Media files widgets in Elementi 2017 and 2018

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This page is about the media files data-driven widgets included into Elementi 2017 and Elementi 2018. For other versions, see the links below.

Media files example

Introduction

Elementi software features 250+ widgets, some of which are designed to automatically display the media content (usually images and / or videos) from a given location - could be a designated folder or a third-party provider such as: Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Flickr, Instagram etc. Elementi widgets are a simple way to easily connect your media to a digital signage display that anyone can manage: a dedicated technical person or an assistant. Simply updating the media folder you use on a daily basis will update the content displayed on the screen.

Use the Elementi calendar widgets for any industry sector and across any organization size – from a startup to a large corporation. Here are just a few examples of how you can put your media files widget to use at best:

  • Hospitality
  • Corporate
  • Education
  • Healthcare

Getting started

Getting started is easy; download Elementi software, launch it and create away! Just follow the 4 quick steps below:

  1. Get Elementi.
  2. Open Elementi and on the main window, click on the "Widgets" tab.
  3. Scroll down and open the "Media" folder. Pick a widget.
  4. Include that widget into your content and configure it.

Media widgets

Elementi software comes with several calendar widgets accessible from "Widgets" tab within the Browse panel of the Elementi GUI.

Media files widgets in Elementi 2017 and 2018
  • Media Playlist
    Displays a dynamic media playlist (images, videos) out of the files stored onto a given location.
  • Media Crawler
    Displays the media items (images, videos) out of the files stored onto a given location, using a continuous scrolling effect.
  • Animated playlist
    Displays a media playlist using the Ken Burns effect animation.
  • Slideshow
    Displays slides composed of media layers (images, videos) and text layers (file related details), out of the files stored onto a given location. The slides are displayed one after another, with or without a transition effect in between, similarly to a playlist. Each slide is displayed for a fixed duration.
  • Horizontal Table, Vertical Table, and Table
    Displays slides composed of multiple cells of text & media layers, which are automatically filled out with data retrieved from the selected source. The slides are displayed one after another, with or without a transition effect in between, similarly to a playlist.

Configuration

Each of the widgets above can be customized using the options provided under "Properties" tab - for more details go to the dedicated page of each widget type, linked above.

Data source setup

To edit the properties related to the data source, click on the Data Properties button. This opens the "Data Properties" dialog, which offers different parameters depending on the selected channel. The following are (almost) common to all channels:

  • Channel
    Select the data source channel between:
  • Filter
    Specify the file extension filter to be applied on the result set. Either select an existing filter or enter a custom one - you can use multiple extensions, separated by semicolons (for instance: *.mp4;*.avi;*.wmv;*.mpg;*.mp3;*.wav;*.wma;*.m4a;*.aac to list both video and audio files).
  • Sort
    Select how the files are sorted, between: "Default", "Alphabetical", "Most recently modified", and "Most recently created".
  • Max count
    Enable this option and specify the maximum number of items to be kept from the data set (starting from the first row).
  • Refresh
    Specify the period after which the widget should refresh the data (this is useful especially when the widget is running in a loop); either select one of the provided options ("When document opens", 5m, 10m, ... , 24h) or enter a number, optionally followed by s (implicit), m or h; the minimum accepted value is 10 seconds. Using "When document opens" will refresh the data only when the document is re-opened.


Note Notes:

Media folder channel

"Data Properties" dialog for "Media Folder" channel

This is a regular folder containing media files. When the channel option is set to "Media Folder", the "Data Properties" dialog offers the following parameters:

  • URI
    Enter the URI to the media folder - this can be a local path into the project or a remote HTTP(S) address.
  • Channel, Filter, Sort, Max count, Refresh
    Same as above.

Folder location

Depending on the location of the media folder, there are three possible usage scenarios:

  • Local source
    The source folder is included into the project itself and the files are imported into it using Elementi (or another WebDAV client). It is thus located on the HMP, which assures total autonomy, but might be less flexible because the content is updated by republishing the project.
  • Remote source
    The source folder is located on a web server and the media files are played directly from there. This assures high flexibility for updating the files independently of the project, however, it requires a reliable network connection; furthermore the server must have the WebDAV extension enabled for the widget to work.
  • Mixed
    The files are periodically retrieved from a web server by the HMP into a local folder, which is used as data source for the widget. This assures both autonomy and flexibility, though it might be more complex to set up. Also the WebDAV extension is not required in certain cases.

OneDrive channel

Security is a fundamental element to consider when giving access to your personal data and we've created our data-driven widgets with that in mind. To ensure secure access and permission control, without exposing any user credentials, Cockpit must authorize any request for third-party data. For that, you need to do the following:
  1. Create a Cockpit account, if you don't have one.
  2. Register your Elementi license into your Cockpit account.
  3. Add your players into your Cockpit account.
  4. Connect your Microsoft account to your Cockpit account.
"Data Properties" dialog for "OneDrive Folder" channel

When the channel option is set to "OneDrive", the "Data Properties" dialog offers the following parameters:

  • Account
    Select one of the connected Microsoft online accounts or click "Connect account..." if none was previously connected.
  • Folder
    Click on "Change..." button to browse within your OneDrive space and select the folder from which to get the files.
  • Channel, Filter, Sort, Max count, Refresh
    Same as above.

OneDrive channel connection

When selecting this channel in the "Data Properties" dialog, your existing Microsoft accounts are automatically retrieved from Cockpit and displayed in the "Account" drop-down box. If you need to connect a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Select "Connect account..." option .
  2. Click the link displayed within the "Connect account..." dialog to open it in a browser.
  3. If you are not signed into your Cockpit account, you are asked to do that.
  4. Cockpit then checks that your Elementi license is registered into your Cockpit account; if not, you are asked to do that.
  5. You are then redirected to the Microsoft website. Log into your account there, if you are not already.
  6. Then, you need to authorize the SpinetiX app to access the specified information of your Microsoft account.
  7. Once done, you are redirected back to Cockpit channels page and you can find your account listed under "Connected Accounts".
  8. Then, return to Elementi and click the "OK" button within the "Connect Account..." dialog.
  9. The list of accounts is refreshed and you can select the new one from the "Account" drop-down box.


Note Note:
The Microsoft online account can be disconnected at any time from Cockpit from the "Channels" page.

Google Drive channel

Added in Elementi 2018 for a limited number of users. Available to all users starting with Elementi 2018 Update 1.

Security is a fundamental element to consider when giving access to your personal data and we've created our data-driven widgets with that in mind. To ensure secure access and permission control, without exposing any user credentials, Cockpit must authorize any request for third-party data. For that, you need to do the following:
  1. Create a Cockpit account, if you don't have one.
  2. Register your Elementi license into your Cockpit account.
  3. Add your players into your Cockpit account.
  4. Connect your Google account to your Cockpit account.

When the channel option is set to "Google Drive", the "Data Properties" dialog offers the following parameters:

"Data Properties" dialog for "Google Drive" channel
  • Account
    Select one of the connected Google accounts or click "Connect account..." if none was previously connected.
  • Folder
    Click on "Change..." button to browse within your Google Drive space and select the folder from which to get the files.
  • Channel, Filter, Max count, Refresh
    Same as above.

Google channel connection

When selecting this channel in the "Data Properties" dialog, your existing Google accounts are automatically retrieved from Cockpit and displayed in the "Account" drop-down box. If you need to connect a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Select "Connect account..." option .
  2. Click the link displayed within the "Connect account..." dialog to open it in a browser.
  3. If you are not signed into your Cockpit account, you are asked to do that.
  4. Cockpit then checks that your Elementi license is registered into your Cockpit account; if not, you are asked to do that.
  5. You are then redirected to the Google website. Log into your account there, if you are not already.
  6. Then, you need to authorize the SpinetiX app to access the specified information of your Google account.
  7. Once done, you are redirected back to Cockpit channels page and you can find your account listed under "Connected Accounts".
  8. Then, return to Elementi and click the "OK" button within the "Connect Account..." dialog.
  9. The list of accounts is refreshed and you can select the new one from the "Account" drop-down box.


Note Note:
The Google account can be disconnected at any time from Cockpit from the "Channels" page.

Facebook Album channel

Data Properties

When the channel option is set to "Facebook Album", the following options are available:

  • Account
    Select one of the connected Facebook accounts or click "Connect account..." if none was previously connected.
  • Profile
    Select the profile to be displayed. It is possible to select the user profile or any public profile in Facebook. Use the Public pages... button to search for public profiles.
  • Title
    Select the album to be displayed
  • Size
    Select the size of the images to be retrieved - varies between thumbnail (130px) to large (960px).
  • Channel, Max count, Refresh
    Same as above.

Facebook channel connection

When selecting this channel in the "Data Properties" dialog, your existing Facebook accounts are automatically retrieved from Cockpit and displayed in the "Account" drop-down box. If you need to connect a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Select "Connect account..." option .
  2. Click the link displayed within the "Connect account..." dialog to open it in a browser.
  3. If you are not signed into your Cockpit account, you are asked to do that.
  4. Cockpit then checks that your Elementi license is registered into your Cockpit account; if not, you are asked to do that.
  5. You are then redirected to the Facebook website. Log into your account there, if you are not already.
  6. Then, you need to authorize the SpinetiX app to access the specified information of your Facebook account.
  7. Once done, you are redirected back to Cockpit channels page and you can find your account listed under "Connected Accounts".
  8. Then, return to Elementi and click the "OK" button within the "Connect Account..." dialog.
  9. The list of accounts is refreshed and you can select the new one from the "Account" drop-down box.


Note Notes:

Troubleshooting

  • You get this message: Problem detected with target device. Widgets using channels will not work properly. Are you sure you want to continue?
    This happens when trying to publish a project containing widgets that use third-party data providers and one or more of the target HMPs have not been added to Cockpit.
    To solve the issue, open the HMP Control Center and add the player to Cockpit using the same account as the one used to registered the Elementi license into Cockpit
  • Multiscreen usage.
    These widgets can only be used on a single screen when creating a multiscreen project; for multiple screens, a data feed widget must be used instead.
  • My images are shown, but not (all) my videos.
    Mixing images with videos is generally supported, although not recommended, especially when third-party providers are used, because the download speed must be good enough to match the playback speed. Additionally, in case of "OneDrive" channel, the mime type for mp4 videos is wrongly reported as "application/octet-stream", which prevents them to be automatically displayed - the workaround for this is to use a dedicated widget for mp4 videos and manually set the "Media template" layer mime type to "video/mp4" from Layer Properties > Advanced tab.

See also

This page was last modified on 20 August 2018, at 17:55.