USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

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rknelson
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USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby rknelson » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:40 pm

In our stake we are using Roku boxes to play Come Follow Me videos from a USB Flash drive connected to the Roku. While the Roku is capable of streaming video over the internet, playing media from the USB Flash drive is standalone without any requirement for a wireless connection. A YouTube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsF6GlqWvno ) prompted a private message asking how we created the graphical icons for the videos and folders. This post will answer that question and I’m hoping that anyone else who has input can chime in on the topic here too.

The Roku 2 XS is the model that has a USB connector. You need to install the Roku USB Media Player to actually use the USB port. This “channel” is free and easy to install.

There is very little documentation on how to organize files and provide cover “artwork” for videos. We tried a bunch of things based on what similar media players use. Here is what we found. You can provide .JPG files for each folder and video to provide this artwork. We organized the videos in 4 top level folders: Young Men, Young Women, Sunday School, and Training. To create graphics for folders, you can either place a .JPG file with the same name alongside the folder, or place a file “folder.jpg” within the folder. We used the latter method. Below YM, YW & SS folder, there are folders for each month. If you name the folders January, February, … they will be sorted alphabetically rather than in chronological sequence. To resolve this we named them “a January”, “b February”. We created artwork for each of these months and saved it as a “folder.jpg” file within each months folder. The artwork is color coded to match the top level colors for the each program (YM, YW, Sunday School, Training), and has text with the month abbreviated (“Jan”, “Feb”…) and the program (IE Young Men) on the artwork. Below that level are the media files with an artwork file for each video. We renamed the media files from “2102-06-007-invite-us-to-testify-1000k-eng.mp4” to “invite-us-to-testify”. These filenames are displayed by the Roku USB Media Player below the artwork, so we wanted them to be easily recognized.

Attached are a two jpeg diagrams showing the folder hierarchy and some representative artwork. The black text below each image is what the Roku inserts from the folder/file name:
SS YM YW folder artwork example.JPG
Examples of artwork for Roku USB Flash with Come Follow Me videos
(49.95 KiB) Downloaded 2788 times

training folder artwork example.JPG
Example of artwork for Roku USB Flash with Come Follow Me training videos
training folder artwork example.JPG (46.98 KiB) Viewed 5691 times


This is how we created the artwork – I’m sure those with professional graphics tools would find a better way, but it worked using tools I know. For the folders, we started with pictures from the website, or the pdf documents. These were placed into PowerPoint where we could add text as needed. For the small circular pictures we did some basic graphical editing (in Windows Paint) then placed them on a matching color background. After we had them all in PowerPoint, we used screen captures of PowerPoint at a consistent size to create each piece of folder artwork.

For the media files themselves, we extracted artwork for each video with a screen grab. The most time consuming part was viewing all the videos, deciding on a representative portion of the video for a screen grab, using Widows Snipping Tool to grab the screenshot at the right point and saving it with the name to match the video.

I won’t claim our artwork is professional or perfect, but it is very intuitive and easy to use. We created folders for every month, but only downloaded the first 3 months of videos using the zip files on the website. With 3 months of videos and artwork the total Flash contents is about 3.5 GB in 1080P resolution. We are using 16GB USB Flash drives, so the whole year easily fits.

If anyone wants the artwork, send me a PM. I’m happy to share any of this.

We also downloaded the Hymns (music only and vocals) Children’s Songbook (music and vocals) (580 MB total). We created folder icons for each group (Hymns – Music Only, Hymns – With Vocals, Childrens – Music Only, Childrens – with Vocals). The Roku USB Media Player displays songs by the tagged title when provided. The downloaded music is tagged. We wanted them organized by Hymn number / Songbook page number to make it easier to locate the desired song. We used a free program called Mp3tag to extract the tags and filenames, then imported csv files into Excel, and manipulated from:

Filename: “Hymns_331_OhSayWhatIsTruth_music_eng.mp3”
Original Title: “Oh Say, What Is Truth?”
New Title: “331) Oh Say, What Is Truth?”

In the Children’s Songbook we did similarly changing:
Filename: “CS_023b_HeavenlyFatherWhileIPray_music_eng.mp3”
Original Title: “Heavenly Father, While I Pray”
New Title: “23b) Heavenly Father, While I Pray”

We applied a sequential “#” tag also to maintain the order, and we re-imported the tags to the files. The way you place the files on the flash drive is significant, zip and unzip seems to work best to keep them with the first one at the top of the list in the USB media player. All 1162 mp3 files fit in fewer than 600 MB.

We also downloaded the Gospel Art pictures (210 MB in “print” resolution). I’m not sure how useful they are. If I wanted pictures for a lesson I would put them on my own flash drive and have them in the order I would use them. There are some problems with Roku also displaying “artwork” files for folders as photos, and I’m still working to get a better solution here.

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JonesRC
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby JonesRC » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:34 am

Awesome work. Very impressive.

rknelson
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby rknelson » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:57 am

There have been a few private message requests for the jpeg files we used for the Roku. I've placed a 3.2 MB zip file on dropbox here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xyuwkewo5rptidb/Roku%20USB%202013%20Q1.zip
it contains the jpeg files for the folders, and the jpeg artwork for the January- March downloadable videos from Come Follow Me. To create a usable USB Flash drive, you will have to download the videos and move them into the "empty" folder structure provided. These steps are described in the README.pdf file included in the zip file.

I plan to add other quarters (April-June, and so on) as the compressed zip files are made available for download on lds.org.

cglancy
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby cglancy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:55 pm

We have Roku systems in our building. I found rknelson’s post just after getting our USB media configured adequately.

With the hope of saving others time, I have written a software utility to automate the process of preparing the curriculum videos for a USB media player. The utility does three things:

1. Renames the video files according to the title string from the video file metadata.
2. Automatically sets video thumbnails using the Windows shell thumbnails. (There is also a way to set the thumbnail interactively if desired.)
3. Copies the month directories to the USB media in the correct chronological order so January precedes February, etc. (There is no sorting by the Roku, files are listed in FAT order, the order they are created.)

The utility requires Windows 7 and .NET 4.0.

This utility is totally unsupported, use at your own risk, but I will welcome any feedback.

Here is the link:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/94619123/Video ... 130205.zip

cglancy
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby cglancy » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:00 pm

Hey, I need your feedback.

Below are links to a desktop app for preparing the youth curriculum videos for a Roku or WD TV Live box. This app makes the whole process simple.

1. Launch USB Video Manager
2. Select the desired quality level: 1080p, 720p or 360p.
3. Click “Download All”.
4. Click “Export” to copy the videos to a USB drive.
5. Test the USB drive in your Roku or WD TV Live system.

The app is free and versions are available for both Windows and Mac.

Windows: http://glancyfamily.net/USBVideoManager-20130312.msi
Mac: http://glancyfamily.net/USBVideoManager-20130312.dmg

Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

rknelson
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby rknelson » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:48 pm

FYI - I got a missing dll error when I tried to run the above "USBVideoManager" on windows -- I needed DirectX on my windows machine, and that resolved it.

cglancy
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby cglancy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

I updated the Windows installer with the missing dll. I have also fixed two "Export" command bugs with the Mac version. The new link is:

Mac: http://glancyfamily.net/USBVideoManager-20130314.dmg

cglancy
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby cglancy » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:00 pm

The links below will always be to the current versions of USB Video Manager:

Windows: http://glancyfamily.net/USBVideoManager.msi
Mac: http://glancyfamily.net/USBVideoManager.dmg

rknelson
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby rknelson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:25 am

I started this thread to share what we had done in our stake. The USB Video Manager application by cglancy is an automated approach to downloading and formatting videos on a USB flash drive for use in a USB Media Player like the Roku or WD Live TV device. This post is about his work, not mine. After using the application he created, I’m scraping my manual approach to update the videos for next quarter. If you are using a USB Media Player to play “Come, Follow Me” videos, you should check this application out! With his permission, I put together this brief demo on YouTube which will give you a chance to see his application in action:
http://youtu.be/nNZMAfnpXLg

The 4 minute YouYube demo starts with installation of the application, using it to select and download Come, Follow Me videos (2 mouse clicks to get 3 months of videos downloaded directly from lds.org !), and then exporting the videos in a clean organized manner to a USB flash drive complete with thumbnails for each video.

This application solves several issues. It is driven by XML files that specify where videos and thumbnails are on lds.org. This automates the download, but does not cause copyright issues because it does not distribute the videos. It allows the user to select low, medium, or high resolution, and shows how big the download will be. When exporting the downloaded videos, it places the videos in organized folders – also as specified in the XML file. It allows the work to be done once, and then have it reused by many people in different locations. The format works with both Roku and Western Digital media players. It can even be used on your windows laptop to download and play the videos.

russellhltn
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Re: USB Flash setup for Come Follow Me videos on Roku Player

Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:24 pm

rknelson wrote:This application solves several issues. It is driven by XML files that specify where videos and thumbnails are on lds.org. This automates the download, but does not cause copyright issues because it does not distribute the videos.


Sweet! So the only thing that has to be distributed is an updated XML file - which is small and doesn't cause a copyright problem.
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