History Of Music 1

Music 1 was created in the 90s by Steve Warren, a music radio programmer of long experience and a computer code-writing genius named Neil Campbell. Steve had been a music radio PD for more than ten years when the first music scheduler, Selector, made it’s debut. Some of his close friends were among the first to use the software. He observed them working with it but decided against using it himself because his friends were sitting in front of the computer for two hours each day, editing music logs and trying to figure out why the rotations were so inconsistent. “What’s the benefit?” Steve asked.

What Steve did know was how to plan song rotations, maintain good music flow and make adjustments ‘on the fly’. He managed his music very well with card files, color-coding, rotation grids and hand-drawn formatting clocks. If you are interested, download this file and read how it was done.

Steve didn’t think it was possible to teach a computer the ‘art’ of music radio. “You can’t give a computer a good gut.” he said. Then, soon after he bought his first computer (a Mac), he set about creating a scheduler that would simply help him get the job done quickly and efficiently. And he reinvented music scheduling software with a tool unlike any other that’s come before it.

The Mac scheduler was first named “MacMusicMaster”, later changed to MdB. It was introduced in the Summer of ‘87. The first paying customer was legendary KVOO in Tulsa. The PD there, Mike Wilson was no computer geek, yet he learned and mastered the software almost immediately and was amazed with its performance. MdB began to spread very slowly. Too slowly. There was a big time problem. Radio stations didn’t own Macintosh computers and no matter how much a PD liked the look and feel of Mdb, the manager wasn’t going to spring for an extra five grand to buy hardware just to run it.

Well, a couple of years pass and Microsoft copied the Macintosh look and feel, named it Windows and Steve began his search for a code-writing genius to take his MdB software onto the new platform. He met Neil Campbell in ‘92, they formed a partnership and got to work.

Music 1 was written for Windows from the first line of code. The look and feel and scheduling philosophy of the Mac software was copied and expanded on dramatically. Campbell is quite simply a code-writer of towering abilities. The software was named Music 1. It debuted in the Fall of 1994 as the very first music scheduler for Windows. Today, the software is being used by hundreds of radio stations world-wide, webcasters, by producers of background music and music video channels.

My name is Steve Warren. I am and always have been a radio programmer. I got my first job as a disc jockey in 1964 the summer before my junior year in high school. My first PD gig was in ‘67. I worked as DJ and program director at radio stations in twelve different markets around the US and started my programming consulting business in ‘81. Today, I am still active in that business.

Over the years, I worked under and with some of the finest minds in music radio. I learned a lot about what it takes to develop and maintain a winning music radio station. I wrote a book about it. The Programming Operations Manual, a step-by-step guide for program directors. Thousands of copies have been sold worldwide and it is used by several colleges and universities as a teaching text in their broadcasting courses.

In my book, I detail a manual or ‘paper’ system for formatting music and maintaining proper rotation control of all the songs in the library using scheduling grids, index cards and announcer preparation forms. That system, with some variations, was being used by many of the top, major market radio stations in the United States from the late ‘60s through the 1970s. It worked very well. If you’d like to learn about that system, click here.

Really, once you have learned some basics, developing and maintaining a good music flow and insuring proper song rotations is a fairly simple thing. What is not so simple is having the talent, the gut-feel, the experience needed to consistently select the right songs to play and to intuitively know when, where and how often to play them. But that is a wholly different matter. What we’re here to talk about is a proper tool to help us do the job quickly and effectively.

I’d been a music radio pro for almost fifteen years before the first music scheduler (Selector) made its debut. Frankly, I just didn’t get it. In the early 80s my buddy Bill Stedman was programming WKQX, a Pop music station in Chicago. I was PD of a Top 40 station just up the road in Milwaukee. Bill, being the technophile he is, quickly fell under the spell of the software. He would rave about the control it gave him over his music. I asked, “Bill, how much time are you spending on that computer each day.” “Oh, two or three hours,” he answered. And I thought to myself what’s the benefit there? I was spending only two or three hours a week doing the job with my cards and rotation grids and while he had a fine station, I couldn’t hear that his music flow was all that much better than mine.

I bought my first computer in 1984; a Macintosh. And that’s the one I fell in love with. The graphical user interface was a revolution. The GUI with its mouse and menus was so easy, I hardly had to read the user manuals. I immediately saw that with it I could put format clocks on the screen, drag song categories around from one position in the hour to another and print those clocks. I hired a computer geek to write some code for me and a new product was conceived.

I developed a program named MdB, the first and only music scheduler that ever was for the Mac. We sold the first one to KVOO in Tulsa in 1987. Then a few more. Then I saw a brick wall. Radio didn’t own Macintoshes and no matter how much a PD might like my radical new music scheduler, getting the boss to spring for four thousand bucks worth of additional hardware just to run it was almost impossible.

But one thing was quickly apparent. I had created a new and better way to schedule music with a computer. An interactive music scheduler with which you make your music log edits during the scheduling run rather than after the software has slotted in all the songs. MdB users soon saw that with this software the song rotations were absolutely consistent. It didn’t make the ‘mistakes’ other schedulers did. And they were very well pleased with the improvement in their music flow. I was regularly told “Man, my station sounds so much better now!”

Fortunately for me (and for us all), Gates saw that the GUI was the future, created his own version, named it Windows and here we are today. I soon partnered up with Alpha-geek Neil Campbell and together we began building Music 1. We took the best of the Mac system and improved it 10-fold.

Today, our scheduler is running around the globe; all kinds of stations, all kinds of formats. Whenever a support call comes in, we are the guys who answer the phone. But we don’t get many support calls. We have a scheduler which you can easily learn to use and that gets the job done right, quickly and efficiently.

You can try it without a long term lease. No risk. So, if you try this unique and innovative music scheduler and find it’s not right for you, you just send it back.

Music 1 users are very loyal and constantly tell me how much they love working with the software. I invite you to join the tribe.