Question:I scheduled a playlist to begin at a specific time of day, but it did not start on time -- it was several minutes/hours late. Is this a bug?
Answer:No, it is not a bug -- most commonly it's simply due to not reading the Centova Cast manual, which repeatedly mentions this issue.
Centova Cast will never interrupt a track to change playlists. That is, if a playlist is scheduled to start at 10:30, and a 10 minute track starts at 10:25, the scheduled playlist will be deferred until 10:35 to allow the track to finish. This is a common cause for concern for stations which play "mix tracks" which may be an hour or more in length.
The reason for this is because none of the streaming source software currently available on Linux (and thus usable as an autoDJ) supports interrupting tracks during playback -- they only allow an external program (like Centova Cast) to choose a new track after each song completes. As such, there is no way for Centova Cast to tell the autoDJ to stop in the middle of the track and skip to another song, so this feature cannot be supported.
Can't you just send a signal to the source to skip to the next song?
Theoretically yes, however in order to do that, Centova Cast needs to be running, and Centova Cast is not a resident program -- it only runs when invoked from Apache and/or cron. As such, we could only implement this as part of the Centova Cast cron job. Since the cron job only runs every 5 minutes or so, songs could still end up starting up to 5 minutes late, which is about the length of an average song anyway, thereby defeating the purpose of this feature.
Several songs played after the scheduled playlist's time -- is it because of the above?
No, the above scenario takes place when ONE song starts just before the scheduled playlist's start time -- the scheduled playlist should start immediately after that song completes. If more than one song plays after the scheduled playlist's start time, then please consult the following checklist:
- Are you sure you've got your time zone correct? Remember that scheduled playlists' start times are relative to the time zone configured by the user in his Centova Cast stream settings -- NOT the time zone configured on the server.
As such, if your server is in the Pacific timezone but your client is on Eastern time, you need to configure your playlists relative to Eastern time. When logged in to Centova Cast as a user, you'll see the current time in the user's time zone in the lower-left hand corner of the page, which may assist you in your scheduling.
- Are you sure you've enabled the scheduled playlist? If the playlist is set to "Disabled", it will not play at the scheduled time.
- Are you sure the scheduled playlist's date is in the future? If it's in the past, it will not play unless it has been configured as a repeating playlist.
- Are you sure the playlist has not been set to "Interruptible"? If it has, and another scheduled playlist starts just after it, it will be interrupted in favor of the other playlist.
- Are you sure an Immediate or Interval playlist is not playing? If it is, it will supercede any scheduled playlists.