It’s possible (and fairly easy) to integrate RCS Zetta with Powergold. You don’t need GSelector to get the most out of Zetta. In fact, sometimes you don’t really want the tight integration provided by the “Living Log”. This article explains how to setup flat-file export and import in both of these broadcast software products.

How RCS Zetta Import Schedules

RCS Zetta will allow you to import scheduled music, links and spots via a Flat-File load template. This means Powergold will need to output a text file in a particular format in order for Zetta to read it. The recommended format to use is ASCIICON.

A text file in this format can be imported automatically or manually. It’s setup in the Flat-File Assignment configuration module.

Powergold doesn’t support this out of the box, however you can set it up fairly easily in the Automation Setup window of Powergold. Here are the settings I’ve used:

Powergold ASCIICON Automation Template Setup (for RCS Zetta)

The settings in this screenshot are what I have used perviously. The main section to pay attention to is the Field Setup. The commands have been mapped as follows:

Powergold Field Zetta Field Notes
Start Time Air Time This field is automatically generated in the format HH:MM:SS. The checkbox “Automation commands use time sync in place of start time” means you can set time markers in your logs have have Zetta respect that.
Not set Backtime I haven’t mapped this to a field, but if you do then the character “!” in this field will mean Zetta attempts to back time this to the given start time.
Media Event Types (Asset Type/Command) Set this to the asset type or command type in Zetta. For example, media can be set to “SONG”, “LINK” or “SPOT”. Commands are also supported (see below for list).
Code 4 Stretch/Squeeze Set this to “#” to allow an asset to be stretched or squeezed to meet timing restrictions.
Miscellaneous External ID You can have External IDs up to 8 characters. Use any field you like. I suggest Miscellaneous because it’s available for both media and automation commands.
Not set Hard Time I haven’t mapped this to a field, but if you do then the character “=” will make a macro hard timed.
Directive Chain Type You can set this to letters such as “X” (Segue), “A” (Auto Post), “-” (Stop) or “L” (Link Song). If you don’t set it to anything, it will default to Segue. The Directive can be setup per-item in your clocks.
Run Time Duration This isn’t used in Zetta, except for comments or missing audio.
Title Title This isn’t used in Zetta, except for comments or missing audio.

Caveats with RCS Zetta and Flat-File Loads

There are a few things which caught us out when first integrating RCS Zetta with Powergold.

Firstly, you can’t schedule audio unless it’s in the Song, Link or Spot Asset Types. This means you can’t schedule anything out of another Tab in the Media Library. This is different to Dalet 5.1 which will allow you to schedule anything from anywhere so long as it has an External ID.

Zetta also won’t allow multiple items with the same External ID (some system will automatically rotate these items). You can use Rotators to rotate through multiple Spots, but they won’t resolve until it gets into the Sequencer’s queue (200 items away from the currently playing item). This has implications if you are voice tracking in advance, or trying to time out an hour in advance.

ASCIICON Event Types (Asset Types & Commands)

These are the values accepted in the MEDIA field:

Event Type Description
HARD Schedules a hard Exact Time Marker (ETM)
SOFT Schedules a soft Exact Time Marker (ETM)
HIT Schedules a hit Exact Time Marker (ETM)
REST Schedules a reset Exact Time Marker (ETM)
SONG Schedules audio with the “Song” Asset Type
LINK Schedules audio with the “Link” Asset Type
SPOT Schedules audio with the “Spot” Asset Type
HOLD Schedules a spot block
VTSL Schedules an empty Voice Track marker
MACR Schedules a macro
COMT Schedules a comment
USNG Schedules an unschedules song
ULNK Schedules an unscheduled link

The “MEDIA” field in Powergold is available for both audio and automation commands.

Powergold, Traffic Software and Spot Blocks

You can import music/links and spots separately in RCS Zetta via different flat-file import templates. This means the music guy doesn’t need to wait for the traffic people to finish scheduling before they can import their logs.

To allow for separate merging, add a ETM marker (with a time corresponding to the traffic system’s text file air time). Then add a HOLD entry directly after the ETM. I use a HIT marker, as it doesn’t affect the GAP calculation in the log editor or sequencer.

As per the Zetta manual: “Zetta places each spot in the [traffic] file into the closest spot block in the log that follows an ETM whose time is equal to or earlier than the spot’s air time.”

When merging your traffic, you’ll want to use the V15Native format. Everything in here gets merged as a spot (you can’t set the asset type).

However, if you don’t want to set this up you can still merge traffic into Powergold as usual. It just won’t get put in a spot block and can’t be updated separately.

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a broadcast technologist. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008 (getting my start in Community Radio while still at school), and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I work full time for Hope Media, and provide some freelance services through Media Realm.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden or Google+