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The SharePoint Asset Library is a vastly improved feature in SharePoint 2013. There are also some new ways that you get to work with both rich media and video here in 2013. And the two of those come together in some really powerful ways. So, I'm looking at a library called Sport Assets in my Inside Sports SharePoint site. Let me show you first how I created this. All I did was go to Site Contents, and added a new app, and the new app is of the Asset Library type.
So, here we are in our Asset Library, and it has images. We're seeing thumbnails now. We could take a look at in All Assets view; really similar. And these are all videos. So, if I click on a video, what we'd like to have happen and what's actually going to happen are two different things, and I'll talk to you a bit about why. When I click, I am actually taken to a custom page for this particular video, and that's amazing and wonderful.
The other thing I have is the opportunity to install Microsoft Silverlight. That's not so great because we've actually installed it already. We're running the latest and greatest here. We're running Windows 8 and we are running Internet Explorer 10. And Internet Explorer 10 doesn't support add-ins including Microsoft Silverlight. So, when you see this, don't spend a lot of time downloading the media, you can do that and install it repeatedly. But your best bet actually, I'd like to view this page on the desktop in a browser. When I do that, I actually see the video because Silverlight works here.
So, that's the first thing. Don't be discouraged by what you're seeing when you're looking at the Metro view of Internet Explorer 10. I spend much of my time working in SharePoint in the desktop because everything seems to work here. So, here's everything else about this that we'd like to know. First, not only do we have files in LIBRARY, we also have MANAGE. That's the first thing. So, we can manage our rich media and video assets. And by rich media, what we really mean is audio and video assets.
The second thing is I have the ability to attach related information to this video file. This is fabulous because what this means is, I can have a video and its metadata is often going to be a document or another audio file or another image, and they're all related because when I want to show a video, I might want to have a static image there first. So, I have the ability to upload other information, and so I'm going to go ahead and do that. I'm going to add a new item, and the new item I am going to add is sitting on my desktop. It is a JPEG of this video.
So, here comes surfer_Fred, and we're just going to add surfer_Fred here. So, I am going to provide some, this is "Surfer Fred opening shot," and I don't need to supply any keywords, and this is when the picture was taken, Copyright, we own this; go ahead and save this.
So, here's our surfer_Fred image, and we'll take a look real quick. That's what it looks like. That's great! So now when I want a static image anyplace in front of this video including, for example, in PowerPoint--where I can have a static image that appears in a slide, click it, and the video runs. I can do that in PowerPoint as well as on the web. The other thing I can do though is I can manage this video. So, I'm going to click MANAGE > Manage Video Renditions. I can have multiple versions of this video.
The one I have here is pretty high res. But I might want a lower bit rate video that I can use on smartphones. I might want a lower bit rate video that I can use if I just want a lower bit rate video. So, what I can do is Upload other Video Renditions that we've created. I actually have two of them, and we've put those on the desktop as well. Here is the first one. They are video, so it takes a little bit. It says this shouldn't take too long.
So, this is a Video Rendition. It knows exactly what kind of document it is because I clicked Upload Video Rendition to upload it. This is "Surfer Fred - low." Now, what I can do if I wish is I can actually assign a preview image to any one of these video versions. And that's where the JPEG that we took earlier comes in handy, because if I wish, I can put that in here.
Now, I have to go get it, so we are not going to do that right now. But that's a great thing to do. So, let's go ahead and save this. We'll do that in a minute. There is our low-res, and now let's go pick up the version that we're going to use on our mobile site. This is "Surfer Fred - mobile." We are going to click Save.
So, three very different versions: SPORT_surfer_Fred--really dense-- SPORT_surfer_Fred_mobile--much, much smaller file. So, a user now can choose full screen, they can choose to get the code to embed this someplace else, or they can switch renditions.
So, this is what 19 kilobytes a second look like. Let's play it again. So, there is our mobile version; a little better; and finally, just plain excellent. So, although we have three different files, they are all versions of this and we want to keep them all in one place. So, that's how we get to manage our rich media and video assets here in SharePoint.
So let's go back and add that surfer_Fred image now as our preview. I can click the Callout. There is where image lives. Copy that. Let's go back into MANAGE > Manage Video Renditions. And the time I am most likely to want to use that--well, there are two times with both of these actually. So, let's go ahead and say that we would like to go in and edit the properties of our original video.
So, it's a Video Rendition like all of the others are. But let's put in a preview image URL. There is our preview image. So we would see "surfer_fred.jpg." Then a user could click and actually see more. Remember that what we'd like to do always when we have a static image is we like to provide some information that would allow someone who is using a screen reader or screen scraper to know what this is. And so, this is "Image of Surfer Fred." And let's say okay and Save this.
So, even though I didn't have an image at first, it wasn't that difficult to go back and add it afterwards. And before I Save, one more thought here is, by default, the video with the lowest bit rate is the one that we're going to see. So, what I'd like to do is actually use this one here in the middle. This gives us about four times faster than the original, but not as fast as the mobile would be. So, it's a good interim resolution here. It's a good midrange resolution.
That looks pretty good. And our users who work with this all the time will appreciate that this video gets here really quickly, that they can look at it, But they also have the ability to say, "I'd like to change to a different video, a different resolution." These two things together--an Asset Library that's been revamped, and then this new capability for my work with rich media and video, put together--create an amazing user experience in SharePoint.
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