The BBC at Bush House

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The RadioMan main playout screen for the Romanian transmission at 1900 on 29-11-2005: this playlist can be re-ordered or added to while the transmission is in progress without difficulty. The item highlighted in green is currently playing and the display at the top shows that it has 1 minute and 29 seconds left to go. Recordings would be made in a studio on a local PC , then saved to the server. The producer could tinker with his programme to his heart's content in his office: then for transmission assemble a playlist, as seen here.

It's important to understand that the items in the playlist are not the actual recordings, just pointers to them. If you delete an item from the playlist you don't delete the original recording; items can be added, deleted, or moved around in the running order very easily (either in the studio or from back in the office), so there is complete flexibility in organizing the transmission. It's possible to 'chain' items if desired, and a countdown to the end is shown. Items turn up on alternating faders, coded red or blue, (so you do need to be clear which fader is next) which means that one item can be faded under the next; you can even check the end of an item which is currently playing. All this was a huge advantage once the wrinkles had been ironed out (for one thing the playlists were difficult to read for those of us with varifocals until an update thickened the font).

The SM would then log in in the studio and download the playlist and all the recorded items (so that if there was a network failure the transmission could still continue.) Control of the playlist is either on the screen with a mouse, or using the dedicated keypad (below).


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Roger Wilmut. This site is not associated with the BBC