After close to one month struggling with the AutoDJ to avoid song/artist repetition, I have come to the conclusion - unless I am missing something here - that it is pretty useless and the only way to avoid back-to-back playing is to set up a huge sequential playlist. Unless that fails as well, of course. I have tried extreme measures, like creating separate random playlists for each artist with more than 10 songs and defining a playing interval - say, after 120 minutes - but even this fails and sometimes the same artist appears twice in sequence. Apparently, when you say a playlist is random, the software takes everything else as random as well, and, in the case of the 120-minute interval, will sometimes play two songs in sequence and then wait 240 minutes.
In short, it is a hassle. I honestly can't understand how such an elementary feature as preventing artist repetition is lacking in Centova. No radio station worthy of its name will ever do that. I suggested elsewhere a simple way to implement this: a NOT clause in interval playlists. Instead of "play after 20 songs", it would be interpreted as "do not play before 20 songs". Another option would be to have a general configuration: "Do not repeat the same artist before xxx songs".
In the meantime, I am giving up and looking for alternatives. Does anybody know of a more reliable and flexible webradio manager? I would appreciate any suggestion on this regard.
EDIT: Just complementing the above:
(1) Large random playlists don't work as described in the manual. It is said that the system will try to avoid repeating the same song for the longest time possible, but that doesn't happen. I have a 1000+ generic list without song or artist repetition, but the AutoDJ often plays the same song twice in a row or within a few songs. To check that, I created a short 10-song playlist and set it in random mode. If the algorithm worked, the same song would only play after approximately 9 other songs, but the AutoDJ regularly played the same song twice or even three times in a row.
(2) Apparently there is a glitch with timed playlists as well. Together with the generic list, I have 20+ separate timed lists for artists with many songs. To create some randomness, I set all of them to different intervals - say, 1 hour or 2 hours - but when the first time slot comes (in this case, after 1 hour), the system will play one song from each list in sequence regardless of their specific timings, and then go back to the generic list. So, when one song from the first timed list comes up, I know beforehand who will come next.
(3) Again, all this hassle - which certainly has a burden on system processing as well - could be avoided by simply adding a simple parameter: "Do not repeat the same song for xxx minutes, do not repeat the same artist for xxx minutes (or songs)". This would allow us to have a single playlist for the whole station and make management - both on our side and on the system's side - much easier.