This article is part of a series on NexGen.
NOTE: Futuri VIP Support will help you to walk through these steps. We are simply providing the steps here so that you can easily reference them later.
To work through this installation process for the first time, please contact Futuri VIP Support. These instructions may look daunting, but a remote session with one of our Support Agents should only take about 30 minutes per station.
This process includes the following steps:
- Now Playing setup
- Audio Server (Aserv) Nexgen INI settings
- Utility Machine NexGen INI settings
- Echo Setup
Now Playing setup
The Now Playing export from NexGen to Futuri can be set up on any machine that has NexGen, but you will need to be logged in as an administrator.
In NexGen’s main menu, go to Config and click Station and select the station you’re integrating with Futuri.
Note the station’s number on the Station screen because you’ll need that later.
Once you’ve selected your station, click the Export button.
Fill out the export details as listed in the screenshot below. The credentials on lines 7 through 9 must be obtained from Futuri VIP Support.
TCP-IP Settings notes:
- The IP Address should be the internal IP of the PC that will run Echo (likely your utility machine) (and cannot be 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1). The port should generally be 9000 for the first station you configure, 9001 for the second station, etc (since each port can only be used for one purpose).
- Legacy stations may still be configured to export to the IP Address 188.8.131.52 and port 8080. This is still supported, but newer stations should use the IP and port specified in the previous bullet point.
Once you've configured this Now Playing export, click OK. You'll need to restart NexGen on the Aserv in order for the changes to go into effect. However, it is NOT necessary to restart the entire computer, so this task can usually be done within the duration of one song.
Audio Server (Aserv) Nexgen INI settings
The Audio Server has to be told to treat #engage / LDR commands as “triggers” to start checking in with Futuri for a winning song. Even if your station is not planning to use this feature right away, it's a good idea to configure it so that it's ready, should programming decide to implement one of these features.
On the Aserv, open C:\Windows\wizard.ini
At the bottom of the document, add the following lines (where # is replaced by the number of the station within NexGen, i.e. LDR5):
[LDR#] UPick Start=true
Note that there is a space between “Upick” and “Start” for this setting, and it is case-sensitive.
If you’re setting up multiple stations on the same Aserv, add a line for each station.
Save the changes to wizard.ini and close the file. If you're setting up multiple stations on different Aservs, repeat this step on each station's Aserv.
Utility Machine NexGen INI settings
The PC that runs the station’s overnight processes is the one that checks in with Futuri and/or Echo to receive winning songs.
On the overnight/utility machine, open C:\Windows\wizard.ini
At the bottom of the file, add the following lines (where # is replaced by the number of the station within NexGen). Replace “xxxx” and “xxxx12345” with the NexGen username/password from Futuri VIP Support. This text is case-sensitive.
[LDR#] Username=xxxx Password=xxxx12345 Pollwebsite=stations.ldrhub.com/winner.php [SRPlus#] Username=xxxx Password=xxxx12345 Pollwebsite=#.#.#.#:8085/takeover_winner.php
Instead of #.#.#.#, the IP address should be set to the IP of the computer running Echo. NOTE: This IP address cannot be 0.0.0.0 or 127.0.0.1.
If you’re setting up multiple stations on the same overnight machine, add the above lines for each station. Remember, each IP/port combo can only be used for one station at a time, so use a unique port for each station's configuration (i.e. 8085 for the first station, 8086 for the second, etc.).
Save the changes to wizard.ini. Restarting NexGen on this PC should not be necessary.
Futuri's Echo software sends a copy of the station’s music logs, which are required for:
- "UPick"-style voting sessions
- Takeover / Top Song / FaceOff forward separation
- Song Alerts
As of version 2.5.3 (released Fall 2014), Echo can also send Now Playing information to Futuri and return winning Takeover/ Top Song / FaceOff choices back to NexGen.
Echo should generally be downloaded from here and you can obtain a settings file (named station.xml) from Futuri VIP Support. Do not run Echo.exe without first configuring the station.xml file.
To install Echo (typically on the station’s utility machine), create the folder C:\Echo\XXXX (where XXXX is the station’s call letters) and extract the contents of the downloaded Echo.zip (link above) to the same folder. If you are setting up multiple stations, each should have a folder in C:\Echo (with its own Echo files inside).
In the newly extracted folder, place the station.xml file from Futuri VIP Support. It must be saved in the same folder as Echo.exe.
Open station.xml in WordPad, NotePad, or another text editor.
The file should look something like this:
- Futuri VIP Support will provide the <apikey>, <id>, <user>, and <pass> when they set up Echo with you.
- If your station will use Takeover, the <bindaddress> and <port> (under <nowplaying>) should match the IP address and port you specified in NexGen's Export tab. If your station will not use Takeover, then your Now Playing data will go directly from NexGen to Futuri (without going through Echo first), so you can leave these values alone.
- For most NexGen stations, it's best to configure the <input> (under <logexport>) to watch R:\NexGen\Music. The sample <filter> above will look for a .LOG file, but if you're configuring Echo to watch R:\NexGen\Music, you'll likely need to configure it to look for a specific station's logs (i.e. <filter>WABC%MM%DD</filter>)
- The <api_service> section is only necessary if your station will run Takeover. This section's <bindaddress> and <bindport> must match the IP address and port you specified in the wizard.ini file on the utility machine (so that NexGen on that PC will be able to request winners from Echo using that IP/port combo).
- Within the <api_service> section, there is an optional <takeover> section where additional settings can be configured. The defaults should generally work just fine, and, again, if your station will not use Takeover, this section is not necessary.
When finished configuring, save station.xml and repeat steps as needed for other stations. Each station will need its own copy of Echo.
Microsoft .NET 4.0 or higher is required for Echo. If you're running Windows 7 or higher, you should be all set, but If needed, you can download .NET 4.0 by clicking here and following the instructions.
When .NET 4.0 is confirmed to be installed, run Echo.exe and navigate to File > Boot on Startup so that Echo will start up with the PC.
Once the steps above have been completed and Echo is running, make sure that there are no noticeable errors on Echo’s screen.
Make sure that the next song played in NexGen is received by Futuri (assuming you have already restarted NexGen on the Aserv). If you configured NexGen to point its Now Playing export at Echo, the Now Playing entries should also be displayed in Echo's GUI. If you configured NexGen to point its Now Playing export directly at Futuri's web servers, that data will not display in Echo.
To test the Takeover check-in process, you can play an Export Comment called “Begin Song Replacement” in NexGen. Within 30 seconds, NexGen should ask Echo for a song from Futuri. You can add an Empty Song Slot in NexGen to see whether it will fill. If it is working properly, it'll fill the song slot with 60 seconds to spare, so you'll have time to delete the inserted song before it plays on air.
To test the music log push process, you can move the logs around to simulate a new log:
- Go to Echo’s watch folder (found in the input field in station.xml, likely R:/NexGen/Music)
- Cut/paste today’s log and all future logs to the desktop (or some other folder). They must be CUT, not COPIED.
- Cut/paste the log(s) back into the watch folder.
- Within about 60 seconds, Echo should detect a change and send the log files to Futuri.
Special thanks to the team at RCS for their assistance putting this documentation together.