SharePoint Asset Library

 

The asset library is a new type of library that shipped with the SharePoint 2010 release. Do you have video, audio and picture files you want to bundle within one library? The asset library is your friend. It provides excellent features for storing these types of files.

Let’s say the marketing & communication department wants to store and show video, audio and picture material to all the employees. The following example shows how to do this.

Creating an asset library

Go to the desired site and click on Site Actions and More options. Choose for Asset Library and provide it with a name. The library is now created and you can upload all your video, audio and picture files. I am assuming everyone knows how to do this so I will skip this step. The following paragraphs contain information about some of the great features.

Preview option

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The marketing & communication department created the asset library and uploaded some files. I really like the preview feature, move your mouse over a file or click on a file:

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You now see a big preview of the file. You can immediately see if this is the picture you were looking for. From this preview you have all the necessary options and information. Do you want to change the properties of the picture? Click on Edit Properties and change the properties. Pretty easy right? It gets even better with video files:

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Can you see the Play option? Go and click on it:

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The video starts playing. That is a brilliant feature! You don’t have to download the video but it streams in the Silverlight player. Thank you Microsoft2011-08-08-AssetLibrary-11.pngthis works also for audio files.

Not all video and audio files have a preview picture. You can see this in the first picture with the Sleep Away file. To create a preview picture you have to click on Edit Properties and you will see the following field:

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Choose a picture from a website or upload one in SharePoint and fill in the URL.

Metadata navigation

The risk when uploading multiple files is that the library becomes unusable because you cannot easily find the file(s) you are looking for. Within document libraries this can be solved by using metadata and the group by option. For the asset library you can use metadata navigation. This is also a new functionality of SharePoint 2010. To enable the metadata navigation you need to go to the library settings and click on metadata navigation settings. The following screenshot shows the provided options:

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The first option contains the fields you want to use for navigation through the files. The second option is used for adding additional filters. The third option is set and needs to stay like that. Confirm with Ok. Without having seen the results of these choices it can be a bit vague. The next screenshot will make it clearer:

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For some reason, I have no idea why, the quick launch still shows the libraries and lists so the metadata navigation is pushed all the way down. Pretty annoying. So you have to manually remove all the items of the quick launch. If anyone knows why and how you can solve this, maybe I didn’t do it right ;), please let me know! After changing the quick launch it will look like this:

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That is better isn’t it? Now you can browse through the desired files by clicking on content type and, for example, video. The following screen will appear:

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By using the content type navigation you will filter, really fast, through all the files of the asset library. You can also use the additional key filters. How do you change the file type? Click on Edit Properties and change the following column:

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The asset library contains three content types: audio, image and video. Every content type contains a certain selection of columns. You can add and remove columns as you please. Because it is a content type you can also add a workflow to every content type.

I hope my blog post shows you how easy it is to use the asset library and what a great asset ;) it can be to your organization.

Keep up the good work!