Auto DJ. If you are interested in radio or internet radio stations, you probably have heard about this tool. But do you know what Auto DJ really does, or is really used for?
In this post we will explain in depth how it works, the resources that the system offers and, more important, what its applications are.
What Auto DJ is
If you have already studied a little about Auto DJ, you must have read that it is a “system for audio streaming over demand”, right? But what does that mean?
Basically, it means that Auto DJ will broadcast your radio for you, automatically. You will not need to leave your computer connected, because the stream will be done directly by the hosting server.
You will send your audio files in MP3 to the Auto DJ panel only once, and from there you will be able to mount your schedule. It is not necessary to install softwares or buy special equipment. Just a computer or notebook can be used, and for quick editions even a smartphone is enough!
Auto DJ resources
Those who think that all Auto DJ is the same are mistaken. There are several panels available in the market, each one with its features, and some more complete and stable than others.
A good Auto DJ will facilitate as much as possible the life of the broadcaster who is configuring it. Among the resources most used, we can mention the following:
– File manager: It is through this tool that you will send your audio files to the panel. That is why, it is extremely important that the file manager is stable, allows the dispatch of several files at one time, and more important, that it checks if the file which is being sent is valid. Please note a safeguard. Avoid using software such as FTP for the dispatch of files to Auto DJ. A good file manager is as quick as any FTP connection, and adds several resources which ensure the stability and facility of use of the system.
– Creator/Editor of playlists: After sending your audio files to Auto DJ, you need to organize them in playlists, which ones will be played on your station. The playlists are lists which gather together all the songs, jingles, commercials and other audio files which you wish to play on your radio station. They can be separated into two categories: sequential and random.
The random playlists do as the name itself says. They will play your files in a totally random way, regardless of the order in which the files are listed. While the sequential playlists respect the order of the files as they appear in the list. This, linked to the advanced resources of the creation tool can make all the difference. A good Auto DJ will allow the sequential playlist to be created easily and quickly, without the administrator needing to choose the order of each file manually (But it allows this, if the user so desires!). Defining an order of automatic reproduction is something which is indispensable. With this resource, you can choose the ratio of songs for each jingle, commercial or time announcement, for example. With a few clicks, you can create a playlist of several hours’ duration and also choose to reproduce your commercials after a determined number of songs. Click here to see more details about how the tool creating playlists functions.
– Playlist scheduling: The great secret of using Auto DJ is to create several playlists, each one with differentiated “contents”, and then create the scheduling of your radio so that these playlists are reproduced at specific times. Thus, you can create a playlist for each program of your radio and configure Auto DJ to start it at the time that you want. Here the rule is to diversify the schedule of your radio station. It is important that your Auto DJ allows you to create scheduling in the correct time zones, which allows you to choose the exact moment of starting a playlist. It is preferable that the minimum scheduling allowed is 1 minute! For further details about scheduling playlists, click here.
– Transition between Live and Auto DJ: Regardless of whether your radio will depend over Auto Dj or if it will only be an assistant, one thing is certain: when you start a live broadcast through your computer, the transition between Auto DJ and your Live must always be done in an imperceptible way for your listeners! Thus, check if Auto DJ has an automatic transition. This is a resource which allows you to start live broadcast and finish them without needing to disconnect your listeners. If this resource is not available, your listeners will need to stop listning to your radio stastion and then start it again, which is not feasible.
Now that we already know which resources are most important of an Auto DJ system, let us speak about their applications!
Auto DJ for FM and commercial radios
It is logical. When we speak about Auto DJ, our imagination goes to an online radio sation. That is why we are going to speak about its applications for FM amd commercials radios, which do not always regard it as a useful resourcel.
– Backup audio: even though connections with the internet are becoming increasingly quicker and more stable, there will always be moments when the internet of the radio studio will not be available. Some programmed or unforeseen maintenance will always occur, and the live streaming will necessarially be offline. Thus, Auto DJ can be a good alternative to not let your listeners down! You can create backup programming via Auto DJ, which will always be online and in the background. If your Live transmission fails, Auto Dj will automatically start broadcasting. Obviously, it will not be the live broadcast of your radio station, but at least your listeners will not be without contents if they want to listen you! The tip is to interweave some songs with jingles, indicating that your live broadcast will soon be available again.
– Broadcast at times of a small audience: This tip is especially useful for community radio stations or small radio stations, which cannot afford the cost of maintaining the studio open 24 hours a day. With Auto DJ, you can create a complete schedule so that your radio remains playing at times of a smaller audience, such as in the early hours of the morning, for example.
– Transition between remote voiceovers: It is increasingly common for radios to retransmit the contents of remote partners. But the management of the remote streams is not always easy. Auto DJ can be really useful in this case! You can execute the remote broadcasts with different voiceover passwords in your streaming panel. When a live broadcast is ended, Auto DJ will assume the programming. It is a very handy way of managing remote voiceovers in studios on a small budget.
Auto DJ for online radio stations
It seems obvious, but Auto DJ is an almost mandatory tool for online radio stations. It allows your station to stream 24 hours a day, without requiring your computer to be always connected. But is is important to point out that Auto DJ is more than a program which reproduces a playlist. Auto DJ allows the complete scheduling of your radio to be created, so that it almost does away with the need for a live streaming. See some important tips:
– Make a good use of the scheduling tool: Instead of creating a single playlist lasting 24 hours, why not create several varied playlists and then creating a well defined schedule? Thus, you will be able to create a customized programming for your radio, thinling about the type of audience which usually listens to your radio station at each time.
– Make use of the playlist editor: Editing manually the play order of a playlist with 30 minutes of duration is quick to do. But when we begin to use Auto DJ in an advanced way, creationg a playlist of 2 or more hours, doing this is certainly a task which takes time. Therefore, the golden rule is to make uso of the automatic ordering tool. With it, you can add all the audio files which you wish to run in the playlist, and then choose an play order. And instead of wasting 30 minutes creating a playlist, you spent only a few seconds. This time you can use in more important tasks, such as recording spots for your sponsors!
– Make good use of the File Manager: The file manager may seem simple at first, but its good management will make all the difference as the scheduling of your radio station becomes increasingly complete. Therefore, use well the file categories available. There are 4: Songs, Commercials, Jingles and Podcasts. Adding each file in the correct category will ensure that the automatic ordering tool of the playlist will function as required. To improve the organization even further, create folders in each category! In “Songs”, you can separate by type (Rock, Samba, Country, etc.) or by artist. In “Commercials”, you can separate by the sponsor’s name, etc.! And a little secret: if you have a program which is sent periodically to Auto DJ, it is not necessary to edit the playlist at each new dispatch! It suffices to send the new file with the same name as the old one, and to the same folder. The File Manager system will automatically replace the old one! Thus, the next run of this playlist will already have the new contents. This is extremely useful for retransmitting recorded programs!
And last but not least, we mention the additional resources of Auto DJ! A few years ago they were considered to be a luxury, but nowadays they are indispensable resources! They include:
– Short programs: They are audio programs of short duration, at most 5 minutes, and daily updated. When used in Auto DJ they do not require manual updating! It suffices to add the short program to the playlist, and every day your radio station will have new contents. There are several themes, which vary from humorous, news and religious programs to daily curiosities!
– Campaigns: They are short audio items, up to 2 minutes, and which usually focus on specific subjects: special dates, prevention and awareness campaigns, etc. As opposed to the short programs, the campaigns are not updated automatically, but they are an incredible tool for varying the contents of your station!
– Time announcement: Simple and functional. Add the “time announcement” to your playlist. You do not need to choose the exact time! It suffices to “drag” the “time announcement” to the position that you want it to be played. When the playlist arrives at the right moment, the server will assume reading the correct time and playing it for your listeners. Available in female and male voice!
Cool, isn’t it? Auto DJ is no longer a simple tool. With a little studying and creativity, the use of Auto Dj will change the way that your listeners will hear your radio station!
That is precisely why we recommend that you save this article in the favorite’s folder of your browser, and read it again in the near future. It is a lot of information, so it is normal that you need to read certain topics again!
If you already have a radio station, apply the tips right now!
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