Display Captions During Slideshow
Recently, I've been working with MC to try and get some much needed order into my photo files. I've still got a long, long way to go, but so far, progress is promising, so I keep on going. Images are a pain. They're not linear like audio files are, and I've come to the conclusion that filenames are really pretty irrelevant, as we mostly identify our pictures by looking at them, not their filenames. (I've set the filenames for MC to use in a different way, but more on that later)
It's a tough business extracting tips out of others that are already well up the road with MC and their images, so, when I stumble onto something that I think might be generally useful, I'll give it a mention.
Tagging is obviously the key to quickly finding the photos you want, but you need to work out a common-ish workflow to be able to make use of the tags when you've finished. There's the obligatory [people], [places], [events] tags, which are a good place to start, and if you check out Doof's captionator plugin, you will like it, and subsequently, you will also have a [caption] tag. Not all pictures will have all tags though. After following a tip, I created a new field called [subject], and set myself the rule that very image must at least have a subject tag. I think this is a good foundation upon which to build a useable image library.
Now, when playing an image slideshow using MC, we have some on screen text labels to accompany each image, and this is customisable. What to put in there though? As I mentioned before, not every image has every tag, so, sure, if there's a [caption] tag present, you'd want to see that, but if there's no [caption], it doesn't look pretty. What I did was to prioritise what I'd like to see...
If there's no caption, is there an event? If there's no event, is there a place? if there's no place, well, I know there's a subject, so i suppose we'd be as well seeing that, as nothing. How? go "tools>options>playback>image playback settings" and where it says "Caption" paste the following expression:
sorted. I've also got:
~ formatdate([date,0],dd MMMM yyyy)
tagged on the end of that, but I think that may change. I'm not entirely thrilled with how that looks. You should be able to see what it's doing and if you need to, change the library fields to suit your needs. Try to avoid list type fields, such as people, as they look horrible on screen, displaying as Rod;Jane;Freddy for example.
Worth noting that if you're using MEDIA CENTER v12, it comes with a default [caption] field as standard. While the captionator plugin mentioned earlier is rather nice, it still needs a few kinks ironed out. I recommend reading this interesting conversation regarding image previewing within MEDIA CENTER. The "2nd zone" solution works well for me.