I want my Xibo slide timings for RSS to be perfect!

Xibo is a great open source digital signage system – getting your slide timings perfect makes a huge improvement to the impact of your messages.

The Xibo content editor allows you to specify content timings for each content area segment. In the context of RSS, your might want to pay careful attention to the values you enter and the resulting experience for the audience.

Xibo RSS Ticker Essentials

Lets just review the relevant variables available in the RSS ticker:

Scroll Speed

The scroll speed only affects a moving ticker – how fast the messages will move in a given direction (left, right, up or down). It doesn’t affect a single display. Single display works best in my opinion where content will be shown in a large content area.


Each region (areas of the layout) can contain multiple content timeline segments that will display sequentially one after the other. The duration is length of time a timeline segment will be displayed in the region.

Number of Items

The number of items is the total number of content items drawn from the RSS feed you have specified, usually from the start of the feed – i.e. the most recent items.

Update Interval

The update interval is the frequency (in minutes) with which the Xibo client will check for new RSS feed content.

Getting your Xibo slide timing right

By carefully calculating your timings, you can ensure that content is displayed for an equal period without any single RSS item being cut short by a transition, either to the start of the feed, or another timeline segment. To do this, edit your RSS Ticker timeline segment and make sure your timeline segment duration is an exact multiple of Number of Items.

Here’s an example. I would like to display each RSS item for 20 seconds before transitioning to the next. I have limited my RSS Ticker to display only the most recent 6 items. In order for my 6 items to be shown for 20 seconds each, I should multiply the desired item duration by the number of items. In this case, 6 multiplied by 20 results in 120. By entering a Duration of 120 seconds, my six RSS items will each display for 20 seconds, and at the end of the timeline segment, neatly transition to the start of the feed, or to the next timeline segment without cutting short any story.

What metadata can I include in my Xibo RSS ticker?

I have previously explained that we primarily use Xibo to display RSS feeds. In each case we pull a feed from our web site, or a content publishing platform specifically installed for staff to publish notices for transmission via our Xibo signage and other mediums.

In order to get your feeds looking just right, there are a limited number of metadata elements you can use in the feed display. I didn’t find it particularly obvious from the documentation what these were, so here are the RSS metadata elements that you can include in your Xibo RSS ticker:

  • Title
  • Date
  • Summary
  • Description
  • Link

To my knowledge, no other content metadata is catered for in the Xibo RSS ticker at the time of writing. This means you cannot, for example, include an image from the RSS feed independently (for a visual feed, for example), but can only display the image when embedded with the description.

Use the free Windows tool Don’t Sleep to keep your digital signage awake

We’ve added a small tool to each of our Xibo digital signage clients called ‘Don’t Sleep‘, to keep them from entering a low power state.

Don’t Sleep overrides all power management settings when active. This means we can keep the displays running without local or group policy power management interfering.

Installation of Don’t Sleep is easy – unpack the ZIP file, place in a suitable folder, add to your Startup group and make sure the ‘straight to tray’ option is selected.

Just remember that if you do want to power down, don’t sleep will interrupt your shutdown command! Make sure you disable the application before issuing the shutdown instruction.