Feature Comparison

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The Light-O-Rama software package must be registered, with a valid license, in order to be used to its full potential.  Each license contains two separate types of license levels: the main license level and the SuperStar license level.

 

The main license level covers all of the Light-O-Rama software package except for the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer.  Several different main license levels exist, each having different features: Basic, Basic Plus, Standard, Advanced, and Pro.  Additionally, there is an unlicensed Demo version (which is the same as the Basic version, except that it cannot be used to actually control lights, and has encrypted save files).

 

The SuperStar license level covers the Light-O-Rama SuperStar Sequencer.  Its possible levels have names such as 2_CCR, 24_CCR, 60_CCR, and the like, indicating the number of Cosmic Color Ribbons you can use with SuperStar.  Additionally, there is an unlicensed Demo version which does not allow export to an actual sequence.

 

Any reference in this help file to a "license level" or "feature level" refers to the main license level, not to the SuperStar license level, unless specifically noted otherwise.

 

You will be given a chance to register your Light-O-Rama software at the time that you install it.  To register after that time, or to upgrade to a higher level license, please see the "Register Light-O-Rama" (or "Upgrade Light-O-Rama") menu item on the Sequence Editor's Help menu, or on the Control Panel's popup menu.

 

The following chart summarizes what features are available with each license level, with detail on each coming after the chart.

 

If a feature is listed as "(demo mode)", it means that the feature can be used with this license to see what it's like, but it won't be fully supported.  For example, if you try one of the Sequence Editor's demo mode features while building a sequence, you won't be able to save your changes to that sequence.  Please see the details for each feature for exactly what "demo mode" means for that feature.

 

Any features not listed here are available with all license levels.

 

FEATURE

DEMO

BASIC

BASIC PLUS

STANDARD

ADVANCED

PRO

Number of LOR Units Supported

0

2

4

8

UNLIMITED

UNLIMITED

Number of Tracks Supported

2

2

2

4

UNLIMITED

UNLIMITED

Full Access XML Data Storage

No

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Beat Wizard

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

YES

VU Wizard

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

YES

Video Playback (Windowed Mode)

No

No

YES

YES

YES

YES

Show On Demand

No

No

YES

YES

YES

YES

Schedule Shows Based on Day of Year

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

YES

Startup Sequences in Shows

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

Shutdown Sequences in Shows

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

Background Sequences in Shows

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

YES

Sequence in Sequence

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

MIDI File Wizard

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

Triggered Interactive Sequences

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

YES

Show Startup Options

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Execute Windows Shell Commands

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Full Screen Video Playback

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Multiple Networks

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Create Protected Sequences

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

DMX Intensity

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Native DMX Devices Supported

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Dasher Controllers Supported

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

X10 Controllers Supported

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Digital IO Cards Supported

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

BSOFT Digital IO Cards Supported

No

No

No

No

YES

YES

Pixel Editor

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

(demo mode)

YES

Intensity Files and Enhanced Networks

No

No

No

No

No

YES

 

Number of LOR Units Supported

 

Except for the Advanced and higher license levels (which support an unlimited number of Light-O-Rama controllers), each license level will send lighting commands to a limited number of Light-O-Rama controllers: Basic supports a single controller, Basic Plus supports four, and Standard supports eight.

 

Whether a particular controller is supported or not depends on its unit ID.  For example, the Basic license level will send lighting commands only to unit ID numbers 1 and 2, while the Standard license level will send lighting commands to any unit that has a unit ID between 1 and 8.

 

Regardless of whether a particular unit will be sent lighting commands, you can always use the Sequence Editor to build sequences using that unit; Light-O-Rama simply will not control the lights for that unit unless you upgrade to a higher license level.

 

The unlicensed Demo version will not send lighting commands to any controllers, so you cannot use it to actually control your lights.

 

Number of Tracks Supported

 

A sequence may have multiple tracks; however, certain license levels will only support a limited number of tracks in any given sequence.  The Demo, Basic, and Basic Plus levels support two tracks per sequence, Standard supports four, and Advanced and higher support an unlimited number of tracks per sequence.

 

You will not be able to add new tracks to a sequence if it already has the maximum supported number.  However, you can still open sequences that have more tracks (for example, a sequence that was created by someone who has a higher license level than you do).  In this case, the extra tracks will be displayed in the Sequence Editor, but you will not be able to modify them, and any lighting effects in those tracks' channels will not actually control your lights during play.

 

Full Access XML Data Storage

 

When a sequence is saved using a licensed version of Light-O-Rama, its save file uses a standard XML format, which is designed to be understandable by people.  Technically advanced users may feel comfortable editing these XML-based sequence files directly with a text editor, or even building their own tools that can be used with these files (although please be careful when doing so, as it is not terribly difficult to make a small mistake which may render the sequence file incomprehensible to the Light-O-Rama software package).

 

On the other hand, when a sequence is saved using the unlicensed Demo version, it is saved encrypted, and so the file itself cannot be easily understood or modified by anyone or anything except the Light-O-Rama software package.  Additionally, data from an encrypted sequence cannot be copied and pasted, except on the computer that the sequence was originally encrypted on.

 

No matter whether a sequence is saved using the open XML format or using encryption, the Light-O-Rama software itself will still be able to use it.

 

If you create an encrypted sequence using the unlicensed Demo version, and later purchase a license, you can unencrypt the sequence by resaving it on the same computer it was originally encrypted on, using your licensed version of the software.

 

Beat Wizard

 

The Beat Wizard can be used to analyze a song to try to determine its tempo, and to automatically place timings and lighting effects into a sequence based upon that tempo.  It is fully supported in license levels Basic Plus and higher.

 

It is not supported in license level Basic (nor in the unlicensed Demo version).  However, you can still try it out in a "demo mode" to see what it is like; after trying it on a sequence, you will not be able to save your changes.  You will be given a warning about this when you try it, along with a chance to back out before committing to using it.  Additionally, if you do decide to use it, and your sequence already has unsaved changes, you will be given a chance to save them before you actually use this feature.

 

VU Wizard

 

The VU Wizard can be used to analyze a song to find peaks in the audio - much like a VU meter - and to automatically place timings and lighting effects into a sequence based upon those peaks.  It is fully supported in license levels Basic Plus and higher.

 

It is not supported in license level Basic (nor in the unlicensed Demo version).  However, you can still try it out in a "demo mode" to see what it is like; after trying it on a sequence, you will not be able to save your changes.  You will be given a warning about this when you try it, along with a chance to back out before committing to using it.  Additionally, if you do decide to use it, and your sequence already has unsaved changes, you will be given a chance to save them before you actually use this feature.

 

Video Playback (Windowed Mode)

 

You can build musical sequences based on audio files (such as MP3) or on video files (such as WMV).  When a musical sequence is played, the sound will always play, but the actual video (or audio visualization) will only be displayed for license levels Basic Plus and higher.  License level Basic will not display video (or audio visualization).

 

Additionally, your license level may or may not support video playback in full screen mode; see "Full Screen Video Playback" for details.

 

Show On Demand

 

Using license level Basic Plus or above, you can cause a show to be played without having scheduled it.  This is done via the "Show On Demand" menu item of the Light-O-Rama Control Panel's popup menu.

 

Schedule Shows Based on Day of Year

 

The Light-O-Rama Schedule Editor can be used to schedule shows to play in two different ways: by the day of the week (such as "from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Friday") or by the day of the year (such as "from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM on December 25th").

 

However, scheduling based on the day of the year is fully supported only in license levels Basic Plus, Standard, and Advanced.

 

Using the Basic license level, you will still be able to use the Schedule Editor based on the day of the year in a sort of "demo mode" to see what it is like, but the Light-O-Rama Show Player will not actually play shows that are scheduled this way - it will only play shows that were scheduled by the day of the week.

 

Startup Sequences in Shows

 

The Light-O-Rama Show Editor can be used to build shows with several different sections.  Among these is the Startup Section. Sequences in the Startup Section are played immediately upon the show starting up, one at a time, in order.  After all of them have been played, the main portion of the show (i.e. the Animation Section and the Musical Section) begins.

 

However, this section is fully supported only with the Standard or higher license levels.

 

Using the Basic and Basic Plus license levels, you will still be able to use this section in the Show Editor in a sort of "demo mode", to see what it is like.  However, the Light-O-Rama Show Player will not actually play the sequences in a show's Startup section; instead, the show will simply begin play directly with the Animation Section and the Musical Section.

 

Shutdown Sequences in Shows

 

The Light-O-Rama Show Editor can be used to build shows with several different sections.  Among these is the Shutdown Section.  When the scheduled end time for the show is reached, the main portion of the show (the Animation Section and the Musical Section) stops, and the sequences in the Shutdown Section are then played, one at a time, in order.  After they have all finished, the show is truly finished.

 

However, this section is fully supported only with the Standard or higher license levels.

 

Using the Basic and Basic Plus license levels, you will still be able to use this section in the Show Editor in a sort of "demo mode", to see what it is like.  However, the Light-O-Rama Show Player will not actually play the sequences in a show's Shutdown section; instead, when the scheduled end time for the show is reached, the Animation Section and the Musical section will stop, and the show will be over.

 

Background Sequences in Shows

 

The Light-O-Rama Show Editor can be used to build shows with several different sections.  Among these is the Background Section.  All sequences in the Background Section will play simultaneously, looping back to their starts when they reach their ends, throughout the entire course of the show.

 

However, this section is fully supported only with the Standard or higher license levels.

 

Using the Basic and Basic Plus license levels, you will still be able to use this section in the Show Editor in a sort of "demo mode", to see what it is like.  However, the Light-O-Rama Show Player will not actually play the sequences in a show's Background Section.

 

Sequence in Sequence

 

Sequences can themselves contain subsequences - a parent sequence containing a child sequence.  The parent sequence can be set to start or stop the child sequence at any given point during play.

 

However, subsequences are only fully supported with the Advanced license level or higher.

 

Using other license levels, you will still be able to use subsequences in a sort of "demo mode", to see what they are like, but you will not be able to save changes to your sequence after having done so.

 

MIDI File Wizard

 

The MIDI File Wizard can be used to automatically insert timings and lighting effects into a musical sequence that is based upon a MIDI song.  For example, it can make your lights chase each other in time to the music, or turn certain channels on or off based upon what notes are being played.

 

However, the MIDI File Wizard is fully supported only with the Advanced license level or higher.

 

Using other license levels, you will still be able to use the MIDI File Wizard in a sort of "demo mode", to see what it is like, but you will not be able to save changes to your sequence after having done so.

 

Execute Windows Shell Commands

 

Using the Advanced license level or higher, Light-O-Rama can optionally tell Windows to execute any arbitrary command that you specify when a particular sequence is started.  An example of how this might be used: If you broadcast the songs playing during your show over the radio, you might set your sequences up so that they tell Windows to tell your RDS ("Radio Data System") program to also broadcast the name of the song, allowing people with RDS-enabled radios to see the name of the song currently playing in your show.

 

Triggered Interactive Sequences

 

In addition to being able to control lights, some Light-O-Rama controllers can also accept input, acting as triggers to start particular sequences on demand during a show.  For example, as part of your display, you could have several buttons for people to push, each of which will play a particular song.

 

However, this feature is fully supported only with the Advanced license level.

 

Using other license levels, you will still be able to use this section in the Show Editor in a sort of "demo mode", to see what it is like.  However, the Light-O-Rama Show Player will not actually play any sequences which are triggered during your show.

 

Show Startup Options

 

Normally, the sequences in a show will start playing immediately at the show's scheduled start time.  The Advanced license level or higher allows more control over this; for example, you could hook a big red button labeled "Start the Show" up to one of your Light-O-Rama controllers, and the show will not start until that button is pushed.

 

For details, please see "Show Startup Options".

 

Full Screen Video Playback

 

When a musical sequence is based upon a video file (such as a WMV file), the Advanced license level  or highercan show the video in full screen mode (and similarly, it can show full screen audio visualizations for musical sequences based upon audio files).

 

Lower license levels cannot show full screen video (or full screen audio visualizations), but they may still be able to show video and visualizations in a window instead of in full screen.  See Video Playback (Windowed Mode) for details.

 

Multiple Networks

 

The Light-O-Rama Software Package can send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers over several different Comm ports simultaneously.  This has several potential uses, especially for people with large numbers of controllers, or lights spread out physically far from each other.

 

However, this is supported only in the Advanced license level or higher.  Other license levels will send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers only over a single Comm port.

 

Create Protected Sequences

 

The Light-O-Rama Sequence Editor can be used to create protected sequences, which are sequences which cannot be modified (generally speaking) or viewed in the Sequence Editor, but which can still be played, control lights, scheduled in shows, and so forth.

 

However, this is supported only in the Advanced license level or higher.  Other license levels can use protected sequences, but cannot create them.

 

DMX Intensity

 

Light-O-Rama allows the possible intensity of most lighting effects ranges from 0 to 100, i.e. a percentage of full intensity.  DMX devices, however, are capable of taking 256 different intensities (from 0 to 255), rather than 101.  Light-O-Rama supports this possibility via the DMX Intensity tool.

 

However, this is only supported in the Advanced license leve or higherl.  Other license levels will not have access to the DMX Intensity tool.

 

Native DMX Devices Supported

 

The Advanced license level or higher can send lighting commands to DMX devices, in addition to Light-O-Rama controllers.  Lower license levels can only send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers.

 

Dasher Controllers Supported

 

The Advanced license level or higher can send lighting commands to Dasher controllers, in addition to Light-O-Rama controllers.  Lower license levels can only send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers.

 

X10 Controllers Supported

 

The Advanced license level or higher can send lighting commands to X10 controllers, in addition to Light-O-Rama controllers.  Lower license levels can only send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers.

 

Digital IO Cards Supported

 

The Advanced license level or higher can send lighting commands to digital IO cards, in addition to Light-O-Rama controllers.  Lower license levels can only send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers.

 

BSOFT Digital IO Cards Supported

 

The Advanced license level can send lighting commands to BSOFT digital IO cards, in addition to Light-O-Rama controllers.  Lower license levels can only send lighting commands to Light-O-Rama controllers.

 

Pixel Editor

 

The Light-O-Rama Pixel Editor can be fully used only with the Pro license level.  Lower license levels can use the Pixel Editor in a sort of demo mode, but will be unable to use it to create intensity files, which are needed to actually control your lights based on your work in the Pixel Editor.

 

Intensity Files and Enhanced Networks

 

The Pro license level can use intensity files and enhanced LOR networks.  These can help with displays involving very large numbers of independent lighting elements.  Lower license levels cannot use these features.