once new files have been added you can change the type and adjust the audio settings, cue points and fade settings. You will want to add information in the tags fields if the MP3 file did not supply it. If information is available from the MP3 file, DRS 2006 will extract that information and fill in the correct field automatically, if no information is available from the file then the Title and Artist will to be marked as 'New' clearly showing you that these fields require data.

Why the tag information is important:
The tags fields in a MP3 file and the DRS 2006 database are identical with one exception. While both the MP3 file and the DRS 2006 database both contain a 'Type' field, DRS 2006 will use this field later for other purposes. Additionally if you have entered the tag information once, you will not have to put the same information in again.

Ripping And Tagging
Ripping is a term that is used to describe the process of getting the music information from a CD to your hard disk. You cannot simply put a CD in a player and save it to your hard drive. Some method to "Rip" or copy the music from the CD to the hard disk is needed.

How To Rip
To rip a CD you need a ripper program. This is an application that will read the CD and then allow you to save the information to your hard disk as an MP3 file. The more advanced ripper programs will also auto tag the mp3 files for you with the help of an internet database called CDDB or Freedb. The CD may not have the tag information about the artist or song title on it and all that may appear for example is Track1.mp3, Track2.mp3, etc.

When a CD query is made to CDDB or Freedb the length of the CD will be compared to the external database and will identify the CD. The CD information will be filled in automatically for you. Don't worry about finding CDDB or Freedb. A good ripper program will provide you with a function in the program that will look at the length of the CD you have in the player and connect to the database via the internet automatically.

Examples of good ripper programs are:

AudioCatalyst (http://www.real.com/accessories/audiocatalyst/index.html?src=homeintl_en)

AudioGrabber
(http://www.audiograbber.com-us.net)

Auto Tagging
If the MP3 files you have ripped do not have the tags or cannot be retrieved from the internet, you can auto tag them with a default tag by using a program like the MP3/Tag Studio program. You can find MP3/Tag on the internet at http://www.magnusbrading.com/mp3ts/. You will want to set the auto tagger to use a default name in the artist and title, use a unique name so you can easily identify it later and then start your auto tagging process. Once done, regardless of how many new files you had without a tag, they will now be tagged with the default name you chose for the artist and title. The audio files are now prepared for use with DRS 2006. Move the ripped audio files with the default name tags into one of the three audio paths. You are now ready to start using the Audio Manager and can begin inserting the new files into the database.

Adding Files in The Audio Manager
Begin by clicking on the Audio Manger button from the Launcher screen. Once the Audio Manager screen opens locate the 'Insert New Items' button and click it once. A pop up box will open and the word 'New' will appear in the text box, don't change this,
in a minute you will see why. Now click on the 'OK
- Load Files' button. A new window will open which should be the audio folder or directory where you copied your audio files.

NOTE: If you wish to keep track of your audio files by artist name it is possible to create sub folders within your directory. For example the artist Bon Jovi may be placed in the subfolder entitled "B" contained with the directory "E:\MP3Audio\B".

The database connector will recognise that the file is within the directory even though you may have simply set the path as "E:\MP3Audio".


Now locate the new files you added to the directory earlier and begin selecting the files you want to add. If you want to add multiple files hold down the Ctrl key and click on each file you want to add. If you make a mistake and want to deselect the file just click it again while holding the Ctrl key. If you want to add a block of files simply click on the first file in the block, then find the last file in the block, hold down the shift key and then click on the last file. The entire block will be selected.

When you are satisfied with the files you have marked, click on the 'Open' button and the process of adding the files into the Audio Manager will start. When the process has completed you will be returned to the Audio Manager. Now to the reason we wanted the type marked as 'New'. Locate the button marked 'Filter New Files' and click it once. Now look at the large LCD screen and you will see the first file in the list. All your New files are there! Now let's go on with the 'MP3 Tag Editor'.


MP3 Tag Editor
Locate the 'MP3 Editor' button and click it once. A window will open that will display the MP3 Tag information and the DRS 2006 Database information. The difference here is that the MP3 tag is unique to the MP3 file, while the data in the DRS 2006 database is unique to DRS 2006. Once the MP3 file has tag information written to it that information will be available to any program capable of displaying the tag information, the tag information becomes a part of the MP3 file.

Normally if you tagged your audio files correctly before adding them to the database you should now see the artist and title of the file in both the 'MP3-Tag' and the 'DRS 2006 Database' block.

If this is not the case or if you want to fill in any of the other information (e. g. the album or year) you can simply fill in the fields on your own. Note that you only have to put in the information in the 'MP3-Tag' fields. Afterwards you can simply copy the information to the 'DRS 2006 Database' side: Look at the two sets of arrows in between the two database blocks. The arrow pointing to the right will copy the information from the MP3 side to the DRS 2006 database and the left arrow will copy from the DRS 2006 database to the MP3 tag field. Depress the right arrow on each field to fill in the DRS 2006 database.

Note that at the bottom of the database fields there is no arrow for the 'Type' field. The reason is that the 'Type' is information that you will assign as a 'Type' to describe your file. Later you will see this tool in action. For now just leave it marked 'New'. Once you are satisfied with the information in the fields click on the 'Save MP3 Tag' button and then click on the 'Exit' button to return to the "Audio Manager".

NOTE: Always make sure your audio files are not write-disabled when you add them to the database otherwise you will get an error message when you try to edit and save them later on. In case you get a message like 'Cannot open file ...' when you exit the 'MP3 Tag Editor' simply disable the write protection of your audio files. The easiest way to do this is by selecting the whole directory in which your audio files are and changing its attribute with the windows explorer to write-enable.


Overview of the Audio Manager displayed data fields:

Artist (editable): Name of the Artist.
Title (editable): Title of the song.
Filename (not editable): The exact name of the audio file.
Comment (editable): Comment for this item. This could be an ID number or any other information for internal use.
Time (not editable): This is the total play time of the current audio file.
Type (editable): Type of audio file (see "Type" topic below)
Information (editable): Information about the audio file for the DJ. This will appear in the "On Air Studio". Module
Year (editable): Year of audio file.
End (editable): This shows the DJ in the On Air Studio what type of end the audio file has. There are 2 predefined types: F - (Fade's at the End, audio fades out slow) and C - (Cold End, audio stops immediately).
You can also insert any other characters here for your own end type.


Setting the Audio Options
Now you that you have completed inserting information about your audio file. Let's proceed with the audio settings.

If you click the large green 'START' button (shortcut Ctrl + Enter) the Audio Manager will start playing the current song from the beginning. You can now listen to the song and adjust different audio settings.

There are two sliders that control the position of the playback. The Tracker indicates the current position of the playing song. With the 'Goto' slider you can jump to a specific position in the audio file. Normally this is positioned at 20 seconds before the song ends. To adjust it Simply move the position of the slider with the mouse and then click on the 'Goto Position' button (shortcut F4) and the song will start playing from the new position.

When you click the 'STOP' button (shortcut Ctrl + 0) the playback stops. You can adjust the sliders to set the cue points and fade times with the song playing or stopped. You can also use the buttons on the right to do this in real time while the song is playing. If the current playing position is a good cue point out, then simply press 'Set Cue Out'. This works with the other buttons on the right side as well.

Example: Lets suppose you need to set the cue out to a very precise point. Start the music playing and when it gets to precisely the point you want the next item to start, click the 'Set Cue Out' the cue point will be set to that position. If you did not get it quite right the first time you can repeat it as many time as you need to get it exactly the way you want it.  Alternatively you may adjust the slider with your mouse by dragging it in increments or by using the big green arrows to the right of the digits.

Overview of the Audio Manager sliders and their meanings:
FADE IN TIME: This slider defines the time that a song fades from zero volume to full volume once it has started. Normally it is set to zero seconds which means the song starts with full volume. The slider has an adjustable range of 0 to 20 seconds.
FADE OUT TIME: This is the time a song fades from full volume to zero volume after reaching the Cue Point Out. Normally this is set to 5 seconds which works for most songs. You can adjust this slider in a range from 0 to 20 seconds.
CUE POINT IN: This is the point in the song where playback starts. By default it is set to zero seconds which means the song starts at the beginning. You can set this to any point in the current title.

CUE POINT OUT: With this slider you can define the point at which the next song starts playing while the current song is still playing. This is a very powerful feature of DRS 2006, It allows you to continuously play your audio files without gaps. Normally it is set to start the next song 10 seconds before the end of the song that is currently playing. Later in the 'On Air Studio' while using a playlist, the new song will start and begin to play, once the current song playing has reached the 'Cue Out Point'. Setting this value to '0' means it won't fade out at all. You can set this point anywhere you like within the current title.
INTRO: Many songs begin with music and after several seconds the artist begins to sing. Some DJs like to talk during this period. This is called "ramp talk" or "intro talk". Setting this slider to a point just before the vocal begins will let the DJ know that the music intro is ending. (a good guide for this is to set the Intro to 1 second prior to the artist singing) In the 'On Air Studio' you see this as a count down timer to let the DJ know how much time is remaining before the music intro ends and the vocal portion starts.

You can always monitor and watch the Volume Level Indicator for any change a different value may have caused. You can adjust the values of the cue and fade controls until you get the song to fade and cue precisely the way you want it. In broadcast reality you really can't set the cue points perfectly, there is just no way of knowing in advance what the prior or next title selection will might be. We also thought about that!

Later in the DRS 2006 Playlist Editor you can fine tune any setting you feel might be necessary to get the exact setting and feel for your playlist. When you create your playlist you will add various combinations of songs together at random. The items you select will use the default settings for the cue in points, cue out, fade in and fade out, when you first add them. Once your playlist has been assembled you now have the power to adjust the fades and cues to match your playlist to precisely start the next song and fade at just the right time. When you have it set just the way you want it you can save your master piece for future use to be used again or in combination with other Playlists.

To summarize, the settings that you set can be whatever you want them to be when an audio file is called upon for use. The 'Shuffle Manger' will use these settings for instance. In the 'Playlist Editor' you can change the default settings to match your playlist without worry that you have changed your default settings, they will remain the same until you go back to the Audio Manager and change them.

Classify ('Type') your audio files
We now arrive to one of the most important parts of the Audio Manager. Classifying your audio files. Classifying the type of audio file has tremendous advantages once you start creating a playlist. Searching for a single title from a list of thousands is quick and easy using the 'Database Search Engine'. The 'Shuffle Play Manager' uses "Types" to pick the type or category of a item that you define to use in the shuffle.

Example: Suppose you only want to play music from the 80s for a special and the sponsor is "Coca Cola". You would want to have "Coca Cola" classified as "Coca Cola" and your music classified as the 80s. When you set up your shuffle you will be able to pick say for this shuffle, four 80s songs in a row then one Coca Cola then back to the 80s for two 80s songs then back to Coke for a commercial and then repeat the shuffle. Without the use of "Types" we would have no way to selectively decide what gets played and what does not.
You can call the "Types" anything you want and you can add to them or remove them later on.

To classify items DRS 2006 uses types
Previously when you inserted the new audio files they all had the type set as 'New'. It will now become clear why the 'New' file type is anything but a useless name. If you have not already done so click the 'Reset Filter' button. Only the "new" files will be selected and you are free to give them any 'Type' name you choose. The Default installation of DRS 2006 sets up five predefined general types: Commercial, Jingle, Music, Promotion and Report. You can easily define and add your own types, for example to specify the exact type of music for the 80s, Simply enter the name 80s as the new type and press the 'Add Type' button. You can also remove types from the list. This is done by pressing the 'Remove Type' button.

NOTE:
It is possible to remove types even if they are currently used by some items of the database. DRS 2006 will still work, but you will no longer be able to use these types once they are removed. If you remove a 'Type' accidentally just add the 'Type' back and everything will be fine.

Once you decide what your "Type" names will be called, add them to the database using the 'Add Type' Once you have all the "Type" names entered you can now go to each of your audio files and assign them a "Type". You can use the drop down scroll box to select the available 'Type'. Once you have the "Type" set and all the other audio and cue settings the way you want, click the 'Save Item' button to save your settings.

Important:
Do not use these characters within the "Types". These Special characters are
" ' " or " ´ " or " ` ". These characters can cause an error to occur in the Database Engine. So use for example "80s" instead of "80's".



Dynamic Types
There is a special audio file type that is called a 'Dynamic' type. In case this type is not already pre-definded you can insert this type by simply typing it in the types field and then pressing 'Add Type'. An audio file with the type 'Dynamic' will force all the DRS 2006 modules to recalculate the full time of the audio file each time it is used or selected. While it is recalculating the green LED with the 'D' on it will illuminate.


A 'Dynamic' file type is used for audio files that frequently change hourly, a news broadcast for example. If you have a file called news.mp3 in your database, all you need do is overwrite the file every time you need to update it. DRS 2006 will recognize that the time length of the file has changed and will immediately recalculate it. Using the 'Dynamic File' feature relieves you of the task of constantly removing and inserting the file every time there is an updated file using the Audio Manager. 'Dynamic' files will automatically be played with a cue point at the end and without a fade speed.


Controlling the Audio Manager
These are the Audio Manager control buttons. With them you can save the modifications to the song in the database ('Save Item' button) and delete items already in it ('Remove Item' button).

Deleting items means removing the item from the database. The assigned audio file will still remain in the directory. From now on we will refer to songs in the database as items. 

If you want to work on a certain type of file, a certain group of files or on a single file, you simply press the 'Search Engine' button to filter your complete database. You do this in the Database Search Engine which is part of almost all DRS 2006 modules and is used to navigate through your database or to find a certain item very quickly by setting filter options. You can find out more about this powerful part of the DRS 2006 system by clicking on the link above.

You can also navigate trough your database without using the Database Search Engine by using the buttons 'Prior' and 'Next'. This will simply jump to the next or prior item in the current filtered items. You can always see how many items you have filtered in the display 'Filtered Items'. Here you can also reset your filter settings by pressing 'Reset Filter'.

NOTE: After you have completed adding the new files to the database you can check them with the Database Connector to be sure the new files don't have any problems. This is always a good practice after you add anything new. Click on the 'Database Connector' button in the Launcher. Once the Database Connector opens click on the 'Check Database Integrity' button and you should see the files move rapidly inside the 'Database Integrity' window. When The integrity of each file has been checked the status bar will turn green and you will be rewarded with the 'Passed' message in the message screen. You will also see the total number of files that were checked in the Database Integrity window.

Now we should have explained all parts of the Audio Manager and you should be able to create a perfect DRS 2006 database. It may look a little complicated but be sure that it isn't. With a little training on this module you will be able to do tonnes of work easily and fast. So go ahead and get the feeling! It's easy...


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