Upcoming in v2 - Reusable Playlists

We're excited to bring you an early look at a new feature for v2 - reusable Playlists. This is an extension to the existing Xibo capability of adding Widgets in sequence to a Layout Region, allowing you to reuse these Playlists across multiple Layouts, administer them separately and combine them with other Playlists.

In this "Upcoming in v2" series we will giving you a sneak peak at the things we're working on for the next major Xibo release. In many cases you can still influence the direction we're taking and your feedback in the comments is welcome.

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The idea

Playlists in v2 bring together 2 core concepts - the Reusable Playlist and the Sub-Playlist. Reusable Playlists are a simple concept, taking the existing Region Timeline and making it accessible from a new Playlists page.

Sub-Playlists then allow reassignment of reusable Playlists to new Layouts, with options for mixing two or more Playlists together.

The options allowed are:

  • Sequentially - put the playlists one after the other in order
  • Round Robin - take one from each list and then repeat
  • Evenly - automatically decide how often to take from each list so that there are no items left

If the Playlists assigned contain a different quantity of Widgets, the following can be done with the left over:

  • Append - add left over Widgets to the end of the list
  • Drop - use the smallest list as the total length and drop the rest
  • Repeat - use the largest list as the total length and repeat the rest

Of course, you can have a Sub-Playlist with only 1 Playlist assigned.

Playlists will also have their own permissions, so it will be possible to create users who only have access to modify a Playlist.

The pain points

Playlists in v2 have been designed to address the most common feedback we've received for the way Layouts and Regions work. This means we've included:

  • optional usage
  • reusability across multiple Layouts
  • multiple Playlists per Region
  • created/edited independently of the Layout Designer
  • from and to dates on Widget assignments

The technology

Playlists have been added to the core CMS, meaning they are fully integrated with the new work undertaken to improve the Layout designer and the robust XMDS and XMR communication with Players. A complete Layout file (XLF) will be generated containing the "realised list" of Widgets from the Playlists configured on that Layout.

The progress

Playlists and Sub-Playlists are being developed for release with the first 2.0.0-alpha release. So far we've laid the foundations for the functionality and will soon be moving on to improving the user interface.

Here is a snip of the Sub-Playlist edit form:

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Watch out for the next post in this series which will look at another exciting upcoming improvement for v2.