Resources

hippoMEDIA

Welcome!

Welcome to the user guide for hippoMEDIA, a tool designed to make it easier for you (and others if you choose) to change the media settings on your land — be that video, web pages, or audio streams. Using hippoMEDIA you could, for example ...

  • Create a list of favourite ShoutCast radio stations and change between them in a couple of mouse clicks

  • Control a “TV” screen on your land, quickly changing programmes

  • Allow selected friends or group members to change radio stations

  • Enable visitors to your store to select and play product demonstration videos

  • If you use hippoRENT, our popular rental system, you can connect a hippoMEDIA controller to a rental box so that tenants can easily change the media settings — this is one of the most requested services tenants ask their landlords, so hippoMEDIA can save you lots of work!

... and there are lots more uses to which hippoMEDIA could be put with a bit of imagination — hippoMEDIA unlocks the power of audio, video and web page display on your land!


About this user guide

This user guide will walk you through how to set up a hippoMEDIA unit and then describe each of the functions, both simple and advanced, that it can perform for you. We suggest taking the time to read it carefully so that you’re familiar with everything that hippoMEDIA can do for you!


There are five sections in this user guide ...

1. Getting started quickly ... and some important things to remember

2. Using hippoMEDIA’s menu system

3. The _config notecard

4. Deeding to a group

5. Connecting hippoMEDIA to a hippoRENT rental box




1. Getting started quickly ... and some important things to remember

  • Begin by rezzing a hippoMEDIA controller on your land — ensure it is set to the same group as the land (and you’ll later need to deed it ... but do not do this yet!). (Remember you can set an object’s group by right-clicking it, choosing “Edit” from the circular Second Life menu, then click the “Set” button next to where it says “Group”).



  • Next, click on the “Content” tab in the Second Life build window (if that tab doesn’t seem to be there, you may need to click More>>>). In your hippoMEDIA controller’s contents you’ll see a notecard called “_config”. Double-click on it to edit it.

  • In that notecard, you’ll see a line like this one ...

    SUPER USERS:

    ... add your Second Life name after that command; e.g.

    SUPER USERS: Fred Flintstone

    This is important because once you deed the controller you won’t have full access to all the menu commands (because it will no longer be owned by you, but by the group).

  • Close and save the notecard.

  • Click the hippoMEDIA controller, choose “Reset” from the blue menu that appears and wait until it reports “Ready“. Click it again, choose “Status” and check you’re listed under super users.

  • If all is well, you now have two choices ...
  1. Deed the controller and begin playing with some of the menu commands (see below). To deed your controller, read section 4 below. It talks you through how to do this (and warns you of some of the things to be careful about!)

  2. Read the rest of this notecard, make further appropriate configuration changes (see section 3 below) and then deed and start using your system more fully in a few minutes time.

    We’d recommend option 2, but option 1 is for people who just want to get on and play.

Remember, as you read on, of course, that your controller won’t actually be able to change any media settings on your land until it’s deeded. But you can set up its configuration and play with its menus before that point.




2. Using hippoMEDIA’s menu system

hippoMEDIA controllers have a built in menu system to enable you to perform a number of important and useful functions. To access this, simply click the controller with your mouse. A blue menu will appear in your Second Life window, like this one ...

The bottom row of buttons in this menu perform the following functions ...

Audio Allows you to change the parcel audio URL
Video Allows you to change the parcel video URL
Web Allows you to change the parcel web URL

Each works in a similar way. If you’ve set up any presets (presets are described in section 3) you’ll be asked whether you’d prefer to type a URL or pick an existing preset. If you type a URL, it must start with http or https.

Some useful tips ...

  • Remember that parcel media only plays if you have the appropriate media settings turned on in your Second Life preferences. (Go to the Second Life “Edit” menu, choose “Preferences”, then go to the “Audio & Video” tab. Make sure that the various settings for streaming video and audio are turned on, then click OK.

  • If you’re not entirely familiar with how media (audio, video, web) on a land parcel works in Second Life, we do recommend the tutorials on the Second Life website. And this article is also helpful. Also remember that this particular user guide is purely designed to help you master hippoMEDIA, not teach you all the intricacies of parcel media!

  • Remember that if you want to use video or web pages, you’ll need to set up a parcel media texture (Second Life “World” menu, then “About Land”, then the “Media” tab, then drag a texture from your ivnentory to the space for a texture. You’ll need to apply the same texture to any object on your land you want to show web or video.

As for the rest of the commands in the menu, they do the following ...

Media Opens the “Media“ menu. This has buttons allowing you to control what a piece of media on your land is doing. (They merely replicate the media controls at the bottom right of your Second Life window, but we provided them in hippoMEDIA simply for convenience). The buttons in the “Media“ menu are ..
  • Play ... starts a video playing (or loads a web page)
  • Pause ... pauses a video if it’s playing
  • Stop ... stops a video if it’s playing and returns to the first frame
  • Unload ... stops the media and displays the parcel media texture
Advanced Opens the “Advanced“ menu. This has a number of functions ...
  • Auto Start ... you can configure whether a video starts playing automatically when chosen.

  • Auto Scale ... decide whether a video automatically scales to fit the prim it is playing on or not.

  • Set Desc ... you can set the parcel media description on the land.

  • Get Texture ... to help you (and your users, if you’re going to set up hippoMEDIA for other people), you can add a copy of the parcel media texture to its inventory. (Make sure the texture is full permissions, then hold down CTRL while dragging it from your inventory to your hippoMEDIA controller). If your controller contains such a texture, then the “Get Texture” button will appear in this menu and can be clicked to get a copy.

  • Config Card ... this button only appears for super users and will be described in section 4 below (all about deeding). Basically it allows you to get a copy, delete, or update the ‘_config’ notecard in your controller after you’ve deeded it!
Status Reports a number of useful things about your hippoMEDIA controller’s status: the version, free memory, users and super users (more on this below) and the state of various other settings you may have configured.
Reset Resets your controller and causes it to reload its ‘_config’ notecard. Use this command after making any changes to a ‘_config’ notecard.
Help Gives a copy of the user guide (this document).
USEFUL TIP
This command actually gives a copy of the first notecard (other than the ‘_config’ notecard) alphabetically in the controller’s contents. So if you want to write your own guide for your users/tenants (perhaps describing the presets available to them), you can just add it to the controller’s inventory and this command will give it out on demand.



3. The “_config” notecard

If you look inside a hippoMEDIA controller’s content tab (right click it, choose “Edit” ...) you’ll find a notecard called ‘_config’. This contains a number of settings you can edit. Simply double click on the notecard, edit any settings (each are described below), taking care to enter sensible values and not to delete any text in upper case. Then close and save the notecard. Finally, click the controller and choose “Reset” menu button to reload the ‘_config’ card and apply any changes you made.

Here are the settings you can change in your controller ...

SUPER USERS: <list of names>
e.g. SUPER USERS: Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble
— The list of people who can get full access to every menu function. (Only super users can use the Config Card menu (described below) ... super users can also enter media URLs in chat, even if you’ve used the restrict to preset function). You should ensure you add yourself to the list of super users so you can use all the functions!

USERS: <list of names>
e.g. USERS: EE Nesbit, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter
- Any other named people you’d like to be able to use your controller.

USEFUL TIP
You can add the word “Group” to this list ... e.g. USERS: Pathfinder Linden, Group, Tony Blair ... in that case, anybody wearing the same group tag as the group the controller is set to will be able to click it and use the menus.

TRANSMIT CHANNEL: <number>
e.g. TRANSMIT CHANNEL: 1234
- You can network multiple hippoMEDIA controllers in a sim, allowing you, for example, to change the video on multiple parcels simultaneously. Simply change the value here to anything other than 0. Then, before changing a media URL (or using any of the media menu commands), point your mouse pointer at your hippoMEDIA controller and hold down the left mouse button for a couple of seconds. Shortly, the words “Transmit Mode: On” will float over the controller. Now pick the menu command you want and it will be sent to any other controllers in the same sim with the same transmit channel setting in them. (If you change your mind, the “Transmit Mode: On” status can be cancelled either by waiting for a few minutes and doing nothing, or pointing and holding down the mouse button ... that will toggle it from on to off).

HIPPORENT CHANNEL: <number>
e.g. HIPPORENT CHANNEL: 4567
- When networking a hippoMEDIA controller to one or more rental boxes, this determines the chat channel used to communicate with them. It’s described in more detail below.

HIPPORENT PASSPHRASE: <text>
e.g. HIPPORENT PASSPHRASE: buyatreefrogandcallitbill
- Used to protect communications with rental boxes. See the section below if you’re going to want to network your hippoMEDIA controller with a rental box.

RESTRICT VIDEO TO PRESETS: <Yes/No>
e.g. RESTRICT VIDEO TO PRESETS: Yes
- If set to “Yes”, then users (and tenants, if networking with rental boxes) can only use video presets you’ve configured: they won’t be able to enter their own choice of video URL. Please note that super users will not be effected by this setting.

RESTRICT AUDIO TO PRESETS: <Yes/No>
e.g. RESTRICT AUDIO TO PRESETS: Yes
- As above, but governs whether users are restricted in their choice of audio.

RESTRICT WEB TO PRESETS: <Yes/No>
e.g. RESTRICT WEB TO PRESETS: Yes
- As above, but governs whether users are restricted in their choice of web pages to display on a parcel.

PRESET VIDEO: <Title, URL>
e.g. PRESET VIDEO: A Silly Movie, http://www.mywebsite.com/mymovie.mov
- You may enter up to 11 commands like this, to configure video presets. (Enter each “PRESET VIDEO” command on a new line of the notecard). The title is what is displayed on buttons on the video preset menu, the URL is what the parcel video will be set to if this preset is chosen. Please note, the comma between the title and the URL is vital — don’t leave it out!

PRESET AUDIO: <Title, URL>
e.g. PRESET AUDIO: Best 80s, http://scfire-dtc-aa02.stream.aol.com:80/stream/1013
- As above, but controls the audio presets.

PRESET WEB: <Title, URL>
e.g. PRESET WEB: BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/
- As above, but controls the web page presets.

Remember to close and save the ‘_config’ notecard after making any changes — then click your hippoMEDIA controller and choose “Reset” to load and apply any changes you’ve made.




4. Deeding to a group

In order for a hippoMEDIA controller to be able to properly control the video, audio, or web page parcel media on your land, it needs to be deeded to the same group as the land (if your land is not group owned, this next section won’t apply — but most Second Life users use groups to manage their land). To do this ...

  • Make sure you’ve finished making any changes to the ‘_config’ notecard (see above) — as this is harder once the controller has been deeded.

  • Especially make sure you’ve added yourself to the ‘_config’ card as a super user. This is vital.

  • Right click it, choose “Edit” from the Second Life circular menu.

  • Click “Share with Group” and then the “Deed Button“.



  • Click the controller and choose “Reset”. (This last step is essential!)

Voila! You’ve now deeded your controller. However, from Second Life’s point of view you no longer own it, so your options for working with it are more limited. If you’ve the necessary group rights, you may still be able to move it (and edit the ‘_config’ card in it). For super users who don’t have the necessary Second Life group rights, hippoMEDIA has another trick up its sleeve — a clever way to let you edit the ‘_config’ card after deeding. Any super user can ...

  • Click the controller, choose “Advanced”, then “Config Card” and finally “Get Card” to be given a copy of the ‘_config’ card.

  • Edit and save the changes to the copy of the ‘_config’ card now in your inventory.

  • Use the “Advanced“ -> “Config Card” –> “Delete Card” menu option to delete the existing ‘_config’ card from inside the controller.

  • Choose “Advanced“ -> “Config Card” –> “Add Card” then drag your edited card from your inventory to the controller.

  • Click the controller one last time and choose “Reset” to load the changes.
USEFUL TIP
You can often get back a deeded object by right-clicking it, choosing “More” and then “Return ...” if you originally owned it. However, some permissions on it may still up slightly strange, so don’t rely on this setting to get you out of trouble. Instead, simply be careful and don’t deed the controller until you’re ready.



5. Connecting hippoMEDIA to a hippoRENT rental box

If you use hippoRENT, you can network a hippoMEDIA controller to a rental boxes (or multiple boxes) so the tenants can use the controller to work with the media on the land they’re renting. This is really easy to do!

  1. Edit your hippoMEDIA controller’s ‘_config’ card and change the HIPPORENT CHANNEL and HIPPORENT PASSPHRASE settings. For example ...

    HIPPORENT CHANNEL: 123456
    HIPPORENT PASSPHRASE: cripplemronion

  2. Next, open up the contents of a rental box (it must be in the same sim as the controller) and drag the PLUGIN_hippomedia script from your inventory to its contents list.

  3. Double click the PLUGIN_hippomedia script to edit it. Ensure that the hippomedia_channel value matches the HIPPORENT CHANNEL setting and the passphrase value matches the HIPPORENT PASSPHRASE values you set in step 1 above. And ensure that the “Running” tickbox is ticked at the bottom left of the script window. So, for example ...



  4. Close the script and save it. If everything has been correctly, the plugin script will chat readiness to you:

    hippoRENT Rental Box whispers: hippoMEDIA plugin loaded and running ok.

  5. Finally, click the rental box and reset it. Now whenever anybody touches the controller, it will check with any connected rental boxes whether that person has permission to use it. Any tenant, partner, or manager on the box will able to control the hippoMEDIA device. (They will have “user” status, not “super user” status).
USEFUL TIP
If you want to connect a rental box to a hippoDOOR and a hippoMEDIA unit, you can do this using just one plugin script. In your hippoMEDIA carton you’ll find a script called ‘PLUGIN_hippomedia&door_combo’. Set it up just like the example above — and ensure that any doors and hippoMEDIA units have the same networking channel and passphrase. Voila — you’ve saved a script and a chat channel, reducing lag!