Category: Learning

Formatting Your Playlist

June 4, 2019


ScreenScape5 makes creating powerful, eye-catching visuals for digital signage easier than ever before. One area of the system that is responsible for the professional look and feel that ScreenScape5 digital signage is becoming known for is simply called Playlists.

Diagram of ScreenScape5 System Overview showing relationship between Media, Playlist, and Hardware

In ScreenScape5 a playlist is a specific set or list of media items, usually a few of your current favorites among your broader collection of media, that you want to publish as a group so they playback in sequence on one or more of your screens.

Playlists do more than simply order your media. You can also style and format a playlist by adjusting its settings. This includes choosing a layout which allows you to place information (like news, weather and logo) alongside your primary media, and choosing a theme which gives your playlist a color scheme and overall look and feel. In this blog post, we will outline in detail how to create and style a playlist.

Step 1: Create & Name Your Playlist

Once you are logged into ScreenScape5, click on the “Playlists” tab at the top of page. If no playlists are present, click on the yellow plus icon Yellow Add Playlist Icon at the bottom right corner of the page to create one. On the other hand, if you wish to edit an existing playlist, just double-click on the playlist you wish to edit.

To give your playlist a name, edit the playlist name in the text field at the top of the page.

How to Change Your Playlist Name

Step 2: Assign Your Media to Your Playlist

One way to add media to your playlist is click on the blue plus icon Blue Add Icon at the bottom right corner of the page. That will cause a drawer to appear from the right side containing all of your previously created (or imported) media items. Click on the media items you would like to add to your playlist and click “ADD” at the bottom of the media drawer. Now these media items are assigned to your playlist.

Once a media item is assigned to a playlist, any subsequent changes to that media item will be reflected in any playlists that media item is assigned to. This is a particularly handy feature if you have a media item assigned to several playlists. Edit your media once, and that change will be made universally and reflected on all playlists to which it is assigned.

Step 3: Apply a Layout and Theme

ScreenScape5 comes with the ability to present information like weather, news, and time of day alongside your primary media. These information blocks, also called widgets, can be arranged and organized in different spatial patterns which we call layouts. Even though ScreenScape5 is brand new there are already a number of different layout options for you to choose from and we’re adding more all the time.

To choose your playlist layout, click on the “Properties” tab at the top right of a playlist you’re editing, and then find “Layout”. You will be presented with a number of layout options. Click on an option and see how it will look in the Playlist preview pane to the left.

There are also a wide variety of playlist themes available in ScreenScape5. Playlist themes apply color scheme and background images to the playlist to give the entire presentation a coherent and professional look and feel. Just like layouts, we’re adding new themes all the time.

To choose your playlist theme, click on the “Properties” tab at the top of the options drawer to the right of the page, then click on “Theme”. Again, you will be presented with a number of theme options. Click on an option and see how it will look in the Playlist preview pane to the left.

Exception: Full Screen Mode
When a media item is set to play in full screen mode it will occupy 100% of the available screen real estate. If a media item is especially important you can set it to be in full screen mode every time it plays in any playlist by toggling a full screen setting on the media item itself. You can also set a media item to be in full screen mode for only one particular playlist by setting it to full screen at the playlist level. By default, media items will use the chosen layout of the playlist but by simply turning on the full screen toggle next to the media item in the playlist, that item will expand to 100% of the screen each time it plays (in this particular playlist). Once the full screen media item has finished playing the playlist will return to playing media alongside the current playlist layout.

Full Screen Media Toggle in Playlist screen

The media items “Step Up Your Game” and “macbook-pro-family-2” have been set to Full Screen mode. The media item “House-Special-Menu” will use the chosen playlist layout.

Note: If you prefer your entire Playlist to play in full screen mode you can always select the “FullScreen” layout option.

Step 4: Apply/Check Local Settings (if necessary)

The look and feel of your playlist is managed entirely at the Playlist level in ScreenScape5. However while we’re on the subject of playlists we may as well tell you about a related topic, local settings. We’ve already discussed how, depending on which layout you choose, information blocks or widgets can be placed alongside the primary content feed that comprises a playlist. While the look and feel of the playlist is managed at the Playlist level, the widget data itself is location-sensitive and managed at the hardware level. Local weather, local news, and of course local time, should be configured properly for each device to make sure the system always knows where your screen is actually located. If your hardware settings are properly configured, each screen, even those sharing the same playlist, will use their proper locale for delivering news, weather and other location-sensitive data to that playlist. Managing local settings at the level of hardware is a much appreciated feature that can greatly simplify playlist management and improve workflow especially when dealing with larger digital signage networks.

Hardware settings are typically applied once and are rarely, if ever, changed (unless you move your screen). Here’s how to check to ensure your local settings are properly configured. From the main ScreenScape5 page, click on the computer icon ScreenScape Hardware Icon at the top right of the page. Double-click on the device you would like to check. Click on the Properties tab at the top of the options drawer to the right of the page. You will see all available setting options including Location, Weather, Clock, News, and Contact Information.

The first thing you want to do is check the device’s Location setting to ensure it reflects the actual address of the device’s location.

The Weather option allows you to choose the city you would like to display weather info for. Language settings, Celsius/Fahrenheit and weather slide duration can also be adjusted from this window.

The Clock option allows you to choose from 12 and 24 hour formats. The clock’s time is based on the device’s location.

We have a number of Reuters news feeds available for our users to choose from, and more on the way. Choose a news feed and set the news feed slide duration from this section.

Hit that Save button, and you should be all done.

We hope you enjoyed this tour of how Playlists are used to format the look and feel of your screens. As time goes by, you can expect ScreenScape to introduce more layouts, more themes, and more intelligent options that allow you to brand your network and give each of your screens a style that brings the cohesive format and air of professionalism your business deserves.

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