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What's New in MediaLab v2006?
medialab, what's new

Thinking about upgrading to MediaLab 2006? Here are the newest features to help you decide. For all the current features, see our main MediaLab page. If you are ready to order or upgrade, please visit our order page.


New Features
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 Files
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
Want five 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
A blank 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
You 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
Visual, 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 Centered
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 Session
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 MediaLab Session
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 Navigation
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
In 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 Equipment
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 Items
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.

True Autostart
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.

Smarter Autostart
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
In the 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 Questionnaires
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 support.
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 of MediaLab.

Free access to all fixes, samples, updates and basic support until the 2008 version

Interested? Drop our sales team a note!


Links

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Last modified: April 21st, 2016.