Frequently Asked Questions
When using the HTML generator, Streaming HTTP data output profiles, or TCP/UDP Metadata output profiles, you may want to exclude certain categories, such as commercial spots, from the MetaData output (in Simian terms, these categories are referred to as exclude categories. In these cases, you will need to assign these files a separate category in InfoEditor (which, especially in the case of commercials, you may have already done) so that we can use said categories to exclude them from MetaData output.
Configure CategoriesSince exclude categories are based on the categories you have defined in your Simian preferences, the first step is to define each category of audio file you have in your audio library. To do this, open the Program Options window by navigating to Tools>Program Options. If this option is "greyed out", make sure to stop any decks that are currently playing. Then we will be selecting the Categories tab.
As shown in Figure 1, the first time you open the Categories tab you will only have a single general category defined for "Audio".
To add a category, click on the Add New button. The dialog box shown in Figure 1.1 will be displayed. Enter the name of the category in the Letter Code field (single word/no spaces, in all caps) and (optionally) a verbose explanation of the category in the Description field. Make sure the Type drop-down is set to "Audio" (with few exceptions, you will normally choose Audio from the Type drop-down). You can also select the font color and background color displayed in the program log for events of this category in this window as well, but that is outside the scope of this document. Once finished, click the OK button to save your new category. Repeat the above steps for each category you wish to define.
Configure Exclude CategoriesOnce all of your categories are defined, simply select the Categories you wish excluded from your HTML, HTTP, and TCP/UDP metadata output profiles by checking the box next to the Category in the Exclude Categories box at the bottom of the Categories tab of the Program Options window, as shown in Figure 2 (if your newly added categories don't show in the list yet, click OK on the Program Options window, then re-open Program Options to re-populate the list). Each category with a check mark will not have data output when executed/played, while the categories that do not have a check will output data.
NOTE: Default categories, such as Macros, Comments, and Voicetracks (amongst others) are already excluded from metadata output.
Assign Categories to Audio FilesNOTE: You must define your categories within Simian, as described above, before assigning categories to your audio files, otherwise your categories will not have been added to the Category drop-down within the Info Editor utility.
Now that you have defined your categories in Simian and configured your exclude categories, you will need to make sure that you have properly assigned the categories to your audio files. The InfoEditor utility, as shown in Figure 3, is used to perform this task. You can assign a category to a singular audio file by right-clicking on an audio file in Event Builder within Simian and choosing Edit Info and the InfoEditor utility will open with the selected file loaded. Alternatively, you can modify multiple files at once by following the instructions from the FAQ document Add & Change Categories on Multiple Files, available here.
Configure HTML, Streaming, or Metadata ProfilesThe last step in this process is to enable the exclude function on your HTML, Streaming, or Metadata profiles. Within Simian, go to the Tools menu and select Program Options.
To enable exclude categories for Metadata profiles, go to the Metadata tab, and check the box marked “Replace Excluded Categories with Default Fields” under the Metadata template file field for each Metadata profile desired, as shown in Figure 4.
To enable exclude categories for HTTP Streaming data profiles, go to the Streaming tab, and check the box in the column titled "*" (denoted "*Replace Excluded Categories with Default Fields") for each Streaming data output profile desired, as shown in Figure 4.2.
Figure 4.2: The Streaming tab, Program Options
Information entered in the Default Artist/Advertiser, Default Title/Description, and Default URL fields at the bottom of each of the HTML, Streaming, and Metadata tabs in Simian's Program Options window (as shown in Figures 4, 4.2, and 4.2) contain the information that will be output when an exclude category audio file is played from the program log. Alternatively, some programs/devices require that no data is output for excluded categories. In that case, these fields can be left blank and no data will be output at all when an audio file from an excluded category is played from the program log.
That’s it! Now your HTTP, Streaming, and Metadata profiles will use the selected exclude categories to output default station info (or no output data) for the categories you've chosen to exclude.
NOTE: Keep in mind that if you add more audio files to your library, such as rotating commercial spots or time-sensitive ads, these will need to be assigned to the proper categories in order to function properly with your exclude category data output.