I wanted to let you know about the new scheduling features coming up in 2.0.
The 2.0 release (currently available in alpha) will have a lot of additional features including some changes to the scheduling.
On the Layout Designer you will have a Toolbox and an option to assign “Expiry Dates” to the Widgets, imagine you upload a media file, add it to the layout, but you don’t actually want to show it yet.
You can add the media widget to the layout then add Expiry Dates to the widget, which means assigning From and To Dates to the Widget itself, it will only be sent to the player (and displayed by the player) between those two Dates.
To take it a step further, 2.0 also has fully implemented playlist with playlist editor, as such you can design the playlist in playlist editor (playlist contains widgets) ie say you can prepare a playlist with 5 images, 2 videos, save it, add it to the layout (as a sub-playlist available in 2.0), and then, if needed, add Expiry Dates on the subplaylist.
The sub-playlist will show all widgets that were added to it (ie in my example it would go through 5 images and 2 videos), playlists are of course re-usable ie you can assign the same playlist to multiple layouts.
The idea is to make the content management/scheduling/layout design easier and more user friendly :).
2.0 Release features the draft/published layout states as well ie imagine you have your layout imported from 1.8 CMS (or after upgrade to 1.8), it will come in with Published status, layouts with such status will be sent to the players (once scheduled of course).
When you want to make changes to the layout, say redesign it, add widgets to it etc, you need to checkout the layout (which changes the status to Draft), any changes you make while in this status are saved, BUT not sent to the players ie player will continue to show the last published version of that layout.
Once you’re happy with your changes (or once the time has come to update that layout) you can publish it and then player will show that updated version.
I think these new features will satisfy your scheduling requirement. 2.0 Beta should be out in a few weeks. Please let me know if you’d like any further information.