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Playlist Hierarchy in Composer

I'm in desperate need of proper training on this system, but the next classes in my area are in July, and I have an IS-PLAYER-200LM that I need to make impressive enough to sell the things NOW. That said, I have a question fro those more experienced that is tripping me up. I'm using the templates that came with the player, plus the PCorp template pack.

I don't really grok the hierarchy of how what playlists get played. I get the area playlists OK, and can successfully make multiple messages work properly in an area. It's the layout messages that trip me up. I've managed to get two different layouts to switch back and forth by restricting one to certain times in the Layout Selector playlist, but then where and how does the Layout: Scheduling Playlist fit in? And how do you actually schedule playlists (read: I want a finer timeline than the 15 minute gradation in the restrictions section). And what about all the Main Area 1, etc., playlists? Where do those come in?

his thing is not real forgiving. Every time I've made an error, I've wound up with no display at all, so I don't want to experiment ... mainly because I can never tell exactly where the experiment went wrong.


  • CT-DallasCT-Dallas Junior Member Posts: 157
    In most applications, there is only one layout in use. Changing layouts results in a "Changing Layout" message onscreen and most users try to avoid that.

    The layout message is used to determine onscreen presentation - i.e. box size/shape/location.

    Each region of the screen has a dedicated playlist. Each playlist runs independently of other regions and other playlists.

    As for the playlist scheduling feature, that is usually done at a much higher granularity than 15 minutes. The intent is to allow for special event variations, like a holiday look. Most users schedule at the message level to provide time sensative greetings or schedule info.

    I may be able to help more, but I need you to describe what you are trying to accomplish with all of the changes and scheduling.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    My questions are general because I'm just trying to plug what I consider gaping holes in my knowledge of a product I have to deploy well before I can be properly trained on it. Part of it is that I'm am struggling with the concept that a box that costs twice as much as the Xpress player seems to be far, far more limited in terms of flexibility of layout, and far more difficult to customize. I have a working sign, and no specific questions about getting it running. It's more a general understanding I'm looking for until I can get to a class. I want to know what's possible for me to do, not necessarily how to deal with a specific issue. Although I expect to have a ton of them when a client hands me a Powerpoint slide show, and says , "make it do that." No problem with Xpress .... potentially huge problem with Xpert.

    Some of the confusion is that the template packages were clearly designed for another product. Importing them seems to have generated some playlists that I can't (or shouldn't use). There is conflicting information between the documentation and what tech support has told me. One thing I questioned, tech support didn't even have an answer for (what are the image scaling rules for templates that have an image item ... looks like it varies per template, but none of them actually say what the rules are).
  • CT-DallasCT-Dallas Junior Member Posts: 157
    AMX does have several online training options for both signage lines that you probably have already seen. There are some high level videos here:

    and AMX University offers:
    Online - Intro to Networking for AV Professionals
    Online - Multimedia Over IP Networks
    Online - Getting Started with Inspired XPress
    Online - Inspired XPress Design & Implementation
    Online - Getting Started with Inspired XPert
    Online - Inspired XPert Design and Implementation

    In person - Inspired XPert End User Operations 2011
    In person - Inspired XPress End User Operations 2011

    As for the image scaling, you are right - that varies by image box and it isnt clear what is and is not scaled. I have been told, the scaling property is set when the template is designed and can not be edited by the user/dealer. In almost every case, the default is to have it scale - but it is important to know that this is not a gracious and forgiving scale. The scaling assumes the image started in the correct aspect ratio before it was scaled. On several occasions, I have had to manipulate the starting image to get it to output correctly.

    The template guide typically indicates the native aspect ratio of the image box. It is burried on the amx.com site, but this guide may answer some of your questions about the pre-pak templates: http://www.amx.com//techdocs/IS-2-GO-COR.TemplateGuide.pdf

    An example would be on pdf page 50, it indicates the image on that specific template is 13x7, not something you would have known otherwise.

    I think the reason it is more expensive than the Xpress is because the Xpert line caters to a different crowd. In most cases, the Xpert line is going into enterprise level corporate installations. At that level, corporate branding takes on a whole new level of seriousness and the need to lock messaging onto a specific look and feel is what attracts them to the Xpert line. The composer software was built with that need in mind and is why there are the different user roles and permissions. Some organizations do not want content editors to have the ability to change fonts, text sizes, or certain colors of the message.

    The one-off location like a house of worship, or a small business doesnt really have the same need to manage multiple content editors and that is why the Xpress is probably better. The guy who wants to make the leap from powerpoint to signage is probably better suited for the Xpress player. In fact, the Xpress player can take a power point file and the Xpert player can not. In cases where they may have a large library of power point content, the Xpress player is a better choice to give them the ability to keep what they have and add new true-signage messages as the need arrises to slowly phase out the power point stuff.
  • I had been using IS-Xpert and IS-player-200LM.

    IS-Xpert is using port 80
    Is-player-200LM is using port 25001.

    Both of them are using 2 different architecture. If you import the wrong architecture file, the message will not play on the player.

    Layout: Scheduling Playlist - This is created when u are using the playlist.tpk for IS-2-GO

    Layout Selector playlist - This is created when you import the tpk for Xpert.
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