Categories
B&O Multimedia Design sound TV

BeoVision Contour: Best Sound Settings

The BeoVision Countour is a TV that is shipped with the soundbar BeoSound Stage. The soundbar is able to project sound in your room so that it seems to come from anywhere in the room.

Now you might think that you’d get the best settings via the remote. However, the remote not the best way to tweak the sound settings. You really want to install the B&O App on your mobile device. Here you can tweak the sound to whatever you fancy.

Sound Options

In the app you can edit a lot of sound settings, such as bass, treble and loudness. You can also tweak the upmix, virtualization, LFE and the content processing. Whatever that is? When I got the device I had to consult the manual. Here is a short explanation:

Upmix Will try to emulate extra “speaker channels” for instance for 2.0 (i.e. two channels, no subwoofer) or less tracks. The experience should be surround-ish. Sometimes you will not be able to hear a difference. Especially if the soundsettings are more advanced.
Virtualize Emulates the the surround sound experience. When activated you’ll get the amazing feeling of sounds coming from below, above, right, left, before and behind you.

The emulation works best if you’re seated in the centre in front of the TV.

Obviously this setting is meant for either movies or great music experiences. The BeoSound Stage can emulate Surround Sound and even Atmos.

Try this setting for silver screen movies, concerts, nature programs and similar.

Low frequency effects tuning (LFE) Will turn Low Frequency Effects on or off (3-120 hz). Sometimes you cannot hear any difference, depending on the signal. In other cases deep kabooms will shake your room.
Content processing When this setting is on the sound is processed to an “even level”. If you don’t like the sound difference between molesting ads and the program you really want to hear – this setting is worth a go. You can choose between:

* High
* Low
* Disabled

Translation of basic sound concepts: upmix, virtualization, LFE and content processing.

If you understand these settings, this is where the magic art of sound really begins.

Best Sound Settings

TV Sound

When I watch TV or YouTube on a Chrome-cast. Often the focus is on the spoken word. Then the equalizer should focus on bright sounds. So just add a little bass and perhaps more treble. Loudness: off (naturally). On YouTube the ad sound level will be less annoying.

Upmix On
Virtualize On
LFE Off
Content processing High
TV settings: focus on speak and reduce annoying ad sound levels

Music

Here we should be able to enjoy the full stereo capacities. Since music genres are different, it’s nice to be able to change the soundscape in the circular symbol of the app. You can make the music light, energic, warm or relaxed. In the app you’ll move a dot in a circle. Experiment till the sound is good. Perhaps you like loudness for low volume listening. I only use loudness on very rare occations. Here are my Music settings:

Upmix On
Virtualize On
LFE On
Content Processing Disabled
Music: get most out of the stereo effects. In order to get the most dynamic sound we don’t need the Content Processing.

Film

Now we enter the hall of the cinema. Here we want sound effects for a maximum immersive experience. Both films and movies may demand tweaks depending on the genre you may want to adjust the equalizer and soundscape. Depending on taste you may want to add loudness to these settings. Here I’d prefer settings along these lines:

Upmix On
Virtualize On
LFE On
Content processing Disabled
Film settings for cinematic experiences. In order to get a more dynamic sound we don’t need the Content Processing.

Night Listening

This setting is for quiet night listening, for instance for radio, podcast or tutorials. Focus is on the spoken word, so here I’d go for more treble than bass. Again loudness should be off.

Upmix On
Virtualize On
LFE Off
Content processing High
Listening during the night or for podcasts, tutorials and similar.

None

Just turn all effects off and set bass and treble to a neutral position. On the circle in the app, place the dot in the centre. Now you have a clean “sound canvas” for experiments.

Upmix Off
Virtualize Off
LFE Off
Content processing Disabled
All effects are off.

Critique: I want to control all sound settings by the remote

On the app you can tweak the sound as you fancy. But in my oppinion an app is a weakness. Why use the phone or tablet here? I don’t know why B&O created a solution with such limitations for the remote control. I’d prefer a solution where you are able to control all settings the by the remote.

If the app is discontinued in the future there is no way to edit the settings of the soundbar. On a high-end TV you should be able to control everything from the remote.

Amazing Soundscapes

The BeoVision Countour is a wonderfull TV and the built in BeoSound Stage gives amazing sound experiences for a device of that size. If you don’t want cables and wires all over the place for speakers, subwoofers and what not – then the BeoVision Contour is a very good solution.

Playlist – test your music settings

Try my playlist “Joy of the Subwoofer” when you experiment with the ultimate sound tweaks.

Categories
Multimedia Design

OpenWeatherMap

The weather in Aarhus via one of the widgets:

For more widgets, see here.

Categories
Multimedia Design

The Secret of Touch Screens and Browsers in Full Screen Kiosk Mode

How to create a full screen web app on a touch screen for exhibitions – or where you could order a dish in a restaurant

In theory the kiosk mode should be easy to achieve. But there are a few pitfalls. Here is the key to a do it yourself kiosk solution. And how to avoid some of the stumbling blocks on the road.

MacOs – not so easy

The Mac boasts of user friendliness. That is: untill you try something new. Here is an easy to follow tutorial – and if you follow it you will be able to start a browser in kiosk mode from the commandline.

Mac: Problems and Solutions

Even if you manage to get your browser up and running in kiosk mode on your Mac the solution is far from “secure”. You are not allowed to remove the menu on Mac.

But you can hide the menu. However, the user is able to break out simply by placing his mouse where the menu is hidden.

A solution could be to hide the keyboard for the user. In that case it’s easy to design an interface for a touch screen. All you have to do is to add eventlisteners to icons or buttons.

But, if the user is allowed to use a keyboard MacOS certainly isn’t the best option.

Linux – more easy and more secure

Ubuntu saUbuntu – it’s more easy than you imagine

On a linux system the recipe is simple: open a terminal and fire off your favorite browser. Just add –kiosk after the browser name. And of course a relevant URL.

Ubuntu

Since Ubuntu is nothing but a flavor of Linux, you can launch a kiosk in all Linux distros. In kiosk mode the user cannot use the right click, the windows button, F11 for a smaller browser window – and so on.

It is possible to close the web app by ALT+F4.

But in Linux you can tweak the desktop. And you can tweak the shortcuts from the keyboard, so that ALT+F4 or even F11 does absolutely nothing.

In Ubuntu I would add such settings. If you create a “kiosk user”, you could set up the session in a way where the user will log into a kiosk mode. Linux is a multiuser system, so you could display the kiosk on a touch screen with mouse and keyboard – and even log remotely in via SSH.

WM – or window managers

Ratpoison WM – the logo say’s all. We don’t like rodents.

If you don’t like the Gnome desktop that is shipped with Ubuntu, you could install one of the fun WMs, like Ratpoison. The WM is easy to configure, and if you don’t want a menu – just remove it!

Mostly the WM has a hidden config file. If you open it and follow the instructions inside the file it is easy to add and remove functionality to the system. You can edit the file in your favorite editor, like Atom, Vi, Nano etc.

The settings file in Ratpoison is:

~/.ratpoisonrc

Since both Mac and Linux are based on a Unix kernel there might be some alternative WMs out there – even for your Mac. Microsoft is trying to seduce Linux these days. Hence, you may even be able to run some of these alternative WMs under Windows. But that’s beyond the scope of the article.

A magick cabinet with a touch screen and a wicked hidden Raspberry Pi running your web app from behind the scenes

Raspberry Pi with Linux is a powerful solution for a kiosk. Image source: https://www.piqsels.com/en/search?q=raspberry+pi

Now we’ll go behind the scenes. Why not build a cabinet for the touch screen. Behind the scenes we will power the web app with a credit card sized computer. And yes: you can install an Apache server and run whatever websites you fancy in kiosk mode.

The Raspberry Pi is a very small computer. If you have a touch screen and hide the Pi behind it in a wooden or metal frame you’ll have more than enough power to drive a web app.

I have installed WordPress on a Pi, and it runs like a charm. With WordPress you’ll have an excellent Dashboard in the background that will power your kiosk solution. Here is the recipe for the solution.

And now you have more than enough ideas. Now you can build your own kiosk from scratch.

How about Windows?

I don’t use Windows, so here you have to experiment by your own ingenium. Probably you can run the firefox.exe file and add -kiosk in the terminal.

Here is a recipe from Firefox.

Good luck!

Categories
Multimedia Design

Rioch Theta 360 degree images in WordPress

Here is my very first experiment with the Rioch Theta 360 degree camera implemented in a WordPress post. As you can see the experiment was a success.


About the Image

The image was shot in the Old Town city museum in Aarhus with the Rioch Theta 360 degree camera. The camera was handheld during dark conditions. Hence the blur. Obviously I should have used a tripod / monopod.


Vis større kort

Panellum

As the 350-degree image viewer I used code from the Panellum JavaScript library, see here.

In WordPress

  • The image from the camera was simply uploaded to the media library in the Dashboard.
  • Then the url to the image was copyed and inserted in the code as the const img.
  • Note that you cannot have blank lines in the JavaScript. If you have blank lines WordPress will insert <p> tags – which will ruin the script totally.

Here is the code I used:

<!--  Add what you see below to a post or page
      the link to the image should be the link to the image
      either on your WordPress or server -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/pannellum@2.5.6/build/pannellum.css">
<div id="panorama" style="width:600;height:400px;border:3px solid black;margin:auto;"></div>
<p><script type="text/javascript" src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/pannellum@2.5.6/build/pannellum.js"></script>
<script>
  window.onload = function() {
    const author = "Per Thykjaer Jensen"
    const img = "https://multimusen.dk/wp-content/uploads/R0010030-scaled.jpg";
    pannellum.viewer('panorama', {
      "type": "equirectangular",
      "panorama": img,
      "title": "The Old Town - dec. 17th. 2021, Aarhus",
      "author": author,
      "autoLoad": true
    });
  } // document ready
</script></p>

Get the code on Github

Categories
Multimedia Design WordPress WordPress Workshop

10 Secrets: add APIs to WordPress without plugins

How to do it

In most cases you can add your own HTML, CSS and scripts to the page or post:

  • Add costum HTML.
  • Add the scripts and styles you need.

1) Google Maps

Find the location. Mark the location with a mouseclick in order to “activate” the marker. Then click on “Copy HTML”.

This is Silicon Valley. Click the share option. Then this dialog will open. Now you can click on one of the markers. It will turn red. Now click copy HTML

Now add a costum HTML block in the editor, and paste the iframe code there:

Probably you’ll have to change some of the iframe settings, such as the width and height. For instance a width of 100% will give nice results.

If you are a lazy coder add a class for your maps in order to get a standard width and height.

Bonustip – style google maps.

2) Open Street Maps

If you don’t want a Google map try the open source alternative OpenStreetMaps. Navigate to the spot on the planet where you need a map. In the menu on he right side of the screen click “Share”. Then select “Add Marker”. Now you can copy the HTML, and add it to your page or post as we did it before.

The campus at the University of Regina. When I visited the university I enjoyed the beautifull view over the Wascana Lake from the library.

Now create a costum HTML block, and add your map.


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If the map is placed to the far left the problem may be your theme. In that case try to sandwich the iframe in p-elements.

<p> <iframe .....></iframe> </p>
Add markers to a Mapbox Map

Shelters and kiosks in Aarhus added as layers after the instructions in the video above. All geolocations were downloaded from Open Data Arhus. (Remember to remove the deprecated “crs”-line from the dataset, then you can import the data).

3) Mapbox

Mapbox is an interesting extension to OpenStreetMap. In Mapbox you can style a map – so that the colors and fonts will match your styletile. Maps are creeated in the Studio. Again you can share maps with an iframe.

In Studio watch your map list. Then click Share. Click on the “Website Embed” button. Again this will give you an iframe, that you can add to your website.

Let’s try to add Mapbox to the post or page. Create a costum HTML block, and see the result.

4) Mapbox with Markers

In Mapbox you can add markers in several ways. This can be done in numerous ways. By script or adding a marker layer in Mapbox Studio.

  1. First: you have to create or import a dataset with geojson data.
  2. Second: the dataset must be exported as a tile.
  3. Third: you can add the tile layer to one of your maps.

Here is a sample – shelters and kiosks near Aarhus with geojson datasets from Open Data Aarhus:

You could add a marker by JavaScript as in this tutorial. If you save the code as an HTML file, you could embed the map via an iframe.

In theory you could add the div with the map, the scripts and the CSS in a custom HTML block in the WordPress editor. However my experiments along these line only resulted in a “partial success“. Yeah the map was visible, but the markers were placed outside the map. That’s why I’d suggest the iframe solution.

If you have suggestions for a solution here please feel free to add them in the comments below.

Experiment – add a dataset in Mapbox

  1. Download the sample Washsington stations here.
  2. Now import the dataset in Mapbox Studio > Datasets.
  3. Modify the dataset if need be.
  4. In the dataset click the blue Export to Tileset button.
  5. In Styles add the dataset as a layer, and modify it – display icons or texts from the dataset on the map.

5) Twitter

Click the kebab next to your profile. Then copy the code to be embedded in a costum html block.

6) Spotify

You can add a playlist from Spotify. Click the three dots and follow the instructions.

7) Instagram and Facebook

Have similar sharing options, however they tend to change according to the whims and fancies of these companies. There are APIs but these days the user experience is uphill. Probably you can find some free widgets.

In the past Snapwidget, Elfsite and Lighthouse were easy to use. Now “everyone has to pay and pay” as in Lou Reeds “Walk on the Wild Side”.

8) YouTube

Sharing videos on WordPress is easy: copy-paste the url to your video. Et voila!

9) Google Calendar

Follow this recipe – as usual add the code to a costum html block.

10) Figma

You can embed Figma prototypes in WordPress. Click the blue share button. Then < > get embed code.

Then copy the code to be embedded, and – yeah again … add a custom HTML block.

Probably you’re able to do something similar if you use XD.

And now by thine own ingenium device your personal solutions with WordPress and other APIs

Now you have seen 10 samples where data from external APIs were presented on pages and posts via costum HTML. What is your favorite embed on web pages? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories
Multimedia Design WordPress WordPress Workshop

Add Fontawesome to WordPress

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a plugin that will add Fontawesome to your WordPress. Font awesome is a very large collection of icons for any webpage. Installing Fontawesome is easy. If you link to the CSS in the head section of your webpage, you’re ready to go. But how can we do this on WordPress?

The best solution is a permanent one. More than often you’d want icons from Fontawesome in the menus. You could add the link to Fontawesome in your childtheme. But then you’d have to add it again when you choose a new theme. We need a more permanent solution.

What we need is a plugin.

It is surprisingly easy to create a plugin for WordPress. Here is a step by step guide.

a) Create a directory for the files

First you have to create a directory for your files. The name of the directory is up to your imagination. But try to name your directory so that you know what the theme will do. In this case I choose the name:

fontawesome

b) Create some files

In the directory we need a few files. Create them in your favorite editor:

  • index.php
  • addFontawesome.php

c) index.php

Leave this file blank. The file is used for security reasons. If there is a blank index.php file in the directory, unwanted guests cannot see the content of the directory.

c) addFontawesome.php

This file is the actual plugin. Here we have to define the function that will add fontawesome to the <head> section of the active theme. A plugin will allways begin with a comment. WordPress will use this comment in order to display informations about the plugin in the Dashboard. Here is the comment we need:

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: add Fontawesome
Plugin URI: https://github.com/asathoor/plugins
Description: Will add the CSS for Fontawesome.
Version: 1.0
Author: Per Thykjaer Jensen
Author URI:https://multimusen.dk
Textdomain: Pers2020Child
License: GPLv3
About this version: Minor bug fix.
*/

Then we need a function, that will be able to add CSS to the <head> section of the active theme. Here we will use wp_enqueue_style:

function petj_fontawesome(){
  wp_enqueue_style(
    'petj-fontawesome',     'https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/font-awesome/6.0.0-beta3/css/all.min.css', 
    array(), 
    '6.0.0');
    }

wp_enqueue_style will add some informations about the CSS. In this case the ‘petj-fontawesome’ is the name we give the stylesheet in the system. The long URL

https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/font-awesome/6.0.0-beta3/css/all.min.css

Is the link to a Fontawesome CDN. If you click on the link you’ll see the styles that will be loaded.

array() will add the data as an array.

The numbers ‘6.0.0’ is the version of the script. If you add your own scripts you can give it any suitable number.

The file must end with an add_action. Such an action will execute the function above – and then the CSS will be part of the <head> section in WordPress.

Here is the add_action:

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'petj_fontawesome' );

The add_action has two parts:

  1. wp_enqueue_scripts is a function that will add styles og scripts to WordPress.
  2. petj_fontawesome is the function we created before. So the functions is invoked and executed. Then the CSS will be part of your WordPress.

d) Prepare your plugin for installation

WordPress can install plugins via zip-files. Compress the directory with the files. Most operative systems have a compress option when you right-click the directory. Then a file called fontawesome.zip is created.

e) Install the plugin

Now go to the Dashboard in WordPress. In Plugins select add plugin. Choose the Upload File option. Follow the instructions on the screen, and remember to activate your new plugin.

f) Use Fontawesome

Now you can use Fontawesome. The icons are added via HTML, like this:

<i class="fa fa-car" style="font-size:60px;color:red;"></i>

If you add code along these lines to a custom HTML block in the WordPress editor – or Elementor, the result will be this:

In the menus you can add the Fontawsome icons in the description. Now you can use the icons from Fontawesome in any theme.

Categories
Multimedia Design

Speed Up WordPress

Lighthouse report in Chrome after speed optimization.

Speed is very important online. First of all because the user’s get impatient after 3-4 seconds. Speed is also one of the factors that will improve your SEO ranking.

How do you speed up WordPress. First of all: use Lighthouse in the Chrome browser and follow the suggetions. On my website the images needed optimization. And for some reason the meta tag “description” was missing. Therefore the score was low.

Images

Some of my images were just too large. In the Media section you can crop and resize images. This will speed up things immediately.

Lighthouse suggested to install a lazy load plugin. Again the performance skyrocketed.

Missing Meta Description

The missing meta description ought to be a simple job for a plugin. I tried a few with no good result. Then I decided to add the missing SEO tags to the header.php.

I used the Open Graph tool in order to create the Social Media Specific tags. And an online meta tag creator. Again the result was amazing. The SEO score went from 87 to 91.

Below you see the meta tags I used:

<!-- Meta tags -->
  <meta name="description" content="A large collection of free tutorials about: WordPress, REST API, JavaScript. Also you can get insight into the art of databases, PHP and much more.">
  <meta name="keywords" content="WordPress, Linux, REST API, JavaSScript, PHP, free tutorial">
  <meta name="copyright" content="Per Skolander Thykjaer Jensen">
  <meta name="language" content="EN">
  <!-- /meta tags -->

  <!-- Open Graph Begin -->
  <meta property="og:title" content="Multimusen - tips, tricks and tutorials about WordPress and UX">
  <meta property="og:site_name" content="Multimusen.dk">
  <meta property="og:url" content="https://multimusen.dk">
  <meta property="og:description" content="Hundreds of tutorials about WordPress development, REST API, JavaScript. Tutorials about WordPress backend, the database and PHP. By Per Skolander Thykjaer Jensen, MA IT.">
  <meta property="og:type" content="website">
  <meta property="og:image" content="https://multimusen.dk/wp-content/uploads/cropped-cropped-cropped-multimusen-150-150-1.png">
  <!-- Open Graph End -->

Now the SEO stuff shoul go in my theme’s <head> section. In a child theme this is easy:

  1. Copy the file header.php from the parent theme folder to the child theme folder.
  2. Copy-paste the meta tags somewhere convenient in the <head> section.
  3. Save the file and upload header.php to the child theme folder.

Cache

One of the things that will speed up WordPress is a good cache. The cache will create static pages. These pages will load faster.

But when you edit your code remember to clear the cache. If you don’t see the result right away try to clear the cache – both on WordPress and in your browser. Suddenly things will work out fine.

Experiment with the cache – this will make your site really fast.

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