A good deal of thought needs to go into the content you will provide. People need variety. Sometimes a movie, sometimes a documentary, sometimes relaxing music, sometimes upbeat music etc. etc.
Firstly consider the categories that you want and then make folders for them. e.g. documentaries in folder ‘documentaries’, background music in folder ‘background-music’, family photos in ‘family-photos’ etc. etc. All folders need to be made inside ‘/home/pi/pp_home/media’.
Sourcing appropriate content is up to you. Digitizing family photos etc. is usually no problem but videos and music may have licensing issues that are your concern. This guide is built using free, publicly available content from tv.jw.org and jw.org. Of course you can use any media that is at your disposal.
Occasionally you may find that a file does not play. The most likely cause is the filename. For reliability change any filenames that contain punctuation, international characters(ie. language specific accents à é î õ ü etc.) and any other characters other than a-z, A-Z, 0-9, – and _. It is a Linux system and as such spaces in filenames can cause issues. Therefore, I replace any spaces with either underscore ‘_’ or hyphen ‘-‘.
Sometimes you may need to zip or unzip files and manipulate audio files.
sudo apt-get install zip unzip sox libsox-fmt-mp3
All folders created below reside in ‘/home/pi/pp_home/media’
- Create folder ‘monthly-broadcasts’.
- Browse to ‘https://tv.jw.org/#en/video/VODStudio’
- Select the month you want and Left click the Download button.
- Right click the resolution you require and left click ‘Copy Link’ from the menu. e.g. ‘720p (xxx MB)’
- Open a text editor and paste to a new line. Do this for every video that you want from that category.
- You should now have a list with lines like this:
- Use search and replace all ‘https’ with ‘wget https’
- Lines should now look similar to this:
- Select and copy all the lines to the clipboard in one go.
- In a terminal window and in the ‘monthly-broadcasts’ folder paste the clipboard contents.
- The Raspberry Pi will progressively download all the files leaving you free to other things. Don’t close the window till it’s done.
The above method can be used for any download from tv.jw.org or jw.org.
- Create folder ‘choral_mp3’
- Browse to: ‘https://www.jw.org/en/publications/music-songs/’
- Click mp3 icon for ‘Sing to Jehovah—Chorus’
- Right click the download icon and select ‘Copy Link’
- Repeat from step 5 ‘monthly-broadcasts’ above but use folder ‘choral-mp3’
- Create folder ‘sing-joyfully’
- In a terminal and in folder ‘sing-joyfully’ paste this ‘wget https://download-a.akamaihd.net/files/media_music/7f/sjjm_E.mp3’
- Type this: ‘sudo unzip sjjm_E.mp3’ and all the files will be unzipped.
- Type ‘rm sjjm_E.mp3’ to remove the zip file
- Create folder ‘music-videos’
- Browse https://tv.jw.org for any music videos. Original songs and the choir singing etc.
- Use the same procedure from ‘monthly-broadcasts’ above but use folder ‘music-videos’
- Illustrations are drawings etc. from publications to be used when playing some audio files. This may include The Gospels, Bible Stories etc. Later publications have suitable files but earlier ones are not so good.
- From jw.org download the required publication in epub format. For example ‘Jesus – The Way The Truth The Life’.
- Change the extension from epub to zip
- Extract the zip file and browse inside the folder searching for a folder of images.
- Copy the images that you want to the RPi /home/pi/pp_home/media/illustrations folder.
- Do this for some other publications as well.
- Backgrounds are beautiful and varied images to be used when playing some audio files. This could include general music and songs, magazine issues etc.
- Copy images from your own collection.
- Search for free images on-line. For example click this for google.
- Save them to ‘backgrounds’. Make sure the resolution is close to the monitor you will use.
- Download mp3 files of the Bible books required. I use just the Gospels from jw.org.
- Put all the files in the same folder. Do not use sub-folders.
- Magazines includes Watchtower and Awake issues of your choice. I use only Public issues. As each issue is a collection of mp3 files. I join them into one file per issue and put them all in one folder. This allows random playing of an issue not just an article. This is a long process but worth it for some.
- Use methods already discussed and download the magazine as a zip and extract to a folder per issue by issue name.
- For example in a Terminal and in magazines folder:
- wget https://download-a.akamaihd.net/files/media_magazines/ff/g_E_201610.mp3.zip
- Follow this convention: sudo unzip issue-name.zip -d issue-name
- sudo unzip g_E_201610.mp3.zip -d g_E_201610
- Do this for each issue, Watchtower and Awake naming each folder by issue name.
- When all files have been unpacked rm *.zip to remove the zip files.
- Mp3 files must be joined correctly or they do not play in PiPresents. Now we join them.
- Follow this convention: sox issue-name/*.mp3 issue-name.mp3
- For example: sox g_E_201610/*.mp3 g_E_201610.mp3 creates a joined mp3 in magazines called g_E_201610.mp3.
- It will take a little while for the file to be made. Afterward delete the folder: rm -r g_E_201610
- There are ways to automate this but not in the scope of this article.
- Now you have a folder of magazines to be randomly played.
- Relaxing is a folder of beautiful scenic and nature video files. These include documentaries and relaxing videos that are beautiful without their own audio playing. Sometimes you can find this type of video but the music is zen or some other type that is not acceptable. We can still use them as background video for our own music and songs.
- I have sub-folders for books i.e. a folder ‘bible-stories’ for that book. Books such as Bible Stories have short chapters therefore my practice is to combine them into groups of four using a similar method as magazines.
- Other books have their own folder.
- As the name says, feature length videos from jw.org
- Animations of Caleb and Sophia. Any song animations as well. All from jw.org.
- There are many musicals and beautiful old movies that are suitable viewing.
- How you get them etc. is your own concern.
- You could buy titles, many are available on DVD at very low cost now. There are various methods to format shift so that they can be used for this purpose. While this may not be the best way, it is as close as I could do to conform to regulations. Again, this is not an endorsement, do so at your own discretion.
- The same applies to documentaries.
- This is a useful category. It contains the Ministry Tool videos from jw.org.
- By playing one of these occasionally, nursing home staff etc. may get a witness.
You might make other folders as well. Such as animations, bethel-experiences, Conventions, dramas-readings, family-photos, JWB_Talks, our_activities, documentaries, movies etc.
Now that we have our content we can Build A Show