Updating a Remote Slideshow

Important: This document only applies to Showbooth Go. The functionalities referenced in this document are not supported by Showbooth Player.

About Remote Updates

Updating a slideshow is essentially replacing the old files with new ones in the slideshow directory on the server.

Showbooth periodically polls the server to check if there's an updated slideshow available. The server will compile a list of the files (and its metadata) in your slideshow and with this information, the app determines if it should update the slideshows on the device.


To update your slideshow on a web server:

  1. Add a file named _lock to the slideshow folder. This tells the app that it should not update or check for an updated slideshow.
  2. Replace folders and files in the Showbooth folder.
  3. Delete the _lock file. This tells the app that it can check for updates and update the slideshow if needed.

Steps 1 and 3 are optional, but recommended. This will ensure the app will not start an update while the files are being updated in the server. Even though Showbooth is pretty smart about the updates, there might be edge cases where you should add the _lock file.

Showbooth checks the server for slideshow updates roughly every 2 hours (or 30 minutes in version 1.1), and downloads it without interrupting the slideshow that is playing. Showbooth will only effectively update the slideshow after it finishes playing the current cycle.

Since version 1.2 Showbooth also supports "fast installs", when configured in the settings file, Showbooth installs new updates as fast as possible.

You can also force the update to be downloaded and applied immediately while the slideshow is playing by long pressing (for more than one second) the Play / Pause button on the remote and selecting Update.

In Depth

When Showbooth checks the server for updates, it first starts by asking a list of all files, and compares it with the files already on the app. If they are different, it begins downloading the updated slideshow. In the end it asks for another list, if it's the same it concludes the files haven't changed, keeps the files and waits for the next slideshow cycle to effectively update the files.

To avoid polling and downloading an update while files are being changed in the server, you should add a file named _lock to the slideshow's directory on the server before changing files, and remove it after the changes are done, to let Showbooth know that it can check for updates and download of needed.

Article last updated on November 7th, 2019 [1b410d].