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Offline Justin

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New Video about... video :)
« on: October 17, 2016, 10:12:59 AM »
So I made another video as I finally got started on actually playing video files from the player lines, as well as Preview functionality.

https://youtu.be/V9A680XNMX8

I'm testing frequently on my tiny little HP to make sure I don't get carried away and hog resources only available on my development system - easy to do and not realize it won't work on a more modest machine. The little HP is about as bottom-of-the-line as they get while still being able to handle VDJ, external monitor, and touch input, so it's the perfect test bed.

Notice by the way, speaking of touch, I've gotten used to not using touch lately... so in my demo I didn't even use the touch screen at all! It just completely slipped my mind while filming the little video. But it does work beautifully with touch (I just now double-checked that touch works for the video preview etc).

So... my next step is to get all of the "seek" and time display functions working. Note that I already index video files and show the duration in the search, so VDJ is getting more and more "video friendly" as the days go on.

I'm also going to rearrange the left side a bit, and since my home-made "list view" control (the playlist/karaoke queue) works so much better than the built-in Windows variety (eg, Music search) I may use that for all lists, including music search... still working on a lot of ideas but it's slowly coming together.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 01:20:43 AM »
Wow, this is looking really awesome Justin! It's amazing what you can do already!  Thanks for the preview window!  Will that work with regular karaoke files too?  Also you mention you can make it bigger...and that would be awesome too as most of the time you're previewing the lyrics to a song for someone looking over your shoulder to see if that is the right song or not.  The ability to make it a tad larger would be useful.  Speaking of size,  that QR code is quite large...I know there is a limit on how small it can get before it stops being useful but it would be great to make it resize-able.  Most of the time people are trying to scan from larger screen anyway.

As far as that flicker you mentioned, I didn't even notice it until you mentioned it, but it's so small, I don't think you need to worry about it.

As far as controls for the preview window, that would be great...even if it's just a slider to rewind or forward it.

In other news, I just attended the Desert Trip Music festival...I'm not sure if you hear about it, but it was three days of iconic bands/artists...first night Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones, 2nd night, Neil Young and Paul McCartney and last night The Who and Roger Waters.  Each playing a full concert not just a small set.  Six concerts in three nights. It was an amazing weekend....and that's my excuse for not watching your video earlier.  :P



Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline vcationguy

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 07:38:13 AM »
Looks fantastic Justin!  Can't wait until it's released and experiment with it!  :)

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 01:23:29 PM »
I'm too close to it, so please give me some feedback on this window... does it make sense? Look at the image before reading on...

... so you can select which elements appear on which screen (Standby, Karaoke, and Video playback). So for example, you might want the QR code and upcoming singer profile pictures during Karaoke (since they will fit) but not during video playback.

Then to the right of those check boxes, you choose the color of those items for Standby mode and when something is playing.

It's a highly simplified version of the old karaoke screen thingy, but is it self-explanatory enough? Once you play with it you quickly see how easy it is to use, as it's interactive with the little preview on the side. Of course eventually the Help button will actually do something as well... :)

I'm adding a "Realtime" checkbox as well so that changes take effect immediately on the real screen.

Thoughts, opinions, ideas welcome...

<edit> Also let me know if it's obvious enough why certain items are "checkered out" (for lack of a better word). It simply means it doesn't make sense to have a singer list on-screen during a video/karaoke song, or a count-down timer on the standby screen...</edit>
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 01:25:56 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 02:03:31 PM »
It makes sense to me...it does seem simpler! and yes, it does make sense where things should be "checkered out" (unselectable). 

Question...are you only going to have the 3 singers available is the list (10) not going to be available?  I can live with it, but I'd prefer the choice of the longer list for those nights where it gets really busy.


Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 02:13:49 PM »
When pics are enabled, the list will only show the 3. Otherwise it will show up to 10 - but not both at the same time as you can kinda do in the current version... so if you want pics, you only get three...

There will be more options on this dialog soon but that general area was what I was most concerned with for now as I think it's pretty much complete :)  I'll have some options for overscan compensation (selectable, depending on the monitor/TV you're using -- instead of having to move everything around in a "layout" to compensate it just shrinks the graphical parts of the display down (3, 5, 7, and 10% selectable... 5 seems standard on HDMI HDTVs, 10 may be needed on some older Plasmas)...

Got off subject there but yes, you'll be able to (on the standby screen) show a list of (variable up to) 10 singers and *optionally* the song.

Note that you *could* still show three pics during karaoke playback - and uncheck Pics for the standby screen to show just a text list... :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 02:15:47 PM »
Note by the way that you can pretty much treat the Video display exactly the same as a Karaoke display, or optionally treat it very differently (eg, don't show stuff over top of it). This is because some people will primarily use it for Karaoke videos -- and others will use it for Music videos and might want to not obscure parts of it... that simple little dialog pretty much takes care of all of those options :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 03:12:11 PM »
Quote
When pics are enabled, the list will only show the 3. Otherwise it will show up to 10 - but not both at the same time as you can kinda do in the current version... so if you want pics, you only get three...

Perfect! Similar to the current version!
 ;D

Sometimes I use the three and others the 10...on the busy nights people love that they can see 10 of them...they say no one else does it like I do.

By the way, I'm training a new girl who will cover for me when I'm out and she has never used VDJ and she mentioned what we've mentioned before,  about how it would be nice if the song playing in line two would fade out by itself when a karaoke song is played instead of having to pause it or stop it.
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline chaz

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 06:49:40 PM »
I think what you have is very explainable... Simple in itself and does what the purpose is for...

Agree with Fabio about the fading out mp3 to blend with karaoke when started.. but by the looks I might only use one player now..

Can we set it up where if I have Joe in the karaoke rotation then a mp3 break then Mary to sing.... The screen will only show the karaoke songs and not the mp3 requests...
 I have a mixed gig I do that is more DJ than Karaoke but with tons of requests. People are always asking hey who's singing that next song.. etc...

Chaz

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 10:50:02 AM »
That's how it does it now - only Karaoke songs are shown on the screen (unless you are using the Karaoke Queue to load up non-karaoke song requests? That queue is really intended only for Karaoke songs... you have the playlist or the regular player lines for requests, and you can leave them in the Request queue from the app server until needed)...

Speaking of server, I'm going to be working on mydjsongbook.com in parallel with working on VDJ -- I would like to have the site running at the time of the new version release since they will be very integrated.

It's not set in stone *just yet* but... upon purchasing a license for 8.x, you would have an account on MyDJSongbook.com, with 3 free months. With that, when you load up VDJ and "sign in", it uploads the latest version of your index for searching by your customers. It then checks every 60 seconds (and possibly a "refresh" button if you know someone just put in a request). With that, customers do NOT have to be on the same WiFi or any WiFi at all - just any Internet connection. They will be able to create their own profiles as well, with picture, favorite requests and/or request history... that they can (maybe) use with other DJs also using VDJ...

After 3 months there would be a monthly subscription fee for hosting the app. I will still keep the internal web-server as it is, but more advanced features (like uploading your own selfie, keeping a history of requests, other customer-based features) will only work via the server.

Most likely I'll include a yearly price at a discount of course...

Anyway I have just started planning the database schema so far, mostly I'm working on perfecting video playback. It's coming along nicely but there are a few bugs that are really getting to me and need to be hunted down (crash bugs specifically on starting playback, seemingly random in nature)...

SO: Progress update. See attached pic:

- Note the Overscan Compensation. This is FAR better than before where you would have to arrange items within the "safe zone" which, unfortunately, varies from TV to TV, and doesn't apply for a DVI/VGA monitor at all. So this setting just shrinks all of the overlay graphics to within a standard percentage (3.5 is considered the "action safe" area and 5% is the "title safe" area... most HDTVs use about 3% overscan so the default setting will be 3.5)

- Note the transparency setting - this is so you can keep your header and footer over a music video, but somewhat transparent. In testing, the QR code is still quite scanable at even 70% transparency over a video...

- The blank area will have (yet to be designed/figured out) the choice of:
  - Background Image
  - Background Video Loop
  - Camera

For each of these you can choose which image/video/attached camera to use. I'm thinking 3 tabs and each containing a list and "add/del" buttons like the current background chooser - just right there instead of in another dialog.

Now, the Karaoke Settings Screen shown is somewhat improved. The extra graphic makes it even more obvious, and once you select "Full Screen" the "Karaoke Screen" (light green shaded) all goes grey checkered...

And finally, Fabio's wish is granted. A full 480x270 expanded preview window. It's about as big as I can make it without risk of it going "off screen". It's a fixed position window, centered over the line being previewed, and since there's the "main" line to the right and the other stuff to the left, the preview window will always be within the visible part of the main window. Make sense?

And yes, that's (for some reason) the wildlife.avi sample video that comes with some versions of Windows (it also happens to come with the Media Foundation book I purchased)... :)

Things of note:

- The "MIDI" button will go away - just haven't gotten to that yet. Not enough people use DJ controllers with VDJ to warrant a button on the main window...
- The tabs at the top-left are going to change up and likely sit below the video window...
- The "<< SIDEBAR" thing you keep seeing is a remnant of something I was experimenting with. It would just collapse the left side (so no video preview/playlist/etc) making room for more players. As it turns out, this is impractical (what to do with players that are being used, and go "hidden" when you expand the left side... etc)

So... still lots to do, but progress nonetheless :) After I sort out just a couple more things I hope to get a beta in your hands - dying to hear some real feedback when you actually get your hands on it :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2016, 11:18:02 AM »
I bet that post made a lot of sense without the screenshot attached :) Oops!
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 02:18:57 PM »
Trying to get in the habit of attaching the picture *before* I start typing :)

I think I figured out a very simple way to handle the three different types of "background" without resorting to tabs or additional dialogs: a simple drop-down list of all available backgrounds. Image and video files will be inter-mixed, but with icons to distinguish them. Then at the bottom of the list are all available video capture devices (should just be cams but could be others listed if you have a capture/tuner card or something).

You can add/remove files to this list, except of course for the cams as they are simply pulled from available cams on the system.

So.. simplicity rules once again. And again the idea is that these settings shown in the attached screenshot are always available on the "Video" tab (maybe rename to "Screen" or something). Then you'll have Playlist, Karaoke, and whatever else as tabs.

Personally I like the simplified look and the fact that it's all configurable *right there* without opening another dialog. Then you have the screen setup dialog with one notable difference to before: I decided not to make it "modal" (meaning, it takes over all input until closed). This was necessary on the old configuration screen, but the new one doesn't require that it have exclusive input.

In other words you can quickly hit "Play" on a line or adjust a slider while that dialog is up without having to close and confirm and all that.

Originally I wanted to embed the contents of that dialog into the thing you see here but making it fit meant making it not work as well... and those are the things you edit "once in a while", and the ones here are things you may change more frequently (particularly the "dim background" setting will drastically vary based on the background being used, etc).

On the left is the drop-down being... dropped down... and on the right the result, with the camera out my window. In actuality it's just staged as the inner workings aren't done yet but you get the idea :)

Update: I decided to get rid of the dummy "-- Live Camera --" placeholder. Originally I had separated photos/videos/cams and preceded each group with a placeholder that serves no purpose. Now the placeholders are gone, pics and vids are intermixed, and cams are always last. The icon and file extensions should be enough of a give-away as to what each represents and, technically, it shouldn't matter at all what it is, VDJ will just make it the background, whether it's still, moving, or live :)

On an opposing note, I did decide not to allow a remote URL for the background (eg, a live cam stream from elsewhere). Whatever goes on top of the background video completely depends on that video for timing. If something interrupts that stream, everything (including Karaoke lyrics on top) stops.

Also, I was going to impose a 30 second limit, but technically there's no resource difference even if you play a full movie as the background. It would be pointless of course (no sound will play), so I decided to just offer a warning every time you try to add a > 30 second video to the background list (no "don't show next time" option). Just to enforce good practice I guess... but not force it if they really want to be different or have a good reason.

Edit again: Okay, it actually looks better with the little "-- Live Cam --" separator. Putting it back in... you know it's been a long day when I'm picking nits about tiny details like this...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 02:53:18 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 06:33:23 PM »
ooooooh...I can't wait to play with this version...it's looking awesome! And thanks for granting my wish on the preview window. 

also, almost peed my pant when I read this  ;D :

Quote
Speaking of server, I'm going to be working on mydjsongbook.com in parallel with working on VDJ -- I would like to have the site running at the time of the new version release since they will be very integrated.

It's not set in stone *just yet* but... upon purchasing a license for 8.x, you would have an account on MyDJSongbook.com, with 3 free months. With that, when you load up VDJ and "sign in", it uploads the latest version of your index for searching by your customers. It then checks every 60 seconds (and possibly a "refresh" button if you know someone just put in a request). With that, customers do NOT have to be on the same WiFi or any WiFi at all - just any Internet connection. They will be able to create their own profiles as well, with picture, favorite requests and/or request history... that they can (maybe) use with other DJs also using VDJ...

I didn't think you were going to try to work this in, in this initial version. I'm paid up for a whole year on my PVN, but I don't care...I'd prefer to use your server, than the VPN.  I can always use the VPN for other things  ;)

Quote
I think I figured out a very simple way to handle the three different types of "background" without resorting to tabs or additional dialogs: a simple drop-down list of all available backgrounds.

I do like the drop down, it does make it sooo much simpler.
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 08:20:05 AM »
Quote
I didn't think you were going to try to work this in, in this initial version.

I think I will start with a very limited BETA test on my current shared server. Once all the bugs are worked out, and I migrate to a dedicated server again, I'll "flip the switch" so to speak allowing all VDJ users to join in. You know there will be a period of bug fixes and I don't want to be overwhelmed with too many customers right off the bat.

Once unleashed, I may need to upgrade to a managed dedicated server. I had a dedicated server some years ago and it was a royal pain keeping updated with the OS and everything else - GoDaddy has "managed" servers where they deal with all that, and it will work on my end exactly the same as my "shared" account currently does. So migration would be a matter of minutes... I'll cross that bridge when we get there. I imagine with thousands of DJs each with potentially hundreds of smart-phone customers (probably a bit exaggerated) the traffic could be pretty heavy... can't wait to see statistics on days like New Year's, or even just a random Saturday night... I'll build a cool statistics app on the server at some point (XX DJs online, XX customers online, most online ever, busiest day, etc).

I do want all the pieces in place within the program though, so it will just be a matter of enabling it when I feel the server-end is ready to handle everyone :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: New Video about... video :)
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 01:39:57 PM »
It is a good idea to have it built in to the vdj and when it's ready just flip the switch.  Looking forward to it.  My current setup works okay but not great. Even running an i7 laptop sometimes it's not very responsive. Having the ability to run it off a different dedicated machine to handle the traffic would probably maker it more responsive.
I had even thought of running a 2nd machine just to handle the requests and then manually copying the requests to the main one,  but that would have made it too complicated. Aside from you hosting it my wish was for it to be a stand alone server that we can run either locally or remotely and we'd just point vdj to it.  From the technical standpoint most people would prefer  you hosting it as most would lack the technical expertise. Even with my more technical background it still makes sense.  Looking forward to it!
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke