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AVOlight.Space (Multi-Screen Media Player)

AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
Brain Burst
edited April 27 in Games and Apps
Thanks for Visiting

AVOlight.Space
Multi-Screen Media Player designed for playing multiple media files at once.

Try the free demo
Oculus Store Page: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1174371059345457/

Questions? Issues? Feedback?
Your in the right place :)

Visit pixabay.com to find the source videos and images featured in the screenshots and trailer


For Advanced Users:

Some video formats can have better playback support and performance with LAV Filters installed.
If you've installed a video codec pack before they may already be installed.

(filehippo.com/download_lav_filters)
After downloading and opening the setup:
1. Click Neck >
2. Change Default to Full
3. Click Next > until you get to
.. Click Install
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Comments

  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited April 22
    Looks nice, I think what I would like to answer my too many questions that words can't really answer, is an access to a limited free demo such as :
    - A demo where you can only open 2 virtual players, to check if I have a use for more then 1 virtual player at a time.
    - A demo where you can only select ~2 videos,~2 pictures and 2 musics, to better understand first hand how it works, how convenient it is to use, what features are available/missing from the full version, check for media format compatibility and system requirements...

    Questions :
    - Can it auto-skip to the next picture/video/music in a RANDOM order ?
    - Does it have web streaming (youtube...) ?
    - Does it have hand controller support (or just headset acting as a 2D mouse) ?
    - Can't you already open multiple VR players (for cheaper), and do a lot more then just that, with Oculus Store applications like "Bigscreen" and "Virtual Desktop" ?

    First opinion based on trailer only :
    - Might work as a simplified self-contained alternative to a full virtual desktop, focused on watching multiple 2D media with less hassle and lower system requirements then doing it on a full virtual desktop.
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Hey Cyril, yes sorry I wasn't sure I should post that link here; it's coming soon to the Oculus store.

    Yes there's a demo ready, it's just waiting on review; it's limited by 2 screens, and no save/load space (which is just a set of screens, nothing special yet).

    RANDOM shuffle: yes, it works, but it needs some polish
    web streaming: most of all development has gone into offline media files; however, it can play youtube videos, but not live ones
    hand controller support: Oculus Touch is required and supported for the Oculus Store version
    free/less expensive alternatives: yes, haven't tried "Bigscreen" but I have used "Virtual Desktop". AVOlight.Space is just a player; it doesn't do all the other cool things a virtual desktop app can do.

    Thank you Cyril for your questions, and for sharing your opinion on the trailer. Yes, it's all about being focused on the player aspect.
    Let me know if you want to try the demo early and I'll message you a key.



  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    Truth is it's not like I need the web streaming myself, not unless you add speech based search to spare me the hassle of having to type out a stream search on a virtual keyboard...

    Since I know it's on already on it's way, I will just wait a bit more to try out the demo once it has passed it's review, thank you :)

    PS : I spared you the comment on the pricing, because someone else won't soon enough ^^
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    After selecting the address input field one can use Ctrl + v. Currently no development time has gone into virtual keyboards or speech recognition.

    Pricing:
    The main reason is development resources, as you've mentioned there are other apps that can achieve similar results; so it's important to me personally that the differences be so great that one must smile in delight.   :D
  • wicketnezzwicketnezz Posts: 5
    NerveGear
    How many virtual media windows can be opened at once?  I am curious about the app, but I am not sure at this time if there's enough to it that makes me want to use it more than Virtual Desktop.  That's not saying the app is bad, but just some feedback.
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Hey wicketnezz, the demo has a limit of 2, and the full version has no limit, so it depends on your computer and the files being opened. Thank you for your feedback, I've started doing research into adding windows from the desktop.
    Please let me know what you think of the demo if you have the time.
    Cheers,
    Nicklas
  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited April 20
    As expected the review went fast...

    But so far I haven't been able to download the demo, even after rebooting windows it just doesn't download anything and it's folder remains empty.
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    edited April 21
    Thank you Cyril for letting me know! I missed something; the download should work now.
  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited April 21
    The download works now.

    - It's the first time I use a multi-screen media viewer in VR, so it's instantly visually impressive.

    - I think one reason I was instantly impressed by the visuals, was also because I was using hand controllers to move the windows around : The (single) media viewers I've been using so far only use 2D like gamepad controls.

    - It disappointed me that the content wasn't sorted alphabetically by default, at least the drives and folder names, but I understand it might be a performance issue (when sorting a ton of media files), that the option to sort them exists, and that you can save your media viewer environment so it stays sorted.

    - I wasn't able to figure out how to separate the UI from it's window by myself, but was able to read how to do it from the download page (hold trigger+grip together).

    - I think the two Touch thumbsticks are vastly under used (maybe because HTC Vive controllers don't have them) : I'd like to control the size, the curve, and the distance from me to the screen with thumbstick controls, and with room for one more option (counting two options per thumbstick), use the last thumbstick option to instantly skip forward/backward to the next alphabetical (or random) media in the folder (meaning the basic feature of being able to skip through a ton of media with the swift press of a single physical control, which most VR media viewers have yet to provide so far).

    - One of the thumbstick buttons could be used to pause/unpause the current media, while the other thumbstick button could be used to mute/unmute the current media. The "menu" button on the left Touch controller could open the "general menu" for general options like the level of anti-aliasing and general master volume level (it would also pause all media), which could include an explanation of what the Touch buttons do. Basically I think that on top of the local window GUIs, there should be a single separate general GUI (for things like changing the 360° background picture).

    - With VR space to spare, maybe all window GUI options should show at the same time, without having to scroll through them. Or how about the ability to resize the GUI the same way you can resize a window in Windows (by grabbing and dragging it's bottom right corner) ? But what I want is simply the ability to see all the GUI options without having to scroll through them really.

    - The local window GUI has plenty of options (including a bunch of small symbols), and although I could guess most of them, I'd like an explanation of what each icon does (explained on the download page).

    - Future options : The ability to read playlists (not a priority). In the meantime being able to read a full folder in alphabetical or random order is plenty already (as long as there is a button/thumbstick to quickly browse through them without having to select the next media file manually).

    - Full version : The ability to create a "dome of medias" from a folder. Meaning you select a media window (with it's own size), you input the amount of screens you want (horizontal number + vertical number), and the viewer clones a dome of medias, based on the amount of screens and the size of the initial screen you selected. In the meantime you could simply include some manually saved environments, such as a bunch of pre-saved dome grids (from 2x1 to ~7x5). And if the "general UI" menu I suggested adding has it's own folder selection, you could use that general folder selection to select the same media folder for all the windows in that grid at the same time (with those windows having already been set to read their media in a random order).

    Reasons why I would want to buy this :
    - Because it has Windows 7 support (which full desktop emulators don't have).
    - Because it has Touch support (which most single media viewers don't have).
    - Because this is the first self contained VR media viewer I've used that is smart enough to "auto-skip" to the next video in the local folder by itself (without having to select and press a virtual skip button, or even worse having to select the next file manually), on top of including a picture slideshow mode with adjustable timer.
    - To watch a "dome of medias", which would mostly be pictures viewed automatically in random/slideshow mode (but maybe also for short videos viewed in random/slideshow mode too), with perhaps a central media window I could use to "manually" browse through a folder of video/audio/picture/stream (using a quick access physical "next/previous" media browse button on the Touch controllers, so I can swiftly browse and pause the media content of that special central window at my own speed).
    - To use a dome of medias to create a VR family album (with a mix of self updating pictures and videos, and a background music).

    This was after trying the 2 screen demo out for ~30 minutes.

    PS : I haven't tried reading streamed content, 3D films, or broken media files.
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Really Appreciate the feedback Cyril! Thank you :) 
  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited April 21
    So after spending two hours...

    As a self contained "single" VR media player :
    - It has Touch support (instead of gamepad only support).
    - It can play audio.
    - It can show pictures.
    - It can play videos.
    - It can skip to the next media in the folder by itself (which none of the other self contained VR media I tried so far could), and it can do it in a random order, which makes it my best (and only realistic) VR media player for browsing through a ton of short media (audio folder, picture folder, short video clips folder).
    - You can move the menu to the side (instead of closing it), which allows you to manually select another clip by looking at the already open playlist selection on the side, and selecting any other media displayed there with a single trigger click, with no menu or submenu selection required : All VR media players should work like this.
    - There's more then one choice for watching a full film, but AOVlight is the one to use if you also want to browse pictures, browse music, and play a bunch of small videos in a row with a single self contained VR media player.

    As a "multi" VR media player :
    - It's the only one I know of that works on Windows 7.
    - Because it focuses on reading media, it's simple to use and performs great.
    - A critical feature : It takes ~1 second to create/delete a full clone window (it doesn't clone just the size of the window, but also what it's doing, and in which folder it is doing it).

    The real question is, what can you do with multiple VR media players ?
    - You can set one window to play audio in random order (~5 seconds), one window to play a slideshow in random order (~5 seconds), then clone the slideshow window (~1 second per clone) more times then you need to. An example would be setting up a VR family photo album this way. You could even set it as a 3D dome instead of a 2D album.
    - You can set one window to play a collection if short clips in a random order (~5 seconds), then just clone it a few times (~1 second per clone). An example would be playing a collection of family vacation trip videos this way, basically the video version of a family photo album.
    - You can set a window to play your long videos/films folder in random order, clone it and move their menu to the side (~2s per clone), manually switch the video any of the windows is playing to a new randomly selected video at the press of a single button (thanks to the side menus being open and directly available on the right and left sides of the cloned windows you're watching) and once you've decided which video you want to watch you can then close all the excess windows (~0.5 second per window) and stretch and play the video you want to watch in full. This is like selecting a video cable channel from a grid of miniature previews of each channel, except in this case you're browsing the content of a folder, and each of the previews you're watching can be made to feel bigger then watching a 100 inch TV.

    The demo :
    - Allows you to try out the full version of a single media player : See how easy it is to set up a media folder slideshow, how conveniently it skips to the next media without any user input, and how fast it is to add a audio folder reader in the background of that first (picture) media player by opening a second VR media player out of sight.
    - Allows you to create a single clone of the first window, which is not enough to understand how great it is to be able to open even more clones, but at least enough to understand how convenient it is to be able to create/delete those clones in only ~1 second : AVOlight's ability to read multiple medias just wouldn't be convenient enough to use, if you had to set up each window manually instead of just being able to clone the first one. It's so fast to set up those clones that you don't even need the ability to store and reload the multi window setups you have created (but you can if you want to anyway).
    - On launch you can choose between a Steam version (forget that one, it just slows things down by wrapping through the Oculus SDK), and the faster direct Oculus version. Having an Oculus version available means you don't have to launch Steam to be able to use AVOlight, you can just use a desktop icon shortcut to launch it without launching Steam.

  • Stryker1000Stryker1000 Posts: 328
    Trinity
    sorry but I wont be purchasing . You set the bar waaaaay too high with the graphics card requirement
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    edited April 22
    @Cyril Thank You Again :)

    @Stryker1000
    Yes I will lower the recommended specs; if you get the chance let me know how well the demo runs with your graphics card
  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited April 24
    On my ~6 year old I5-2500K CPU and ~2 year old GTX970 GPU... I opened 20 different MP4 video files and my CPU was only running at 35%, with no VR tracking or sound problems.

    So I'd say the minimum requirement for opening a single media player is probably well bellow a GTX950...

    And probably even bellow my previous ~7 year old HD7850 GPU really, since it was about half as fast as my GTX970.
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    edited April 27
    @Cyril Thanks for posting your specs :)


    the latest update adds the ability to temporarily modify what the trigger does; 
    to do this, 
    look at your hand and then hold the thumbstick in different directions to see the available actions; 
    when you decide on what action to take press the trigger while holding the thumbstick in the direction of that action 

    some actions can be used both on a single screen (by pointing at one screen when pressing the trigger) or on all screens (when not pointing at any screen)


    image effects have also been added in settings for boosting overall image quality; more options for tuning the internal settings will be added in future


    Try the free demo: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1174371059345457/
  • stargate88stargate88 Posts: 32
    Brain Burst
    I've tried it this evening. Pretty good for a first version.

    Here is my feedback:
    * It's possible to change the size, but not the distance. You can check BigScreen (free) where both can be changed. 
    * sub-directories should be listed on top of the list of the files
    * I didn't understand the save feature. It would be nice if you could save your screens configuration (with locations and play settings)
    * Maybe the joystick could be used for scrolling too when focusing in a scrolling area
  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    The first demo was limited to two media players, but the latest demo allows to open an ~unlimited amount of media players, which gives a much better understanding of the product and it's performance.

    You can change the distance with hand gestures the same way you can rotate screens, but I find the movement multiplier for controlling the distance too small so you have to repeat the push/pull gesture multiple times to get the distance you want : Would be better replaced with some kind of "grip+thumbstick" control.

    The "save media players environment" works by typing the new name on the (real) keyboard : A virtual keyboard is probably planned, but it might be better (less confusing and faster) to just have a limited bunch of labeled icons to choose from (such as A to Z), which you can save and load back from with a single click.

    I agree the thumbstick should be usable for scrolling : It can be tricky to stop on the media file you want by only using the window slider.

    Basically the core product is already up and running, it's already optimized in both file size and performance, and the developer just needs to improve the way to access those features (which for now are mostly packed in a single GUI window), which is probably what he is busy doing :)
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    @stargate88 Thanks :) and sorry about the save feature, it's fixed now. Moving a screens distance with motion controllers has also been improved, and now in the process of doing the same for scrolling and dragging sliders.

    Thanks @Cyril yes :) very busy.. Working on adding more of the UI options to motion controls for the next updates. Hope you like the update to the push/pull gesture.

  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    Pushing/Pulling works fine.

    Autosave has become very convenient to use (perhaps hide it's ".txt" extension in the GUI).

    I kind of stumbled on how to reassign thumbstick controls with hand gestures, it works it's just that it's the first time I've seen something done this way.

    Apparently the trigger by itself is used to hide/unhide the UI.

    My favorite method to skip to the next video is now thumbstick right + thumbstick button press (instead of thumbstick right + trigger press before).

    Maybe a tutorial to explain the thumbstick mechanics is needed, because they are increasing and easy to miss : Clicking does nothing, and you have to be watching your hands to notice that pushing the thumbstick does something.

    Suggestion :
    - The two scroll bars on the GUI could be made wider (and perhaps have two different colors), to make it easier to select them ?
    - The GUI could have a better separation between the top options part and the bottom browser part : A horizontal line to separate them, or a different color to differentiate them.
    - The font used for the Thumbstick button options could be improved.
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear
    I don't have touch. Can AVOLight be controlled using keyboard shortcuts or the Rift included Xbox controller? Where would those commands be found?  GREAT program! Keep up the good work!  lhaw
  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Hey @lhaw and @Cyril, Thank you for your feedback :) it's always nice to read positive encouragement so thanks
    sorry lhaw there isn't any Xbox controller support at the moment

    one can use mouse and keyboard but it's not as good as using the Touch
    using the mouse with keyboard also requires that:
    Fullscreen mode must be enabled in settings
    the app must be the active selected window on your Windows Desktop

    here are the default mappings:
    Left Click: Select and Show/Hide UI
    Right Click Hold: Drag screen
    Right + Left Click Hold: Drag UI from screen
    Middle Click: Create, Clone, and Close a screen
     - Create: point at nothing and press
     - Clone: drag screen and press
     - Close: point at screen and press
    Tab key: Recenter
    Space key: Play/Pause all or only player pointed at
    Arrow keys: while holding, temporally remap the next button press
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear

    Thanks! I've since gotten the Touch controllers, but now I've got another problem:

    *How* the heck do I SAVE an environment, space or whatever it's called when I setup lots of windows, arrangements, & displays, (etc.) ? Being able to set things up, save them, screw them up, & then reload a saved environment will make it *much* easier for me to master everything. But having to reorient every time I shut down (or mess up!) is a real pain! Is there some sort of 'hidden' control area I'm missing or something?

    EXCELLENT program! Keep up the *very* good work!

    Lhaw

  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
     :) Thank you @lhaw ;

    there might be an error happening that's preventing the save/load from working properly

    this is how it should look like when creating a new save:

    then when you have an existing save selected click the load button to the left of the name
    loading time depends on how many screens were saved

    if there is an error it should show up in the output_log.txt found in
    C:\Program Files\Oculus\Software\Software\avolight-limited-avolight-space\AVOlight.Space_Data
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear

    I got it to save & open a collection of players OK, but they all have big LOCKED signs on them.

    I've purchased, & thought I was using,  a full version via Steam, so could I have accidentally opened a trial version or something?

    Lhaw

  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Very sorry about this, the Steam version goes into trail mode if it's not launched with Steam open and logged in with the account that has purchased it

    if that doesn't work then something is wrong with the installation
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear

    Outstanding! Everything is working now, but the way that "Load" & save works, it makes me wonder what kind of *other* goodies might be "Load-able" in the same way..

    Ya got a list of other commands or the like I can look at some place? The potential is mind boggling!

    Thanks a lot.

    Lhaw


  • AVOlightAVOlight Posts: 23
    Brain Burst
    Thank you @lhaw, Very happy to read :)

    Sorry about the lack of documentation, i'm stretched for time, will try very hard to make better user interface updates so that docs aren't needed
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear

    You're doing very well as it stands,

    so carry on & don't let the likes of me

    get you steered off into diversions from your main course.

    We all eagerly await 'the next chapter'

    of your very interesting creation.

    Lhaw

  • CyrilCyril Posts: 1,053
    Neo
    edited August 10
    The thumbstick shortcuts are very convenient to use, but easy to miss.

    When you select between audio/video/pictures, you don't just select all the media of the current directory but also  the media from all it's sub-directories : So let's say you select "video", then it returns a playlist made of every video available in that directory (including it's sub-directories).

    The (small) icons in the GUI include replay (same media) and randomize (media playlist order) : You can select the root of a hard drive, select "pictures" to create a playlist of all it's pictures, set the display order to randomize, choose your display time per picture, window size and curb... to create one random slideshow. Then just duplicate that window to directly create more random slideshows (each using their own random order, and the same settings and playlist you defined only on the first window).
  • lhawlhaw Posts: 7
    NerveGear

    I am very pleased with the AVOlight software,

    but because of possible vision problems from head mounted displays,

    (I may be pushing my eyes left, right, up, & down, so intensely my eye muscles are getting distorted)

    I may be forced to stop (sob!) using my Oculus.

    I LOVE the AVOlight vast expanse of many windows,

    how it can be set up & then saved for future reactivation,

    & how one can 'scroll' around over what amounts to

    a giant seemless desktop covered with all sorts of videos, pictures, etc.

    My question is this: Can I do it without a head mounted display? Do you guys know of software that is essentially AVOlight but with a 'scrolling' or panning of the display, say controlled with a joy stick or something, that produces a space full of things that can be saved & recalled like your wonderful AVOlight does?

    I do not want to give up my Oculus, but if you produce or know of something that does what AVOlight does using a regular pan-able display (or something..) could you tell me what it's called? (I want to get it!)


    You're doing a great job with AVOlight, so keep it up!

    Sincerely, Lhaw

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