Radio programmers either love or hate the idea of packeting songs in a music scheduling system. And there are good reasons for both emotions.
Packeting songs is a common (and powerful) tool that provides flexibility in managing a music library effectively. It’s combining two or more songs into a “packet” so they act as one song when scheduling music.
Here’s how it works:
Imagine each song is a card. Each music category is made up of a stack of cards, with the most rested song on top. The software tries to play the top song. If it can’t (because of rules set in the system), it skips that card and moves on to the next most rested song. When a song is scheduled, it moves that song to the bottom of the stack.
Packeting songs is like stapling two or more cards together so they move at once. Each time the packet comes to the top, the most rested of the packeted songs plays.
It’s not a new concept. I was Introduced to packeting in the 70s, long before music scheduling software made it faster and easier to implement. But with software, packeting has become easier to implement. That’s led to abuse.
Packeting is a great tool, when used properly. But it’s easy for programmers to fall in love with solutions packeting provides. It can make the music log easier and faster to schedule. But it also can weaken the overall appeal of the music.