Since Zetta is an extremely flexible piece of radio automation software, we highly encourage users to cater Zetta to their everyday workflows, specifically with Custom Asset Types and Custom Fields. Custom Asset Types are elements that are not Zetta defaults, like songs, links, spots, etc… Whereas Custom Fields are specific attributes or text values that can include user-driven metadata. No matter the format, user or station needs, these advanced custom features can greatly benefit your everyday Zetta experience.
Starting with Custom Asset Types, again, these are non-songs, links, spots or any other default Zetta element. It’s important to identify the behaviors of these Custom Asset Types because everything in Zetta operates in an intentional manner. For example, songs and links and integrated with GSelector because as a music scheduler, these are elements that we want to integrate between both pieces of software. However, if you create a new Custom Asset Type, like “Nate’s Songs,” those songs are not integrated with GSelector. A better approach would be to keep songs as songs so that they maintain their integration and use another field, like a Custom Field to isolate “Nate’s Songs.” Custom Asset Types are for audio elements that are specific to Zetta like “Best of Morning Show,” “Sound Effects,” etc…
Creating a new Custom Asset Type is relatively simple and straight forward. From Configuration | System | Asset Types, use the + to add a new Custom Asset Type. Give it a name, description, the type will be Custom, define a search method and option to switch between search methods. Remember, Server-side search is a Library feature for large libraries who prefer performance over loading thousands of unnecessary assets. Server-side searching will include the Title, Artist, or Category search tabs. If you look at the Assets Total from the Asset Types subtab and there’s a more manageable total, then stick with Client-side search, which will allow the user to continue to use the Library’s Search bar to filter elements. Although a sign out isn’t required, it’s always helpful to reset the layout so that Zetta has a full display of your newly created Custom Asset Type.
Moving onto Custom Fields, we’re continuing to work within the Configuration | System window, focusing on the Custom Fields subtab. Similar to other Zetta areas, use the + to add a new Custom Field. You’ll see two additional tabs on the right: Details and Values. First, define a name for the new field and then any and all Asset Types. These could be across all asset types or specific to something like Songs or Spots. The Scope field will specify if the field is available globally or station specific and the Value Type is important because it will determine if Zetta should reuse existing Attributes or use a simple text string. For example, let’s look at an established field like Sound Code and if we are utilizing attributes, then Pop would be considered the value. If another element wishes to include Sound Code: Pop, Zetta already has that specific value saved within its database and will make a direct reference to both songs utilizing Sound Code: Pop. Whereas if we switch to Value Type: Text, that’s a non-reoccurring value like a Spot outcue that has thousands of possibilities. There’s no reason for Zetta to “save” those values and they’re all unique. Make a note to enable “Allow New Values” and “Allow Multiple Values” for more user-friendly behaviors.
These Custom Fields can also be synced with your GSelector. From GSelector, head to Tools | Global Settings | User Defined Fields to copy and paste the exact Zetta Custom Field into one of GSelector’s 99 User Defined Fields. IMPORTANT: This is a direct match, so both fields must be exact – no additional spaces, missed punctuation, etc… Typically you would select the Type: Text to complete the match. Once synced, users can include and edit these custom fields throughout their Zetta and GSelector experience.
So, what are some examples of how users incorporate Custom Fields? We have some users that will use the field to define if the element is allowed to play over the stream via a variable within the Live Metadata Export so that if the RDS sees a “NO” value within a specific field, then it’s skipped within their streaming provider. Others like to include “Outcue” or “Voice” for Spots so they can right click on the Logs or Library headers to include these fields as part of their visual display. This week’s RCS Live featured some great user driven questions, like creating a Custom Asset Type and then using a Custom Field to further sub-group metadata. Or, if your talent is recording a Sunday morning jazz brunch show and they want to include a way to isolate or search for specific “Jazz Brunch” songs, then include a Custom Field for Songs with the Attribute: Jazz Brunch. Now, the talent can simply search for the phrase “Jazz Brunch” while adding songs.
There’s no wrong way to include Custom Asset Types and Custom Fields as a tool to maximize your Zetta experience, making it easier and more user-friendly for your team. Although Custom Asset Types and Custom Fields are part of existing Zetta builds, if you want to get your hands on the latest RCS features, like Zetta 5.22.1 or GSelector 5.1, become a Beta user! Or join the RCS Team as we’re hiring right now. Don’t forget to email your studio setup to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in our #StudioSpotlight and if you can’t make it next Thursday at 11am ET for another RCS Live, we have our entire RCS Live series available on demand through our archive.