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Category Archives: General

Principles of Music Radio Formatting

In 1984, I launched my music radio consulting business with a self-published book I titled: “The Programming Operations Manual”. It was a collection of my many memos to my past announcing staffs, instructions about how to do radio things, articles I’d published in the radio trade papers and bits of history about music radio that I thought people in this business should know something about. It had sold somewhere beyond 4000 units when I pulled it off the market about fifteen years ago because some parts of it were dated, no longer applicable and whenever I’d skim through it again I always saw sections that really needed a re-write and update; something I’ve still not found time to do.

One thing I did, though, was to pull together the several sections that I thought would be of most interest and help for folks working in this unique profession. This compiled report was available for download from the M1 website until it got a face-lift last year and the link to it got lost in the shuffle. It’s available on the blog now with a direct link under the Tutorials list. Now, I haven’t re-read it all in years and expect parts of it will seem rather quaint today. Still, a whole bunch of radio pros have read and adapted some of the ideas presented here for themselves and it’s still a fairly frequent pleasure for me hearing from some guy (it’s always a guy) who says nice things to me about it.

I am often asked about what might be the “ideal” music rotations, how often should songs in different categories be played?; when should new songs be moved into and then out of Hot rotation? There is no one answer to such questions. First, what’s the format and what’s the target audience? Pop music stations targeting under-30 demos are quite different from successful Pop music stations who’s target audience is over 30.  Hip-Hop stations are generally going to be playing a library that is far smaller with song rotations much more repetitive than are Country or Rock stations. The rotation/repeat-play strategies for an Oldies format are much different from those of a Current Hits station. The point is, all of this is very subjective.  But the framework for formatting a solid music radio station’s music is relatively simple. The ways to actually do the formatting are all just variations on a basic blueprint. This is how I learned to do it.

Steve Warren

It’s a pdf file, about 50 pages. Click here: Principles of Music Radio Formatting


New Website For M1

Our new website design went up last Wednesday afternoon and we immediately discovered that none of the download links worked anymore. If you’ve saved the upgrade links from the past, or if you’ve got any emails from me with those links, you can toss them. The new links to get the upgrades and installers for… Continue Reading

Daylight Saving Time

For the bi-annual silliness of DST, a couple of clicks will have M1 dropping an hour from the Dayformat in the Spring and adding an extra 1am hour in the Fall. Here is how it’s done in M1 Pro:     Here’s how it is done in M1 SE: Continue Reading

Tempo Rule Problem

M1 is so consistent with its song rotations because it doesn’t ever ignore any of your set Clock rules. Rather, it bird-dogs problems, pointing them out for you to make the important editing choices. As a Music 1 user, you know this is smooth and efficient.  But it is quite easy to set formatting rules that… Continue Reading

No Virus or Malware In M1, Ever

This week, Richie Gardiner a long time M1/Traffecta user in Dublin reported his AVG anti-virus app was giving him a warning, saying the m1 upgrade file was infected with something.  This is not so. He sent me a link to the AVG site where I learned the company had recently updated it’s software.  I began… Continue Reading

M3U Playlists

All automation playlists are simple text files. The content and structure of the data within the playlist file is unique to each professional playout/automation system. Many of the playout systems for internet radio use a common playlist file type that ends with the extension: .m3u Music 1 produces both types of .m3u playlists; standard and… Continue Reading