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Publish playlists without scheduling

Hi,

I'm quite new to Brightsign. After some tutorial videos and doc reading it seems that while publishing content/playlists with the BS Author software it is a must to indicate a schedule for each playlist. In my project, the playlists must not play automatically on a specific day/time but they are triggered by keyboard inputs if needed. At power on, the player shall play nothing. A paylist starts playing when a user hits a key on a keyboard.

So all the content and playlists only need to be published to the player without some kind of autorun. Later, an operator presses a specific key on the keyboard to play a playlist and presses another key to play another playlist and so on.

How can / should I publish may content / playlists? 

26 comments

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    JRB Technical

    Is this just one player (assuming player with USB for keyboard input)?

    If so, you can set the player with an Interactive Playlist to display a black image when it starts up, and then place the first image or movie that you want for keyboard trigger in the playlist, and then add a "Keyboard Input" event off of the black image to be triggered when the appropriate letter or number is pressed. You have each Keyboard Input event Transition to the first image or movie for that keyboard character, and these can link to additional images/movies for that input, returning to the Black image at the end.

    You can do this for numerous keyboard inputs, each of them can be a single image/movie or a string as a mini playlist of sorts.

    Then when the someone presses the keyboard letter/number you set, that content sequence will be triggered.

    Also be aware of possible issues with Caps Lock, Number Lock, etc. have to be set appropriately, or you need to add triggers for both upper and lower case, etc.

    If multiple players, you would have to do master/slave synchronization. It is a little more involved but also possible.

     

     

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    Brandon

    JohnLBV is spot-on.

    The thing to be aware of here is that a presentation can be interactive, so it's not necessarily a playlist in the linear sense.

    Thus you can have a single presentation that acts differently in different situations.

  • 0
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    Robert

    Hi, 

    Thanks for your answers.  Yes it is one player. Other players will be used but with different content.

    Is there really a "must" that the player displays something all the time? Is there no possibility to just publish playlists to the player without having one displayed? If I have 20 playlists to publish, each one has to be placed somewhere in the scheduling calendar? If yes, the will be played at a moment in time, based on the schedule - and that's what I do not want. 

    I will have multiple playlists and the operator decides which one will be started/displayed. So I need to have all my playlists published to the player together with the .mov files contained in the playlists. But they have to be all "stopped" by default.

    Once I know how to to the publishing and just do a simple playlist handling (running playlist "G" if G was pressed, running playlist "W" is "W" is pressed and so on) I have to define a more complex logic but I will post that part in another question as the subject will be different.

  • 0
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    Brandon

    Think of a presentation as the player's "programming."  If there isn't a presentation running, the player just sits there displaying the Idle Screen color and does nothing.  There's no response to input, no playback, nothing - because there's no programming.  It's like having a computer without an OS.  Even if there's user interaction, they can't do anything.

    So you need to have some kind of "program" running.  In this case your "program" may be something that looks similar to this


    The initial state represented by the Home icon is an Event Handler with Stop Playback enabled.  Event Handlers don't display anything, they just sit and wait for events to act upon.

    There are three Keyboard Input events on the Event Handler - the one that leads to A - Video Playlist is set for keyboard input a, the one that leads to B - Another Playlist is set for keyboard input b and the one that leads to Interactive Game is set for keyboard input g

    The first two are Video List states which are what you would consider a playlist - it's a series of videos that play back to back (though they can be set otherwise).

    The third one is a Super State which is like a "program with a program" - so within that Super State you could show different things and respond to various events.  If you're familiar with the old Laserdisc arcade games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, you could implement something like that, or something more akin to digital signage, or just a second level of keyboard-triggered playlists like the first two.

    Since I think this is all you want the player to do, you would publish this presentation as an All day, every day presentation and when the player is powered up, it'll do what I described above, responding to keyboard a, b and g keys, otherwise not showing/doing anything.

    You could put all your playlists into separate presentations, then have one "main" presentation with just the Event Handler scheduled All day, every day that uses the Switch Presentations command to change to the other presentation, but that structure is better suited for multi-zone presentations with different layouts.  It's unnecessary (and I find it annoying) to juggle separate presentations for this type of functionality, unless you have a number of playlists or separate people working on different elements.

  • 0
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    Robert

    Ah ok, it's more clear now. 

    I suppose that the Event Handler can handle more than 3 events and that's only an example? I need to get hands-on, to try this out ;-)

  • 0
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    Brandon

    Yes, I've seen customers with more than 20 (I stopped counting) events on a single state, and most definitely yes, the best way to learn and get a handle on things is to play with it.  Be sure to publish to the player, don't rely on the preview as it's not 100% accurate, nor does it emulate all the functions.

  • 0
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    JRB Technical

    Robert:

    Sorry, I am in the middle of a double move right now so haven't chimed in, have a few days in a hotel now.

    Just to understand better, there are playlists as a term and playlists as a action, and this may be confusion the issue.

    When you operator is to press a key, is it just a single movie to play, or is is a combination of images/movies to play?

    If it is just a single movie, then you don't need any playlist except the one.

    You can put the individual movie files on the interactive workspace, and like I said, have a black PNG as your home (first play) item.

    Then add the Keyboard Input events for each key to corresponding movie.  Then add a Media End event to each movie, linking back to the Black PNG.  Then when the key is pressed, the movie plays, at the end of the movie, it goes back to the black screen.

    If you need to exit a movie early, then setup a key for that (B key), and place Keyboard Input on each movie, going back to black as well at any time before the movie ends.

    I do this often for tradeshows, where they play a looping video, but at times want to have a different logo or video play at specific times triggered by an operator.  I give then a little USB number pad and tell them 0 for black, 1 for Main video Loop, 2 for happy hour, 3 for prize giveaway, etc.

     

  • 0
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    Robert

    Hi,

    Thanks, great to get so detailed help here. 

    "When you operator is to press a key, is it just a single movie to play, or is is a combination of images/movies to play?"

    It can be both: a single movie or another playlist. Normally no still images.

    But, at the end it's a little bit more complex like that. Let's say the functionality described so far is the basic one which would be OK to start - switching between playlists after a specific key has been pressed.

    The final version should be able to play a playlist related to a pressed key. Let's say "G" was pressed, the playlist "G_Playlist" starts playing each movie of the playlist and loops at the end of the list. Now when the operator presses the key "P", the playlist "P_Playlist" starts playing and loops. But for other keys like "4" as an example, the current playlist (let's say that we are in playlist G) should pause, the playlist "4_playlist" should start and at the end the paused playlist (in this example "G") should resume.

    I was told by the support that this is feasible but that it takes a plugin to do so. What do you think? 

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    The All Media List could be helpful here.

     

    It has a feature that allows resume of playback, without the need to play the list of items from the top.

    If you leave this unchecked, going back to a playlist that was interrupted, would play the next item instead of the first.

    With that said, that would not resume an item that was interrupted, but rather play the next item in the queue.

    If you need to resume an interrupted item, I think you'd need to to custom code a plugin.

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    Robert

    Hi,

    Sounds great. Is there any documentation about how the All Media List works? Do I have to create one All Media List for each of my Playlists in stead of normal playlists? And the keyboard event trigger starts "All Media lists" in stead of playlists? 

    I'll be unavailable now until 21.8, but I will try to read about the All Media list and come back to this thread if I need more help. At least you know why I am not answering here until the 21.8 ;-)

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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    From what I've gathered about your requirements, it sounds like creating a media list for each of your playlists, would be the way to go.

    Here is some documentation about the Media List

    http://docs.brightsign.biz/display/DOC/Media+List%2C+Video+List%2C+Image+List%2C+Audio+List

     

    If you'd like to post a complete list of requirements, I could help you build your presentation so it is easy to manage down the road.

    There will always be changes... :)

     

    I'll be gone too for all of next week too, so that works.

    Have fun

  • 0
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    Robert

    Hi,

    I'm back from holidays ;-)

    I've read about the Media List and in the meantime I've got the first player as well. So I started out with BrightAuthor. I was able to define an interactive playlist with a medialist in it. But I was not able to play the movie(s) in the preview window. I've dropped an keyboard event on the medialist and I've defined "p" as keyboard input. Nothing happened. Maybe it does just not work in the preview?

    The complete requirements :

    - Once started up (power on), the player should play "nothing" (black output). This can also be done by a looping movie without content (= movie with just a black background) if not possible otherwise. Or it will be a "Welcome to ...." movie as default. At the end the movie itself does not make the difference.

    - There will be an operator who has a keyboard connected to the player (HD1023). He hits a key to start a specific playlist:

    • "A"  for playlist_A
    • "B"  for playlist_B
    • "C"  for playlist_C
    • "4"  for playlist_4 
    • and so on...

    - Once selected (by a keyboard input) a playlist shall play and loop until a new keyboard input (event) occurs.

    - If a keyboard input (event) occurs there are 2 possibilities:

    • leave the running playlist, play and loop the new one (defined by the keyboard input) until a new keyboard input occurs
    • leave the running playlist, play the new one and come back (resume) to the actual one

    I hope you this description helps you to understand the requirements ;-) 

    In the meantime I have to figure out why BrightAutor tells me that Bonjour for Windows is required even if I have installed it ;-)

     

     

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    Hi,

    I hope you had a nice vacation.

    Few quick notes.

    BrightAuthor preview is limited in its functionality. Best is to test on the player.

    For Bonjour, I usually install Apple's Airport utility.

    https://support.apple.com/downloads/air%2520port%2520utility%2520windows

    A successful install should allow BrightAuthor to discover your player on the network, without knowing its IP address.

     

    For black screen, you could use a Live Text state, without populating it with any text, or an Event Handler.

    You would need to edit the Event Handler, and configure it to stop playback.

     

    Use the Video List instead of Media List, so you can connect a Media End event.

     

    How many playlists in total?

     

    The challenge here is the two scenarios, loop current playlist, vs. play once and go back to previous playlist.

    I think that Media End with conditional targets should provide a solution.

    A User Variable would be needed for such programing. 

  • 0
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    Robert

    Hi,

    Yes all fine. 

    There will be between 20 and 30 different playlists.

    As I am new to Bright Autor programming, it would be great if you can provide a sample file which I can use to learn an build integrate the rest of the playlists the same way it was done for the samples.

    Maybe it would help to start "simple", let's say just build a presentation with 3 different playlists (video lists) which can be triggered by a keyboard input, let's say "w", "g" and "p" would start playlist 1, playlist 2, playlist 3.

    If this works and I fully understand how it's done, I can add the remaining playlists. This gives the minimum of x playlists which can be triggered by a keyboard input. 

    After this, we can do the next step and integrate the more complex "two scenario" part.

    What do you think about it?

    PS: BrightAuthor is OK now, the message about Bonjour has gone, so I will try now to detect the player and publish an empty presentation to it, just to make sure that this part is already ok.

     

     

     

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    What you suggest, starting simple, and add complexity later, would be the natural flow of development.

    Managing the programming that you aim for, doesn't scale up very well though. Managing 30 playlists, from which you can switch to any of the other playlists, would result in a very complex, spaghetti-looking BrightAuthor programming.

    When you as the programmer need to repeat a sequence of actions 30 times, mistakes are most likely going to be part of the journey.

    Small change in programming, becomes a time consuming task, that introduces more errors.

    See a few examples here for how to create manageable programs

    https://brightsign.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000277054-BrightAuthor-Art-From-Chaos-to-Order

     

    Let me give this some thought

     

  • 0
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    Robert

    Hi,

    Yeah, I'm an IT guy, so that's why I suggested the natural flow of development lol.

    In the meantime I managed it to publish a presentation with 2 video files. Playback is triggered by a key on the keyboard and while the first on e is running I can trigger another one. When this one is finished it comes back to the first one. 

    So for me that sounds like a begin. If I replace now the video files by video lists I should have the next step?

  • 0
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    Robert

    at this time I don't know exactely how plugins are used / programmed in BrightAutor, but would that be the way to define all possible keyboard inputs and the respective targets once in a plugin and then just add this plugin to each Videolist ?

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    A plugin could be useful later. For now you should not worry about it.

     

    The challenge is in the number of action that would be required to program.

    If I understand correctly, having 30 playlists, from which you would like to switch to any of the other 29 playlists, would require 30x29=780 keyboard events :)

     

    To answer your question: "So for me that sounds like a begin. If I replace now the video files by video lists I should have the next step?"

    That is correct.

  • 0
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    Robert

    Is it possible to to the follow up by private messaging (email) and only post the final solution here? I think that I need to explain the requirements in a more detailed way with exact names and details...

  • 0
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    Robert

    The "problem" to have a black screen (nothing being played) when the player starts is solved:  the event handler does this job, my use case is exactly the one explained in the online documentation :-)

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    Robert

    Hi,

    It seems that there is a "easy" way to do this:

    • define an interactive presentation
    • add an event handler name it "blackout" and set this one to "initial state"  (this will do the blackout when the player starts)
    • create the 3-4 main videolists and "connect" each one with a unique keyboard event to the "blackout" event handler
    • add a keyboard input "e" on each of the videolists and choose transition to state "Events"
    • create a video play file named "Events" and add all the "special event" movies in this one, assigning a unique key for each movie.
      add an "media end event" to this video play file and configure it to do a "transition to previous state"
    • publish to the player

    Now, press one of the keys which leads you to one of your main videolists. As soon as the video list starts playing hit "e" to activate somehow the "events list". Nothing happens, the actual video lists continues playing - that's great. Now press one of the keys defined in your "Events" list, the player should play the assigned movie and come back to the video list with the next item in the list.

    At the moment I think that this could solve the problem. I can have the 3-4 main video lists, each looping, and each pointing to the single "video play file" state called "events" which is only playing a single movie when triggered and then returning to the previous state.

    What do you think about it?

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    If you'd like to take our conversation offline, please email info@brightscripters.com

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    If what you had created is working for you, then go with that.

    So you are not going to need 30 playlists?

     

     

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    Robert

    Hi,

    It seems that I don't need 30 playlists as 1 playlist does the job. The playlist contains some video lists and one "video file play". As long as I can add enough files to the "video file play" it should be fine:  4 main video lists and 1 "video file play" with as example 26 entries, each one having a different keyboard key assigned.

    Seems that this does the job for the moment. If not, I'll come back to you ;-)

     

  • 0
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    Robert

    and THANKS for all the help so far !

  • 0
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    Bright Scripters info[at]brightscripters.com

    With pleasure my friend :)

    Being new to BrightSign, as you introduced yourself, you made an impressive progress in a relatively short period of time.

    Good Job!

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