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Getting started with Zoom VideoLX 3.0

VideoLX 3.0 is Evolphin’s lightweight proxy-based asset management module that lets Zoom users manage, store, and access high-resolution media files that are saved on high-speed bulk storage outside the Zoom repository. It is an upgrade to the previous VideoLX 2.0 with support for transcoding image and audio files, custom transcoding for different file types, location-based transcoding, and the option to schedule and resubmit transcoding jobs.

The new VideoLX setup is also easily configurable entirely through the Web Management Console without using any Perl scripts on any server.

 

System Requirements

 

Zoom MAM Server

Transcoder 

Zoom Client

OS

Linux (RHEL 7+) or Windows Server 2012+

Linux (RHEL 7+) or Windows Server 2012+ (if using Redline)

Windows 7+

macOS Sierra 10.12.6+

User Area (USAN)

Write access

Write access

Protected Shared Network

(PSAN)

Write access (for Archive)

Write access

Write access

 

In addition to these requirements, also check for:

  • Your Zoom MAM Server is already up and running. See instructions on how to install/upgrade your Zoom MAM Server.
  • Ensure you have received a VideoLX license from Evolphin Sales.
  • Plan for one or more geographical demarcations within your entire Zoom network, called locations, that may each use different transcoders to convert high-res files based on different rules. You could use Vantage, VideoLX, or other media converters for such transcoding at individual locations. You would need appropriate licenses for Vantage or VideoLX for each location that you want to set up.
  • The Transcoder will temporarily store files being processed in %userprofile%\.zm on a Zoom Client machine. Consider relocating this folder to a path where storage isn’t an issue if planning to transcode a very large amount of files simultaneously. Information on relocating this data can be found here: Relocation of Client-side Data (.zm)
  • Optionally, plan out the metadata schema to be used as the folder structure for saving hi-res assets as well as New Project (Adobe CC plugins) parent folder. For e.g, you could use metadata fields ‘Show’, ‘Season’ and ‘Episode’ to save high-res assets in the folder structure as shown below:

  • Decide on which file types need transcoding from Vantage or a media converter. Also, plan for which type of files would be considered high-res and which should be ingested directly. These will be stored later as Ingest Rules.
  • Choose a machine to install SQL Server for process reporting.
If you want SSL with your VideoLX setup, then make sure that it is enabled on your Zoom Server. To enable SSL or to check if it is enabled, see this section about Zoom Server here.

 

After checking these requirements, follow these steps to continue:

 

Check if you have the appropriate number of licenses required for VideoLX. The licenses are shown in the Web Management Console.

For information on how to access the Web Management Console, click here.

 

In the Web Management Console, open the License Management node under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar. Open License Information page. Check that the counts for VideoLX licenses are as per your expectations, or check with Evolphin Support to get more licenses. You would need one VideoLX license each for each location that would use VideoLX flow.

 

VideoLX needs high-capacity storage on a network location to store the high-res files. This location should be accessible from all other components of the VideoLX system. Click here to know how to set up a third party mount point. This network location should be accessible on all machines in your VideoLX setup, including the Zoom MAM Server, the Ingest Server, the Transcoder, and all Zoom Clients.

 

If you want to organize high-res assets that are copied on the PSAN into folders based on values set for predefined metadata properties then either create new or select existing metadata properties for this purpose on the Zoom MAM Server. These metadata properties should also be set as mandatory.

For example, if you want to save your assets based on the name of the show and then by the name of the episode. In this case, you could configure three properties “Show”, “Season”, and “Episode_Title” under a new metadata group, say “CORP”. These metadata properties should be mandatory. The actual folder hierarchy to be set with these metadata properties is specified on the Ingest Rules Settings page in the Web Management Console later. 

Setting these properties as mandatory and later specifying these later for Metadata Based Structure is optional. If you do not specify any metadata properties for Metadata Based Structure then while check-in if the user disables skip metadata in path setting then the files are checked into the default project defproj and if the user enables skip metadata in path setting then the check-in dialog asks the user for the location where the checked in files should be saved.
 

To create the mandatory metadata fields for your metadata schema, follow these steps:

  1. In the Web Management Console, open Metadata Editor page under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar.
  2. Click Add to create a new metadata group as planned for your schema earlier.

  3. As per our example above, enter Group Code as ‘CORP’ in all capitals and label as say ‘My Company’. Choose Editable as ‘yes’ and Appendable as ‘no’.

  4. Select the new group ‘CORP’ in the Group Details box. Now, click Add in the Field Details box below it.

  5. Specify Name as ‘Show’ and Label as ‘Show’. Choose type as ‘Mandatory’. Add a few key values for the field.

  6. Click Submit to add the field to the group CORP.
  7. Similarly, add the other field ‘Episode_Title’ and set a few values for it.

  8. Click Save Metadata. The fields for your metadata schema are now ready to be used on the Zoom MAM Server. You can use these later with the Ingest Rules.
You can also set default values for these metadata properties so if the user does not specify any values in the check-in window then the default values are used.
 
You can also create presets for these metadata properties so the user can select a whole set of values in one go from the check-in window.
 

 

From Zoom 7.3 onwards, all configuration for an Ingest Server is done via the Web Management Console. This includes the setting for ingest rules that govern what should be done with an incoming file. There are many permutations of settings here, these broadly define how the Ingest Server identifies:

  • High-res files
  • Direct Ingest files
  • Files to be rejected at ingest

 

The Ingest Server settings configured here are only used with the VideoFX 2.0 and VideoLX 3.0 flow, that is Zoom 7.3 and above.

 

To set rules that determine how the incoming files are handled, follow these steps:

  1. In the Web Management Console, open the Ingest Settings Panel node under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar. Open Ingest Rules Settings page.

  2. There are six panels on this page. The top left one is for Common Configuration. Select the checkbox Enable Transcoding Module. You can leave the other values as it is. But, if you want to customize your ingest setting then follow ahead. Enter the following values:
    • Server Name: if you are using Zoom NonStop, then you need to specify the Zoom Server name here. For a regular Zoom setup, this should be blank.
    • Path for the placeholder file: optionally, specify the path to a placeholder file that would be accessible from Zoom Client machines. If you do not supply a placeholder file then a default file is used. This path should be accessible from Zoom Client machines.
    • High-res Suffix: optional suffix to be appended to high-res files before being copied to the PSAN. It is recommended to use the same high-res suffix as used earlier in your older VideoFX setup.
    • Mid-res Suffix: you could keep the default suffix or modify it. This suffix is appended to mid-res files before being copied to the PSAN. It is recommended to use the same mid-res suffix as used earlier in your older VideoFX setup.
      While upgrading your VideoFX or VideoLX setup on older Zoom versions to Zoom 7.3 or above, ensure that you use the same suffixes as used in your old setup. It includes high-res, mid-res, and timestamp suffixes. This ensures that your previous high-res, mid-res, and low-res files will be identifiable by your upgraded VideoFX/VideoLX setup.
    • Low-res Suffix: you could keep the default suffix or modify it. This suffix is appended to low-res files before being ingested in Zoom.
    • Metadata Based Structure: specify the metadata properties in the order in which you want a folder structure to be created for the high-res files in the root of the Zoom repository. We saw how to create the required metadata properties for this schema in the Define Metadata section above. For the example above, we could use CORP_Show;CORP_Season;CORP_Episode_Title to save high-res files as /defproj/Sabrina – the Teenage Witch/Season 1/1- Pilot/Sabrina1-1.mp4.
    • Append Timestamp Suffix To Low-res/Mid-res: select this checkbox if you want the timestamp to be suffixed to low-res and mid-res files before being copied to Zoom repository and PSAN respectively. This timestamp is affixed before the mid-res suffix or low-res suffix chosen for these files.
    • Append Timestamp Suffix To High-res: select this checkbox if you want the timestamp to be suffixed to high-res files before being copied to PSAN. Again, this timestamp is affixed to the file name before any chosen High-res suffix. For example, if your High-res Suffix is _original and this timestamp suffix is enabled, then high-res filename copied to PSAN might be video2_39827982823_original.mov.
    • Path To Metadata: specify the metadata properties to be extracted from the file path of the high-res files. Each sub-folder name is extracted for each metadata property in the order from the deepest to the highest folder. For example, if you specify CORP_Sub;CORP_Root as the value here, then a high-res file being ingested from /Published/Articles/12May19/footage293.mov will result in CORP_Sub to be set as 12May19 and CORP_Root as Articles.
    • Path To Metadata In Forward Direction: select this check box to reverse the direction of mapping of the path to metadata. For the above example, if this checkbox is also enabled, then CORP_Sub will be set as Published and CORP_Root as Articles.
  3. The next panel to the top right is the Direct Ingest Settings panel. This panel has options for specifying regex-based rules for selecting files/folders to be included or excluded as direct ingest folders.
  4. The mid-left panel is the File Types panel. This panel specifies which file types are eligible to be ingested as high-res files. You can update the list file types assigned as high-res for audio, video, and image types. You can also optionally specify individual place holder file paths for one or more of the audio, video, and image type of files here. For any file types that do not have a value for place holder file path here, the value from the Common Configuration is used. Again, if you specify a placeholder file then you should also set a value for Metadata Structure in the Common Configuration panel above. Any placeholder file paths specified here must be accessible from the Zoom Client machines, so you can use common variables like $Home or %userprofile%.
  5. The mid right panel is the High-res Settings panel. This section has criteria for identifying audio, video, and image high-res files. Select any row and click Edit to edit an existing rule. You can add regex based path list for including or excluding as high-res file containing folders. You can also specify a minimum file size limit and club it with the include path list with an ‘Any’ or ‘Both’ operator.
  6. To the bottom left is the High-res Metadata Mapping panel. You can add new metadata mappings for use with high-res files here. Zoom will extract the property from the file and populate the specified metadata field with it.
  7. To the bottom right is the Low-res Metadata Mapping panel. Similarly, you can add or modify metadata mappings for use with low-res files here.

After updating the desired values, click Save on the top of the page for these changes to take effect.

You would also need to restart a Zoom Client application like Asset Browser or Web Client to see the effect of changes made to ingest rules.

 

Locations are introduced from Zoom 7.3 onwards. Locations and their properties are configured on the Zoom Server, while each Zoom Client must choose a location to use the configuration settings for that location. The desktop Zoom Client must choose the location at the time of the first startup, but it can be changed later on. For the web-based Zoom Clients, the location is set through the Preview Server. Read on to find out how to configure and set each of these.

If you have multiple VideoFX or VideoLX licenses, then you can also set up multiple locations in your Zoom setup.

Locations can be added to allow a set of Zoom Clients to use a different type of transcoder or different configuration settings. These locations and their configurations are set at the Zoom Server using the Web Management Console.

One of these locations is later chosen while setting up default Zoom Server at each Zoom Client machine, which enables a specific set of configuration and transcoders (if configured) for that Zoom Client. The default Global location is already present in Zoom. It is chosen as default for all Zoom Clients as well.

Adding a new location or adding any properties for a location are optional.
A new location is only needed if you need to specify a different configuration for a subset of Zoom Clients, typically at a different geographical location as well.
Any property for a location, or for the Global location, should only be added here if you wish to auto-sync it with all Zoom Clients in that location.

 

Adding locations

While setting up a VideoFX 2.0 or VideoLX 3.0 setup, start here to add locations:

  1. In the Web Management Console, open the Server Zoom Properties page under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar.

  2. The page shows properties added for the location selected in the Location dropdown box above. Only the default location, Global, is present after the initial setup, and no properties exist for it. You can add, modify, or delete properties by clicking on the Add, Edit, and Delete buttons on the left (more about that further down on this page). Click Add Location to add a new location.

  3. Specify a name for the location and optionally choose one or more locations from the Copy Location From dropdown list box to copy the configuration from. The new location is created and all properties in the selected locations are also copied to the new location.

 

Adding properties for a location

You can add one or more properties for a location from a list of available properties and set its value as needed. The properties set here for a location are synced with the Zoom Clients in that location. To add a property, follow these steps:

  1. In the Web Management Console, open the Server Zoom Properties page under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar.
  2. Choose your desired location from the Locations dropdown and click Add.

  3. Select a property from the Properties list. The property is added to the Property box below the list.

  4. Specify a value for the Value textbox and click >> to copy the property value pair to the Selected Properties list.

  5. Optionally, select another property from the Properties list so that it shows in the Property box.

  6. Again, specify a value and click >> to move this property to the Selected Properties list. Optionally, add more properties as mentioned above.
  7. Vice versa, you can also select one or more properties from the Selected Properties list box and click Delete to remove it from the selection.

  8. When you are satisfied with the properties and their values in the Selected Properties list, click Submit to add those properties to the selected location.
  9. A saved successfully prompt confirms the same. You can see the newly added properties in the properties list for that location now.

  10. Optionally, add more properties for this or other locations as mentioned above.
  11. When a location is selected in the Locations box, you can also select an existing property for the location and click Edit to modify that property value. Select one or more properties and click Delete to delete those properties.

The properties are now saved for the desired location. These will be synced to any Zoom Client (or Preview Server) when this location is set for them in their own zoom.properties file.

In case of a conflict, if the same property is already present on the client, the property from the Zoom Server will be replaced over the client’s zoom.properties value.

 

Setting Preview Server location for web-based Zoom apps

These locations that are added and configured using the Web Management Console are finally consumed by the Zoom Clients. Desktop clients choose their location while setting up Default Server during login. For the web-based Zoom clients, the location must be configured at the Preview Server.

Follow these steps to set the location for the Preview Server:

  1. You could set the location for Preview Server using one of two files. Update any one of these files on the Preview Server:
    1. Using preview-server.xml:
      1. Open preview-server.xml for editing from the conf folder in the Zoom installation directory (Windows – [ZoomInstallDir]\conf\ and Linux – [ZoomInstallDir]/conf/)
      2. Set the tag <currentLocation> to the desired location. If the tag exists then update its value and if it does not exist then add it. For example:

        <currentLocation>Bristol</currentLocation>

        This location must already be configured on the Zoom Server.
      3. Save and close the file.
    2. Using zoom.properties:
      1. Open zoom.properties for editing from the .zm folder for the Preview Server (Windows – [OSInstallDir]\Windows\System32\config\systemprofile\.zm\ and Linux – $Home/.zm/)
      2. Set the property CURRENT_LOCATION to point to the desired location. If the property exists then update its value and if it does not exist then add it. For example:

        CURRENT_LOCATION=Bristol

        This location must already be configured on the Zoom Server.
      3. Save a close the file.
  2. Restart the Preview Server.

The desired location has now been set for the Preview Server. This location will now be used for web-based Zoom clients like the Web Client and Web Asset Browser.

 

With multiple VideoLX licenses, you could set up multiple locations in your Zoom setup as shown above. After setting up locations and their properties, you also need to specify which Zoom modules will be enabled for which location.

Assign licenses for VideoLX

Follow these steps to allocate transcoding licenses for locations in your Zoom setup. If you do not use locations, then these licenses should be set up for the default Global location:

  1. In the Web Management Console, open the License Management node under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar. Open Transcoding License Panel page.

  2. The Status box shows the total licenses for VideoLX, VideoFX, and Vantage against the numbers available to allocate. To allocate licenses, first, select a location from the Locations drop-down in the Manage Module With Location box.

  3. The licenses already assigned to that location are shown selected below the Location list box.

  4. Select the desired licenses for the selected location and click Add or Update.

  5. A success message confirms the update.

  6. Similarly, add or update transcoding licenses for other locations.

  7. The locations that have transcoding licenses allocated for them are shown in the License Mapping with Module box. It also shows which modules have been assigned to these locations.
  8.  Click the Refresh button anytime to update the locations lists and license counts.

 

 

To log and view the progress of the transcoding processes on various Transcoder machines, you need to configure a SQL database in the server control panel. If you do not have a Zoom script database set up already, then install and configure any SQL server like MySQL, and set up the schema for process reporting as described here.

 

You need a Transcoder for each location set up on your Zoom Server.

A Transcoder should be running an instance of Zoom Preview Server. If you are using your existing Preview Server as a Transcoder then you can skip Installing Zoom Preview Server on this Transcoder.

 

You would need to register your Transcoders with your Zoom Server. Open the Ingest and Transcoder Service page: http://[TranscoderIP]:8873/review/transcoding/index.html (use 8973 when working with https) from anywhere on your network.

Host and Port: specify your Zoom Server hostname and the port on which the Zoom Server connects. Enter port 9880 if using SSL, otherwise, enter port 8880. If you use another port for the SSL connection on the Zoom Server, then specify that port value (the SSL port for your Zoom Server may be checked on the Zoom Server. Click here for more details about setting SSL ports)

Username and Password: specify Zoom user credentials that the transcoder will use to connect to the Zoom Server. This user should be used exclusively by this Transcoder Machine. It will consume a Zoom user license. Do not use your admin or personal user account as that will cause the authenticated session between the servers to be invalidated.

Machine Name: give a name for the Transcoder machine without using any spaces or special characters (!, @, #, %, $, & ,*, (, ), _, +).

Third Party Mount Point: specify the Third Party Mount Point Path. This path should be available or mounted on the Transcoder.

Max Parallel Encodes: specify the maximum number of encoding jobs allowed parallelly. The default value is 2.

Location: specify the Location name that was configured exclusively for this Transcoder.

Use Vantage for Transcoding: this option should be disabled as VideoLX setup does not use Vantage. Rest of the options on the page will be disabled as these relate to a Vantage machine only.

Click Save. If the values are valid then these are saved. The Transcoder is registered with the Zoom Server and is ready to use.

This Transcoder will now be added in the Transcoding Settings page in the Web Management Console. Access the Transcoding Setting page from the Transcoding Config Panel in the System node in the Admin Menu sidebar.

You can update the global settings for transcoders from this page. You can schedule the transcoders to only run at a specific time within a specific interval of days using the Preferred Time For Connection option. Update the desired values and click Save.

If any supplied value is not valid, then an error is displayed indicating the value is not validated.

Similarly, you can set up multiple Transcoder machines. You can also modify any Transcoder’s settings from this Ingest and Transcoding Service page or the Transcoder Settings in the Web Management Console.

Double-click on any transcoder listed in the Transcoding Machines box to open it for editing.

You can specify the projects which will use this transcoder for their transcoding jobs. You can also schedule this transcoder to run at a different preset time and frequency than the global settings. Modify the desired values and click Save.

 

Follow ahead to set up Zoom Clients to make use of VideoLX 3.0.

Apart from setting up the servers, you also need to set up Zoom Clients to be able to use VideoLX flow.

 

Update zoom.properties

Each Zoom Client needs some properties added to their zoom.properties file. The easiest way to do this is to add these properties for the desired locations so these are propagated to all Zoom Clients in that location.

  1. Log into the Web Management Console as an admin.
  2. Open the Server Zoom Properties page under System node in the Admin Menu sidebar.

  3. Choose your desired location from the Locations dropdown and click Add. We need to add the properties THIRD_PARTY_MOUNT_POINT and USAN_POINTS for any location that is configured for VideoLX.

  4. Specify the paths designated for each of them and click Submit to add these properties for our selected location.

  5. The properties will now be pulled by the Zoom Clients during auto-sync or manual sync.

 

Alternatively, you can add zoom.properties file individually on each Zoom Client machine, but this will take longer.

 

Z Settings

For the first-time set up of Zoom Clients after upgrading to/installing Zoom 7.3, you need to select the location where the Zoom Client is working in. If you do not choose this then by default Global location is set.

After launching Zoom ClientProxy, you will see a message to set up a default Zoom Server.

Click Yes to see the Z Settings window. Alternatively, right-click on the Z icon and choose Settings from the Z menu.

Select Server/WC Settings in the left sidebar.

Click Add to see the Add Server Settings window. Notice that this popup window also has a Location drop-down now.

Specify the Server URL and press Tab to move to the next field. A Zoom Server Login window is shown.

Specify your username and password to log into Zoom. After a successful login, the Add Server Settings window is shown again. Choose a location from the list. Specify an alias, default working copy and default check-out locations. Click Add to log in, validate, and add the server settings.

Click Make Default to make this Zoom Server as the default server. Also, select Always Use Default to make sure that this Zoom Client seamlessly connects to the default Zoom Server every time.

 

Follow this post to check if your VideoLX flow works as expected.