Updated 1-27-17
Cash Register

If you sell music CDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes or DVDs you may want to participate in the Nielsen SoundScan rating service.

This service tabulates the number of CDs that are sold. For example when you hear that a particular CD has sold 2 million copies that information comes from Nielsen SoundScan.

To participate in the Nielsen SoundScan you will need a POS program that records each CD, cassette tape, VHS tape or DVD as it is sold, which my POS program will do. It must also produce a weekly file of only the CDs sold in the past week in a very specific format. That is what the program SoundScan Filer will do. SoundScan Filer is part of the "Cash Register" download file. You will also need any commonly available FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software to actually transmit the CD/tape file to Nielsen SoundScan.

If you wish to submit your sales to Nielsen SoundScan the first thing you must do is to contact them at http://www.soundscan.com/ to register. They will give you information that you will need. Make sure that you get...

1. Chain number.
2. Store number.
3. File name. (The name of the file you will be transmitting.)
4. FTP site address.
5. User name or ID
6. Password.

You may also obtain free FTP software (FTP Commander) from http://www.vista.ru/2inter.htm, there are instructions on using this software at the end of this section. Of course you may also use any FTP software that you already have.

SoundScan Filer (SONDSCAN.EXE)
This program comes with my POS software version 6.05 or later. The purpose of this program is to take the sales data of the CDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes and DVDs that you have sold in the last week and transmit that information to Nielsen SoundScan.

To do this you will need a computer with an internet connection and an FTP program that will actually transmit the file created by this program over the internet to the Nielsen SoundScan FTP site. Since this program will save the file to a floppy drive your internet connection does not have to be on the same computer as your cash register.

How SoundScan Filer works.
This program requires that you are using the Dale Harris Cash Register software version 6.05 or later. In that program you must be using the stock table to track the sales of each item that you are selling and you must be using the UPC barcode number printed on each tape or CD as your stock number for each item.

If used on a network this program must be run only from the cash register's GLOBAL folder.

Since only the sales of CDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes and DVDs are to be transmitted to Nielsen SoundScan there must be a way for this program to tell if an item sold is a CD, cassette tape, VHS tape, DVD or something else. It does that by using the 'category number' that you assign to each item. For example let's assume that in the Cash Register program that you use the following categories for your merchandise.

8. DVD'S
51. SODA

Obviously only those items that are in categories 1 to 8 should be transmitted to Nielsen SoundScan. This program will ask you which categories from #1 to #??? you wish to transmit. Using the above example you would fill in '8' into the field.

This means that while you can place the CDs, cassette tapes, VHS tapes and DVDs anywhere you want in the actual stock table, the categories for those items MUST be the first several items in the 'Category list.' Notice in the example that while those items use the first 8 slots in the category list (except for slot #0 which should always remain blank) that there is a big gap from slot 9 to 49 before the non-tape/CD categories are entered. This allows new tape/CD categories to be entered later. So using the above example you could actually fill in '49' for the cutoff where tape/CD categories end. It is up to you to decide where non-tape/CD categories will begin.

IMPORTANT: Since this program uses the category number to report sales to Nielsen SoundScan, if when entering a new item into your stock table you omit entering the category number, or enter the category incorrectly, then while you will be able to ring up sales of that item, the sales of that item WILL NOT be reported to Nielsen SoundScan.

On the main screen of this program there are several things that you will have to fill in.

1. Automatically load this program when the cash register closes.

If you enter 'YES' then when the POS program closes instead of asking you if you wish to 'Reset the merchandise data' it will start this program. You do not want the POS program to reset the merchandise data because if it does then that data will not be transmitted to Nielsen SoundScan. After this program creates the file to transmit to Nielsen SoundScan it will automatically reset the sales merchandise data in the stock table.

It is also possible to manually run this program no matter if you have set this feature to 'YES' or 'NO' And of course you will have to manually run this program the first time to set this feature to 'YES'

2. Sales of all items in categories 1 to ___ will be included
The categories of the items that you wish to transmit to Nielsen SoundScan.

3. Register file name.
When you created your cash register using the POS software you had to give your register files a file name, that name is what is displayed here. If this program is automatically loaded when the POS program closes then the file name will be filled in for you. If you have run this program directly then you must select the file name from the list of register files on the disk. You cannot change the filename here.

4. SoundScan file name.
This is the file name you must use when this program creates the file to transmit to Nielsen SoundScan. This filename is issued by Nielsen SoundScan for your store to use. The file name will always end with the extension '.TXT' You may also enter a drive letter if you wish to create the file on a floppy or other removable media drive to take the file to another computer to transmit it.

5. Chain number.
This number is issued by Nielsen SoundScan and is part of the file that is transmitted to them. Make sure that it is correct.

6. Store number.
This number is issued by Nielsen SoundScan and is part of the file that is transmitted to them. Make sure that it is correct.

7. Date.
This is the date that the file to be transmitted to Nielsen SoundScan is created, usually a Saturday. When this program is run it will fill in today's date. Change it if it is not the date you wish to use. The date must be in this format YYMMDD so May 8th 2004 would be entered as 040508.

8. Password.
This is where you enter the password for this program. If a password is set then you will need it to access this program even if it is set to load automatically. The 'master' password from the POS program will not override this password. If the correct password is not entered when this program is run then it will simply close.

9. PATH and name of FTP software.
It may be possible for this program to load and run your FTP software when you exit this program. You must fill in the file name of your FTP software and if it is not in the same folder as this program you must also enter the PATH to the folder that it is in. NOTE: When this program runs your FTP software this program will not close, you will have to return to this program to close it.

Once the data above has all been entered there are several things that you may do.

[F1] Help.

Show these instructions on the screen.

[F2] Calculator.
I have no idea why you would need a calculator to use this program but here it is anyway.

[F3] Display categories.
This feature will display the categories of your cash register to help you fill in #2 above.

[F4] Load settings.
When you run this program it will automatically load the settings used by this program. However if you make changes in the settings, and you do not wish to use the changes, you may press [F4] to reload the original settings. NOTE: This program's settings are saved whenever this program is closed.

[F5] Create Nielsen SoundScan file and then erase sales data from the stock table.
If you do one of these functions you must do the other also. Make sure that your parameters are correct because you can only do it once.

[F6] Run FTP software.
After you have created the Nielsen SoundScan file you may run your FTP software to transmit it. If you choose to run your FTP software without creating a new Nielsen SoundScan file then it will transmit the old Nielsen SoundScan file that you created last week. Not a good idea.

[ESC] Exit. Quit this program.

FTP Commander software.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software and an internet connection is required to actually transmit the file created by SoundScan Filer to the Nielsen SoundScan FTP site. You may use FTP software you already have to do this or you may obtain FTP software. Free FTP software (FTP Commander) may be downloaded from http://www.vista.ru/2inter.htm Download the file ftpcommander.exe to the same folder in which you have the POS program. Double click on the ftpcommander.exe to run it and it will install in the POS folder. A new icon will appear "Ftpcomm.exe" which is the actual FTP program and is the icon you click on to run FTP Commander. The path and FTP program name that you will enter into the SoundScan Filer program will be ftpcomm.exe You will not need a PATH because it will be in the same folder as your other POS programs and do not forget to add the .exe extension to the file name. It is a good idea to setup FTP Commander before you will be using it the first time to transmit a file. Run the program. Click on [New server]. Fill in the following information.

         Name = SoundScan
   FTP Server = The FTP site address you received from Nielsen SoundScan.
     FTP Port = 21 or whatever is filled in for you.
      User ID = The User name or ID you received from Nielsen SoundScan.
     Password = The password you received from Nielsen SoundScan.
Response Type = Default
Note: the password is case sensitive, "Hi There" does not equal "hi there"

Now click on [Save] (To test your connection, you must be connected to the internet.)

In the FTP Servers list find SoundScan and click on it ONCE. Now click on [Connect] The FTP Servers list should be replaced with a list of file names or a blank square. If this happens you have connected to the Nielsen FTP site, congratulations. If it does not happen make sure that you have correctly entered your information. Click on [Exit] to close FTP Commander.

To actually transmit the file created by SoundScan Helper connect to the internet then run the FTP Commander program and connect to the SoundScan FTP site. Use the "Local computer" side of the screen to find the POS folder and click on it. Now find the file created by SoundScan Helper and click on it. At the middle of the screen there will be an arrow button pointing to the right, when you click on it the file will be transmitted and the file name will appear in the file list on the right of the screen. Click on [Exit] to close FTP Commander.

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