1. Total Recorder : Summary

This proposal is a total re-working of the "Old" KPFZ Total Recorder system, which is labor-intensive and error-prone.

The basic philosophy is "every hour on the hour". Every hour, TR will start RECORDING - of both live and replayed shows. And every hour it will try to PLAY a file: if it's a live show, there will be no file. If it's a replay (or pre-recorded) it will play the file. A series of scripts help with the process.

Warning: this system requires that the schedule is up to date.

1.1. Recording

  • Every recorded segment is one hour long (give or take a few seconds). A two-hour show is two one-hour shows back-to-back.

  • Total recorder knows NOTHING about the show. It only knows the day and the time : "Mon@11-00" or "Tue@15-00"). Once the "programming day" has been set up, the schedule NEVER has to be changed.

  • TR will start a RECORDING every hour, TO a file named (eg) "2021-05-08_Sat@11-00" (YYYY-MM-DD_DAY@HH-MM)
    This will capture a live show, and any repeats exactly as they were played on air. If someone interrupts a replay for an emergency THAT will be in the recording.

1.2. Playing

  • TR will start PLAYING every hour, FROM a file named (eg) "Tue@15-00" (DAY@HH-MM)

    If there is a LIVE show at that time there should be NO file of that name. TR will quietly end,and not replay anything.

    If there IS a file by that name (replay or pre-recorded), TR will play it.

1.3. Archiving and Scheduling Replays

Scripts to the Rescue (every hour-on-the-half-hour)

  • Copy every recording to the archive.

    Weeks are pesky, so the archive will be Year > Month
    (or maybe Year > Month > Show)

    A script will see a recorded file like "2021-05-08_Sat@16-00", read the schedule for Sat@16-00 and copy the recording to

    Archive > 2021 > 05-May > Wordweavers_2021-05-08_Sat@16-00

  • Copy Replays from the Archive to the Play folder. Suppose Wordweavers goes back to a Monday-night replay:

    Copy Recording "Wordweavers_2021-05-08_Sat@16-00" to Play "Mon@23-00"

  • Clean up the Record and Play folders when done.

1.4. Pre-Recorded Shows

Remember that pre-recorded shows must be in one-hour segments.

  • Record a file in any "popular" format -- .WAV .MP3 ..... eg "Wordweavers_2021-06-05_Sat@16-00..mp3"

  • Upload it to an "Inbox" (to be determined .. Teamviewer, FTP, dropbox) ....

  • A script will convert it to the "internal FLAC format" and put it in the archive folder as above,

  • The script will put a copy into the "Play" folder as "Sat@16-00.flac" ... and, if there's a replay, also as "Mon@23-00.flac"

1.5. Manual Over-Rides

Oh-oh. I can't make it to the studio.

  • Simply look in the archives and copy an old show into the "Play" folder (with a script, of course).
    eg "Wordweavers_1999-01-08_Sat@16-00" to Play "Sat@16-00"

Emergency! Cancel the replay/pre-recorded show and do a live show Wednesday 11 am!!

  • The recorded show was set up as "Wed@11-00.flac"

  • Just delete the file! (Before it starts playing, of course).

Operational note: you hardly EVER need to go onto the KTR/CH17 computer. About the only time I can think of is if something is being played from a file and you want to stop it.

  • In the studio: either pot down on the board (and remember to pot it up again), or KILL the TR "play" job.

  • Remotely: teamview to the KTR computer and either kill TR or adjust the replay level.

  • If you want to play something special, and don't have time to put it in the KTR/CH17 hourly system, you can always use KBO/CH18 which is also always-on.

1.6. Details and Status

One of the new computers (ASC/Andy Production Studio) as already been deployed, directly replacing the old "XP" system, and using the old Total Recorder setup. Since Andy can use this to "Team View" into the studio, some of the pressure on getting the other two computers installed has been relieved.

I met with John S a couple of weeks ago : he is in general agreement with this proposal.

I propose using FLAC (compressed) format internally. Scripting will be through Powershell (the modern version of the old DOS command shell). This will be both for command line and GUI. File conversions will be by FFMPEG.

Some of the "Copy" operations might be done by a shortcut.

The scripts require that the schedule is up to date. In particular, I am currently modifying the schedule system so that it knows that some shows alternate weeks, some are on odd/even monthsm that some run only on the last Saturday of the month, and that others are only on the 5th Saturday.

Implementation : most of the features described in this proposal have been implemented in a prototype version.