EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com is a radio broadcasting industry utility that can save traffic people significant hours per week.
stations that used to spend over 6 hours per week importing network ads the old fashioned way tell us they can now get the job
done in under 6 minutes with EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com. The EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com utility contains everything you need
to import, process, manage and report on network related spots.
This document relates to the special edition available for Marketron Broadcast Solutions RadioTraffic.com Premier product.
EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com is not the same product as EZ.NET; but rather a custom, directly-integrated edition that works
directly with RadioTraffic.com's internal/back-end systems providing a very seamless and tight integration.
The EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com application contains everything you need to import, process, manage and report on network related spots.
There are several advantages gained by using EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com.
The first of which is the significant reduction of time spent gathering the ever-changing schedules (which change every week - many times, more often), managing existing copy and new copy (which changes every week) and leveraging a strategy that minimalizes the amount of time spent scheduling these spots on logs.
The above is done using a three-part approach:
- adopt a strategy that works best for the traffic software of your choice.
- automate the retrieval of the weekly schedules.
- transform these weekly schedules to fit the overall strategy.
- significantly reduce the effort involved handling mid-week schedule changes.
The second advantage is providing a simplified summary of work to be done by the production team to prepare the automation system for executing these spots. This is done by providing all of the details of what has been added and/or extended for the upcoming week in a simple and straight forward easy to follow report.
The third advantage gained is the simplification of "reporting back". Most networks require that you provide them additional details regarding your actual follow through on your commitment to airing these spots. EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com provides a detailed report that is specifically designed to simplify this process by bringing together all of the as-run details in a format that is specifically designed to reduce the time it takes to "report back". Additionally, this information is automatically leveraged when you utilize the built in custom web browser to navigate to the networks web sites for the purpose of submitting affidavits. All you have to do is "click" through and review the process.
What the network states is what we do, automatically.
Without EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com
Before even beginning the process, it is necessary to have the following available:
- A list of all the networks along with the username/passwords for the differing websites.
- A list of all the vehicles that belong to these networks.
- A breakdown of what can be done with regards to each individual vehicle depending on contract obligations.
Now that we have this, the following occurs every Thursday/Friday:
- Start at the top of the list of networks/vehicless...
- log into each network website using the username/password necessary...
- Navigate through the networks website to find the vehicle currently being processed...
- If next week’s schedule is available (if done on Thursday, it might not be) ...
- Click on that vehicle to view the schedule and all copy (Ad-ID) entries...
- Now that you have this information, go to the traffic system and begin the process of determining whether the copy already exists...
- If it does exist, extend it into next week...
- If it doesn't exist, add the new piece of copy...
- Repeat this process for each piece of copy for this vehicle on this network...
- Repeat the above process for each vehicle on this network...
- Repeat the above process for each network...
- When working with the logs, make sure that all contract obligations are adhered to (from memory?) ...
At this point one must cross their fingers hoping that nothing was missed, no mistakes were made, and all contract obligations were adhered to.
Now, after each weekly schedule has completed, it is then necessary to take the "as-play" information from the traffic / automation system and manually "re-key" it into the submit affidavits forms provided by the networks through their websites. This, you can imagine, is a time consuming and extremely error prone process.
With EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com
After the initial setup which includes adopting the overall strategy mentioned above, every Thursday/Friday:
When notified of a schedule change:
When the weekly schedule has completed:
- simply browse to the network providers website using EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com's custom browser and EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com will automatically populate the information in the network submit affidavit forms for you to simply review and click to accept.
Yes! That's all there is to it. Using EZ-NET for RadioTraffic.com along with the right strategy, the painful process of dealing with getting the details from the networks to the air is reduced to nearly nothing.
The list of supported networks is growing all the time; here is a list of what is currently supported:
Additional networks are added based on what our customers encounter (and, of course, what is feasible).
(TODO) - For installation, scroll to the bottom of this page.
Across the top is the Main Menu. On the left hand side of the window you’ll see a list of network vehicles. When you select a network vehicle, the right hand side of the screen contains the network schedules for that vehicle.
- Close: This closes the window.
- Trashed: By enabling this toggle, the network vehicle list is updated to display all the items that are in the "trash bin". By default, this is not enabled.
- Reset: Resets the view of both panes to their factory-original state.
- Refresh: Refreshes the content (data) in both panes.
- Make Goods: This provides a list of all spots that have been bumped from your logs. In addition to network vehicle and run dates the windows vehicles total count of bumped spots. From this list you have the option of canceling/trashing any spots you do not wish to make good. Check the box in the "dismiss" column next to the spots you wish to eliminate and then click the "trash" button that will appear in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Options: To configure which networks and what network vehicles are available, you utilize the configuration window; this tool launches this window.
- Network Affidavit: To further ease the process of affidavit reporting, this report provides easy access to all of the information needed. This report contains all of the necessary information formatted in a manner that is very similar to that required by the different networks so that you can easily follow the report and transfer the numbers accordingly. See “Network Affidavits” report.
- Network Copy: Provides a list of added/updated Copy that you can present to your production department. See “Network Copy” report.
The network vehicles section contains the list of active network vehicles that will be processed when clicking on the “Fetch” button (located just below the list of network vehicles). Each vehicle is named using a short-hand nomenclature to assist in easily identifying where the network vehicle originates and what station it belongs to. For example, “P.KXYZ-AM – Yellow Rose News Hour” is the Yellow Rose News Hour network vehicle from Premiere Network for the KXYZ-AM radio station. As a side note, we also, by default, create an avail type that matches this name to assist in the direct placement of these spots on the log; you just need to include these on your templates/formats accordingly. For example, using “Yellow Rose News Hour”, we are bartering 7 minutes per week. The first time we see this network vehicle (during configuration), you will also need to update your templates/formats to specify where this network vehicle will fall in order to dedicate the 7 minutes per week (according to the agreed upon schedule). After doing this, the spots will fall according to this configured placement so you basically don’t have to worry about the “scheduling” of these each week which further reduces the overall effort involved.
This menu is access by using the mouse to right click anywhere in the network vehicle pane.
- Open: Opens the highlighted network vehicle.
- Make Good: Presents a dialog that displays the outstanding make good spots associated with the selected network vehicle.
- Fetch: Will process the selected network vehicle (not the entire list). Refer to the Fetch Button (below) for more details on this process.
- Trash: Provide quick access to mark a network vehicle as being inactive and, being inactive, will no longer be displayed in the list (unless the View->Trashed option is enabled).
- Un-Trash: When a network vehicle has been trashed and the View->Trashed option is enabled, this tool will re-activate the vehicle. The next time you use the “Fetch” button, this network vehicle will now be included.
Clicking on the Fetch button will process the entire active list of network vehicle entries for new network schedules.
The bottom right hand corner of this window you will see two progress bars. The first progress bar represents the scanning progress for the processing of the network vehicles. The second progress bar represents the overall progress for processing any found network schedules.
The network schedules pane contains two tabs, Schedules and Network.
The Schedules tab contains a list of network schedules that have been successfully imported using either the Fetch button or the Fetch tool from the network vehicle context menu. Each network schedule represents one week worth of spots.
This menu is access by using the mouse to right clicking an a particular network schedule pane.
- Open: Opens the highlighted network schedule.
- Delete: Deletes the highlighted network schedule.
The “Network” tab provides for a custom web browser that enhances/streamlines the networks actual web site.
Some of the customizations include:
- Automatic login.: No need to log out or close the browser to change between stations and Networks.
- Reduce noise.: This means much of the extraneous information on the respective website is removed and you are taken directly to the selected network vehicle. Only the details that are relevant are kept and all other information is filtered away.
- Enhanced color coding.: For example, any schedules that are red represent a schedule that was in the past and needs to be processed for affidavit reporting.
- Rewired experience.: Where we can, we've worked to streamline the work flow by "rewiring" the links on their respective web sites. For example, in one of the networks, you no longer have to go to the separate affidavit section in order to click on the schedule to process it; instead, we’ve merged the two separate sections together so you can more efficiently get the job done. Similar treatment, where appropriate, has been done to all of the other networks.
Closes the window.
This window contains the configuration details for a particular network vehicle and is accessed from the main EZ-NET window.
The above screen shot represents the default view of the network vehicle.
Across the top of the window you will see the name of the network vehicle and the current status.
There are three tabs ("Scheduling", "Copy" and "EzScript").
By default, the "Copy" tab is selected displaying the list of Copy associated with this network vehicle. This provides you the ability to make changes to Copy in the event of changes occurring after the schedule was imported.
In the less often times that you need to integrate EZ-NET differently than the defaults provided, you can utilize the "Scheduling" tab to control the behavior of how EZ-NET will integrate into your existing log pipeline.
- Avail Type: By default, EZ-NET automatically creates a unique avail type so that you can utilize these in templates/formats to pre-assign (pledge) the placement that you are contracted to do so. If, however, you'd like to "mix" network spots with your regular spots, you can do so by selecting a different (non-default) avail type.
CS DO NOT CHANGE THIS without significant consideration. Changing the avail type value to something "you already have" may save you some time and effort in the beginning, but you will lose much of what EZ-NET has to offer in the way of saving you time and effort every single day by not using the avail type created specifically for this vehicle. In other words, investing now in modifying your templates/formats to use the avail types created for this vehicle will save you countless hours going forward by effectively removing any work related to "scheduling" these vehicles on logs, each and every single day. With that stated, when choosing a different avail type, you should really consider configuring the "Vehicle Separation (optional)" section; otherwise, you may end up with undesired separation since, by default, EZ-NET doesn't need to worry about this because of the dedicated avail types that it utilizes.
- Start/End Time: Some vehicles provide the additional option to "override" the start and end time; this is primarily used to support networks that do not specify the start and end times.
Vehicle separation (optional)
- Type: The type of separation; Minute (default) - Will enforce a customer separation for n number of minutes where n is the value specified in the Amount field, Break - Will enforce a customer separation for n number of breaks where n is the value specified in the Amount field.
- Amount: The number in this field is used by the Type to determine the actual amount of separation.
CS When leaving the avail type to the default created and leveraging this on logs/templates, you should really consider leaving the separation type set to None in order to get the best possible results.
It is possible to apply EzScript during the import process in order to affect the behavior of how RadioTraffic will translate the schedule provided into a schedule that will be used. The EzScript related to this vehicle (if any) is located on the EzScript tab.
The following variable(s) are available:
Normally we import the schedule "as-is". If the network has defined the schedule in such a way that the times are pretty specific (especially true with regards to pledge times), EZ-NET will import this so that the times are pretty specific (again, "as-is"). If you wish to override this behavior, you can specify the mergedayparts variable in the script and set the value to something other than zero. This will cause the import process to ignore the specific dayparts defined, determining the earliest and latest times and use those results to determine the overall start and end time of all of the scheduled items.
mergedayparts = 1
LET mergedayparts = 1
CS Currently, the mergedayparts variable is only enabled / available / active when importing schedules from Premiere Radio Networks, Westwood One, United stations Networks, ESPN, Compass Media Networks and ADLarge Media. The usage of the LET keyword is optional.
Normally we import the schedule "as-is". If the network has defined the schedule in such a way that the times are pretty specific (especially true with regards to pledge times), EZ-NET will import this so that the times are pretty specific (again, "as-is"). If you wish to override this behavior, you can specify the forcewholeday variable in the script and set the value to something other than zero. This will cause the import process to ignore the specific dayparts defined, utilizing midnight to midnight as the overall start and end time of all of the scheduled items.
forcewholeday = 1
LET forcewholeday = 1
CS Currently, the forcewholeday variable is only enabled / available / active when importing schedules from Premiere Radio Networks, Westwood One, United stations Networks, ESPN, Compass Media Networks and ADLarge Media. The usage of the LET keyword is optional.
It is possible to apply EzScript during the import process in order to affect exclusions to reduce what is actually imported. The EzScript related to this vehicle (if any) is located on the EzScript tab.
The EzScript is built in such a way that you will define, on a per day of the week basis, what will be excluded. Some examples include:
- Set Tuesday Exclude Times ("7:05", "8:05", "17:05")
- Set Wednesday Exclude Breaks ("Hr1Br1", "Hr1Br2")
- Set Thursday Exclude Hours (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
- Set Sunday Exclude All
By default, all exclusions are "off".
The day of the week after the word Set is optional. If not included, whatever is excluded is applied to all days of the week.
The Set statement is pretty flexible and supports several optional target types (Times, Breaks, Hours, First, Last and All). The definitions for each are:
Set DayOfWeek Exclude Times ("time","time")
Set DayOfWeek Exclude Breaks ("value","value")
Set DayOfWeek Exclude Hours (number,number)
Set DayOfWeek Exclude All
DayOfWeek is the day of the week to apply the exclusion; valid values are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This keyword is optional; if excluded, the Exclude is applied to all days of the week.
The Times, Breaks and Hours versions must contain parenthesis around a "list of stuff". The actual list can be "empty"; which would cause that particular day of the week to be reset to the default for the particular target type.
The individual items, if specified, for Times must be a comma-separated list of _quoted times_. The actual format of these times follows the same rules for the rest of the software.
The individual items, if specified, for Breaks must be a comma-separated list of quoted values that matches how the network is specifying "breaks" (usually referred to as "pledgetime").
The individual items, if specified, for Hours must be a comma-separated list of non-quoted numbers that are between 0 and 23 (24-hour format).
The All version is included to make it easy to completely ignore a particular day of the week altogether.
If any syntax errors exist, a message stating so will be presented during the running of the EzScript (during the import process). Use the errors to assist in correcting any problem in the EzScript and try again.
If a particular exclusion is attempted against a vehicle where the pledge time column doesn't "make sense", the exclusion is ignored.
CS It is now possible to use the "Verify..." button to review the syntactical correctness of the script; this tool simply reviews the correctness of the "words" and overall "punctuation". This tool does not, in any way, guarantee any sort of successful (or failure) result of the actual execution of the script.
The EZ-NET configuration window contains all of the access details for each of the networks and stations. This window is accessed from the EZ-NET window.
This window is only used when you are beginning to use the EZ-NET or, as the case might be, that you add an additional network vehicle to an existing or new network. To access this, use the “Tools” menu and select the “Options” entry from the EZ-NET window.
- Close: Closes the window.
- Full Rescan: For scenarios where an existing configured network adds a new network vehicle, you can use this tool to re-evaluate the networks for any added (or renamed) vehicles. New vehicles found will be automatically added to the network vehicle list on the EZ-NET window.
This window contains an “Excel” style list that contains all of the stations that are enabled for EZ-NET grouped into all of the currently supported networks. On each station line, the associated logon credentials for each of these. To configure a network/station combination, enter the logon credentials.
Upon entering the information, we will validate the information in the background and automatically determine the available network vehicles to populate the network vehicle list on the main EZ-NET screen.
During this validation process, the line will be highlighted in yellow.
If the validation fails, the line will be highlighted in red.
During the validation processing, the OK/Cancel buttons are disabled. If validation fails, the OK/Cancel buttons will continue to be disabled until any problems are corrected. If the credentials are invalid and cannot be corrected, remove them to clear the problem.
Once finished, press the OK button.
Upon doing so, you'll see any new vehicles added to the EZ-NET network vehicle list.
The list of non-supported networks is unfortunate, but a reality due to decisions made by the respective networks beyond the control and/or influence of Shiny Stone Digital.
- Skyview Networks: Unsupported due to their active refusal to allow usage of Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Status as of 1/27/2015.)
- MLC Spanish Radio Services: Unsupported due to their data being blocked behind an downloadable executable; not web browser based. (Status as of 6/12/2015.)
- ESPN: We previously had support for ESPN; however, they've completely changed their approach and we are currently investigating whether or not it will be possible to support them in the future. (Status as of 9/23/2015.)
Currently the installation works best with Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can launch Microsoft Internet Explorer by following these steps:
- Press Win+R
- Type iexplore.exe and press the Enter key.
- Use Microsoft Internet Explorer to browse to this page.
Alternatively, you can try to use the eznet_setup.exe. If you choose to go this route, please follow the widely different procedures necessary based on the browser you are using in order to download and launch the installation. Additionally, you may need to:
- Verify that you are running Windows 7 SP1 or greater.
- Verify that you have the latest version of the Microsoft .NET (v4.7.2) installed.
We are currently working on a replacement for EZ-NET that we've named internally as "Project 'Medusa'". Because of actions taken by some networks, it may be necessary to utilize this pre-release product to work around some issues.
As this is eventually going to be the replacement to EZ-NET, in the future the name for this new version will simply become EZ-NET. As such, there is no additional cost to any current EZ-NET clients.
- Verify that you are running Windows 7 SP1 or greater.
- If you haven't already done so, install the .NET 7.0 Desktop Runtime (from Microsoft).
- Download and execute setup.exe. (NOTE: Windows/Browsers will block applications by default; use the available on screen prompts to confirm that you wish to indeed execute.)
- Once you have completed the above step, a SSDD icon will be placed on your desktop for future usage.
- The SSDD setup utility will automatically launch; find Medusa in the list of available products.
- Click the Install label to the right of Medusa to begin installation of the Medusa.
- Once installed, the label to the right of Medusa will change to Launch. Click Launch to being setup of the individual Medusa utilities.
The setup utility is also available for download as a zip.