6.3. Layout

The RDAirPlay main screen consists of four primary areas: the top area, which contains a variety of indicators for use in live assist situations as well as a set of audio meters; the button widget, which occupies the bulk of the left-hand side of the screen; the right-hand side, which displays either a SoundPanel array or a full log width; and the edit buttons in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.

The top area contains the following indicators:

6.3.1. The Wall Clock

In the upper left-hand corner is the wall clock indicator, which indicates the current system date and time. The style used for displaying times throughout RDAirPlay can be toggled between 24 hour “military” format and the traditional “AM/PM” presentation by clicking once on this display. If the system administrator has enabled it, this display will also flash RED to indicate possible clock inaccuracy due to loss of master clock synchronization.

6.3.2. The Post Point Counter

Immediately to the right of the wall clock is the Post Point Counter. A post point is an attribute applied to a log event with a hard time type. The post point counter uses this information to display countdown and timing information.

The counter can be in one of four possible states: Idle, On Time, Under Time or Over Time. The counter will provide an estimate of how “on-time” the log currently is, on the basis of the current time and events still scheduled to be played.

If the playout is such that the next hard time will be reached within one second of its programmed time, then the counter will be in On Time mode. The value shown in the square brackets is the scheduled time of the hard-timed event.

If the playout is such that the next hard time will be reached one second or more before its programmed time, then the counter will be in Early mode. It will also give an indication of how much more material would need to be added to make the join on time.

If the playout is such that the next hard time will be reached one second or more after its programmed time, then the counter will be in Late mode. It will also give an indication of how much material would need to be removed to make the join on time.

6.3.3. The Audio Meter

Immediately beneath the wall clock and post point counter is the audio meter. The meter shows the current peak levels of audio being played out of RDAirPlay, with '0' level referenced to -16 dBFS.

6.3.4. The Pie Wedge Widget

In the top center of the top area is the pie wedge widget. This widget counts down the final few seconds of each event. The length of time it counts down, along with whether it counts to the start of the next transition or the absolute end of the event are both configurable in RDAdmin. The color of the band that grows as the countdown progresses (shown in GREEN in the illustration) will change color to indicate if the currently playing event is the last event before a log stopdown. If it is the last, it will be RED, if not, GREEN. A BLUE band and countdown will also appear to indicate the event's talk time (if talk time markers have been set in the underlying cart). If the On-Air flag has been set to ON, the area around the pie widget will be RED.

6.3.5. The Next Stop Counter

Immediately to the right of the pie wedge widget is the next stop counter. The large numerals indicate the predicted interval of time before the next stopdown of the Main Log machine, with the actual predicted time in the square brackets. If the Main Log is already stopped, then the counter simply displays Stopped.

6.3.6. The Mode Indicator

In the upper right-hand corner of the top area is the mode indicator, showing the current automation mode of the log machines. Three different modes are possible: Automatic, in which all log features, including PLAY and SEGUE transitions and hard times are fully enabled; LiveAssist, in which no automatic transitions or hard start times are executed but automatic crossfades are done between elements; and Manual, which is very similar to LiveAssist except that not even automatic crossfades are enabled (thus permitting fully manual crossfade control by means of an external console). To change RDAirPlay to a different mode, simply touch the mode indicator until the desired mode is indicated.

6.3.7. The Label Area

Immediately below the next stop counter and mode indicator is the label area. Text messages can be made to appear here (by means of RML commands) to signal the operator concerning the state of the system or need to take some kind of action.

6.3.8. The Right-Hand Side

Directly below the label area is the right-hand side. The right-hand side can display either a SoundPanel array or a full log widget for each of the three log machines, selected by clicking the appropriate button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. (NOTE: depending upon how the system administrator has configured the system, not all of the log machine buttons may be visible on your system).

6.3.9. The Full Log Widget

As the name implies, the full log widget can be used to view the contents of a log over its entire length. To load a log, touch the Select Log button to bring up the Select Log dialog, select the desired log from the list and then touch Load. The currently loaded log can also be saved by touching the Save or Save As buttons, or the current log unloaded by touching Unload.

The Select Log Dialog

Once a log is loaded, it can be started at any point by touching an event and then pressing the Play button. Any playing event can likewise be stopped by touching in the event and then pressing the Stop button. To cue-up an event so that it is the next to play (indicated by the event being the first with a light green background), touch the event and then press the Make Next button. The play parameters of an event can be modified by touching the event, then pressing the Modify button, bringing up the Edit Event dialog.

In addition to having the ability to modify the event's time and transition parameters, the Edit Event dialog can be used to audition the event's audio in Cue or set the start position of the audio for on-air playback (so as to allow a program to be joined "in progress", for example). To audition the audio, simply press the Play button. The slider can be moved to adjust where in the audio to audition from. To set the start position, press the Start button and then position the slider where you wish the start to be. The red line on the progress display indicates the current start position. Pressing the Start button again returns the dialog to Audition mode.

The Edit Event Dialog

When running a log, it is often desirable to have the currently playing event always in sight. To do this, toggle the Scroll button "ON" (blue background).

6.3.10. The Button Log Widget

To the left of the full log widget is the button log widget, consisting of a column of seven large buttons adjacent to cart labels. This widget provides another, specialized “view” of the Main Log log machine. Specifically, the first seven currently playing and/or next events in that log machine will always be visible here. Events visible in the button log will be shown in the full log widget as having a green background. Unlike the full log widget, the button log is always visible, regardless of which display has been selected for the right-hand side.

To start an event from the button log, simply touch an event's corresponding Start button. Touching the button of a running event will either (depending upon how the system administrator has configured RDAirPlay) stop or pause it. To modify an event's parameters (via the Edit Event dialog), simply double-click the event's cart label.