Two big changes are coming with Metro Publisher's release of version 2.9. Content types are being combined together to allow more flexibility for your media assets, better workflows for you, and improved user experience for your readers. At the same time, slideshows will now be created and stored as a piece of content.
We appreciate your input and are working hard to make sure that Metro Publisher continues to improve. These new features came directly from feedback and requests from you – our users.
Please read the notes below carefully and let us know what you think. Leave comments freely! Your insights are vital to our efforts.
Metro Publisher Support Squad
Combined Content Types
With the last release (v2.8) we started the process by combining blog entries, reviews, and articles into on single content type. With v2.9 we will be completing this process by getting rid of video articles and instead allowing all content to contain videos and other media assets.
Slideshows and the New Media Carousel
Part of this process will be the conversion of slideshows into content. In the past, slideshows were created and stored within the file library. Now, slideshows are themselves a piece of content. Rather than creating an article and attaching a slideshow to it, slideshows will now be created and stored within an article, blog entry, review or event. Or they can stand alone.
Here are some of the important highlights:
- NEW! Media Types: All content may now contain images, slideshows, videos, audio files (ex: SoundCloud), and embeds.
- NEW! Media Carousel: All media is displayed directly within a piece of content. For example, no longer do you create a slideshow and attach it to an article. Create and publish slideshows in just a few clicks. The new media carousel will adjust to the content contained within it automatically.
- Stand-Alone Slideshows: Slideshows now stand alone as a piece of content. That means that slideshows may be assigned to sections and appear among featured stories on your sections and on your homepage.
- Basic HTML for Description: Basic HTML elements and linking from within slide description field.
1. NEW! Media Types
To start, with release v2.9 of Metro Publisher all pieces of content – articles, reviews, blog entries, and events – will display a variety of media directly in the page. Additionally, the types of media have been expanded to be much more flexible.
Here are some things to expect:
- Vimeo and YouTube: Add Vimeo and YouTube videos just by pasting in a URL. Metro Publisher will detect the source and provide the appropriate sizing and thumbnail (if there is one).
- SoundCloud: Embed the SoundCloud audio player simply by pasting in the URL. Metro Publisher will detect the source and display SoundCloud's interactive player automatically.
- Flash: Insert custom or third party embed code directly into the new media carousel for things such as interactive Flash widgets.
- Embed: Use any third party video service such as Youku.
2. NEW! Media Carousel
How are these new media types displayed? In order to maintain our promise of clean structured data, we've added a new media carousel that responsively displays your media assets within a piece of content. Similar to how videos are currently embedded within a video article, the carousel displays images, videos, sound files, and embeds at the top of the page. If you include multiple assets, the carousel reveals navigation options to your readers so that they may browse. Think of it as a slideshow that allows all kinds of file types.
Media Carousel in Slideshow View
Here is an example of how a slideshow will look in an article. The images will appear at the top of the page in the media carousel. Readers may click through slides, change to gallery view, or open in Expanded View.
Media Carousel with multiple images displayed as a slideshow.
- Navigation: Next and Previous buttons with slide counter
- Expanded View: Button to open slideshow at maximum size within browser window
- Gallery View: Displays thumbnail images of slideshow
- Title and Description: Basic HTML and text formatting, such as links, can be inserted in the description
NOTE: Slideshow navigation elements appear ONLY if multiple assets are detected. Pro users can change the look and feel of these elements via the CSS.
Media Carousel in Expanded View
Here is an example of how a slideshow will look in the Expanded View. The screen darkens and the images are re-sized to fit within the available space depending on the reader's browser and screen size.
Media Carousel with multiple images in expanded view mode.
- Media Carousel expands to fill browser window. Images are proportionally re-sized according file size and available vertical/horizontal space
- Title, Credit, and Description: Including any text formatting or links
Media Carousel in Gallery View
Here is an example of how a slideshow will look in when switched to Gallery View. The images tile and allow readers to jump to any one image or media asset.
Media Carousel with multiple images displayed in gallery view.
- Slideshow navigation disappears.
- User can scan photos or other media and select.
Media Carousel with Multiple YouTube Videos
Here is an example of an article that has several YouTube videos.
Media Carousel with Multiple YouTube Videos In Gallery View
Here is an example of the same article with the slideshow switched to gallery view..
Media Carousel with One Asset: SoundCloud
Here is an example of an article that has only one asset – a SoundCloud audio widget.
Media Player with only one SoundCloud File.
- In case where there is only one asset, no slideshow navigation elements appear
- SoundCloud audio player widget displays within piece of content.
3. Stand Alone Slideshows
In the past, slideshows were created and stored within the file library. They were treated like a different object with limited powers and could only be attached to a "real" piece of content. Now, slideshows are themselves a "real" piece of content. In other words, rather than creating an article and attaching a slideshow to it. Slideshows are created and stored as a piece of content because they are content. If you only want the slideshow and don't have a bunch of text, like an article to go with it, you simply don't put any and the slideshow will display as it is, by itself.
- Assign slideshows to sections or subsections
- Slideshows inherit the ad slots and sprockets of section/subsection
- Display slideshows as featured stories on sections/subsections and the homepage
- Slideshows appear in featured stories with a thumbnail and icon depending on the type of media contained within the slideshow.
Sample of article with video and a slideshow as featured stories.
Excellent changes especially allowing embeds in an article. Not being able to embed photos directly into an article was a definite drawback before. Thanks!
Just want to clarify a bit here: Multiple images(or multiples of anything) will be displayed within the media carousel at the top of the article (or blog entry, review, etc.). Where before, you created a slideshow or video separately and "attached" or "linked" to them. Now media assets display in the media carousel within the piece of content. With the embed feature, you can put in custom or third party code for widgets, interactive maps, etc. But they too, display within the carousel.
When can we expect to see the changes?
The changes look exciting and I'm looking forward to the launch of 2.9. Hopefully that will be soon!!
Very exciting update. It opens up lots of new possibilities for us.
With images moving to the new carousel, will the media slots be re-purposed in any way?
We are currently in testing for v2.9. Though we don't have a specific date set, this release will be fairly soon. FYI, there are a number of other new and interesting features in this release. You can look forward to things like homepage automation, Google+ author tag, most commented sprocket, and more.
As to the question about media slots – the ones currently used for images will be gone. The images in the media slots from any old articles will be moved to the media carousel. Single images will appear as a feature image and multiple images become slideshows. The video and slideshow thumbnail that used to appear in that area will no longer be necessary as the slideshow and/or videos are embedded directly in the page. Reviews and events will still show the location info in that area. Related links, for the time being, will also remain there.
These changes look good - thank you for making them. I'd like to suggest a minor change not discussed above - Can you add a "more>>" link to the ends of blog entries, like now exist at the end of feature articles? I always fear that some of my readers -- who are probably substantially older than your normal readers and may not speak English as a first language - don't understand that they need to click on the title of the blog entry to read the whole thing. (If this can already be done and I just don't know it, please tell me how!)
I've noticed that some images that I have sized at 640 by 480, and placed within a content page, are not sizing properly for mobile devices. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm attaching a screen shot from iphone of one of the pages within the oversized image.