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Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:42 pm
by Atishya
Hi KenT

Loving your program. And just experimenting with it really.
What I would like to do is to be able to connect a few (say 4-5) RPis to a screen but be able to control what goes on the screen remotely from my laptop. Would this be possible? I understand that with liveshow, we are able to add tracks remotely through ftp. However, creating a whole new profile through VNC and playing that, it seems that videos and music seems to work fine, however images only get displayed on my laptop and not on the actual screen connected to the RPi.

Any help will be great. Thanks

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:40 pm
by KenT
KenT wrote:
Azizar wrote:Dear Ken,

The Live-show from 2 locations works great, there is only one issue: Pi Presents plays the files in the live-show in alphabetic order, but does not play them in alphabetic order when playing from 2 locations. For example: If i have file A C F in location 1, and B and D in location 2, it plays them in this order: ACFBD. Can this be remedied?

Regards

Thijs
Bug, will fix. I was sorting on the complete path not the basename. Thanks for finding it

Ken
Sorting bug in liveshow now fixed and on Github

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:17 pm
by KenT
Atishya wrote:Hi KenT

Loving your program. And just experimenting with it really.
What I would like to do is to be able to connect a few (say 4-5) RPis to a screen but be able to control what goes on the screen remotely from my laptop. Would this be possible? I understand that with liveshow, we are able to add tracks remotely through ftp. However, creating a whole new profile through VNC and playing that, it seems that videos and music seems to work fine, however images only get displayed on my laptop and not on the actual screen connected to the RPi.

Any help will be great. Thanks
You could communicate with a number of Pi's from one laptop supplying files for a liveshow for each one. You may need to use static IP and give each Pi a different name. The problem is full control of Pi Presents. Liveshow looks at the livetracks directory after playing each track and generates a new list of things to play, it's not foolproof as if you delete a file the moment it is being read the Pi will crash. Changing a complete profile on the fly is not possible because some of the profile is read only when Pi Presents starts up.

To implement what you want there would need to be some mechanism to remotely 'pause' Pi Presents, load a new profile, and then restart it. Not impossible but not on my priority list. Screenly OSE sounds to be more like what you need.

Not sure about this, but If you use VNC then you are creating a second Pi login which is using the same home directory as the Pi proper login so you can edit profiles using VNC. However if you run Pi presents from VNC you are actually running a second copy of it, furthermore what you are displaying via VNC is things that are placed on the X window virtual screen. This does not include the output of omxplayer which is sent directly to the real screen. If you stop the copy of PI Presents running on the real Pi and restart it then you should see the updated profile, however if you edit a profile while Pi Presents is running you may crash the Pi as the showlist and medialists could get out of sync.

Hope this long explanation helps.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:36 am
by vinnie05
Hi KenT, I am hoping you can help me, I am trying to setup pipresents to start at boot. I have followed your instructions in the readme and it launches in a full screen window with the message "the command line option specified a profile that does not exist".

Here is what i have in the autostart file

sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -f bottom -p pp_liveshow

launching the above from a terminal session (without the sudo) works fine.

Thanks - Shane

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:28 pm
by KenT
vinnie05 wrote:Hi KenT, I am hoping you can help me, I am trying to setup pipresents to start at boot. I have followed your instructions in the readme and it launches in a full screen window with the message "the command line option specified a profile that does not exist".

Here is what i have in the autostart file

sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -f bottom -p pp_liveshow

launching the above from a terminal session (without the sudo) works fine.

Thanks - Shane
I discovered the same problem the other day when I was demonstrating to a friend.

If you use sudo you must also specify the full path of the /pp_home directory e.g./home/pi

The reason is that the /pp_home directory is expected to be in the users home directory - /home/pi. However if you use sudo the user is root and its home directory is /. You need sudo only when using the -g (gpio) option so you could just miss out the sudo.

Ken

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:06 am
by vinnie05
KenT wrote: I discovered the same problem the other day when I was demonstrating to a friend.

If you use sudo you must also specify the full path of the /pp_home directory e.g./home/pi

The reason is that the /pp_home directory is expected to be in the users home directory - /home/pi. However if you use sudo the user is root and its home directory is /. You need sudo only when using the -g (gpio) option so you could just miss out the sudo.

Ken
Thanks for your reply Ken, I tried a few different settings which all seemed to end up with the same message. In the end the setting that worked for me was:

python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py --home /home/pi --noblank --fullscreen bottom --profile pp_liveshow

using the full switch names seemed to do the trick however there may have been something else wrong before i got to this stage.

Thanks - Shane

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:40 pm
by Landlord
Hi Kent,

I've not had a chance to try PiPresents yet, but on paper it looks awesome. Thanks for developing it.

I have one quick question if I may; what does "PowerPoint" presentations mean? As in, are we talking about presentations with transitions/animations etc. or do you mean cycling "slides" which are actually individual files (like JPGs, AVIs etc).

If the former, is there a tool to create appropriate presentation files?

Many thanks,
Phil

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:54 pm
by KenT
Landlord wrote:Hi Kent,

I've not had a chance to try PiPresents yet, but on paper it looks awesome. Thanks for developing it.

I have one quick question if I may; what does "PowerPoint" presentations mean? As in, are we talking about presentations with transitions/animations etc. or do you mean cycling "slides" which are actually individual files (like JPGs, AVIs etc).

If the former, is there a tool to create appropriate presentation files?

Many thanks,
Phil
By Powerpoint like I meant that you could move from one slide to the next by using a cursor key or external button in contrast to a slideshow in which progress is automatic after a preset period of time.

The only transition is to cut from one slide to the next. I looked at fading and sliding etc. but the Pi is not powerful enough for this without using the GPU. Bteer animation is on the long term todo list.

Pi Presents has no facility to prepare individual files but the editor does allow presentation files to be prepared from individual files. The individual files need to be jpegs, tifs etc.. I guess you could use Open Office, Gimp etc to prepare the individual files. I'm not very familiar with LInux graphics programs; I would use Powerpoint on a PC myself and export the presentation as jpegs.

Pi presents was never designed for presentations, the facility to do it just came out in the wash.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:15 pm
by KenT
vinnie05 wrote:
KenT wrote: I discovered the same problem the other day when I was demonstrating to a friend.

If you use sudo you must also specify the full path of the /pp_home directory e.g./home/pi

The reason is that the /pp_home directory is expected to be in the users home directory - /home/pi. However if you use sudo the user is root and its home directory is /. You need sudo only when using the -g (gpio) option so you could just miss out the sudo.

Ken
Thanks for your reply Ken, I tried a few different settings which all seemed to end up with the same message. In the end the setting that worked for me was:

python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py --home /home/pi --noblank --fullscreen bottom --profile pp_liveshow

using the full switch names seemed to do the trick however there may have been something else wrong before i got to this stage.

Thanks - Shane
Checked to make sure there wasn't a problem with Pi Presents. The following works in autostart:

sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -f bottom -p pp_liveshow -o /home/pi

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:54 am
by Landlord
KenT wrote:By Powerpoint like I meant that you could move from one slide to the next by using a cursor key or external button in contrast to a slideshow in which progress is automatic after a preset period of time.

The only transition is to cut from one slide to the next. I looked at fading and sliding etc. but the Pi is not powerful enough for this without using the GPU. Bteer animation is on the long term todo list.

Pi Presents has no facility to prepare individual files but the editor does allow presentation files to be prepared from individual files. The individual files need to be jpegs, tifs etc.. I guess you could use Open Office, Gimp etc to prepare the individual files. I'm not very familiar with LInux graphics programs; I would use Powerpoint on a PC myself and export the presentation as jpegs.

Pi presents was never designed for presentations, the facility to do it just came out in the wash.
Thanks the reply. All clear and understood.

Still a great prospect anyway. Thanks again and well done on the fruits of your labour.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:07 am
by stingenz
Hi there
Loving your work!!!

A couple of questions (from a noob).
1) I'm having trouble with pp displaying some jpg's that I have. is there a specific resolution that they accept (up to etc), they're 1280x720.

2) I'm a little confused with how to specify a stop screen blanking command. Am I correct in entering it the the autostart file (if thats how I would like it to run) as: sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -p pp_profilename

3) Same with how to specify the home directory. I'm unsure as to how/where I input the -o command

Any/all help is greatly appreciated

Mat :D

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:44 am
by KenT
stingenz wrote:Hi there
Loving your work!!!

A couple of questions (from a noob).
1) I'm having trouble with pp displaying some jpg's that I have. is there a specific resolution that they accept (up to etc), they're 1280x720.

2) I'm a little confused with how to specify a stop screen blanking command. Am I correct in entering it the the autostart file (if thats how I would like it to run) as: sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -p pp_profilename

3) Same with how to specify the home directory. I'm unsure as to how/where I input the -o command

Any/all help is greatly appreciated

Mat :D
1) Pi Presents is toleant of any image size, within reason. 1280* 720 should be OK. If the images are larger than the screen size then the excess will disappear off the screen; its best to scale the images down to your screen size before use using some offline program. I found that large images, much greater than 1MB, would crash a 256MB PI as it ran out of memory and large images considerable slow down the display of the image. Even though your images are only 1270*720 are they high quality and therefore large file size. Pi Presents uses the Python Imaging Library, you could Google that to see if anyone else has had problems.

2) In commands you just string together the options in any order with spaces between e.g.

sudo python /home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py -b -o /home/pi -p pp_profilename -f bottom -g

If you use sudo you must specify the full path of the /pp_home directory e.g. -o /home/pi

The reason is that the /pp_home directory is expected to be in the users home directory - /home/pi. However if you use sudo the user is root and its home directory is /. You need sudo only when using the -g (gpio) option so you could just miss out the sudo.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:45 pm
by Azizar
Dear Ken,
The pi's are still (!) running a continues stable live-show (from 2 locations) !

May thanks for the fantastic piece of software!

Thijs

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:14 pm
by VisitorQ
Hi KenT

at first, thank you so much for this really great program. I work as a film editor and collaborate with an artist who's making animations for installations in galleries and museums and thanks to your app we'll have a much better video quality in the next exhibition and we are really exited about this.

Since you asked for feedback in the manual, there is one point which would make the experience even better: if there would be a way to play two (or more) videos synchronized. So that I can connected 2+ Pi's via LAN, both have a video with the exact same length and both Pi's start at the exact same time. Do you see any solution for this? This feature would be very awesome, but I understand that it's maybe very difficult to program. That's really all I can think to improve this very good software of yours.

The last point, maybe you can help me troubleshooting: we use the Pi's as black boxes, as you make it possible. Everything works with autostart and I need the GPIO shutdown-button. And I don't get it to work... I don't know if I made the hardware-button wrong (I'm a very amateur at this things), or if I made an error in the software (but I used sudo and the -g command). In theory it should work too if I take a cable and connect it to Pin 1 and 12 for 5 seconds too, right? But this didn't work too. You wrote about changing the threshold for the signal - how and where can I do this?

Thanks a lot again for your great work!
Kind regards,
Manuel

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
by KenT
VisitorQ wrote:Hi KenT

at first, thank you so much for this really great program. I work as a film editor and collaborate with an artist who's making animations for installations in galleries and museums and thanks to your app we'll have a much better video quality in the next exhibition and we are really exited about this.

Since you asked for feedback in the manual, there is one point which would make the experience even better: if there would be a way to play two (or more) videos synchronized. So that I can connected 2+ Pi's via LAN, both have a video with the exact same length and both Pi's start at the exact same time. Do you see any solution for this? This feature would be very awesome, but I understand that it's maybe very difficult to program. That's really all I can think to improve this very good software of yours.

The last point, maybe you can help me troubleshooting: we use the Pi's as black boxes, as you make it possible. Everything works with autostart and I need the GPIO shutdown-button. And I don't get it to work... I don't know if I made the hardware-button wrong (I'm a very amateur at this things), or if I made an error in the software (but I used sudo and the -g command). In theory it should work too if I take a cable and connect it to Pin 1 and 12 for 5 seconds too, right? But this didn't work too. You wrote about changing the threshold for the signal - how and where can I do this?

Thanks a lot again for your great work!
Kind regards,
Manuel
Hi Manuel
Glad you like my program. I can now add artist to library, chateau, and science museum as the known uses of Pi Presents.

Your problem is that you are connecting Pin 12 to the wrong pin. You need to connect Pin 12 to one of the Ground pins as shown here http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals You are lucky you tried pin 1 and not pin 2. The 5 volts on pin 2 would probably have damaged your Pi.

The threshold I talk about is not voltage. Some mechanical switches bounce. You press them once and the contacts actually make and break a few times before they settle down, it might all happen within hundreths of a second. PI Presents samples the buttons every 50 mS.the threshold is the number of consecutive times the button output is at the same state for a change of input to be detected.

There is a thread on the forum where people are trying to sync a number of displays http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 38&t=22799.

I can think of a way that Pi Presents might do syncing. It would involve telling a number of Pi's to start a track at a specified time of day a few seconds into the future. I intend to implement starting a track at a specified Time of Day in the next version, to add software to communicate that time of day would be possible. However there are always time uncertainties in Linux based systems as the operating system is not a hard real time system so whether it produces an acceptable synchronization depends on what you mean by 'exactly the same time'. Must the delay between the two displays be less than one frame or could it be, say, a second, because the displays are a long distance apart.

Also are you interested in video and audio or just video.

Would be interested to know.

Ken

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:38 pm
by VisitorQ
Hi Ken,

thank you for your fast reply. Haha, I tested it directly with a ground pin and as you can imagine - it works now.... :-)
That's a bit embarrassing, but well...

To your questions: for me it wouldn't be necessary to have a frame-precise sync, something in between a frame and a second would work for me.
And we use PiPresents with video and audio, but for the synchronized displays, only one display would use sound.

And thanks for the link, I'll try the mplayer and the omxplayer-sync - but I worry that I'll lose your perfect solution of a black box use, which is a big requirement.

Well, thanks for your help - and I'll keep myself updated to all the things you'll improve, try out, and add... You're helping a lot of people with your work!

Best,
Manuel

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:16 am
by KenT
Hi
I'll add the idea of syncing screens to my list of things to do. There is always going to be some people whose application does not need frame sync and as you say the easy to use black box element is important. Since my last post I have looked at the results of some time uncertainty measurements I made a while ago I'm hopeful for frame sync. After all 25 fps = 40mS which is a long time on a 700Mhz computer.

At the moment I am working on a major upgrade to Pi Presents which has an audio player based on mplayer, animation control by switching gpio outputs in sync with tracks (1 second accuracy) and the ability to run more than one show at a time triggered by GPIO inputs or time of day. First 2 are working, third one is being started today.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:49 pm
by BrianG
According to the Readme Pi Presents MUST be run from the LXDE desktop. I'm still very new to the R.P. and to Linux, so bare with me.

I have Debian Linux installed on my laptop. Do I understand that Pi Presents will not run from this but only from my R.P.?

I tried to run P.P. from a WinXP machine and Python said there was a syntax error in the code. Still much too new with Python to determine what's wrong with the code.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:06 pm
by KenT
Pi Presents was produced to run on the Raspbian version of Linux on the Pi, the standard Foundation image.

It has not been tested on any other operating system on the Pi or on any other Linux machine or Windows and is unlikely to work on any of these without some rework.

The exception is the profile editor which is designed to run on Windows (I have tried only Windows 7). I would expect it to work on other Linux machines provided they have the correct dependencies installed.

The reference to the LXDE desktop is for people who have tried running it from the command line before startx or by SSH from another machine, it won't.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:48 pm
by BrianG
I know I could use Power Point (prefer not to use Microsoft, if possible) or FreeLance Graphics to create shows. I'm not particularly artistic so I need all the help I can get. What other software (Windows XP or Linux) do folks use? I am certainly willing to buy it (as long as it's not a lot of money). OpenOffice is pretty sparse when it comes to presentation software. I may even make a short video but would need the ability to add text.

I want to make make a revolving presentation on the Pi to display at our museum to get folks excited about a summer camp we will be holding.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:12 pm
by Radioactivedog
Thanks for creating PiPresents.

Just go my Pi a few days ago and your app is the first one I will be running.

Is it possible to at some point to play a video and switch to a different video at the same time index.
I could get by not doing it that but it would be great benefit to do it all in one Pi. My idea is to have the Pi function as a virtual video switcher have two different views of the same scene shot with 2 or Three different cameras at the same time.

Another option is to have 2 RPi synced together at the same time index. I could use a real switcher then. If would very much add to the cost and hardware. Any ideas would be most welcome

Brian. Plymouth Minnesota.

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:59 am
by Jurek
Hello Ken. First I would like to thank u for a really great application. I love the simple GUI and functionality s that is giving. Just perfect for my needs.

I'm writing here, because I lost the path and I don`t know what to do more to let it work from a command line. If I play omxplayer from cml it works like a charm. If I do python script from terminal after I did startx, it works fine. It just doesn `t work in command line. I got error like

xset: unable to open display ""
xset: unable to open display ""
Trackback (most recent call last):
File "/home/pi/pipresents/pipresents.py", line 394, in <module>
....

What did I missed it? Do you know what could I be missing?

I just hope that you could help me, it's the only missing part that doesn`t work.

jure

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:45 pm
by KenT
Radioactivedog wrote:Thanks for creating PiPresents.

Just go my Pi a few days ago and your app is the first one I will be running.

Is it possible to at some point to play a video and switch to a different video at the same time index.
I could get by not doing it that but it would be great benefit to do it all in one Pi. My idea is to have the Pi function as a virtual video switcher have two different views of the same scene shot with 2 or Three different cameras at the same time.

Another option is to have 2 RPi synced together at the same time index. I could use a real switcher then. If would very much add to the cost and hardware. Any ideas would be most welcome

Brian. Plymouth Minnesota.
Pi Presents can do nothing like this. It uses omxplayer to play videos as you would do from the command line. omxplayer is developing fast and people are adding playlists without gaps and seamless repeating which seems a bit like what you want to do. https://github.com/huceke/omxplayer/iss ... state=open

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:13 pm
by McNeil
Hi KenT,

first of all, thank you so much for sharing Pi Presents with us!
I've got it running on a vertical 42" Digital Signage.

I tweaked it a little bit and It's now able to:

- play video without gaps with slideshow (liveshow) of pics at the same time. (thanks to the latest omxplayer beta that has a new windowed mode feature that can be undecorated.)
- you can choose the size of the video and the position where you want it to be played.

This mode is overlaying a video over Pi Presents that runs in the background.
So, you can see a video decorated with the slideshow of pics.

And the raspberry on top of the cake: everything runs smoothly.

I have to try several video instances, I think it will work.

Edit: It works! I can play 2 video (identical or different) at the same time and different position in the screen. To avoid audio conflict, one has to play through HDMI while the other uses the analog output. (omxplayer should have an audio off switch, in case the video contains an audio track).

I'll write a tutorial on how to do this and post it here soon.

Cheers!

Re: Pi Presents: A display package for museums & visitor cen

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:15 pm
by KenT
McNeil wrote:Hi KenT,

first of all, thank you so much for sharing Pi Presents with us!
I've got it running on a vertical 42" Digital Signage.

I tweaked it a little bit and It's now able to:

- play video without gaps with slideshow (liveshow) of pics at the same time. (thanks to the latest omxplayer beta that has a new windowed mode feature that can be undecorated.)
- you can choose the size of the video and the position where you want it to be played.

This mode is overlaying a video over Pi Presents that runs in the background.
So, you can see a video decorated with the slideshow of pics.

And the raspberry on top of the cake: everything runs smoothly.

I have to try several video instances, I think it will work.

Edit: It works! I can play 2 video (identical or different) at the same time and different position in the screen. To avoid audio conflict, one has to play through HDMI while the other uses the analog output. (omxplayer should have an audio off switch, in case the video contains an audio track).

I'll write a tutorial on how to do this and post it here soon.

Cheers!
EDIT: Could you use the -vol option on omxplayer to reduce the volume of one of the streams to -6000 millibels?. I've had 2 videos playing by mistake in the past and the sound seems to mix OK rather than be affected by one of the volume controls.

Nice one. I've been tracking all the nice things that people have been doing to omxplayer and was aiming to include them in Pi Presents as soon as the updated version arrives in the official distribution. Seems to be basically different command line options which i will build into Pi Presents to give a tidy interface.

I've nearly finished a version of Pi Presents that will run two or more mediashows in parallel each can be triggered with a gpio pin or time of day. It now uses mplayer for audio tracks so you can direct audio to left or right analog speakers. It will also wiggle gpio outputs in time with tracks/shows. I'm going to put it on Github soon in a 'beta' repository.

I am finding that when I change picture or play a sound that the video stutters. Are you getting this?. It might be that I am playing a HD video which is stressing the ARM (Suits-short.mkv from the examples).

Love to read the tutorial.

Ken