Chapter 5. Generating and Maintaining Logs with RDLogEdit

Table of Contents

5.1. Logs and Log Events
5.1.1. Audio Carts
5.1.2. Macro Carts
5.1.3. Note Markers
5.1.4. Track Markers
5.1.5. Chain Events
5.1.6. Import Links
5.2. Event Transitions
5.2.1. The PLAY Transition
5.2.2. The SEGUE Transition
5.2.3. The STOP Transition
5.3. Time and Time Types
5.3.1. The Relative Time Type
5.3.2. The Hard Time Type
5.3.3. Estimated vs. Scheduled Start Times
5.4. Editing Log Event Parameters
5.4.1. Specifying a Cart
5.4.2. Specifying Meta Event Parameters
5.4.3. Rearranging Log Events
5.4.4. Saving or Abandoning Changes to a Log
5.4.5. Missing/Invalid Cart Events
5.5. Generating Log Reports
5.5.1. Log Listing
5.5.2. Log Exception Report
5.6. Auditioning Audio

5.1. Logs and Log Events

A Rivendell log is a sequence of one or more events to be executed by the system, arranged in chronological order. (This functionality is sometimes referred to as a playlist in other automation systems). Several different types of events can be included in a log, along with parameters governing how and under what circumstances they will be executed.

Upon startup, RDLogEdit will show the current list of all logs on the system. A number of important attributes of logs can be seen from The RDLogEdit Main Window, the first being the log name, with a summary status indicator next to it. The name is an alpha-numeric label that is used as a unique “handle” by the system to reference each log, and can be up to a maximum of 64 characters long. The status indicator is intended as a quick visual guide as to whether a particular log is ready for air (green check mark) or not (red ex).

The RDLogEdit Main Window

Next comes the log's unique Name, assigned at the time the log was created, followed by it's Description. This is a free-form alpha-numeric label that can be used to record any information that might be useful to have appear on the log list (e.g. “This log for Sunday's show, don't modify!”).

Next comes a column showing the owning Service. Each log is owned by exactly one service, which determines under what circumstances the log can be played and where electronic log reconciliation (ELR) data resulting from log playouts is sent (for an overview of Rivendell services, see Section, “Services”).

Next comes three “status indicator” columns (Music, Traffic and Tracks) indicating the log's degree of readiness for air. A red indicator indicates that the particular data element is required but currently missing, a green indicator indicates an element is required and present, while a white indicator indicates that an element is not required. Additionally, the TRACKS column contains a pair of numbers indicating how many completed voice tracks exist in the log versus how many total track markers exist (the subject of voice tracks and track markers will be covered in more detail below). When all three of these status indicators show either green or white, the summary status indicator (at the beginning of the log's entry in the list) will show as a green check mark, while a red indicator in any of these three fields will show a red ex. (NOTE: because a log sports a red ex does not indicate that the respective log cannot be played. It is merely a visual indicator to allow logs to be quickly "eyeballed" for completeness).

Next comes a pair of columns indicating the valid start date and end date for the log.

Next comes an Auto Refresh column that indicates whether the log has auto refresh enabled. (For a discussion of auto refresh, see FIXME).

Finally, there are "datestamp" columns, indicating date/time of the log's Origin, Last Linked and Last Modified operation.

A report that lists the available logs on the system can be generated by touching the Log Report button.

A new log can be created by touching the Add button and entering a name, or an existing log inspected and modified by touching its entry on the log list and then touching the Edit button, resulting in the log being opened in the Edit Log dialog. The Edit Log dialog consists of three parts: the top section, where much of the information shown on the log list can be inspected and modified; the middle section, which shows the list of events comprising the log, and the bottom section, where buttons for modifying and saving the log are located. Each event in a log can be one of several different types, indicated by the icon displayed at the start of the line (see Table 5.1, “Log Event Type Icons” for a breakdown of the various icons).

The Edit Log Dialog

The following types of events can be incorporated into a Rivendell log:

Table 5.1. Log Event Type Icons

Audio Cart
Voice Track Audio Cart
Macro Cart
Note Marker
Track Marker
Chain Event
Music Import Link
Traffic Import Link

5.1.1. Audio Carts

The first, and usually most common type of log event is an audio cart. As the name implies, audio carts are Library entries that contain audio material intended for playout. Audio carts were covered in detail in Chapter 3, Content Management with RDLibrary.

5.1.2. Macro Carts

A macro cart is a cart from the Library that contains one or more system commands that can be used to cause the system to take various actions. They were touched upon in Chapter 3, Content Management with RDLibrary, and will be discussed in detail in Chapter 14, Rivendell Macro Langauge.

5.1.3. Note Markers

A note marker is an entry in the log that contains text intended to be seen by operators and used as a guide or reminder (program coders sometimes refer to this sort of functionality as a remark or comment, as seen in the REM command used by BASIC programmers). Note markers belong to a class of log events known as meta events because (unlike carts, which exist in the Library independently of whether they are placed in a log or not), they have no independent existence outside of the specific log where they are placed. A note marker has absolutely no effect on the execution of a log other than to simply display some text at a specified point in a log, and as such can be useful as a mechanism for making notes or reminders to oneself or to others who may be executing the log.

5.1.4. Track Markers

A track marker is another meta event that is very similar in operation to note markers, with one key addition: track markers designate or "bookmark" a place in the log where a voice track is to be recorded. (The entire topic of voice tracks and tracking will be covered in detail in Chapter 9, VoiceTracking). As with note markers, track markers have absolutely no effect on the execution of a log.

5.1.5. Chain Events

Each event in a log has a transition type, shown in the Trans column of the Edit Log dialog. The transition type determines what happens when one event in a log ends and the next starts. Three basic transition types can exist in a Rivendell log: PLAY, SEGUE and STOP.

5.1.6. Import Links

An import link is a placeholder event that shows where events imported from the external music or traffic scheduling system will eventually go. They will be covered in detail in Chapter 8, Generating Logs with RDLogManager.

Each event in a Rivendell log can have its parameters modified by touching its entry in the Edit Log dialog and then clicking the Edit button, thus opening up the Edit Log Entry dialog, shown below.

The Edit Log Entry Dialog

The Edit Log Marker Dialog

The Edit Voice Track Marker Dialog

The Edit Log Chain Dialog