16. ToolsOnAir System Preference Pane (v4.0)

Upon the first launch of Just Connect a new preference pane called ToolsOnAir Preferences will be installed. This preference pane contains Stay Alive and can be used to automatically start or restart (i.e. “keep alive”) Just Out and Just Connect. This helps to ensure that interruptions to your playout are kept to an absolute minimum.

Stay Alive

Power Outage at the Playout Center

Once the power returns and the system restarts, the selected applications will automatically start as well. If you select Just Out and Just Connect from the list of applications then your playout will automatically start.

Unexpected Application Termination

Should one of the selected apps crash at any time, they will automatically be restarted and the playout continues. This is particularly useful if you have a completely automated playout with limited human oversight (for example during the night) as without this function an unexpected termination during such hours would result in complete loss of playout until human intervention.

Using Stay Alive

  • Make sure that applications you are going to activate in Stay Alive are quitted the moment you activate them. Activating an already started application will start a second instance of it, which may cause issues.

  • Make sure that the macOS option to reopen windows when logging back in is DEACTIVATED in the Restart and Shut down options of the Apple menu.

  • Make sure that the applications are not started automatically using the “Login Items” functionality of the system preference pane “Users & Groups”.

Starting an Application using Stay Alive

When an application is enabled for Stay Alive, this application will always be started by the system (first after booting, then automatically whenever the application terminates for any reason).

  1. Make sure the application you are about to activate is currently not started.

  2. Activate the checkbox in front of the application to start it immediately and automatically after a restart or a crash.

Optional "Required Path" Selection

When a volume or folder is specified in the Required Path section, the respective application will only be started when the specified volume/folder is mounted/present. This may be useful if you have a NAS, SAN or other types of file systems that must be mounted during system startup that may take some additional time before they are available.

In this case, it is important not to start any ToolsOnAir applications that may rely on data from these file systems until the volume is available. By specifying such volumes in Stay Alive you can make sure that any ToolsOnAir applications are not started until the relevant volume/file system is available.

Optional "Scheduled Restart" Selection

It is possible to schedule an automated restart for all applications which are controlled by Stay Alive at a predefined time. Such a restart can be done as a kind of maintenance or to automatically restart just:out after a DST change.

Activate the Scheduled Restart checkbox and define the time and day the selected element should be restarted.

  • We recommend restarting Just Connect from time to time and to restart Just Out once per week.

  • Restarting Just Connect will not interrupt the play out, but will close all user interfaces which are connected to one of the channels administrated by this Just Connect

  • Restarting Just Out will interrupt the play out for a few seconds. Use Tools On Air's failover control and a redundant engine for continuous playout even while restarting the primary playout engine.

Stopping an Application using Stay Alive

  1. Deactivate the checkbox in front of the application to stop it.

  2. A warning appears which informs you that turning off Stay Alive will end the selected application immediately.

  3. Click Yes to quit the application immediately.

Updating from Older Versions when using Stay Alive

  1. Deactivate all applications in Stay Alive first.

  2. Do the update.

  3. Start Just Out, Just Connect and Just Control.

  4. Proceed with the System Update if asked to do so.

  5. Quit all TOA applications and activate Stay Alive for the TOA applications you would like to have restarted automatically.

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