CasaTunes Smart Tasks are designed to streamline and automate listening to your music at home and at work.
Smart Tasks are ideal for users who are not familiar with, or comfortable with, using traditional music Apps. This includes commercial environments, where employees may have little or no training on music Apps, installations in homes where one or more family members are uncomfortable and easily overwhelmed by music Apps, and more globally, everyday CasaTunes users who would like to streamline their listening process.
A Smart Task is a task that contains one or more actions. Actions include; playing music, controlling rooms, controlling music, playing chimes, converting text messages into playable audio, and adding a timed or scheduled delay. Using these basic building blocks, one can construct some very sophisticated tasks, as we will discover later on.
Tasks are displayed as buttons in the Smart Tasks screen. Simply press the task to run the task, or you can schedule the task to run the task unattended. Only tasks whose actions do not include prompts can be scheduled.
Actions can be configured to prompt the user for input when the task is run. Prompts are simple wizard-like interfaces, and include for example, presenting a list of items to the user to select one or more items, or a text box to enter text. Users may be prompted to select rooms, select music items, or enter text for the text-to-speech action.
Tasks can be organized or grouped by categories. Categories are optional. You can create as many categories as desired. For example, you may want to create categories for grouping your music, radio stations, announcements, house control, etc.
In addition to categories, Smart Tasks have the concept of “users”. Users are optional, as well. Tasks can be assigned to users. Similar to categories, you can have as many users as desired. A task that is not assigned to ANY user is available to ALL users. When you select a user, the Smart Tasks screen will be filtered to only display tasks assigned to the user, or tasks that have not been assigned to any user.
Smart Tasks are only supported by the CasaTunesX App. The CasaTunesX App can be downloaded from the appropriate store, or you can use the web version (http://casaserver/casatunesX).
Also, make sure you are using the latest CasaTunes version.
The Smart Tasks screen is accessible from the context menu button in the header in both the Rooms (as shown) and Now Playing screens.
To switch to the Smart Tasks screen select “My Tasks” menu item (or your customized tasks page name, like "Jack's Tasks", in this example).
When in the Smart Tasks screen, you can return to the Rooms or Now Playing screen by selecting the back button.
You can also configure the CasaTunesX App to always start up in the Smart Tasks screen.
To learn more about how tasks work, let's create a simple task to turn all rooms off.
Go ahead and access the Smart Tasks screen (following the instructions above).
The first time you access the Smart Tasks screen, there will be no tasks available. To create a task:
The Edit Task screen is displayed. Let’s configure this screen as follows:
In the Edit Actions screen:
In the Control Rooms Settings screen:
You should now see the newly created All Rooms Off task in the Smart Tasks screen. To test the task, make sure some of the rooms in your home are on, and select the All Rooms Off task. All the rooms should now turn off.
Now, let's customize our Smart Tasks screen by adding categories and users. Categories are used to group tasks, while users are used to filter tasks.
First, we are going to create a new category and name it “House Control”:
Now let’s add a picture for our Category.
Now let’s assign the All Rooms Off task to the House Control category.
You should now see your All Rooms Off task is grouped under the House Control category.
Now, let’s create a new task, similar to the All Rooms Off task, but this time we are going to schedule it to automatically run at midnight.
Let’s make a copy of the current task.
CasaTunes creates a new copy of the existing task and names it "Copy of All Rooms Off". Now let's edit this new task.
You should now see both the original "All Rooms Off" task, and the new "All Rooms Off at Midnight" task. Note, the alarm clock icon displayed in the "All Rooms Off at Midnight" task. This let's us know this is a scheduled task
We really don’t need both these tasks because even though the All Rooms Off at Midnight is a scheduled task, you can still run this task manually to turn off all your rooms.
Let’s delete the All Rooms Off task.
You can further customize the Smart Task screen by creating users, and assigning tasks to users.
When you change the "current" user, only tasks that are assigned to this user, or tasks that have not been assigned to ANY user, are displayed in the Smart Task screen.
In our example, let's assume there are two people in our home, Jack and Jill. Let's create these two users:
Now, let's select the user Jack:
Since we have not assigned our task to ANY user, it will show up for either Jack or Jill. You can see this by changing the user to Jill. Now switch the user back to Jack.
Let’s assign our task to Jack, but not Jill.
Now let's view Jill’s Smart Task screen
Like Categories, Users are completely optional, but are helpful when customizing the Smart Tasks screen and organize tasks..
Now that we know the basics of how tasks work, let’s create a task to play music. The Play Music action is used to play playlists, albums, stations and tracks.
Before we create this task, let’s make sure we have several playlists or various Featured Items available to select. If you are not familiar with Featured Items, please check out the following video (https://www.casatunes.com/videos/featured-items). Go ahead and tag several playlists and radio stations as featured items.
First, we are going to create a task that plays a specific radio station in a room. Then we will amend the task to pick a random radio station from a list of selected radio stations in a room, and finally, we will amend the task to prompt the user to select the rooms to play a radio station in, and prompt the user to select the ratio station to play from the list of selected radio stations.
For our task, we have tagged several BBC stations as Featured Items (including BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 and BBC World Service). This was accomplished by performing a search for the term "BBC", when viewing airable Radio, and tagging each station as a featured item.
To create a task that will play BBC1 in the office:
In the Edit Task screen:
Now in the Play Music Settings screen:
Now, let’s add a task that randomly selects one of BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, or BBC World Service in the Office.
Copy the BBC1 in Office task, and edit the new task.
One of the unique and more powerful capabilities of Smart Tasks, is the wizard-like prompting interface.
Often times, when you are creating your tasks, you don't know where to play your music, or what music to listen to.
In this next exercise, we will show how Smart Tasks can prompt the user to select the room(s) and to select the music to listen to.
Copy the Random BBC Station task and edit it.
When your run the task, CasaTunes first prompts the user to select one or more rooms to play the music in, then prompts the user to select the music to listen to.
Prompting provides tremendous flexibility, while still providing users with a simple and easy to understand user interface.
In addition to adding your music selections when you create a Play Music action, you can also add music to your tasks while browsing and exploring your music.
When browsing music and you want to add a playlist, album, track or station to your tasks:
You can also add music to a Smart Task from the Now Playing screen for a room.
Up until now, all our tasks have included a single action, but tasks can include an unlimited number of actions.
In our next exercise, we are going to create a bedtime task for a child. In this task, we will select an appropriate playlist for children to listen to. After five minutes, we will lower the volume, and then after fifteen minutes we will shut the room off.
Now add another action. In this action we will add a five minute delay before continuing with the next action (lower volume)
Now add the next action to lower the volume.
Now add the next action to wait another ten minutes before continuing with the next action (turning off the room)
Now lets add the final action to turn off the room
A cool feature of Smart Tasks is text-to-speech (or TTS). TTS allows you to enter a text message and have CasaTunes convert your text to audio, but that's not all. You can select from various different voices to use to convert your text, including support for different languages.
In this exercise, we will create a task which will first prompt the user to select the rooms to include in a page, then prompt the user to enter the text message to convert to audio. CasaTunes will then convert the text message into audio, using an Australian female voice, and play it in the selected rooms.
OK, let's get to it:
When your run the Page... task CasaTunes first prompts the user to select the rooms to page, then prompts the user to enter the text to be converted to audio, and finally CasaTunes plays the converted message using the selected voice in all the selected rooms
There are two levels of Smart Task Settings you can configure, device and system (wide) settings.
Device Settings apply to the current device you are using. Each device (phone, tablet, browser, etc.) can be configured separately.
Device settings include:
System Settings are used to configure Smart Task settings for your system (and applies to all devices).
Currently, this is used to configure the Audio Feedback Settings for Random Play Music actions, and includes:
Finally, you can configure the Password Feature Settings to override whether to enable or disable Smart Tasks for your system
To re-order your categories, press & hold on the category to move in the Edit Categories screen, and move the category to it's new position in the list.