Track Weighting

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I'm just setting up Centova on my station, I've got most tracks in Standard Rotation, and just a couple in each of Light and Heavy.

How come the two tracks in Light Rotation sound like they're playing 10 times as often as everything else?  Please tell me Centova doesn't base its selection on the weight of the folders rather than weighting of the tracks in them?  If so, a track in a nearly empty folder would get played to death, even if the folder was set to low weighting (because it's the only one in there).  

Please please please telll me it's not like that?

My folder weightings are set correcly.

Cheers.
I'll word my question more simply then:

If I have two Playlist folders, both of the same weighting, but one has 500 tracks in it and the other has 5 tracks in it, will each of those 5 tracks get played 100 times more often than each of the 500 tracks sharing the other folder?



This is explained in ad nauseum in the user's guide so I'll keep this brief, but yes, the weight refers to how often the playlist is invoked.  Number of tracks in each playlist doesn't matter.
Thanks Steve,

With respect, I think whoever designed this made a monumental foul up here.  

Think about it...

If the weighting refers to how often the playlist is invoked, then, in fact, the relative number of items in each list is absolutely critical.

Consider, I've got 1,000 songs in my normally weighted list but only 100 in a lightly weighted list. By virtue of there only being a relatively small number of tracks in the low weight list, each of those songs is going to play 10x as often as the normal ones, so I'd need to set a weighting of 10:1 just to get even - otherwise the songs I hate (but the boss likes) are getting played 10x as often as the good ones, simply because there are fewer of them.

The weightings should apply to the individual TRACKS within each playlist, not to the playlists themselves (although it's convenient to apply track weightings at playlist level, obviously).  

Another example, I've got 1,000 ordinary songs at normal weighting but only 10 current hits.  Before I even put the current hits folder on power rotation they're each getting played 100 times more often as each song in the standard rotation.  

That's mad.

The weightings should apply to the tracks not the folders - or the whole thing is out of control mess and unuseable.

Cheers.
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With respect, I think whoever designed this made a monumental foul up here.

With equal respect, I think you just have different needs than most of our client base. :)  Not that your needs aren't valid, but we typically have to design to the specifications that most of our users will expect.

Bear in mind that the way you've suggested we do weighting is far easier to implement, but we deliberately sunk a significant amount of effort into our design of our current system (despite its higher implementation complexity) because it better matches what most station planners will expect.


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By virtue of there only being a relatively small number of tracks in the low weight list, each of those songs is going to play 10x as often as the normal ones

Exactly, and that's precisely the point of the weighting system.

If you're running a typical music station -- take a cheezy pop station, for example -- you're going to want to prioritize your tracks based on their popularity and hear the new ones far more frequently than the old ones.  So you'd put Britney and friends in your "Heavy" playlist, weighted 5, and your older tracks in your "Light" playlist, weighted 1, to ensure that out of every 6 tracks played, 5 of them are new and 1 of them are old.  (Adjust weights as necessary, of course -- these are just examples.)

If we implemented the weighting system the way you described, based on tracks rather than playlists, there would be no control over playlist distribution (by random chance, you might have 40 oldies play in a row followed by 2 new tracks, and then 10 more oldies), plus every time you added or removed tracks from any of the playlists, you'd throw off your carefully calculated ratios and have to go back and fiddle with all the weights again.

To put that in simpler terms, it means that under your suggested playlist system, if you uploaded the Creedence Clearwater Revival 6-CD box set to a playlist on your pop station and didn't adjust your weights, there's a good chance your stream will instantly change from a Pop Top 40 station into an all-CCR-all-the-time southern classic Rock marathon. :)

By ensuring that weighting is done on a per-playlist basis, we ensure that you get your daily dose of Britney as expected.  Or more specifically, that:
1) one of your "just released" tracks is GUARANTEED to play X number of times within every X songs, and likewise the oldies, so that you can carefully plan  and balance your programming based on what your listeners expect to hear, and that
2) the ratios stay precisely the same regardless of the number of tracks in each playlist, and do not change even if you add or delete a huge number of tracks from any given playlist.  

That's the purpose of the weighting system.  You're welcome to submit a feature request if you feel that your approach may also be useful, but your comments to the effect that the current system is "fouled up", "mad", an "out of control mess", and "unuseable" are a bit unwarranted given that it's operating precisely as designed and as most station planners will expect, and is simply not designed to do what you're looking for.


I guess you could put the songs you want played really infrequently in an Interval playlist and make them play every 300 songs or something equally long.

This was surprising to me, too. I'm glad I read this post.

So in theory, with a playlist of 50 songs weighted 5 and a playlist of 10 weighted 1, the songs might play nearly equally?

If so, is using an Interval playlist the only workaround?
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So in theory, with a playlist of 50 songs weighted 5 and a playlist of 10 weighted 1, the songs might play nearly equally?

No, that's how musicradiochina suggested it should work, not how it actually works.

How it actually works is as I described in my post above -- taking your example, out of every 6 songs played on the station, you're guaranteed to hear 5 songs from the 5-weighted playlist and 1 song from the 1-weighted playlist, regardless of how many tracks are in each of the playlists.