More features and greater
stability. And MediaLab v2006 is backwards compatible such that MediaLab
experiments from all previous versions should continue run without
requiring any modification. Here are some of the latest features:
Save Calculated Variables to Your Data
As of v2004, you have been able to create or calculate
variables during a session using the power of Excel. Now you can save any
or all of these variables along with your other MediaLab data. Simply
create a questionnaire called "responses.que" and enter the names of any
calculated variables that you want to record. MediaLab will then
automatically monitor the values of these variables in Excel and save them
as if they were questionnaire data. In sum, anything you can calculate
based on anything your participants do, can now be written directly to
your Excel or SPSS data files.
Custom Items Made Easy
Want to use a
slider? A pull down box, or radio buttons? Want to make custom buttons
with pictures? Now MediaLab allows you to create your own forms using any
technology you want--if it will display in Internet Explorer, then it will
display in MediaLab. Simply use a standard post or get method and MediaLab
will grab and save the data. In v2004, we tried something like this with
Visual Basic, but many found it too difficult. This is much easier and can
be picked up quickly if you check out a few of the samples.
Multiple Items on One Page
fill in the blanks on one page? Or three scale items, three blanks, a pull
down list, and a slider? Using the new custom item method (above), you can
generate and place any number of input methods on a single html form. You
can even take an existing survey off the internet and put it in your
experiment--with little or no modification required. MediaLab will display
it all and save everything along with your regular data.
Run sessions automatically from another program
or batch file
Using a simple shortcut file, batch file, or run
command you can start a session directly without having to see the usual
MediaLab screen. The shortcut or batch file can simply tell MediaLab what
experiment or questionnaire to run. Optionally, you can add the subject
and condition IDs or tell it to use an autostart file or prompt.
Virtual Lab - Run sessions in your lab from a
remote computer using Windows Remote Desktop
This powerful new
feature allows you to run a MediaLab session in your lab from pretty much
any computer elsewhere in the world so long as it has a high speed
internet connection. Send your participant a link to run the session on
your lab machine from anywhere--even on a Mac! They will see what is on
the monitor and control what happens using their keyboard and mouse. Uses
Windows Remote Desktop technology and requires Windows XP Pro on your lab
machine(s). Currently limited to one subject per computer at a time. Not
intended for media-heavy experiments.
Save Data in an Access Database
access database called "vertical.mdb" is now available in the MediaLab
"Utilities" folder. This file can be copied into the
"\data\byvariablename" subfolder of any experiment you like. If MediaLab
finds this file after a session is complete, it will output all of the
data into the three columns (subject, varname, value) of the "vertical"
table. Data from each subject will be appended to this file. This will be
in addition to all of the usual data file formats. To maximize
compatibility, this file is (and should remain) in Access 97 format--it is
readable by all versions of Access.
New Image Ranking/Organizing Feature
can now use the Ranking item type to allow participants to rank images as
well as text labels. Simply enter the names of image files where you would
normally enter text labels and subjects can place faces, cars, logos, etc.
in any order on any dimension. As with text, there is a limit of 12 images
at a time. Sample available.
Improved Probe Task Capability
auditory and TTL signal probes can now be launched easily during any task.
You can create a schedule of probes at either random or fixed intervals
and get subjects response times to the probes. The probe schedule can span
multiple items as it runs independently of the experiment once launched.
Response times are assessed using DirectX so accuracy is very good.
Easily Align Question Text as Left, Right or
To center and move the question wording around... In
v2004, you could add parameters to question wording by adding "param()" at
the end of your question wording. In the parentheses, you could add top,
left, width and height parameters as usual. In v2006, you can also add an
"a" parameter to set the alignment of the text. By default it will be left
aligned. For right alignment, add "a1". For center alignment, add "a2".
e.g., "The quick brown fox jumped off the roof param(a1)" will be right
aligned. "The quick brown fox jumped off the roof param(a2,t.5) will
center the sentence horizontally on the screen and the top of the text
will be located 50% of the way down the screen.
Adjust Speaker Volume Automatically During
Sometimes you will have multiple media clips in your
session and they vary in volume. Some play too loud, others not loud
enough. Now you can embed an executable item at any point called
"volume.exe" located in the MediaLab "Utilities/Sounds" folder. Copy this
file into your experiment folder. Anywhere in your experiment add an
executable item and in the filename field, type "volume.exe". In the
parameters field enter (c5) where 5 is a volume setting from 1 to 10. For
max volume, enter (c10) and for min volume enter (c1). Any integer value
from 1 to 10 is ok. You'll get a brief, "please wait one moment message"
while the volume is adjusted after which you can click to continue.
Silently Run EXE Files or Batch Files During a
In the past, executable files have needed to be
their own item in MediaLab. Now you can instruct MediaLab to run an
executable at the start of any other item type by adding a "c" parameter
followed by the file name.
Option to Disable Keyboard
Add a (k-1) parameter to any questionnaire item to
disable the spacebar as a means to proceed to next item. Solves HTML
problems where the spacebar can be required for text input.
Enhanced Output To External Equipment
previous versions, MediaLab could send a single byte TTL signal to
external equipment at the onset of any item. With v2006, you also have the
option to send a whole string of characters via the com port. Nice for
situations where the external equipment wants a bit more information than
a single TTL signal can provide.
Enhanced Input From External
MediaLab can now read continuous data input from an
external device and write these data to a file with current time and
variable stamps as well as subject and condition IDs.
Require a Correct Response to Scale
Enter a scale item's own variable name as the skipto value
for incorrect responses and MediaLab will stay on the item until a correct
response is made.
Until now, when using an
autostart file, you would be prompted to indicate that MediaLab should
continue with the next session. In v2006, using a "substitute.txt" file,
you can have a blank message defined for the end of session event. If
MediaLab sees that you have no message *and* you are using an autostart
file, then it will proceed automatically with the next session without
hassling you. Requires ctrl-alt-delete when you finally want to escape.
If a session ends
prematurely (e.g., intentionally cancelled), you will now be asked if you
would like the autostart file to be reset as it was before the session.
This prevents MediaLab from scratching this session of its to-do list!
Cleared Data Now Safely Recycled
past, clearing data at the start of a session would delete the data
permanently (after a serious warning, of course). In v2006, cleared data
are sent to the Windows Recycle Bin where they stand a good chance of
being saved should they be cleared accidentally.
Handy Pop-Up Links In Your
Provide information to the participant via pop-up
links. Participant clicks a link on the question page to see a message,
helpful hints, instructions, translations, or any other text elaboration.
Works on most item-types.
Enhanced audio and video
MediaLab v2006 has the capability to work directly with
Microsoft's latest media player technology to present audio and video-- no
clip shall be left behind!
Other general tweaks and fixes.
Compatible with experiments designed in all previous versions
Free access to all fixes, samples, updates and basic support
until the 2008 version
Interested? Drop our sales team a note!