How does it work?
Slides are the building blocks for your playlists. Slides can contain a single image or you can combine several images and plugins on a single slide.
You can access the slide options by pressing on the pencil icon in the slide thumbnail.
- Duration – Specifies the duration of the slide
- “Play forever” – use this option if your playlist has only one slide or your playlist is for touch workflows.
- Slide name – Optionally give slide a name
- Entering transition – Choose a transition effect for the slide for some eye candy. If the transitions are not smooth, there are 3 key factors that play a role when transition is rendered:
- Transition effect itself (some transitions are more complex and require more processing) – try “Fade to black” transition.
- Playlist complexity (high resolution images, several plugins, several zones all contribute) – try reducing complexity.
- Player performance (is your player a entry-level Android device or a mid-level device with Intel I5 processor) – try more powerful player.
- Transition duration – How long the transition takes (0.3 – 7 seconds). The slide duration must always exceed the transition duration by 1 second. If your transition duration is 3 seconds, that means slide has to be at least 4 seconds.
- Pause playlist background music for this slide – This option is only available if you have added background music to your playlist.
- After this slide play – This option overrides the default behavior of playing next slide, it is used when creating touchscreen interfaces.
- Slide conditions
The slide thumbnail contains several indicators:
- Delete slide
- Slide number or name (You can add a name for each slide)
- Edit the slide
- “Slide condition” – Green means one (or more) slide condition match, so for the moment this slide would be played. Red means none of the slide conditions match at the moment and slide is skipped.
- “After this slide play” option is turned on
- “Transition” option is turned on
- Duration of the slide
Slide stash can be used to store your slides for later use. You can move slides to stash to temporarily remove them from your playlist, store slides that are work in progress or even move slides between different playlists.
If you already have image files you want to create slides from (say you uploaded a PowerPoint or PDF file), creating the slides one-by-one is very tedious. By selecting several assets in the assets dialog, you’ll see a button “Create slide per asset”. Upon clicking the button a similar dialog appears where you can specify the duration and transition effects for each slide. Under advanced section you can also customize background color and scaling:
- Scale to fit – Scales each image until one the width or height reaches slide edge. If your images are in same aspect ratio as the playlist, the images will fill the slides completely. If the images are in a different aspect ratio, then either width or height is not completely filled.
- Scale to fill – Scales each image until both width and height cover entire slide. This option fills the entire slide, however if the image and playlist aspect ratios differ, the image might be scaled outside the visible area of the slide.
In the editor each object is represented as a layer in the layers tab. You can grab individual objects and drag them higher to bring them in front of other objects.
Why can’t I drag the object to the topmost layer?
Some objects are not part of the ‘canvas’ when playing the slide in the player – often this is because of how web standards work, but in case of a video and ticker plugin, it’s for performance optimization reasons. All the plugins: video, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, website, ticker, playlist and MediaRSS are actually external applications that are positioned exactly over our application. For some plugins like video and tickers you can actually update the setting “Always on top” to “No” if you want to position some elements above them, but beware that performance will likely suffer.
What does the exclamation mark mean?
It’s possible to lose objects if you move them off the canvas and release the drag. If you see an exclamation mark next to an element in the editor, that means the element has been moved off the canvas. You can fix it by pressing the blue Center object button.
With element animations you can add entrance and exit animation to individual elements in the slide. You can animate images, text, shapes and some plugins like weather and clock.
- Animation – Choose animation type for element entrance (slide in left, zoom out, etc…)
- Easing – Choose animation easing (accelerating, decelerating, etc…)
- Start and duration – Use sliders to configure animation start delay and duration. Start animation timings are relative to slide start (for an example: start 3 seconds after slide starts), but exit animations are relative to slide’s ending (f.x: start 3 seconds before slide finishes)
Animations are slow and lagging
Animating elements requires rendering the canvas 24 times per second, as opposed to just 1 time per slide. The specifics come down to your player’s hardware acceleration support, but there’s still few things you can do to improve the playback. In general sliding animations (slide in left/right/top/bottom) require more resources than zooming, spinning and fading animations. Therefore try experimenting with different animations and also increasing the animation duration will give the player more time to play the animation, thus make it smoother. Since the device needs to render entire canvas for each frame of the animations, other items in the slide can also contribute to the slowness. If possible, try keeping the item count and complexity low, so player has easier time rendering other elements on the slide.
If your animations are still sluggish, then you can also consider creating the slides with animations in an external software and export it as a movie file. For an example, keynote on OSX supports exporting a presentation with animations as a video file.
If none of the tips work, and animations are a must for you, then you should look into upgrading to a mid-tier player device.
Animations start slowing down after a while
Computers will slow themselves down when they get hot in order not to overheat, therefore if you see the animation performance degrade, make sure that your device does not overheat!
Exit animation options are not visible
If your slide is set to ‘Play forever’, then you can only set entrance animation effects as the slide will never end and exit.
Slide background music makes your content a bit more interesting, why not capture more senses and set the scene of your playlist with background music. You can add music to playlists or to slides.
You can add audio files or multiple audio files in your slides. Simply open your assets, find and add your audio files just as if you were adding a photo or video.
When you add an audio file in a slide you’ll notice that the box has a dashed border, meaning the icon and text are not displayed on your TV.
What type of audio files are supported?
We recommend using .mp3, however .wav .ogg .m4a and .flac files are also supported, but converted to .mp3
Can I play multiple audio files on a slide?
You can add multiple audio files in a slide and they will all play at the same time.
Can I play music in a playlist?
Yes, you can either add your background music per slide or per playlist, to add background music to a playlist go here: Background Music
Is it possible to play Internet radio streams?
We don’t have support for the radio streams in a plugin, but if the stream can be played in a browser (typically .m3u8 or .mp3 file or TuneIn radio stream – see below), then it is possible to integrate it with a website plugin. Now the stream would only play when that slide with the website plugin is shown, but we want it to play during the entire playlist. If you already have a zoned playlist, you can add the website plugin to the Master playlist (the one that has only 1 slide with “Play forever” duration). If you don’t have a zoned playlist, you can create a Master playlist with 1 slide (set the duration to “Play forever”), then add the website plugin on it and then add a sub-playlist (the original playlist that you want to play). The sub-playlists will be displayed on top of the website plugin containing the Internet radio stream, but you can also move the plugin off the canvas completely. Check out our zoning guide for more info if terms like “Master playlist” and “Sub-playlist” are new to you.
TuneIn radio is a web service that catalogs various radios and makes them stream-able via their website. Chances are, you will find a suitable stream in their listings.
- Find a radio channel that you want to embed from their website and copy the URL. In this example we’ll be using triple j radio: https://tunein.com/radio/triple-j-1057-s25508/
- Paste the URL into embed code generator https://tunein.com/broadcasters/promote/
- The generator outputs HTML code for website embedding, but we only need the URL. Copy the URL inside the src parameter of the HTML code, the URL should look like this now: https://tunein.com/embed/player/s25508/
- Append ?autoplay=true to the URL so it would start playing automatically. The URL looks like this now: https://tunein.com/embed/player/s25508/?autoplay=true
- You can use this URL in the website plugin now!
Slide conditions is an advanced functionality to display individual slides at a specific time of day, within a time range, or on one or more specific players.
How to use the slide conditions
Date & Time Range
The Date & Time Range lets you add a condition where the slide is only displayed when the date and time condition is met. For example, if you add a condition saying Play between 2021-02-01 at 00:00 and 2021-02-01 at 23.59 that slide will ONLY be playing on February 1st. You can then add longer date ranges and changes the time also.
You also have the option “Automatically delete this slide when this condition expires“. Let’s say you’re adding a slide for one of your employees who has a birthday on February 2nd., you create a special slide for this event, you add the condition and you choose this option. The slides will ONLY be played on February 2nd. and at 23.59 the system automatically deletes the slide to keep your playlist clean at all times.
Time Range is a bit simpler, here you create a condition saying you want the slide playing every day. All you need to do is pick a time of day to start and a time of day to end.
Screen conditions is a linkage between your slide and one or more screens. As a default, a slide will play on all screens, but let’s say you wanted to add weather in your playlist and your screens were physically in different locations. You could then add one slide per location and link that slide to screens on that location.
For example, one of my screens is in New York and another in Berlin. I have a playlist with 20 slides playing on both screens. I now add a slide with the weather plugin and chose New York, in Slide Conditions I find and pick my screen in New York. I would then do the same for Berlin.
Can I add a time of day and screen condition?
Yes, you can add a condition saying start at xx and stop at xx every day and then add the screens you want the specific slide to play on.