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Martin Cermak
Seamless music&video presentation
on Dec 25, 2017 at 6:16:02 am

Hey creatives,

I struggle to find the right software for a relatively simple idea. I've looked into DJ/VJ software, but no luck. Imagine one person doing a power point presentation. My idea is similar, but slightly more complicated. Here's an example:

1) click/button press starts a music file, which loops
2) talk on mic - welcome, etc., let's watch the first video
3) click/button press - the software lets the looping music file finish its current loop and then plays a video file
4) another music file is played immediately after the video in 3) and it loops again
5) a picture appears on the screen
6) click/button press - next picture while the music is still playing and looping
7) different button press - the music finishes the current loop and seamlessly switches to another music loop
8)....

I think by now you should be getting what I have in mind. I'll be very grateful for any suggestions! I'm afraid I don't have the time and skills for writing my own software, so hopefully something is out there. Ideally open source.

Thanks a lot!
Martin


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Thomas Leong
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Dec 26, 2017 at 4:43:23 am
Last Edited By Thomas Leong on Dec 26, 2017 at 11:02:17 am

1. Not familiar with Mac, only Windows.
2. Not Open Source, but paid software (read: USB Licence Keys).
3. Two I know of: Dataton Watchout, and AvStumpfl Wings Platinum.
With Dataton Watchout, there is only one price per usb licence, and you need two to start with, one to program, and one for the fullscreen display.
With Stumpfl Wings, one licence has the control program on one monitor, and you can send the video out via another monitor.

With both software, the properties of audio and video files have 'loop' and 'free running' (Watchout) / 'asynchronous' (Wings) features which you can enable, i.e. when the Timeline is in pause mode, the enabled media will continue to run.
In Watchout, it would be a mix of Auxiliary Timelines and Cues calling Aux Timelines and Opacity and Volume Tweens to fade in/out the Video and/or the Music, on cue.
In Wings, it would be Mix Groups to fade in/out of media groups, on cue.

Wings can be operated remotely with Powerpoint-like clickers. Watchout cannot - needs MIDI buttons/controllers or pre-programmed RS232 buttons to operate remotely or Artnet compatible DMX.

Both have downloadable demos, with no expiry limit.
Wings, however, have a 1-minute limit output with 'DEMO' layered on it. It has various versions and features. The Demo version allows you to choose/switch between versions (check the Help files under Table of Versions for the features you require).

good luck!
Thomas Leong

Addendum 1:
Forgot to mention that Watchout does not play well with Wings in the same PC.
Though both use the MainConcept codecs, the Wings version is tied in with MediaLooks using the qtsourcepxt.dll file. You would have to uninstall Wings for Watchout to operate troublefree.

Addendum 2:
I just downloaded and played around with Wings Platinum 6. You would need at least the Platinum Pro v6 to have the Loop and Asynchronous feature. Version 6 seems to have dropped the Mix Group feature which I have used with my version 4 to group various tracks together and trigger a fade out of the entire group whilst fading in a new group, from a Timeline Pause position. Should still be able to do this with version 6, except it would not be called 'Mix Groups' anymore. Just assign tracks to Groups from the Track Head, enable media to Loop and Async, pause the Timeline just before a fade out whilst having the next media paused to fade in, and when you manually trigger the Timeline to continue playing past the Pause Marker, voila! {FYI, Async for video is in the Object's Properties Window accessible with a double-click on the video itself. Async for audio is in the Track Head - the left-most section with the speaker icon. Don't know why AvStumpfl split their locations.)

Wings Pro v6 is much cheaper than Dataton's Watchout, and you would need only 1 licence key for both Program Control and Output to a single screen with one PC, with dual fullscreen outputs available depending on your graphics card's outputs.
One other thing I noticed though is that the Display Warp feature for geometric correction is not available in all versions except Wings VIOSO.


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Martin Cermak
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Dec 27, 2017 at 7:22:53 am

Thanks Thomas! That was an exhaustive answer! I really appreciate it.

I've browsed their websites, watched some youtube tutorials and both programs seem very good. Actually, I'm afraid "too good for me". I'm not a professional, I don't really need multiple displays/projectors and all the fancy features, and most importantly I can't afford the pricey licenses. All I need is a simple "interactive timeline player". I'll keep on searching though. Maybe I could just script some of the open source media players? Maybe someone else sees this and will know a simple workaround? We'll see.


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Michael Samarin
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Dec 27, 2017 at 9:10:17 am

Martin,

I think what you described in your original message can be achieved with just standard PowerPoint on both Mac and PC. With combination of embedded into slides audio files and video playing fullscreen. Audio files can be looped, configured to play across several slides, stopped after some slides etc. Fullscreen video playback in PowerPoint is really good, old complains are really thing of the past.

Looping aidio files across slides and "smartly" stopping them after some slides was in fact available from PowerPoint 2010. There is super simple tutorial here:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Play-music-for-the-duration-of-you...

It also contains links to older video tutorial on Mac PowerPoint 2011, describing starting audio in loop and stopping after X slides:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-Multiple-Songs-to-Your-Present...

I just tried it, it works just fine with PowerPoint 2016.

Of course, putting my sales hat on, you can script all of that with my KeyShowX (scripting QuickTime to play audio and Keynote/PowerPoint to do the slides/video), but this is really unnesessary in your case:

http://www.keywebx.com/keyshowx/

All the best,

Best,
Michael

Software for multi-screen shows and presentations
http://www.keywebx.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Jan 2, 2018 at 7:57:27 pm

Mike said what I was going to: this can be executed all within PowerPoint.

Alternatively, if you have DVD authoring software, it could also be done using a menu system and automated go-to's added to the end of particular files.

If you're that scared of diving into learning Wings or Watchout, and you don;t have the budget, then doing it all in PPT is what's going to work "best" for your usier case. And you will come out of it with much stronger skills in PowerPoint as well.


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Martin Cermak
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Jan 8, 2018 at 6:11:17 am

Sorry about the silence guys, I had some deadlines to catch.

I should have mentioned this clearly in my first message, but anyways, I'm a PhD student and what I want to do is my free time project (outdoorsy/climate change/sustainability one). I can't really pay for software which is double my rent ☺ I was hoping for some progressive per-performance pricing of dedicated programs, but apparently that's not how it works.

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about power point. Not too long ago I put a simple AVCHD H.264 600x800px video in my slides, and it didn't go too well. First it was that second or two (which felt like forever) before the video "loaed" and then it didn't play smooth at all. There were these "jerky" breaks as if someone rewound the video every now and then. I don't want to make conclusions based on this one case, but in general, everytime I put a video in a power point presentation, there is a delay, and the moments before it starts playing are very stressful! ☺ That being said, I underestimated power point. I had no idea that you can do so much with that. I'll keep on playing with it, but as per now, I'm not sure if I can get the desired level of flexibility out of it. Let me give one more example:

Imagine you are running a one-man show. Nobody's there to help you with your slides, timing, etc. You have a bunch of pictures, an mp3 music file and an mp4 video file. You prepared the music and the video files so that when they play after each other, the outcome is seamless. Let's say you start your presentation with the music file, have it looping, and flip through the pictures. When you're at the last picture, you tell your audience you're going to play a video for them. Now it gets tricky. You want to transition from the last picture into the video so that the music is seamless. I don't know if I'm missing something, but I don't think this is achievable with power point, is it? I mean, if the timing of the slides is set, I might see the way how to do it, but if you want to give yourself a space to talk for as long/as short as you want, I don't think it's doable. I'm more than happy to be wrong though! Maybe I'm just missing some basic concept?

As for the DVD authoring software, that's definitely a good idea. I've never worked with one, I don't really know how they work, but I'll look into that.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I know I'm the worst... asking for miraculous features and not wanting to pay for them ☺ I wish this was my full-on project with a real budget, but unfortunately it isn't. At least for now.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Jan 8, 2018 at 1:44:06 pm

You're not "the worst"; you're a typical client these days.

Instead of the h264 file, try dumbing it down to MPEG2, and the video has to be contained within the same folder as all the other Powerpoint slides and assets. Powerpoint should handle that better.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Seamless music&video presentation
on Dec 27, 2017 at 10:18:46 am

Wings6 Pro, with the Async features you want is Euro800. Not expensive versus the Multidisplay VIOSO version:
http://hdav.org/en/wings-platinum-6/licences/
It is basically a single fullscreen output, with control/program on another monitor. The dual screen output for panoramas, stereo, etc is only available via the Template when one starts a new design. Was not like that, but it is now.



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