Media Center Manual Plugin Tutorial

The Media Center Manual can be used to create manually categorized audio, video, and text-based content.

Tim Tietz avatar
Written by Tim Tietz
Updated over a week ago

What is the Media Center Manual Plugin?

The Media Center Manual Plugin can be used to link to your online content and create manually entered and categorized audio, video, and text-based content, giving your users access to your awesome content wherever they are.

When you add an item, simply enter it's information such as the title, audio url, video url, source url, etc. and you'll be good to go.

What are some use cases of Media Center Manual?

Some use cases of this feature include:

  • Artist profiles or albums with their music and videos

  • Video or audio training courses for employees

  • Video or audio training courses for customers

  • Weekly set lists for Churches or Bands

  • A Podcast app with episodes and show notes

What are the Media Center Manual’s primary functions and what are the steps to accomplish them?

The Media Center Manual provides a great way to share different types of media with your users, but read on to see what some of the core features are and how to set them up.

How to Add the Media Center Manual Plugin to Your App

Here are some simple steps get this feature live on your app, but if you’d like more detailed information, we've written a dedicated article about how to create and enable Marketplace features.

Step 1: In the left menu, go to “Features”
Step 2: Search the Marketplace
Step 3: Click “Add”, give it a title, and click “Add” again to confirm it

Once you've added it, you can change the feature's icon and title, which is what your users see when they access it in your app.

Step 4: Once you’ve created your content, you can make your feature accessible by adding it to a Folder plugin, the side menu, or the footer menu.

How to Add Items

Now that you've added the Media Center Manual plugin to your app, it is time to add some content. Each item will have the content for the user to access.

Step 1: Create an Item
Click the "Add New Item" button to add a new item.

Step 2: Add a Title
Depending on the organization of your app, this might be the name of the content (like the song/video name) or it might be the artist or creator of the content. 

Step 3: Add a Carousel Image (Optional)
The image carousel is a core component that is utilized across several features to streamline your user experience. With it, you can add images to your feature and then attach various actions such as linking to app content, calling a phone number, sending an email, sending a text message, opening a map, and more using our action builder.

For the Carousel images specifically, we recommend a 16:9 ratio. If the image is a different ratio the system will center image and have it fill the area, then it will cut off any 'overflow' to have it fit the area correctly.

Since this is a core component, we’ve created a dedicated article about how to use the image carousel here.

Step 4: Add Content and URLs
Finally, fill out the content and links to your media.

Important Notes: Your files must be publicly accessible on the web. If you have them through a service that requires your users to login to access them, they will not work.

What are some tips you should know about?

Having worked with apps for years, we’ve learned a thing or two. So, to both help your app stand out and accomplish your primary goals, here are some tips you should consider.

Pro Tip 1: Using Folders
Try using the folder plugin to include media items if they are specific to a person or topic. For example, if you have a list of three music artists with three albums each, you can create multiple media center plugins within a folder plugin to categorize them accordingly.

Pro Tip 2: Video and Audio in the Same Item
If you plan on having a video and audio for the same content (i.e. an audio file of the song and a music video), you should definitely use the manual entry feature. The reason for this is that in a manual entry, you can add audio, video, and text to the same entry, thus consolidating your content into one.

Pro Tip 3: Feed-driven Media
If you have feed driven media such as a YouTube channel, Vimeo channel, blog, or podcast, you should definitely check out the corresponding YouTube Plugin, Vimeo Plugin, and Media Center RSS Plugin (for blogs, podcasts, etc.)

Pro Tip 3: Using Dropbox for hosting
Dropbox provides a great hosting option for a lot of the content of apps. If you do use Dropbox, you will need to ensure your content is open for public use and is valid with access for anyone with link.

Note: You no longer have to adjust the Dropbox links in order for them to properly pull into the Media Center Manual.

What are some related articles?

In addition to this article, we recommend checking out the following related articles so that you have a better insight into how to use the system to its fullest advantage:

Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)

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