Since its inception over a decade ago, Zetta has always been able to scale with technology and customer workflows. With the latest Zetta 5.20.1 version, RCS is continuing to expand on Zetta’s flexibility, performance, UI experience and more. As we get closer to Zetta 5.20.1’s official release, we thought it was time to breakdown some of Zetta 5.20.1’s new features.
Starting with the layout and design, users can now choose between the traditional Zetta “Metal” skin or switch to the new Dark Mode theme. Users will also notice Zetta is more crisp and the colors are more vibrant, as we have also enhanced Zetta’s UI experience. And don’t forget, all of the colors throughout Zetta can be customized. Users will also notice slight enhancements to modules like the Hot Keys, in which Zetta can now display a visual action when a user triggers a hot key.
Aside from the reorganized Modify Column | Add or Remove metadata, we also introduced the concept of Server-side vs. Client side Library search. Simply put, Server-side search allows a user to search an entire library without having to load each individual asset. So if your library has a large number of elements, Zetta will save the resources from having to load every asset, offering better performance, and in addition, the user won’t have to scroll through the library to find their desired asset. Instead, users can now search from either the Title or Artist field and treat their Library module as a search engine. Administrators also have the option to enable a Server-side vs. Client side toggle setting so that within the Library module, users can switch between the two search types.
Moving onto the Multi-Track Editor, users can now enable a “snap” when working with two wav files. Pending on the defined snap settings, while working within the Multi-Track Editor, or MTE, automatic snap is a timing saving user feature that quickly can combine two assets so they play as one continuous file. Users can also add or remove Clips, as well as labeling each Clip so that they can now be dragged and dropped throughout Zetta, maintaining the same name. In the past, users could highlight a section and then drag and drop the highlight to create a Quick Record element. With Clips, it’s the same behavior, but now users have a list that is saved within the Clips window and when they are dragged and dropped over, Clips will respect the defined custom name.
Switching gears to Zetta2GO, off the bat, users will see the new Dark Theme enabled by default, as well as the new enhanced UI experience. We’ve added a couple new layouts to choose from, including three module layouts, but one of the biggest enhancements is the ability to now switch between modules, removing the “Edit Layout” function. Now, users can simply click on the module header on the top left of each module and toggle to the next desired module. There’s also new Zetta2GO Hot Key features, like Enable Hooks.
Finally, we demonstrated how users can log into the new Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery and voice track, which automatically will land in the corresponding Zetta site. For example, if you were in a talent scheduling conflict, users can bypass a VPN and log straight into their Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery instance, voice track, save and as long as you record over an Empty Voice Track, that voice track will update back in the studio. All of this is done automatically via Site Replication.
We’re looking for Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users right now! If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest from RCS, reach out to your local RCS office and let them know you would like to become a Beta power user. We have more sessions on the way as we continue to broadcast live every Thursday at 11am ET. Don’t forget to follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware and RSVP for future RCS Live sessions.
New version. New features. Same old reliable GSelector. With the pending release of GSelector 4.9.0, John Bonou, Asst. GSelector Product Manager, joined us to breakdown the new GSelector Clock feature in which users can define any quantity of clocks – from one minute to 24 hours.
Starting with the setup, the new GSelector Clock feature doesn’t have to be enabled unless you would like it to. Even enabled, just because you have the option to create minute long clocks, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to.
Once enabled, you’ll notice the new Clocks interface, found in the same location: Clocks | Assignment | Grids | Definition, only it will have a nice cosmetic facelift. Think of the new Clocks feature as an “in addition” to existing Clock workflows. So the usual Windows keyboard shortcuts or the right-click Assign Clocks will continue to operate as normal. However, now, users can drag and drop clocks and you’ll notice there is a gear icon that will allow you to control the Clocks display. For example, if you find yourself working within a minute by minute clock format, then you would switch from the 60-minute clock display to perhaps 15 minutes or less. User’s choice!
Before, users would create a clock that was essentially split between two forms of content. There are lots of examples, but we focused on the pre-Morning Show clock. Let’s say your Morning Show has a “Best of” from 5:30am – 6:00am. Currently, you would create one single clock and then essentially split it – 30 minutes of content and then 30 minutes of “Best Of.” With the new Clocks feature, you can continue the existing “Overnight” clock from 5:00am – 5:30am and then have a single 30 minute “Best Of” Clock that would air Monday thru Friday at 5:30am – 6:00am. Same applies for a “Top 5 at 5,” Sunday morning PSA or as Henrik mentioned in the comments, a 15 minute reoccurring “Top of the Hour News.” If you reverse that, let’s say you have a four-hour podcast show or longer form content, users can now schedule a single multiple hour clock. So a single clock from 8am to 12pm.
A couple human scheduling points to make and we’ll use extremes to properly identify these examples. If you schedule a 24-hour clock with only an hour worth of music, then GSelector will do EXACTLY what you tell it to – one hour of content for a 24 hour block. Note that you cannot carry clocks over days, IE: A 28 hour clock that spans Monday over into Tuesday. However, if you do schedule a half hour clock and don’t finish that hour with an additional half hour clock, when you save or exit the Definition tab, GSelector will prompt you with an error that you need to fill the empty clock positions.
Along with the minute clock breakdown, we’ve also added a Song & Link override option. So if you wanted to essentially ignore a daypart Goal/Rule Priority List, you could, as John detailed, create a “Dummy” daypart with no goals or rules and then using the Clock Override option, use another defined Priority List for your Songs or Links or both.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware , for upcoming RCS Live Events, including Zetta 5.20.1 New Features, More Efficient Holiday Scheduling with GSelector and more! We’ll see you next and every Thursday 11am ET for another episode of RCS Live!
Despite COVID, it’s business as usual for RCS and we continue to install all of our products all across the world. We thought it was time for an onboarding refresher to break down all of the steps on how we help you install and configure your RCS system. For this session, we were joined by Brian Willard, Field Technician Services Director, and Adrian Guanipa, GSelector Support Lead, to go through each product and how we guide you through the onboarding process.
The most important part of any install and configuration is knowing all of the details. That’s why Brian and Adrian have complied a checklist of every small detail that you may have missed. Let’s be honest, you’re operating your station(s) AND learning a new piece of software. That is a lot to juggle for you and your staff. By taking point, let us help you with the process. Throughout this RCS Live, we joke that we’ll “hound you for information” and that’s because we want to make sure everything is installed the way YOU need it to be. So as the first major step in the onboarding process, we’ll be asking you a lot of questions to make sure we know the answers and understand your specific workflows. Of course, if you’re installing Zetta, most likely you’ve already worked out the major details between Sales and Brian himself.
If your onboarding consists of Zetta and GSelector integration, we prefer to space out training sessions for you and your team so that we don’t overwhelm users. Usually, we schedule the GSelector training two weeks before the Zetta installation. Every new GSelector client will receive three one-hour training sessions and two half hour follow up sessions. If you’re upgrading to Zetta, then you’ve already purchased Field Technician Service time, in which our FTS team will conduct multiple training sessions for you and your team. We like to break these up between departments, so there might be a programming session one morning, traffic in the afternoon, and when we switch over to live Zetta, we’ll be on hand to answer any questions during the morning show. Both the GSelector server installation and the onboarding training can be scheduled online via one of our RCS onboarding portals. If you’re an existing RCS customer, it’s the same installation portal if you’re looking to schedule an upgrade your current system.
In regards to metadata, we have seen all types of ways users have created a database. Simply put, we’ll convert whatever metadata or audio you give us. In regards to GSelector, we can import or build any database as long as we know where to include the data. Most users define an Excel column header with their desired attribute, which we can convert so that GSelector can correctly import it.
At the end of the day, we have thousands of clients who have converted their database and we have seen it all. Rest assured, we’ll be available to not only ease your mind, but provide any helpful tips or guidance along the way. And if you do have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your onboarding contact. Finally, we’re also very flexible and understanding in case life throws you and your team any curveballs during the onboarding process. Again, your onboarding contact is here to help guide you, so don’t hesitate to contact them. Also note, if you would like a copy of any of the documents reviewed in this video, please reach out to your local RCS Sales Representative and we’ll forward them along.
Here at RCS, we are excited for our upcoming products releases, including Zetta 5.20.1 and GSelector 4.9.0. Expect RCS Live sessions in the upcoming weeks, in which we’ll break down each product’s new features. We’re also planning on demonstrating Zetta Site Replication vs. Z-Casting, Zetta Hot Sparing, and of course, more GSelector scheduling tips and tricks. We’ll be posting Facebook events to RSVP and set reminders. Make sure you follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware and if you have questions you want answered, let us know and we’ll cover them every Thursday at 11am ET.
One of Zetta’s most unique features is the Background Recorder. Many users take its workflows literally, which is fine, as a way to record something in the background. However, did you know that the Background Recorder, or BGR, can be interpreted as its own station with clocks and logs? In this video, Jeff Zigler, RCS Senior Sales Engineer, joined us in breaking down many of the ways you can utilize Zetta’s Background Recorder and maximize its efficiency.
Starting with the setup and configuration. Users first must identify the recording sources via Configuration | Computer | Record Devices. After defining the recording inputs, assign a task that the Background Record, or BGR, can execute via Configuration | background Recorders. Users can have multiple Background Recorders or a single Background Recorder that can execute multiple tasks. If you’re looking to record to a single file, under Configuration | System | On Demand Recordings, users can record to a file outside of Zetta, an FTP site or select an internal asset and drag it into the defined area to have the BGR continue to overwrite that specific asset.
After defining and configuring the Background Recorder, users have access to the Recorder Clocks and Recorder Logs, located under Tools | Recorder Clocks or Recorder Logs. Think of the Recorder Clocks as a repeating 24/7 grid, broken down by the hour. Whereas the Recorder Logs represent Thursday 10/8/20. Let’s say that it’s a holiday and you don’t need the BGR to execute its workflow. We wouldn’t want to delete the workflow from the Recorder Clocks because that means the next time the day is scheduled, we lose that workflow. Instead, we should go to the Recorder Logs and remove the workflow due to the single holiday. Users can work within this window similar to Zetta’s Clocks or Logs. Right Click, insert a Control Event and then you can insert and manipulate Execute Commands, Macros and more. Jeff even used the example of a station that configured their Background Recorder to execute a task in which a GPO triggered the front doors to unlock at exactly 5:45am to let the morning show talent into the building and then at 6:00am, the BGR would lock the doors. Users can trigger individual recordings like curating a “Best of Morning Show,” or free up resources by executing tasks normally done by the File Server. Users submitted their own examples of playing back live recorded News or creating a macro, assigning it to a Hot Key and then firing it via Zetta2GO. Remember, macros are essentially combined functions that can be triggered as one. And with the Background Recorder’s Recorder Clocks and Recorder Logs, users have full control on scheduling or executing workflows. Treat the Recorder Clocks and Recorder Logs like you would a station’s Log module. There’s lots of ways you can maximize your workflows by combining the Recorder Clocks with everyday tasks.
Next, we continued with more user examples. Within the Metadata module, there is a section for Playback Method and the option Play Incoming File. If you have an ongoing recording and you want to essentially treat the Background Recorder as a DVR, you could begin a recording and then using the Play Incoming File Playback Method, start to the play the recorded element while it continues to record. There’s also ways to utilize Zetta’s TCP/UDP/GPIOs alongside the BGR to change routes, Hot Spare and more.
With fall upon us, we’re working on some unique topics to cover for upcoming RCS Lives, including Zetta Site Replication vs. Z-Casting, Zetta 5.20.1, GSelector 4.9.0 and its new unique Clock breakdowns. Make sure you follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware to RSVP for these free upcoming events and if you have questions you want answered, let us know and we’ll cover them every Thursday at 11am ET.
With the Fall Ratings Period on our minds, we decided to tackle Advanced GSelector Scheduling Techniques as part of this week’s RCS Live series. We broke down the Category Changer, Optimizations, including MultiShot, Legacy and Floating, Consideration Window settings and more.
Starting with the Category Changer (Library | Category Changer), we reminded Music Directors a quick and efficient way to make their weekly music changes. Don’t forget about the F7 History Window that can be displayed or hidden and options to add or remove metadata columns. Each user can also have their own Category Changer Browse Format.
Moving on the Optimizations tab, by default the Optimizations tab is disabled. Users can enable it via Setup | Station | Features | Advanced | Enable Optimization Options. Once enabled, there are three GSelector Optimizations users can choose from: MultiShot, Legacy and Floating. Each are part of the Optimization scheduling process. Remember, there are three phases of the GSelector scheduling process: Plotting (Preemptive positioning based on dayparts), Scheduling (GSelector assigns the asset a score) and Optimizations (GSelector will juggle the asset with other assets to see if there’s a better scoring element that could fit in said position). By default, GSelector uses Legacy | Light for all scheduling.
Multishot is for smaller categories with higher turnovers, similar to Disabled | Slotted. The concept is that GSelector has slightly more flexibility in how it can schedule elements that are supposed to be in consecutive order using basic GSelector rules like Minimum Separation, Yesterday Song and Vocalist Separation. Obviously, there would need to be values in each of those rules for MultiShot to take effect. If a normal turnover category schedules as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc… then the MultiShot would allow for one position to move slightly: 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Notice that it will only move one position to make sure that GSelector maintains the desired consecutive order. These settings can be adjusted by Light, Medium, Heavy, Auto and Custom.
Next, we have Legacy and Floating optimizations. These are used for higher turnover categories with lots of elements and a turnover greater than eight hours. The concept is that GSelector will dig deeper to find a better scoring element. The main difference between Legacy and Floating is that Legacy will dig within the scheduled Category Group and Floating will search within a defined Floating Group of multiple Category Groups. For example, with Legacy enabled, if GSelector schedules a Primary Gold record, then it will dig within the Primary Gold Category Group to find a better scoring song. It will not look at any other Category Group. Compared to Floating, in which a user would define a Floating Group, like Floating Group 1, and then using the Assignment tab, they would choose multiple Category Groups and assign them the Floating Category Group 1. For example, one could combine the Category Groups: 1970s Primary, 1970s Secondary and 1970s Fill. So if a 1970s Primary element was scheduled, GSelector will look at the Floating Group to find a better scoring song. It would search through 1970s Primary, 1970s Secondary and 1970s Filler. The Optimizer strength will determine how far down GSelector will search. NOTE: There is no Goal or Rule that users have to add to the existing Priority Lists. These Optimizations are part of GSelector’s third scheduling process.
Did you know that there are Consideration Window specific settings that you can enable or disable? From the first row of Editor icons, on the far right you’ll find the finger with up down arrows dropdown Consideration Window Options. Settings range from hiding elements that have a score of 0 or displaying Packets and more. It’s good practice to play with these settings to make sure the Consideration Window is performing exactly how YOU want it to.
Finally, we went over some small tips like Airplay Starvation and taking backups. If you find your category spin separation is slightly too big – if 7 spins is the average, you have elements with 10 spins and others with 3 – then Airplay Starvation will tighten the gap so that you’ll see turnovers more like 8 and 5 respectively. With cryptoware attacks on the rise, don’t forget about Data Exchanges. They’re free and part of your GSelector contract. Think of Data Exchanges as a Cloud or Email backups and RCS will maintain the most recent backup as a security measure in case of emergencies. Best practices: take the time to send yourself a Data Exchange once a week.
With fall upon us, we’re working on some unique topics to cover for upcoming RCS Lives, including Zetta Site Replication vs. Z-Casting, Background Recorder, Zetta 5.20.1, GSelector 4.9.0 and its new unique Clock breakdowns. Make sure you follow us on Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware to RSVP for these free upcoming events and if you have questions you want answered, let us know and we’ll cover them every Thursday at 11am ET.