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.


Image viewer 1.png


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

Control panel.png

These controls, in order, allow the user to zoom in, zoom out, pan, and see a detailed close-up. The detailed close-up, for example, could help you to see small bits of text within a larger image. First you would click on the icon that looks like a microscope, and then a window within the viewer would display details as you scrolled across the image with your cursor.

Extreme close.png

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 the Media Viewer window. For video files, additional files may be displayed, if multi-files are configured for your system. Multi-files are additional files that are automatically generated by CollectiveAccess when you upload a video file, representing stills of your media at a predetermined time interval.

Multifile viewer.png


Above you see the primary representation displayed in the media viewer. The left sidebar displays thumbnails of your primary representation, followed by the multifiles that were created from your media. You can click these thumbnails to display a larger version of your media (or mediaplayer, if applicable). Multifiles are displayed with a timestamp and any embedded metadata that was extracted when the media was uploaded. If multi-files are not configured, the media viewer would simply allow you to play, pause, and repeat the video file. As with images, you can choose to download the file from within the media viewer.

Audio files, like video and image, can be accessed either through the media representation bundle or the inspector window. However, unlike the other two, audio files are depicted in the inspector window using the following icon:

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. The, 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


PDF viewer

We've seen how the viewer can work for single images, but what about 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 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. Tabs at the top of the Viewer will provide you with 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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