We have some exciting updates for all our Screenly OSE users. If you are unfamiliar with Screenly OSE, it stands for Screenly Open Source Edition. Screenly OSE is Screenly’s free version of digital signage management software. In this post, we’ll take you through the updates from our latest v0.16 release, so you are in the know on the latest Screenly OSE features.
Some updates to Screenly OSE
With this most recent build, we made an overall effort to improve the user experience. These changes make Screenly OSE more intuitive for users and make the interface easier to navigate. For features where users (and ourselves as well) have thought, “Oh, that would be nice,” we aimed to add such functionality. These additions include:
Default time for assets: Now, users have the option to select a default duration for an asset in the asset settings. Selectable durations include one day, one week, one month, one year, and no duration limit. This improvement is helpful as users no longer need to set a play duration for each asset manually.
Column for asset time: Users can now easily view the duration that is set for each asset. Rather than having to view each asset one by one, users can now easily view the duration of all assets in an organized column.
Unique names for assets: Assets now have unique names. This update makes dealing with a large number of assets much easier, as each asset is now individually labeled.
Download an asset button: We also added a “Download” button so that users can easily download existing assets. This feature is super helpful as users can now download an asset directly rather than having to find the existing file on their computer.
Ability to skip asset checks: This is useful for users who are displaying web pages. This added feature allows users to save time and skip an unnecessary file check on an added URL asset.
GUI updates: You’ll also notice some changes to the graphical user interface.
Other than improvements to the user experience, we also fixed various bugs. Hopefully, you haven’t run into these bugs before. However, if you have, you shouldn’t experience these issues again. These fixed bugs include:
- Some users experienced a black screen when the system boots. We fixed this bug.
- Previously, if there was an alert() message, the browser would become stuck. We fixed this bug so that the browser no longer becomes stuck.
- We also updated the installation script, so that it runs more smoothly than before.
- Some users had issues with the date and time selection interface not working. We looked into this problem and fixed it by adding a cache buster. You can read more on this here on Github.
For those following the development of our experimental branch, we have made some updates to the experimental branch as well. In this branch, docker containers are used instead of system services and Qtwebkit is used instead of a uzbl-browser.
A tool for migrating Screenly OSE assets to Screenly
For many of our users, Screenly OSE is sufficient for their first screen. However, as they add multiple screens and become more sophisticated with their digital signage, they later prefer to upgrade to Screenly. Screenly is our paid version of digital signage management software with added functionality and commercial support.
Before our last update, this transfer was a bit of a hassle, as users had to manually migrate their digital signage assets from Screenly OSE to their new Screenly account. Now, with this latest update, we have a tool for our Screenly OSE users to easily and quickly migrate their existing digital signage assets to their new Screenly account. This tool makes the transfer to Screenly easier than ever.
If you are wondering if Screenly is right for you, here is a list of some important features that Screenly provides over Screenly OSE:
- Management for multiple screens
- Remote management from a central web interface
- Cloud storage for digital signage content
- Status alerts for malfunctioning screens
- Commercial-grade support
You can read more about the difference between Screenly’s paid version and Screenly OSE in “The Layman’s Guide: Screenly OSE vs. Screenly (Paid Version).” Screenly OSE is great for one screen, but if you have a multiple screen deployment, we strongly recommend you go with Screenly’s paid version. It will save you a ton of time with managing your digital signs and will more than pay for itself each month.
To use the migration tool, take the following steps using Python:
- Navigate to and launch the tool:
$ cd /home/pi/screenly $ python tools/assets-migration-to-screenly-pro.py
- Choose to use either your API token or your login credentials for your Screenly account.
- Enter your API token or login credentials and confirm that you want to start your asset migration.
- Now, just wait for your migration to finish!
How to get started with the latest Screenly OSE
If you haven’t flashed your SD or microSD card with the latest version of Screenly OSE, be sure to download this version on Github. Once you downloaded the latest disk image, take a look at our instructional video to flash this disk image onto your device. Also, be sure to visit our Screenly OSE page with more information on how to get started.
We hope this article was helpful and informative, and, most importantly, we hope these latest updates to Screenly OSE improve your digital signage experience!