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Welcome. This page is to support the Android and IOS applications called SoundBox Media Remote. 


Introduction

SoundBox Media Remote is a small mobile application that allows remote control of the media functions of the application called SoundBox.

SoundBox itself is an application written by Antony Corbett. It is software designed for use at Kingdom Halls where a PC is used to record meetings and play videos and songs. More information can be found at the product webpage: http://cv8.org.uk/soundbox/

SoundBox Media Remote interacts with SoundBox to allow a person other than the brother operating SoundBox to control the media (music, images and video).


Installation & Configuration

Installation of SoundBox Media Remote is as simple as searching for and installing the app on your mobile device from either: 
  • The Apple App Store, Here

  • The Google Play Store, Here - Current version is: 3.01.11

  • There is also a direct link to the Android installer file: Here - Current version is: 3.01.11

  • There is also a 'Chrome' app, that can run on Windows, Here - Current version is: 3.01.11

The first configuration of SoundBox Media Remote is all done within the SoundBox application. You need to ensure that some options are set correctly within SoundBox in order for SoundBox Media Remote to work. So open SoundBox, select the "Options" tab, and select the following options:
  • Remote Devices / Enable remote device connection.
  • Remote Devices / Enable UDP broadcast response.
  • Remote Devices / Media.
  • Remote Devices / Remote access code (this is like a password, and is optional).
  • Remote Devices / Songs.
  • Remote Devices / Timer.
**NOTE** - After setting these options, you need to close and restart SoundBox for the settings to take effect.

Here's a screenshot of the settings that need to be made:


Setting the Remote access code is optional. It is like a password that any remote needs to provide to connect. You can simply leave this blank. Eventually, once you have this all up and running I recommend setting this password because only people who are approved to do so should have access to the remote control functions of SoundBox. Requiring a password ensures that no one else can accidentally access the remote control functions.

That's it for the SoundBox configuration (don't forget to restart SoundBox), now on to more general settings: 
  • The device running SoundBox Media Remote needs to be on the same local network that the computer running SoundBox is on.

  • This means that: 
    • Your IOS/Android device needs to connect to the WIFI of the Kingdom Hall.
    • Your computer running SoundBox needs to be on this network also (probably is).
    • TCP & UDP traffic needs to be allowed on the network between the device running SoundBox Media Remote and the computer running Soundbox. This needs to be allowed on port 8095. Some internet router devices can be set to "Isolate Wireless Clients" - this and other options could interfere with connection between SoundBox Media Remote and SoundBox.
    • The computer running SoundBox needs to allow TCP and UDP traffic through it's firewall on port 8095.

  • If the above items make no sense to you, then you may (or may not) have trouble connecting SoundBox Media Remote to SoundBox. In this case, your options are to:
    • Ask a tech savvy brother in your congregation for help. 
    • Consult the SoundBox user guide. (located on the SoundBox web site: http://cv8.org.uk/soundbox/).
    • Submit a request to the SoundBox help desk: https://soundbox.on.spiceworks.com/portal - These brothers kindly volunteer their time to help with SoundBox related issues. However, please try to resolve the matter using local help first.

Running SoundBox Media Remote

When you start SoundBox Media Remote, you get a screen that looks like this:



In order to connect, SoundBox Media Remote needs to know the network address of the SoundBox computer. The easiest way to connect is to simply click the "Search for Server" button and see if a SoundBox computer can be found automatically. If this does not work - then you can first enter in the IP Address and then click the "Search for Server" button - and in this case the address you have entered will be tried first before automatically searching. If a "Remote access code" has been set up in the SoundBox application (see above), then you will need to enter this value in also - otherwise you can leave it blank.

If you have run SoundBox Media Remote in the past, then the most recent connection is shown first, like this:


In this case, you can simply click the connect button. If the connect button is not shown - then that's because SoundBox Media Remote cannot contact the SoundBox computer. This could be because SoundBox is not running, or there is a network issue that is preventing communication between your mobile device and the SoundBox computer. Again, troubleshooting would include:
  • Is your device on the same WIFI that the SoundBox PC connects to?
  • Is there a firewall running on the SoundBox PC?
  • Are there any network rules preventing communication between your mobile device and the SoundBox PC?
If all goes well and you are able to connect to your SoundBox computer, then SoundBox Media Remote app will look something like this:

Now you can choose to control the Songs or the Media of the SoundBox computer. 

Song Control

Clicking 'Songs' takes you to the 'Songs' screen:

From this screen you can:
  • Select songs (click the song number to be able to enter a new song, which will set the appropriate song on the SoundBox computer).
  • Start and Stop a song (click the play icon).
  • Play or Stop Background music.
To return to the "Server connection screen", click the 'Settings' icon (or on Android, the device's 'Back' button).

Media Control

Clicking 'Media' from the Server connection screen takes you to the 'Media' screen.

The media screen allows you to scroll through and select media items to be displayed via SoundBox. Note that items are color coded, depending on the section of the meeting (as per our Christian Life & Ministry publication). 
Select an item by tapping on it and as it shows on the computer screen(s) it will become highlighted as the current item:

  • Pressing the stop button will stop the current item and display the standard SoundBox screen (blank or the set Background image for the Congregation).
  • Clicking another item will show that item instead. This is with the exception of Video files, once a video is playing, you will need to stop it before commencing another media item.
  • If a video item is playing, there is additionally a pause button. If the pause button is clicked, the video will pause. To resume the video, click the video item again.


Slide Shows

SoundBox also allows a group of images to be contained in a computer folder that present a 'Slide Show'. This is beneficial for a single talk with lots of images as it lists only the images for the specified talk, and it allows for easy traversal of the images, including blanking the screen between them if necessary.
This is what a slideshow looks like amongst the media list:

If you click a 'Slideshow', then you will get a similar, but slightly altered interface, such as:


The differences are that there is now a footer with 'previous', 'pause', 'next' buttons. This allows not only selecting individual items, but progressively moving through the list one by one. Additionally, the pause button will blank the screen.

To leave the Slideshow, click the back button at the top left of the screen (or on Android, the device's 'Back' button).

To return to the "Server connection screen" from the 'Media' screen, click the 'Settings' icon (or on Android, the device's 'Back' button).


Timer Viewing

If there is a SoundBox timer running (for timing individual meeting parts), then SoundBox Media Remote will display the running timer. Depending on the orientation of the device and the available space, the timer will appear differently. For example, here are some examples:







Support

I wrote this app to lighten the load on brothers assigned to the sound console in our local congregation. It also allows a public speaker to control his own set of slideshow type images. I have put the app up on the Apple, Android & Chrome app stores so that other congregations can benefit. Whilst I hope that the app is of use, and I'm interested in improving the app, I cannot promise to offer support as I am very busy with secular work and most importantly, our ministry.
 
I hope the instructions above help, and if there are connection issues, then Antony Corbett (Author of SoundBox) has kindly offered a link to his SoundBox help desk (https://soundbox.on.spiceworks.com/portal), where a support ticket can be submitted. 

If you have suggestions for the App, then I'm happy to hear about them - you can contact me via email at daniel@inston.co - I do read the suggestions and feedback and I will do my best to help.