These are a few common questions that people looking for a CMS and interested in MAS® have asked. We are regularly updating this page with newer Q&A's, so make sure to check it out again from time to time.
Virtually unlimited. It all depends on the load that your server can undertake. You can even have the site tours on another server, just the member areas to be on the one where MAS® is installed. And if you have lots of traffic and need more than one server to host your members areas at, we will install a separate copy of MAS® for each server.
No. MAS® is designed having in mind heavy-traffic environments. It automatically creates and updates static pages for the whole of your member area, so the server won't get overloaded. It will act the same, like if you've designed your sites by hand.
Pictures (jpeg, gif), videos (mpg, avi, wmv, mov and others...), text stories, leased feeds, news. Videos can also be hosted on another server (unix/linux or windows streaming media server).
You just enter the leased feed's URL, a title, description and a face image, and MAS® will include it on the site along with your own content. (or on a separate page - it's all your choice). It can even periodically scan your list of leased links and disable (take down from the sites) the dead links.
Yes, you can. All types of included content can be shared between some or all of your sites. No need to re-upload.
No, you don't have to be a programmer to do that. We use a set of intuitively named custom tags that you include in your page layout - either using a simple text editor, or a powerfull HTML authoring application (like Dreamweaver, Frontpage etc.). Every feature of the program is clearly described in the included online documentation, illustrated with examples. Sample templates are also included.
It depends on the complexity of the structure (categorization) you will choose, and the amount of content you have to add. Major factors are the level of completeness of your designs (if you have complete HTML&graphics design for all of your members area pages it takes minutes to turn a page from a draft to a real MAS® template), and the arrangement of your content files in folders on the server. It also makes sense if you will use simple titles/descriptions for your content sets, or you are going to put long, descriptive ones. Talking in absolute numbers, our experience shows that setting a site up may take from a few days up to a month - this is the initial job, further updates are more than easy.
Once you have completely set up your first site in MAS®, you will find it surprisingly easy to repeat the job for the second, the third etc. sites. Most of the job will be a simple copy&paste, just touching some images and layout here and there. And having your templates set, you can forget about them - just add in and describe new content and leave the system take care of the rest.
Yes, you are free to mix the leased feeds along with your local content.
Yes. We've called this feature "Content groups". Each group (a model) may have unlimited number of descendant galleries - pictures/videos, whatever, which can be listed with their names grouped by type on the main model page. The main page can also have a larger photo of the model, a name, short description, date of addition, and also a bio - which is a different, longer description and may take html formatting tags. You can even have additional model-related graphics - such as a custom header image for example, with the model's face and name rendered as gfx with a nice font.
The number of templates is practically unlimited. In most cases you have 1 template for the home page (where you put content highlights, recent updates, upcoming updates, news announcements, most viewed/top rated galleries etc.); then a number of different or same templates for the various categories you are supplying (models/pictures/videos/top links/bonus content...). Each link from these pages then goes to a models main page, or to a gallery page with thumbnails; again if you wish EVERY content set (gallery) may have its own template, or most practically, you could have different gallery templates based on niche, or on content type - one for images, another for videos, third one for text stories and so on. The thumbnail from the gallery page then leads to a container page - which is showing the image in full resolution, and has additional links for previos/next, and also buttons for control of a slideshow. Videos can also be shown in container pages with embedded mediaplayer/quicktime object (the type of player object can be switched automatically based on the video type detected). The container templates are paired with the gallery templates, which means that each gallery template has its own container.
No, you can't. However you may use the categories only for general purpose separation of content items - such as pictures/videos/stories/feeds. And for all other purposes you may use the so-called "content attributes". They give a way to define multiple pairs (name=value) for unlimited different categorizations - such as age, hair color, breast size, ethnicity, action type etc. etc. These attributes can be assigned to each content set, one-by-one, or to a group of sets at once. They can be later used with 2 main purposes - to include content sets matching specified criteria into a given members area section, or to allow members to search the entire content database in a given site for specific keywords (the attribute values).
The clone feature only creates a duplicate item in MAS® database, so that the clone could be assigned a different category and template. Content files themselves are not duplicated. For certain situations content may be shared on multiple sites even without using the clone feature.
It scans a designated content directory and all its subdirectories. However you may symlink any path to appear in the content directory. The directories containing content files must be with 777 permissions, because MAS®, identified as a www user, will need to write its own files there.
Yes, you can. In addition, while choosing the best thumbnail to use as a "faceimage", you may set a custom size for it, even 2 custom sizes - one to use on the front pages, and one (usually bigger) to display on the gallery page as a header. During this process you have also options to choose the best alignment (left/top/right/center/bottom +/- offset) if cropping is needed.
Once you've set up a certain directory as a content set in MAS®, it is not recommended that you move or delete it. If you just move it to another location, you will have the option to manually enter the new path from the admin interface. If you have changed the files inside (renamed, added or deleted someones), you have to manually rebuild the corresponding MAS® content set, to reflect the changes. If you have deleted it from shell/ftp, without deleting the corresponding set in MAS®, it will start appearing as broken links inside the members area. For all the situations above, there might be a downtime for the affected sets (galleries) until you make the updates in MAS®.
The built-in file manager is used just to ease the process of adding new content. It is scanning the content directories and gives a click-and-go interface to add the paths found to contain valid content files. However if you wish, you may enter paths by hand.
Leased videos - not. All leased content is served just as a link. You provide a title, description and your own image (thumb) for a leased link. For videos - yes, MAS® can do it, but with some limitations. This is a beta feature yet, and at this time it cannot handle videos in WMV9 format; it can deal however with WMV up to 8, mpg, quicktime. If you are interested, we can send you the complete list of supported formats. Also the video thumbnailer feature works smooth on Linux systems (redhat/debian), but may not run on a BSD system.
Our video content is usually in 3 codec formats and 2 different compression settings (Hi/Low bandwidth). What can MAS® do for us here? That is – Can MAS® re-encode to the different formats we want to be presented? Can MAS® created a Hi and Low bandwidth video set? If MAS® cannot do any of these, will MAS® preclude us in any way?
At the moment it can't do any of these tasks, but it won't preclude you in any way. It will serve exactly what you have uploaded, no matter how many formats/speeds/clips you have for each video. There are options for the gallery templates which let you display the links to the different clips grouped by type, or custom layouts for the video gallery display can be developed by request.
We have 50 or so sites hosted by 3 web servers. The content for the sites is located on a single storage array through NFS mounts from a dedicated NFS server. Do you recommend a dedicated server for MAS® or may we use one of the 3 web servers or some other web server located on our internal network with access to the storage array and the “3 web servers”?
It depends on the amount of traffic you expect. Content may be served either directly from the domain where MAS® is installed, or via symlinks from the single sites' members folders. Otherwise MAS®-generated sites are very light-weight, almost everything is being built to static pages; the only database references are when a member enters a gallery - to extract the path to the content, and track the hit for stats purposes.
No, we don't. However we may give you access to a live demo install of MAS® to get the real feel of the program from inside. We could even upload some of your own content to the demo server and setup your own templates to see how it works for your site.
No you can't customize it on your own. All the scripts are installed in a zend-encoded form. Of course, we will be happy to modify it in any way that will be best for your needs, upon additional agreement. We do this all the time. More than 50% of our clients have at least one customization done in their systems.
If you have questions yet unanswered here - feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if there are features you currently don't see in MAS® - Be sure to contact us. As always, we are open to any suggestions and comments from you - it will be a pleasure to improve the product together.