Tips and Tricks for Seagate FreeAgent Theater
Discusses thumbnails, DVD menus, photo zoom/rotate, video zoom/fast forward, slide shows, etc.
As with all computer-related products, organization is a very personal thing, and directly impacts many ease-of-use situations. Because of this, we wanted to give a few pointers on how to organize your pictures, videos, and music so that you can easily find them on your new FreeAgent Theater product!
In most cases, this is for your pictures, as your videos have a completely different file structure, and your music library is already organized by album, artist and song title.
For your pictures, always remember that you need to be able to easily find your photos via your folder structure, just like on your computer. What this means is that if you can locate a picture on your PC easily, using Windows Explorer, it should be just as easy to locate on your FreeAgent Theater HD Media Player. The folder structure that you are familiar with on your PC should be carried across to your FreeAgent|Go (or other external storage device), creating a comfortable navigation experience when viewing your media on the television.
In most cases, your home computer has been used by the family and all of your photos, music, and movies are scattered throughout your computer. This makes it very difficult to find all the media on your computer within Windows Explorer, so now would be a good time to start a custom sync with the FreeAgent Theater software.
After the sync software is installed, open the customer sync option, set the sync software to scan your C:\ drive, and allow it to copy all of your movies, music, and photos over to the FreeAgent Go. After the scan is complete, start organizing your files and placing them in folders that best suit your needs. Once you get the folders organized in an order that works best for you, drag and drop them back on to your C:\ drive. After the copy is complete, you can reset the sync software to only watch those folders.
From now on, when you save any music, movies, or photos, make sure you save them in your new organized folders. That way, whenever you want to sync any new files, they automatically get copied to your FreeAgent Go.
Your new FreeAgent Theater HD Media Player makes it truly simple to view your folders or pictures in two ways – 1) a list of file names with a preview of the highlighted file name on the right hand side of the screen, or 2) a visual thumbnail index of those pictures located within the folder (12 per screen).
The optimum way to view your photo folders is to first make sure you are in photo mode. On the top of the screen, you will see four selectable options: All, Photo, Video, and Music. Using the arrow keys, select Photo from that top menu. Once in Photo mode, some buttons function differently. In this mode, when you have a folder open that has pictures in it, you can then hit the button labeled ‘Options’ on the remote to toggle directly into a thumbnail view of those photos. When in thumbnail view, it is as simple as point and click to get the image you want up to full screen view.
One of the significant benefits of FreeAgent Theater over other competing products is its ability to support full DVD menus. This is a truly simple thing to do!
When playing DVD-menued content, simply press the ‘Movie’ button on the top right hand corner of your remote to bring up the DVD menu.
ROTATE: Many times we forget to properly orient our pictures, and end up looking at them on the television sideways. When looking at the picture on the screen, simply press the right arrow button to rotate the image 90 degrees to the right, or the left arrow to rotate them 90 degrees to the left. Any rotation that is done is only temporary, and is not stored on the drive, so the next time you view that same picture, the orientation will be back to the original.
ZOOM: Just about every picture taken today with a digital camera is of a higher resolution than any television. For this reason, we have provided a very powerful Zoom function in the FreeAgent|Theater product. To use this feature, simply press the ‘Zoom’ button located in the lower left hand corner of your Theater remote control. There are four Zoom steps – Fit (full size), 2X, 4X and 8X. FreeAgent|Theater re-renders the image, bringing up the depths of the high-resolution image underneath. Enjoy the experience! Once you are zoomed in on a picture, you will see a full thumbnail view of the picture in the lower right hand corner of the screen with a yellow box indicating the portion of the picture that is showing. You can move that yellow box around in the picture, thereby panning to see other areas of the zoomed image.
Video Zoom/Fast Forward
VIDEO ZOOM: Just like with photos, the ZOOM button located in the lower left hand corner of the remote will perform the same levels of Zoom on video images also. When zooming in on video images, please remember that they are significantly lower resolution than digital still pictures, and so the zoom quality is not the same.
VIDEO FAST FORWARD: For video files that do not contain chapters, the easiest way to navigate around is through fast forward. This is most typically done with streaming file formats, such as MPEG2 and MPEG4. Chapter searching/skipping does not occur in these formats. Fast forward speeds of 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X and 32X are supported.
Simple Slide Shows
Slideshows mean different things to different people. To many people, a slideshow is a multimedia presentation that includes photos with music playing at the same time. In FreeAgent|Theater, we have enabled an absolutely simple way of creating just such a multimedia experience!
To create this simple slideshow, all you need do is: 1) Create a slideshow folder on your PC, named something you will instantly recognize. 2) Drag the pictures you wish to see in this slideshow into the folder. 3) Drag the music files you wish to have play with the pictures into the same folder. 4) Sync that folder to your FreeAgent|Go (or external storage device), and 5) Plug your FreeAgent|Go into your FreeAgent|Theater and enjoy the show!
Ad-hoc Slide Shows
Sometimes you want to enjoy a slideshow experience without having to go back to your PC to create it. With FreeAgent|Theater, we provide you with the simple tools to create a slideshow complete with music right from your television, using only your FreeAgent|Theater remote control! To do this, simply follow these easy steps:
Navigate to the music you want to play, and play it.
Navigate back to the specific folder of pictures you want to have playing at the same time.
Hit the play button on a picture in that photo folder.
That’s it! Your music and pictures are now playing together, complete with transitions! Sit back and enjoy!
Located in the lower left hand part of the remote control is a button labeled ‘REPEAT’. This repeat function works in both Music and Photo modes, and has multiple modes, including Shuffle All and Shuffle Repeat.
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