Auto Editor

After a schedule is generated the first thing any programmer wants to know is, “are there any violations on the schedule and if so, where are they?”

Pressing the letter ‘V’ is a shortcut to bring up the ‘Violation Summary.’  This screen shows each rule on the left, the times of the day across the top, and within the grid, the number of times a rule was broken.  The bottom-left of the Violation Summary shows the number of violations that are on the schedule.  To the right of that, you see the “Total Violation Points” that were broken, if any, during scheduling.

It’s not uncommon to have a few violations on a schedule as it shows you are “pushing” the program with some strict rules.

That’s why Powergold developed a feature to help automatically edit your schedule to reduce the number of violations it might have.

Powergold’s exclusive Auto Editor is one of the most popular features to use after you generate a schedule.  This feature does automatically what you would be doing manually; correcting violations on your schedule.  The Auto Editor will examine the schedule according to the rules you have told it to follow and clear up as many violations as possible.  Each violation it corrects is one less manual edit to the schedule you have to make.

To set up the Auto Editor, click the down-arrow button that is beside the “Auto Edit’ button above your schedule.

The idea behind setting up the Auto Editor is to add categories that can participate when you are ready to run the Auto Editor on a schedule.  We highly recommend that you add categories in order by largest number of songs to categories that have the smallest number of songs.  This allows your lesser important categories to pass through the schedule first, correcting violations.

After adding categories you want to participate in the Auto Editor there is a brief setup on the right.  Under the section “The Category on the left can flip with,” place a check on the same category.  In other words, you want the category you highlighted on the left to be able to ‘flip’ with songs from that same category.

There should be a check on “Allow flips with unscheduled positions” as this will give the Auto Editor permission to move an unscheduled position, if any, to another position.

“Hour Lock,” if checked, prevents songs from moving out of the hours in which they were originally scheduled.  This is an excellent way to have the Auto Editor potentially move songs from small categories around within the same hour, thereby keeping tight rotations in tact.

“The Category on the left can flip over a range of” a user-defined minutes.  There is no magic number of minutes to place here for each category, but it is recommended you examine the turnover times of your categories.  For example, if you have a ‘Gold’ category with a turnover time of three days, a good range of minutes would be 360 (or six hours).  Smaller categories where songs repeat more than once per day, it is recommended that 120 or 60 minutes is a conservative number to place here.

Choose which hours are allowed to be auto edited by clicking on the “Participating Hours” tab.  Here you can uncheck hours that are not allowed to participate in the auto editing process.  We recommend that all hours be available to the Auto Editor as it is a feature that will only seek to rid your schedule of violations and will do no harm.

Once the Auto Editor is set up and ready to go, simply click the ‘Auto Edit’ button in the Schedule Editor.   A confirmation message will appear as this process will make some changes to your schedule.  Click YES.

You will notice that the ‘Auto Edit’ box lists the statistics from the edit, including the original number of violations, and an updated number of violations.

There are buttons to run the Auto Editor again, change the Auto Editor to make a ‘Single Pass’ through the schedule instead of the recommended and default ‘Multi Pass.’  The ‘Advanced’ button gives you the opportunity for Powergold to run what’s called a ‘Deep Scan Edit,’ which is much more thorough, but slower.

Finally, you can tweak the Auto Editor settings to achieve the results you want.  The way you set rules in Powergold can very well mean that you will never need the Auto Editor.  But, it’s there if you need it.