The ScreenPlay Pro HD has as much as 2 Terabyte worth of space for storing videos, music, and pictures. The purpose of this page is to show methods for organizing the information to make it easier to find the file you want.
With so much space available, there is a potential for hundreds of videos, thousands of songs, and hundreds of thousands of pictures. While it is possible to scroll down through the media pages at a time using the >>| and <<| buttons on the remote. However, that can be a nuisance after you put more than 50 files on the player.
Luckily you can make folders to help organize the information. One way would be to organize alphabetically, creating a folder for each letter of the alphabet. Another way would be to organize them by genre. You can combine the methods to make the directories two levels deep.
However, much of this depends on how you are planning on using your screenplay. So here are a few roles and ideas for how you might want to organize it for those roles.
Video player for the family
The kids want to watch their videos, and you've got your videos that you maybe don't want them watching until they're older. There is no password protection at this point, so the best way to stop the kids from viewing your videos is to not put it on the player. Instead, you can put them on a network drive, or on an external USB drive that you can plug in when you want to view your videos. Alternatively, you can store them on your player and use the Hiding Folders technique below to hide and unhide the directory as you need to.
The screenplay does not make a great music player because of its lack of features. Most notably, the ability to randomize. So you might want is to put the music organized by artist / album, buried in a directory called "Music" and another directory on the same level called "Playlists". You can use the Program that comes with the screenplay to make a variety of playlists, which you would then include in the playlist directory.
If you put music and pictures in the same directory, the screenplay can play the music while it is showing the pictures. For basic storage, you'll want to organize the pictures based on what the most significant factor is. For instance, I like to store mine by year/month/day. But in another place, I have organized the pictures by name of the person in the picture. From there, you can copy the pictures + music into a directory to construct a slideshow.
Sometimes you want to keep other files on your ScreenPlay but not make them available for viewing from the screenplay. Luckily, there is a built in capability that you can take advantage of.
If you are using the NTFS or FAT32 format, you can hide the directories by right clicking on them in explorer, selecting properties, and then marking the hidden box.
NTFS, FAT32, and EXT3 format have another way to hide files. Any file or directory that starts with a period, such as .Private will not show up on the ScreenPlay but will still show up if you browse to it over the network or connected to the PC through the USB port. Depending on your settings, the files/folders may also be hidden over the network as well but that can be controlled by changing your explorer settings to view hidden files.
However, Microsoft has designed Windows to not allow you to start a filename with a period if you are using explorer. Windows will tell you that you must provide a filename. So you will need to use other methods. You may need to download another file manager. If you are familiar with the command prompt, you can rename the file or directory using that.
This is a sample in the case of a network access to yuor iomega device: it works with Windows XP (but I'm quite sure it works with other Windows versions also).
Press Start then Run... Write cmd.exe in the blank box and then press OK. This is the faster way to have a command prompt.
Now write something like this:
move \\192.168.0.177\ScreenPlay\tools \\192.168.0.177\Screenplay\.tools
move is the command to rename the folder (in the case of a folder the move is a rename, you use the ren command only for files)
192.168.0.177 is the IP address of my IOMEGA device. Replace it with yours
Screenplay is the name of the default share
tools is the folder you need to hide
.tools is the new (hidden) name for the folder
Oddly enough, explorer has no problem working with those kind of directories, it just won't let you rename the directory to start that way.
WinAmp will create .m3u playlists that work on the ScreenPlay Pro and not only for music files... video files work just as well. The .m3u must be created from the hard drive layout on the SPP as the pointers are absolute addressed. In other words, if you have a file in root/movies/1990 and create a playlist with this file in it, the file must always stay in that location for this .m3u to work.
What does this tip mean in practice? Well, imagine you have a lot of movies and have them organized by year. 2000,1990,1980 etc. You could have a Movie playlist folder and create playlists to further organize your collection by Genre (all Action, Drama, Comedy etc.) or you could make playlists of all movies by specific actors or directors. It will make organizing much easier than trying to make individual sub-directories for these catagories. Since the .m3u files are text files even a couple hundred of them will only be a few megabytes.
Another use is to make psuedo random playlists. In WinAmp create the playlist of the files you want play. It can be music, video or any combination. Use the Save Playlist and name it whatever you want, like RandomMusic01. Press the randomize playlist button and save the file again... RandomMusic02. You can press the randomize playlist as many times as you like and you will get a new randomized playlist each time. Each playlist will play the same files in the same order every time but you can make as many random playlists as you want... hence the psuedo random name. I have done this with playlists containing 1000's of songs, and hundreds of videos.
Windows shortcut files do not work and are not recognized by the SPP. But you can do "shortcuts" if you have an EXT3 formatted drive by using hard or soft links. You can organize the files multiple ways without it taking up much extra space. You would want to put the videos / music / pictures in folders that make it easy for you to find based on their names, so you can then create the links in the organizations you want. Perhaps by genre, by publisher, alphabetical, etc. When highlighted, the preview mode for the ScreenPlay Pro works with hard links, and will preview many formats when using symbolic links.
Copying without a computer
You can move files around and copy from other devices without using a computer by selecting the folder, pressing the menu button, selecting Copy then going to the place you want to put the file, pressing the menu button again, selecting Paste and then selecting OK. You can copy files from an external USB drive to the main screenplay drive, but you cannot copy them from the screenplay to the external USB unless you've done the USB Share fix. As of firmware R1.8, it shows the progress of the file being copied.