Potential answers to Problems

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Potential answers to Problems

Postby Stashu » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:03 am

I'm starting this thread to take the heat form the 3.0 thread. Mark has written an involved letter, and I didnt want to detract from that. It's a good one.
I've found some culprits in .mp3s not working. Some of them are:
1) Real player or other codecs negating or over-ruling Windows Media Player.
2) Video player (DVD) codecs use mp3 oftentimes as their player. This sometimes becomes the default mp3 codec, and, once again, over-rides other codecs.
3) Variable bit rates on the mp3s. This can be deadly to radio automation or other pro setups. Some players will lock up when trying to play a VBR mp3. Check 'Constant Bit Rate' when you download or make mp3s for automation use. If you are running out of hard drive space, get a bigger one. 'Variable bit rate' can stop many pro programs. We have clients that try to play VBR mp3s, and get nothing. Even solid programs like 'Quick Time' and iTunes, will have problems with badly encoded mp3s.
Maybe others can add to the pile of things that will stop or hinder programs.
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Postby Stashu » Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:42 pm

There are also some sites that have ways to make windows less intrusive for your 'On-Air' computer. They list what to do in your Control Panel to minimize Windows, while you are broadcasting. How to minimize or eliminate sounds from stopping your Media Player.
I'll try to post a few links soon.
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Postby DRS 2006 - Jeremy » Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:00 pm

While we are adding tips, I'm going to add a couple.

A.) If you have a slower machine, disable some of the "graphic" enhancements in XP/Vista to make things run a little easier for OARS and your processor. Here's how:

1.) Press your Window Key and the Break Key. This will bring up the system control panel.
2.) Click on the Advanced Tab (in Vista, click "Advanced System Settings")
3.) Click "Settings" under Performance.
4.) Click "Adjust for best performance". and click OK. You MAY have to restart your machine.

B.)Depending on what your machine is, if you have Vista, you may have some latency issues with sound cards. It can sometimes be solved by turning off the enhancements that Vista has enabeled. To do so:

1.) Open your Sound control panel.
2.) Click on your audio card and click "Properties"
3.) Check "Disable All Enhancements" and click "OK"
4.) Click "OK" to close the sound control panel. This will not affect any plugins you have in WMP, but it will help solve a few delay issues.

Any one else want to add a few?
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Postby Stashu » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:04 pm

Here's a web site that has a lot of great tweaks for getting your computer to burp less while doing any audio or video work. These are mostly suggestions, and you can do as many or as few as you like. Thet are primarily for XP and ME, but I'm sure there are ways do do these tweaks in Vista.

http://www.pcmus.com/TweakXP.htm

I had a few other site, and links in mind, but this site looked to be very thorough.
ONE CAUTION - As with all Windows and Control Panel suggestions, use caution, and if you're not sure about what you are doing, and are worried about the result, don't make the changes.

Again, any time you limit the computer's interruptions, the better. That's why many Professionals suggest a dedicated computer for Audio and Video work. Many don't even use the work computer for admin or business use .... just production or 'On Air' use.
so, again, read the tweaks, and figure out which ones will work for you.
Good luck!
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Postby DRS 2006 - Jeremy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:08 pm

Someone sent me a PM with a very good question, so I thought I would copy and paste my response here. I figure it's a good performance tip and maybe for networking as well:

Most automation systems, and DRS is no different, work best when the audio resides locally on your on-air machine, preferribly on a separate drive from your boot drive. If you can, usually you would have a second hard disk in your machine that just holds the database files and the audio that goes with it. By doing so, it improves machine performace as 1 drive handles the time-critical functions, and the other drive can call the files and perform the database transactions. If you can not get a second hard drive, at least have a second partition, and have the database files and the audio on it. The rest should connect via network maps. If you wish, send me your e-mail address in a PM and I can send you some screenshots on how I have my system configured.


Another option that some do is the audio would reside on the on-air machine, and the database files would reside on the production machine, or have both the database and the audio on the production machine. This is not recommended for a couple reasons:

1.)When it needs to do a shuffle or call up information, it has to transverse the network to get it, and not knowing how fast your network backbone is, it could cause bottlenecks, making it take longer and struggle to pull up database information or audio files, not to mention if you have a slow prod machine, that doesn't help the cause either. It's always best to have the files stored on the time-critical machine (i.e. "on air"). Internal IDE/SATA works MUCH faster than over the network.

2.)Furthermore, it's dangerous, because if you have a prod machine failure or even a network failure, this will cause problems in the on-air machine, possibly crashing the OARS. If you keep both the database and the audio on the time-critical machine (i.e. on air computer), and a network issue appears, it would be able to keep on trucking uninterrupted.
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Postby Adriaan » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:14 pm

I am very interested to see the screenshots !
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Events

Postby Ron » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:36 pm

This may or may not be a bug in the latestest release but I can't find anything that descibes as to if the " Event Manage" is working properly in DRS Pro Ver 2.2 in the "On Air DJ Pro".

The actual Events work properly within the hour that they are set, however at the top of the hour the "Activate Events" switches itself to the deactivated mode at the top of every hour.

I wanted to do a station ID at or near the top of the hour as soon as the selection playing finished, but found that the Event Manger Deactivated It self at the top of the hour.

Is this normal? or it is a bug? and if it is normal is there a way around this? using some other function.

Just Testing and wondering

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Postby DRS 2006 - Jeremy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:23 pm

If you wish to stick an ID at the top of each hour, it's best to actually schedule it with the Event Manager inside the AutoPlay Manager module. The one inside OARS is usually for temporary chaanges.
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Postby Ron » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:29 pm

Okay but is there any reason the event manager automatically deactvates itself at the top of evey hour. I posted this in another post but it seems it would be more desiable and useful if the event manager stayed activate until manually deactivated or at least supply an option to permit it to deactivat or stay activate at the top of the hour.

Just my thoughts,

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Postby Ron » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:51 pm

Thanks Jermey for the Autoplay suggestion, but I still am hoping perhaps the Event Manager would not deactivate itself.

Top of the hour ID's, Serials that play all day and various other things make this function great to use. The Event Manager is just so *beep* useful and easy to use that it seems a shame to have it deactivate at the top of the hour.

Perhaps it will change in a future update as I can't see any reason it would hurt anything else. Granted the Autoplay has very useful functions for the week and day functions but to hit the ground running and make changes easily boy you can't beat how the event manager works, if only the auto deactivate function would go away...

Thganks for the help...
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Postby DRS 2006 - Jeremy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:42 pm

My guess for the reason it deactivates at the top of every hour is because towards the top of the hour (at 59:55 I believe), it probably reads the settings from what you have set up in the AutoPlay Manager. If those settings say to deactivate, then it will deactivate. This is why I do most of my events programming in the AutoPlay Manager...I use the OARS Event Manager for temporary changes. Maybe a sugesstion for 2.2?
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Postby Ron » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:21 pm

Well actually I never used the Autoplay function except perhaps way back when and have never entered anything into the day or hour in the autoplay area since this version release.

I will continue to now test the Autoplay and Event manager, I am now wondering who gets priority if there are two different events at the same time in the Even manager and Autoplay.

Regardless, the speed at which you can changes thing almost at a seconds notice in the Event manager is priceless and making changes that quick is something I don't think other software does at least not as easy and functional as it is in DRS2006 using the event manager.

perhaps there is a conflict between the Autoplay manager and the Event Manager that I am not aware of, but as I mentioned above it seem it could potentially pop up using both and having two events set on the same day and exact time.

Either way perhaps a test at the development end to disable the auto deactivate in the event manager and then add a btton or check box to auto deactivate might be in the works in a future release or in version 3.

Anyway, I wanted to ask in the forum so others could read and learn from my query and perhaps others will ring in about their thoughts on the auto deactivate function in the Event Manger.

DRS2006 It Just Keeps Getting Better All The Time......
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