Chapter 2. Getting Started With MediaWarehouse

You can use MediaWarehouse to store and view data objects that you've created with various applications. How can MediaWarehouse help you become more productive? If you create objects with the Silicon Graphics media and graphical tools, use MediaWarehouse to store the objects that you access repeatedly. No need to open a separate application each time you want to use an object; for easy access, you can store it in this small warehouse. To edit the object, however, you must use the appropriate media editing tool.

For example, you can store, view, and manipulate 3D models that you've created with Inventor. MediaWarehouse has a built-in Inventor viewer, so you can view and manipulate the 3D model in the warehouse the same way that you view and manipulate it in SceneViewer or Annotator.

What else can you do with MediaWarehouse? Well, you can listen to audio clips or view ImageVision images (IL formats).

For more information about MediaWarehouse, see the following topics:

Starting MediaWarehouse

You can start MediaWarehouse in one of several ways:

  • Type mediaw in a shell window.

  • Double-click the MediaWarehouse icon (see Figure 2-1).

    Figure 2-1. MediaWarehouse Icon

  • Click the words MediaWarehouse .

Figure 2-2 shows the MediaWarehouse window.

Figure 2-2. MediaWarehouse

Before continuing, let's define a few terms:

  • The clipboard is a temporary storage place that's used for data exchange. When you select a data object to copy, cut, or paste, you place the object on the X clipboard. An object on the clipboard typically remains there until the next copy or cut operation. The clipboard is used by most applications that have cut, copy, and paste menu items. For details on the X clipboard and data exchange, see Chapter 7, “Interapplication Data Exchange,” in the Indigo Magic Desktop Integration Guide.

  • The terms import and export refer to the copying of objects. When you copy an object to the warehouse, you import it. When you copy an object from the warehouse to another application, you export it.

  • The term primary selection refers to a method of data exchange that's used by text-only applications that transfer data with single mouse clicks.

  • The term string refers to any alphabetic, numeric, or special character.

About the MediaWarehouse Window

The components of the MediaWarehouse window, from the top to the bottom of the screen, are listed in Table 2-1.

Table 2-1. MediaWarehouse Components



Main menu bar

Consists of the File, Edit, Shelf, and Help menus
(see “Using the Menus at the Top of the Screen”).


Displays the selected data object
(see “MediaWarehouse Viewers”).

Shelves menu

Provides access to the shelves
(see “Using the Shelves Menu to Display Shelves”)

Storage shelves

Stores data objects
(see “Storing Data Objects on MediaWarehouse Shelves” and “Using the MediaWarehouse Shelves”).

Types of Data Objects You Can Store

Once you've created a data object, you can store it in MediaWarehouse. Some data objects you can store and view or play include:

  • 3D objects (Inventor 2.0, 2.1, and VRML)

  • HTML (hypertext markup language documents)

  • audio data (AIFF, AIFC, WAV, AU)

  • IL images (IL formats)

  • X images (XPM, XBM)

  • text files

Figure 2-3 shows some of the objects that you can store in MediaWarehouse.

Figure 2-3. Some Objects You Can Store in MediaWarehouse

Note: MediaWarehouse can accept any type of object. Most applications, however, can accept only certain types of objects. If you are unable to copy an object from MediaWarehouse to an application, it may be because the application doesn't support the object's type. Consult the application's documentation for supported types.

For information about the various ways you can copy data objects, see “Moving Data Objects To and From MediaWarehouse.”

MediaWarehouse Viewers

MediaWarehouse has built-in viewers for many objects (see “Types of Data Objects You Can Store” for the list). So, in addition to manipulating 3D models, you can play audio files. Figure 2-4 shows the viewer displaying an Inventor model, an X29 jet.

Figure 2-4. An X29 Jet in the Viewer

Note: MediaWarehouse can display many types of objects, although only those with installed viewers can be viewed inline. You can install new viewers by adding some information to a warehouse file. For information about adding viewers, see “Adding New Data Types.”

Storing Data Objects on MediaWarehouse Shelves

A MediaWarehouse shelf is a place for you to store data objects. This section describes:

When you add an object to MediaWarehouse, it is placed (in alphabetical order) on a shelf. The object is represented on the shelf as an icon with a text label.

You can add, rename, and delete a shelf, as well as rename an object stored on a shelf. For more information about shelves, see “Using the MediaWarehouse Shelves.”

You may want to store all objects of one type on a shelf, such as all the Inventor models you've created. Perhaps you name the shelf “_3Dmodels.” Or, suppose you want to store objects related to a particular project on a shelf—so you mix the types of objects on a shelf. The way you arrange and store objects is up to you. Figure 2-5 shows a shelf with Inventor objects stored on it.

Figure 2-5. A Shelf With the Same Type of Objects Stored on It

Naming Shelves and Data Objects

Names of shelves and objects must begin with an alphabetic character and cannot contain punctuation characters or spaces. If you use a nonvalid character, MediaWarehouse will create a valid name for you.

Also, shelf names must be unique (two shelves cannot have the same name), and data objects on the same shelf must have unique names.

Storing Objects Permanently

MediaWarehouse stores objects permanently, that is, when you exit MediaWarehouse, the objects are saved permanently on the shelves (to disk).

However, objects don't have to be permanently stored in MediaWarehouse; they can be linked.

Linking Files and Directories

You can link one file or an entire directory, thus saving disk space. Only the file's name is saved in the MediaWarehouse database. When you link a file, an “L” graphic appears to the left of its icon.

You can create links in the following ways:

Linking Directories

The easiest way to create links is to link entire directories by using the desktop file manager. To do this, select the directory icon in the desktop file manager and drag and drop it to MediaWarehouse (for more information, see “Using Drag and Drop”). A new shelf appears that contains links to each of the files in the directory.

You can easily update linked directories. Just pull down the Shelf menu and select “Refresh Shelf Links.” However, if you later rename (or delete) the file, MediaWarehouse cannot access it.

Linking a File

To link a single file:

  1. Pull down the File menu and select “Import Link.” The Import Link file selection box appears from which you can select a file (see Figure 2-6).

  2. Select the file you wish to import and press OK.

    Figure 2-6. Import File Selection Box

You can also link a single file by dragging and dropping it from the file manager:

  1. Select the file you wish to link by pressing the middle mouse button.

  2. Drag the file into MediaWarehouse, press and hold the Shift-Control keys, and release the mouse button.

Where to Go From Here

To learn about MediaWarehouse menus and different ways to copy objects to and from the warehouse, see Chapter 3, “Using MediaWarehouse.” To learn about customizing and configuring MediaWarehouse, see Chapter 4, “Customizing MediaWarehouse.”