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External Content Source Synchronization

Marc Benson
posted this on Feb 28 11:16

Since the release of our Samsung Smart Signage support, we have been working to provide Media RSS, Nested/Local Playlist and Message Manager support to these Players as this was a key feature missing from this product.

We decided to not only deliver the capability to use MRSS on the SSSP but create a solution that will allow us (and our users) to connect to any content source in the future, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP etc this feature set is known within Signagelive as ‘External Source Synchronisation’.

The great thing about this development is that work flow for the end user has not changed, however we have made considerable changes to the Signagelive engine, to give you an idea how it works:

When a Media RSS Feed is added to Signagelive as an Asset and then Published to a Player (which is not a Display Edition player - this will come later in the year) a background service, constantly checks the state of this feed, and if it has changed, the changes are stored within Signagelive and the Players with this Media RSS published are told that their content has changed.

The Assets within the Media RSS Feed are added to the Playlist for these Players as single Assets as if they were actually added to Signagelive.

When an External Source is Published to a Player, if it has never been Synchronised to Signagelive before, the content will not be deployed to any Players until that Source is Synchronised.

Currently we do not support the Time To Live feature within a Media RSS, we have set a global Time To Live of 15 Minutes, so all feeds are checked every 15 minutes for new/updated content and Message Manager content is only updated when it is saved within the Signagelive User Interface.

The reason that this approach has been taken is because, traditionally, each player would need to know how to handle Media RSS and manage the content within that Media RSS Feed itself. With Signagelive’s agnostic approach to Player devices, and the provision of our Player API allowing developers to produce their own Client Software, we now provide them with the exact Assets that they need to play, and can make sure that the content displaying on them is correct.

The following diagram from our development team shows how this works:

externalsourcesync.jpg

The other benefit of this approach is that instead of a Player having to connect to a wide range of URLs/Websites and/or IP Addresses to retrieve Media RSS feeds from, this content is all provided through the Signagelive domains and IP Addresses, meaning Network Administrators can limit the network traffic from Players to these specific URLs/IP Addresses, making their network much more secure. If you would like to know what these details are, you can find them here: http://signagelive.zendesk.com/entries/21114211-Notification-of-changes-to-signagelive-IP-Addresses

Going forward all Players which are written against our Player API, will automatically have support for Media RSS, Nested/Local Playlists and Message Manager Feeds and all content sources we add support for in the future.

The current list of supported Players, which use our Player API can be found at:http://support.signagelive.com/entries/41677653-Which-Players-are-connected-to-the-Player-API-

This change in functionality also covers Virtual Player devices and Instore Screen devices.

 

 

 
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