Media Viewer

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CollectiveAccess provides a growing list of tools to enable nuanced and detailed media viewing and playback. These include an image viewer that allows you to enlarge and inspect uploaded images, video and audio playback with time-based annotations, and PDF viewers that allow you to scroll and search through multiple pages.

The Media Viewer

The Media Viewer is a quick way to view and inspect your media. The user experience of the Media Viewer is similar in both Providence and Pawtucket, although the configurations can be different for each. There are two places from which you can access the Media Viewer. The first is the Inspector in the upper left-hand side of your screen:

Inspector example.png

Use the arrow keys (outlined in red) to scroll through the available media and then click the media thumbnail to open the Media Viewer. The second place to access the Media Viewer is in the Media Representation Bundle, which should be familiar to you if you uploaded the media individually, where you can click the media thumbnail to open the Viewer.

Still Images

The Media Viewer display is slightly different depending on the type of media that it is used to open. Below is an example of the Media Viewer when used to view a still image.

Media viewer new.png

As you can see, the Image Viewer contains a small control panel:

Viewer palette new.png

These controls are designed to allow the user to carefully inspect and label images. For example, you can use the slider at the top of the image to zoom in and out, and you can click on the landscape icon to display a smaller version of the whole image with the zoomed-in portion highlighted:

Zoomed in.png

To restore the image to its zoomed-out state, click on the outward-facing arrows below the landscape icon. Other tools allow you to pinpoint and annotate portions of the image.

The box icon: New box.png To annotate your image with boxes that highlight key areas, you can click this square icon. Once it is selected, click the area of the image you'd like to annotate, and a rectangle with a text box beneath it will appear. You can drag the rectangle anywhere on the image, and resize it by clicking and dragging the corner. To save any text that you enter into the text box, simply click outside of the annotation. To remove the annotation, click inside the text box once more, and then click the small "x."

The line icon: New line.png allows you to annotate an image by drawing a line to indicate a specific area. select the tool, and then click on the part of the image where you wish the line to point. The line will connect the selected portion of the image to a text box. The orientation of the box can be adjusted by clicking inside the box and holding the button down while dragging it. To save text simply click outside of the text box area. To delete the annotation, click inside the text box again and then click the small "x."

The polygon icon: Polygon.png allows you to outline an area of an image using a multiple-sided polygon. To use this tool, select it from the palette and click on multiple points in the image to create the corners of the polygon. Line segments will automatically be drawn between them to form the completed shape. To adjust the shape, click and drag on any of the points. To move the shape as a whole, click and drag on the lines between the points. To remove a point, click on it while holding down the option key. To add a point, click on the lines between the points while holding down the option key. When you’ve completed your polygon, double click on the final point or simply deselect the polygon icon. Add text as described above.

The lock: New lock.png can be used to prevent accidental movement or deletion of labels while navigating the image. When locked it will not be possible to move, edit, create, or delete labels on the image. You can still use the zoom and pan tools when the labels are locked.

On the bottom of the Image Viewer, you can use the arrows to scroll through multiple representations, and you can choose an image size to download to your local machine.

Time-Based Media

When viewing time-based media, the Media Viewer has slightly different functionality. For an audio or video file the Media Viewer contains a media player, allowing you to play your media directly in browser.

As with images, you can choose to download the file from within the media viewer if enabled. Controls for playback, volume and viewer size are also included.

StarWars vid.png

Unlike video and image files, audio files are depicted throughout the application with a default icon, unless a customized preview image has been selected.:

Audio icon.png

If you access the audio file through the Inspector Window, you will simply see a playback option. However, CollectiveAccess now features tools that allow you to make annotations to time-based files using clipping. In the Media Representation bundle for time-based media, you should see several small icons to the right. One of these, a small clock, opens the annotations editor.

Audio media.png

From within this editor, you can click on the small "add +" button to start a new clip. Then, enter start and end times title them to suggest content. Each annotation results as a small box in the Media Viewer. You can re-enter and adjust the parameters of these clips at any time by clicking the edit icon at the bottom of each box:

Annotation editor.png

Multi-page/Multi-image viewers

We've seen how the media viewer can work for single images, but what about multiple images or a document with multiple pages? You don't want to have to think of each page as a separate bit of content, so CollectiveAccess has a tool that allows you to handle a long PDF (or individually uploaded images) in one place with ease. You can upload the document as you would any other, but when you click on the thumbnail in the Inspector Window or the Media Representation bundle the display will have a different look.

There are several PDF viewers available to CollectiveAccess users, and some users choose to take a tiered approach by selecting a combination browser plugin and configured fallback. PDF handling can be set per user under Preferences > Media. Below we see the "Document viewer" with JPEG page views. The advantage of this viewer is that it provides an in-document search feature with search result navigation.

Art search.png

Tabs at the top of the Viewer present two options: Document or Pages. In the Document view you can flip through one page at a time, either by scrolling down or by using arrows at the bottom of the screen:

Pdf handling.png

If you wish to see a broader overview, you can use the "Pages" tab, which displays tiled thumbnails. In both views you can zoom in and out, use a general search bar, and download the media to your computer.


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