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Last Updated: 10/22/14

Media Center Set Up

The Media Center is a powerful tool for organizing, displaying and sharing your church's media content. This article will review setting up and managing your media center. For an review of what the media center looks like and what a site visitor will see, please review our text or video overview. 

How to add a Media Center to your website

Select the page you want to add the media center to. We suggest you create a new page specifically for your Media. More information about creating new pages can be found here.

Once you have selected the page that you want to add a Media center to, select Actions > Change Content and follow these instructions:

Add a Media center Block

1. Add a New Block

Hover over an existing block on the page and select one of the Add block arrows on the right to add a new block.

2. Select Media tab

3. Select Media Center Block

4. Select Your Media Library or Create a Media Library.

Add / Edit Media

1. Edit Selected Media Library

This section is where you manage details about your Media Library as a whole. For more information on editing specific series in a Library, proceed to 2. Manage Media Library. For more information on editing specific items of content within a series, proceed to 3. Manage Messages.

Media Library Name: You can modify the Media Library Name in the first field.

Recent Sorting Title: You can customize the name of your highlighted media at the top your media center page. This is especially helpful if you use Custom Recent Sorting (see below).

Podcast URL / RSS Feed URL: You can enter a URL for an existing podcast or existing RSS feed in these two fields.

More information about setting up Podcasts is available below.

Grouping Name: Select the type of grouping you want from the drop-down menu or write in your own grouping name.

Use Custom Recent Sorting: Checking this box allows you to manually select the 4 messages that appear under Recent Media. (By default, Recent Media displays the first 4 messages in your first series or grouping). Checking this box is useful if you are sorting by something other than Series or Month, yet still want the most recent messages to appear at the top.

This is also where you can delete a Media Library. Just click on "Delete" to remove it from the list.

When you are done making your changes, hit "Save" to keep them or "Close" to discard them.

2. Manage Media Library

The is the area where you manage your Media content. This first window focuses primarily on editing features of series as a whole. For more information on editing specific items of content within a series, proceed to 3. Manage Messages.

Series: This is the list of all of the Series within the Media Library you have selected. Click on the eye icon to make a series hidden/visible and click the red minus icon to remove the series completely.

Archived Series: To archive a series simply drag and drop it under the Archived Series heading. This is helpful in keeping your media center page from getting lengthy when you have a lot of media. To make a unarchive a series, simply drag and drop it into the active series section.

Add Series: To add a new series, click the "Add Series" button. This will add a new item to the list. It will open the fields described below.

Enter basic information about the series:

Series Name: Give your series a name. This field is required.

Description: Give some information about the series. This description will display beneath the series image.

Series Teaser: In 140 characters or less, give a brief description of the series that will be used on the media center home screen.

Image URL: Choose an image for the series. This image will be used to represent the entire series in the media center. This field is required. The image should be 800px by 450px (16x9 aspect ratio).

Series Messages: This is where you can manage the media in the series you have selected. Click on the Manage Media In This Series button to edit the messages in the series.

3. Manage Messages

In this section you will see the list of messages contained in the series that you are editing. To add a new message to your series, click on the Add Message button. That will open up the fields detailed below.

Message Title: Input the title of the message that you are adding.

Description: Add a description of what is contained in the message.

Image URL: Choose an image for the message. This image will be used to represent only this entry in the media center. 

Video URL: Here you can choose to either Embed Video from a social media service or Choose A File and upload it. We recommend that you host your video on either YouTube or Vimeo. Navigate to your video on YouTube or Vimeo, copy the URL, then paste it into the provided field.

Tip: Usually all you need is the URL of your file. But if you want to use special features built into the video service (such as "Don't show suggested videos when the video finishes") you can use the service's embed code with that option selected and paste that into the URL box.

Alternatively, select Choose A File and select your video file from your website Files area.

A word about video files and formats: For simplicity, we strongly recommend using a service such as YouTube or Vimeo since producing video for the web can be complicated. If you want to use video files from your Files area, they should be in mp4 format with H.264 encoding. Flv (Flash) format will also work but is not compatible with devices that don't work with Flash (such as iPhone and iPad).

Audio URL: Here you can choose to either Embed Audio from either Spotify or Soundcloud or select Choose A File and upload/select an mp3 file from your website Files area.

Notes URL: Here you can insert a link to an outside notes website (such as a youversion.com account) or select a note file from your Files area. If displaying a note from your Files area, we recommend PDF format for the best accessibility. 

4. Advanced Options

Theme: This is where you choose the look and style of your Media Center. we offer 3 layouts: Compact, Dark, and Light.

Dark and Light display the full media center, with the controls in Light being primarily white, and the control in Dark being primarily grey.

Compact displays up to 4 of your most recent media files. 

When using the Compact theme, it must link to another page that contains your media block using either the Light or Dark theme.

Compact Center setup

1. Setup your media center using either the Light or Dark theme on a separate page. (Ex. www.mychurch.com/media-center)

2. Go to the page where you want to use the Compact Theme. (Ex. www.mychurch.com/whats-new)

3. Add a new Media Center block and select Compact from the Advanced Options.

4. Select the page where you setup the Light or Dark media center as the Source Page (www.mychurch.com/media-center). This will NOT be the same page as the one you are on (www.mychurch.com/whats-new).

5. You can modify the number of media items displayed as well as the layout of the compact center by going into the block's Advanced Features. You can choose to display between 1 and 4 new items and choose to display the center vertically, horizontally, or in the standard quadrant.

6. Click OK and you will see up to 4 of the most recent media items in the Compact Media Center on the page.

Adding Podcasts

Once you have created a media center, you can generate an iTunes or RSS feed by setting up a file gallery containing the audio files. Follow the steps below to generate a feed.

1. Setup a folder in your files area to hold all of your podcast files. These files should be basic audio files (like mp3).

2 Add a file gallery block to a new page and keep the page hidden.

3. Setup the block to look for its files in your podcast folder.

4. Choose what columns to display

5. Select the Podcasting/RSS tab

6. Fill out the information as desired

NOTE: to add a description for the audio file, you will need to add it to the appropriate file's description field in the properties section of the file galley.

7. Under Advanced Options, check the "Show RSS Link" and "Show iTunes Link" boxes.

8. In the corresponding Media Center, paste your copied links into the Podcast URL fields under "Edit Selected Media Library"

9. When you have entered those links, the iTunes and RSS link buttons will appear at the top of your media center block next to the search.


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