Using The Digimarc Barcode Manager
What browsers does the Digimarc Barcode Manager support?
Internet Explorer 10 & 11, Firefox (latest), Google Chrome (latest), Safari 6 & 7
What is the Digimarc Barcode Manager?
The Barcode Manager is an easy, affordable service to enable print, packaging and audio to deliver enriched content and interactive advertising to today's smartphones and tablets. Digimarc has created this web-based service for publishers, retailers, agencies, advertisers, and others to embed Digimarc Barcodes into images or audio, with the ability to manage projects online and track results in real time. Once embedded into printed or audio media, the imperceptible Digimarc Barcodes can easily be detected by today's most popular devices — delivering a wide range of new, rich media experiences to consumers.
What is a project?
A Project is really just a folder to help you organize your Digimarc IDs. It can represent a magazine edition, product line, advertising campaign, playlist or specific client. You should choose a naming convention that best suits your workflow or processes. Each Project will contain one or more Digimarc IDs.
What is a Digimarc Barcode?
A Digimarc Barcode is a unique identifier that links print, packaging, or audio materials to interactive online content when scanned with the Digimarc Discover app or a Digimarc Discover-enabled app.
What happened to the pricing table where the more Digimarc Barcodes I buy, the more I save?
In light of continued improvements, additional investments, demonstrations of value by customers, and a common interest in a simple, yet comprehensive pricing model, Digimarc introduced a flat $50 rate per Digimarc Barcode for Print or Audio on January 1, 2015. All Barcodes will remain active for one year from the date of purchase and can be extended annually for an additional $50 maintenance fee.
Can I create Digimarc Barcodes, but purchase them later?
All Digimarc Barcodes must be purchased at the time of creation. The Digimarc Barcode Manager no longer supports the "Pending" status.
When does the Barcode Manager charge my credit card?
After you enter your billing information, it is stored by the Braintree Secure Payments service, a validated Level 1 PCI DSS Compliant Service Provider. Your credit card will be charged once per month (close to the end of the month) for any Digimarc Barcodes purchased or renewed during the monthly billing period.
When does my Digimarc Barcode become active?
A Digimarc Barcode goes "Live" immediately upon purchase.
Can I purchase a Digimarc Barcode but activate at a later date?
If you choose, you can set an activation date for later in the year. However, a Digimarc Barcode expires one year after the original purchase (or renewal) date – not one year after the Activation date. For example, if you choose to activate the Digimarc Barcode two months after purchase, it will be active (or "Live") for the remaining ten months of the twelve month period at which point it will expire.
What if I only need the Digimarc Barcode active for a shorter time frame than one year?
If desired, you may deactivate any Digimarc Barcode prior to the end date. Simply open the Web Experience editor in the Barcode Manager and change the Deactivation date. After this deactivation date, the Digimarc Barcode will be placed “On Hold” and when the print or audio content is scanned, the mobile device will be connected to a landing page which notifies the user that the Digimarc Barcode is no longer available.
Is the price the same for audio Digimarc Barcodes and print Digimarc Barcodes?
Yes. The Barcode Manager does not differentiate between audio and print Digimarc Barcodes.
How much is a Digimarc Barcode with GTIN information?
The cost of a Digimarc Barcode with GTIN is the same as any other Digimarc Barcode. However, due to the unique characteristics and complexities of product packaging, we require that encoding of packaging and quality assurance testing be done by Digimarc Professional Services or certified service providers. The setup fee for encoding is $400 per package (SKU). It includes the first year maintenance fee of $50. Barcodes can be extended annually for an additional $50 maintenance fee. Package redesigns may require an additional setup fee.
Where does my Digimarc Barcode link to?
A Digimarc Barcode needs to link to a web URL that you specify. We recommend choosing and developing content that entices the user to interact with your media via their mobile device. The Digimarc Barcode Manager does not host content for your Digimarc Barcode to link to.
What happens if I don't enter the URL when I create a Digimarc Barcode and someone scans the Digimarc Barcode?
To speed things up, the Barcode Manager only requires that you enter a name when purchasing a Digimarc Barcode. This means that the Digimarc Barcode is incomplete and you will see a warning in the Barcode Manager that no Web Experience was specified. If you process an image or audio file, and users scan the Digimarc Barcode, they will see a mobile landing page indicating that the scan was successful, but that the URL still needs to be entered. The Barcode Manager will use account default values for the Web Experience at purchase time if you have entered these in your Account Settings.
Can I update the URL or post-scan experience during the activation period?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of times a URL can be updated for a Digimarc ID prior to its expiration date.
What happens when my Digimarc Barcode expires?
A Digimarc Barcode expires one year after the date on which it was purchased. When an expired Digimarc Barcode is scanned, it will not connect to the web experience specified in the Barcode Manager. Instead it will connect to a landing page which notifies the customer that the Digimarc Barcode is no longer active.
Can I renew a Digimarc Barcode for another year?
Yes, you will have the option to renew for an additional year when the Digimarc Barcode is within 30 days of the expiration date and for 30 days after expiration. The cost to renew a Digimarc Barcode for print or audio is $50 for another year. You may also choose the "Auto Renew" option for a Digimarc Barcode, which will automatically renew the Digimarc Barcode on the expiration date and your account will be charged on the renewal date.
What is the banner image used for?
When a consumer scans Digimarc-enabled content with the Digimarc Discover mobile app, the banner image will appear on the app's main screen when the Digimarc ID is detected and on the app's Activity screen. If defined, the banner image will appear behind the Banner Headline and Banner Text.
Do I need to be connected to the Internet to use the Digimarc Discover App?
Yes, the Digimarc Discover app requires a connection to the Internet to link to enhanced content and to share links with friends. Either your carrier's wireless network or a WiFi connection will work well.
Digimarc Barcodes for Print
How do I download my file after processing?
If you hover over the Digimarc Barcode, a small blue arrow will slide out to the left of the row. Click on the arrow to download your file. Or click on the thumbnail on the left of the Digimarc Barcode listing to open the "Edit File" pop-up. You will find the "Download File" button there.
Does Digimarc keep the images that I upload for processing?
Images are kept on the system until the associated Digimarc Barcode expires. Uploading a large image can be time-consuming, so we hold on to your image in case you need to make adjustments to the Digimarc Barcode.
What target printer setting should I use to get the best results?
In Account Settings, you can choose the "Target Printer" to use as a default preset for your account. You can choose from the following three print environment presets:
- Home/Office: Supports most Inkjet or Laser color printers. When printing:
- Use “Best Quality” settings
- Print at 100% scale.
- Commercial: Supports most commercial printing, including offset, web and digital presses. Works best with:
- 4 color presses, web or sheetfed
- 133 linescreen (ls) or greater
- Max ink density of 300%, 280% or less preferred
- A white paper stock
- Newspaper: Supports most US newspapers printing in color on newsprint. Works best with:
- 4 color newsprint web presses
- 100 linescreen (ls) or less
- Max ink density of 240% or less
- Home/Office: Supports most Inkjet or Laser color printers. When printing:
Sometimes the Barcode Manager changes the DPI setting when processing an image. Why?
To ensure a quick read by mobile devices, a Digimarc Barcode must be embedded into your image at the same size as intended for printing. If your image has a print resolution (DPI) within the allowed range the Barcode Manager will use that DPI value. If your image's print resolution falls outside of that range (e.g., less than 150 DPI), the Barcode Manager will substitute a DPI setting that will allow for printing on a standard Letter size page.
How much can I scale the image without impacting the Digimarc Barcode?
After processing, you can scale your final image by a small amount: +/- 10%. This means that you can scale up to 110% or down to 90% of the original size after embedding the Digimarc Barcode. Any more than this will start impacting the readability of the Digimarc Barcode when printed.
- Scaling your image below 90% will reduce the number of devices that can detect the Digimarc Barcode and can make it unreadable.
- Scaling your image beyond 110% increases the minimum reading distance for devices and complicates user instructions.
What strength setting should I use?
A good rule of thumb is to start at Strength setting 5 and adjust if needed. Remember to test the Digimarc ID on a printed proof after adjusting the strength: Processed images will look and read differently after printing (vs. viewing or reading them onscreen).
The strength scale only goes from 3 to 8, did the scale change?
The strength settings have not changed — a setting of 5 is the same as a setting of 5 in previous versions of the Barcode Manager, including the Adobe® Photoshop® plug-in. Experience has shown that strength settings at the extreme ends of the scale (1 and 2 or 9 and 10) can create readability or visibility issues in normal printing and are best used by expert users. The full 1-10 scale is still available in the Adobe Photoshop plug-in.
What does the Barcode Manager support for image resolution or DPI?
- The minimum resolution for Home/Office or Commercial printing is 150 DPI, maximum is 750 DPI.
- The minimum resolution for Newspaper is 120 DPI, maximum is 600 DPI.
How does each color space work with the Digimarc Barcode?
- CMYK — The Digimarc Barcode is optimized for printing commercially in color images. Commercial color printing typically involves using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks, often referred to as CMYK or 4C (color) process. CMYK images prepared for commercial printing, using SWOP US Web or GRACoL press profiles, should work well if they meet the image selection guidelines.
- RGB — Red, Green, and Blue light waves are used by displays to project images and by digital cameras to capture images. RGB has a much greater range of colors than CMYK, which may or may not be available when printed. The process of converting an RGB image into a printed image varies by each user's set-up. Due to this variation we cannot calibrate the Barcode Manager to provide consistently optimal results with RGB images.
- Grayscale — A single-channel image has only black and white data available to hold a Digimarc Barcode. Often, Digimarc Barcodes in grayscale images may be more noticeable.
How do I test the print after I set up the Digimarc ID?
We recommend that you print your image on a proofing device that closely represents the final output printer. Use highest quality settings to get the best results. Once you have printed your image containing a Digimarc ID, you can use the free Digimarc Discover mobile application to read the Digimarc ID. Digimarc Discover is available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Digimarc Barcodes for Audio
How do I download my audio file after processing?
If you hover over the Digimarc ID, a small blue arrow will slide out to the left of the row. Click on the arrow to download your file. Or lick on the thumbnail on the left of the Digimarc ID listing to open the "Edit File" pop-up. You will find the "Download File" button there.
What audio formats are currently supported for Digimarc Barcodes?
The Barcode Manager supports file formats with .wav, .mp3, and .m4a extensions. Audio files with .m4a extensions must be encoded with the AAC-LC profile. The preferred file format is the .wav extension which results in files with Digimarc Barcodes that can be read quickly and easily. The Barcode Manager requires source audio files with a 44.1kHz or 48kHz sampling rate. These are common sampling rates. Mono and stereo formats are both supported. Finally, the Barcode Manager will support 16 or 24 bits per sample.
How do I know the sampling rate of my audio file?
You can quickly determine the sampling rate of your file by opening it in the Quicktime player (free). Load the audio file into Quicktime and then select "Show Movie Inspector" from the Window menu. The Format listing will display the sampling rate, along with other attributes.
Are there any audio file size limitations?
To ensure fast detection in a broad range of listening environments, the audio files need to be a minimum of 10 seconds in duration. The current product offering supports a maximum duration up to 10 minutes in length with a maximum file size of 150 MB.
How long does it take to process an audio file?
After your file has uploaded, the processing takes about the same amount of time as the duration of the audio clip. For example, a 5-minute song will take approximately 5 minutes to process. Processing time is influenced by factors such as internet speed and server load.
What are the best practices when adding Digimarc Barcodes into compressed audio files such as .mp3 or .m4a?
The Barcode Manager works best on audio files that are uncompressed. If at all possible, we suggest converting .mp3 and .m4a files to .wav before processing and leaving the files in .wav format after processing.
If compression must be used, we recommend using as high a bit-rate as possible (e.g., 128kbps or higher). Highly compressed audio (average bit-rate less than 64 kbps) should be avoided since it may lead to slower detection.
Why is my processed file larger than the file I uploaded?
If your input file is in .wav format, the processed file will be exactly the same size as the original. If your input file is in .mp3 format, the Barcode Manager will decompress the file, embed the Digimarc Barcode and recompress at a slightly higher quality of compression. This results in a larger file size. The results for .m4a files is similar to .mp3 files, with the exception that after processing the file is re-compressed at the highest quality setting. In this case the processed file may be quite a bit larger than the original, depending upon the original compressed bit-rate.
What types of audio have the best detection performance?
Audio files that are frequency-intense (e.g., TV and radio ads with speech and/or music, infomercials, pop and rock music) provide fast detection in a variety of listening environments. Try to avoid audio files that have sparse frequency usage (e.g., commentary during a golf broadcast, solo instrumental music or any audio with long silent pauses).
What environments are best for detection of Digimarc Barcodes in audio?
The Digimarc Barcode for Audio is designed for quick detection using smartphones and tablets. Generally, detection reliability increases the closer one is to the sound source. Avoid extremely noisy environments. Digimarc Barcodes have been successfully read from broadcast audio in living rooms and cars, as well as audio played in retail settings.
Will the Digimarc Discover Mobile Application read my Digimarc Guardian for Images watermarks?
Digimarc Guardian for Images watermarks are not compatible with the Digimarc Discover reader. DFI watermarks are intended for web usage and are not intended to be read by mobile devices when printed.
What is the Digimarc Discover App?
The Digimarc Discover app lets you use your iOS or Android device to detect imperceptible Digimarc Barcodes in printed media or in the audio playing around you, and to read QR codes and product UPC codes. Scan a Digimarc Barcode, QR code, or a product UPC code to link you to information, video, and related content through many different types of network services.
How do I use the Digimarc Discover App to detect Digimarc IDs in printed media?
- First, you need printed material containing Digimarc IDs. Digimarc technology can currently be found in such popular magazines as ALL YOU, Cooking Light, House Beautiful, Real Simple, and more. Catalogs and brochures from Avon, Ford Motor Company and The Sharper Image also use Digimarc IDs to provide mobile engagement opportunities from print. Visit our Real World Success page for a more complete list of brands and publications using Digimarc Discover.
- For examples you can check out immediately, go to www.digimarc.com/demo on your computer and print the samples on your color printer, using the highest quality settings.
- Install and launch the Digimarc Discover mobile app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. To detect Digimarc IDs the app must be in "Discover" mode. To navigate to the Discover mode, press the circle "d" Digimarc Discover icon located on the bottom navigation bar (iOS devices) or top left navigation tab (Android devices) and the camera will be active.
- In a well-lit area, hold your device steady and parallel to the printed page. Starting about 6 inches (15 cm) away from the printed piece point the crosshairs at the center of the image and let the camera focus. If the app doesn't detect the Digimarc ID right away, slowly move the camera toward the printed piece until you hear the sound or feel the vibration indicating the Digimarc ID was read. The reading distance is usually between 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), depending on the device you are using. Note: Sound and vibration alerts can be turned on or off within the Settings tab in the app.
- After viewing the mobile experience. Return to Discover mode and swipe up to open the drawer to scroll through the discoveries you have made during the last 24 hours. Swipe down to close it. After 24 hours, the discoveries will fall away from the drawer to make room for new discoveries. All past and present discoveries can be found in the Activity screen.
I cannot identify Digimarc Barcodes in the sample image. What's wrong?
- It is important to hold the device at the correct distance from the printed page. This distance varies from device to device. If you start 8 inches (20 cm) away and slowly move closer, you should read the Digimarc Barcode between 4 and 8 inches. (10 and 20 cm). Also, be sure to allow time for the camera to focus on the printed piece and for the auto-exposure to adjust to the lighting.
- Good lighting is also important. A general rule is if your eyes can read the printed page without straining, the device should be able to detect the Digimarc Barcode. A well-lit page with no shadows reads best. Many devices allow use of the flash LED to improve lighting, if necessary.
- The mobile device should be held parallel to the print media, book, product package, or signage. The app works best when the device is not tilted at an angle.
- If the printed piece is on glossy stock, try to position the print away from the direct light source to reduce any glare.
- Point the crosshairs at the center of the watermarked print and not around the edges or corners. The Digimarc Barcodes are usually placed throughout the image or article you are reading but not in the margins, borders or other white space areas.
- It should only take a few attempts before you learn how to position your device for the best results.
Does the Digimarc Discover App still recognize songs or music?
In Digimarc Discover versions 4.0 and older, Listen mode included a Gracenote feature which recognized songs and identified the name of the track and artist. With the 4.1 release, we removed Gracenote's MusicID feature from Listen mode (also worth noting, we have removed "Listen mode" - Digimarc Discover now looks and listens simultaneously by default). The Digimarc Discover app now reads and identifies Digimarc IDs embedded into TV & radio advertisements, music, in-store audio and more. This is a new service offering so there is very limited interactive audio content currently available to the public. But not for long! Audio trials are currently underway in select markets.
How do I use the Digimarc Discover App to identify Digimarc Barcodes in audio?
First, you need audio content containing Digimarc Barcodes. Audio trials are currently underway in select markets. Stay tuned for new implementations showcasing our new Digimarc Barcodes for audio. In the meantime, visit www.digimarc.com/audio to experience Digimarc Barcodes for audio on your Mac or PC. To detect Digimarc Barcodes, launch the Digimarc Discover app and select the "Discover" mode. To navigate to the Discover mode, press the circle "d" Digimarc Discover icon located on the bottom navigation bar (iOS devices) or the top left navigation tab button (Android devices) and the camera will be active.
If your microphone is enabled, you will see a multi-colored bar across the top of the Discover screen that indicates the device is listening for Digimarc Barcodes. No direct action is needed by you. While audio containing Digimarc Barcodes is playing, point your device's microphone toward the source of the audio and try not to obstruct the microphone with your hand.
When a Digimarc Barcode is detected, you will see a banner appear at the bottom of the screen with details about the item detected. Tap the banner to connect to the mobile experience associated with the discovery.
If you're interested in trying the service, simply go www.digimarc.com/manager to create an account or login to an existing account. You can quickly create Digimarc Barcodes with your own audio content with tracks you have the license to modify OR by using a sample track we have provided to users for experimentation.
I cannot detect digital watermarks. What's wrong?
Several factors influence detection of Digimarc IDs in audio. Generally, detection reliability increases the closer you are to the sound source. Avoid areas with loud conversation and make sure that you are not covering the device's microphone. On an iPhone, the microphone is located on the bottom edge on the left side and on an iPad, the microphone is on the top edge when held in portrait mode.
Another possibility is that you have not allowed the app access to your microphone. If you have allowed microphone access, you will see a multi-colored bar at the top of the Discover screen. If you do not see this bar, you will need to go into the privacy settings of your app to enable the microphone for Digimarc Discover.
How do I use Digimarc Discover to read QR codes or product UPC codes?
First, find a QR code in a magazine or a barcode on a product package. QR codes are 2D (square) barcodes that can be used to link you to a website. Digimarc Discover will also read UPC, EAN and ISBN barcode formats.
Launch the Digimarc Discover app on your device. To detect QR codes or barcodes, the app must be in "Discover" mode. To navigate to the Discover mode, press the circle "d" Digimarc Discover icon located on the bottom of the screen and the camera will be active.
In a well-lit area, aim the camera at the code, pointing the crosshairs at the center of the QR code or product UPC code. Hold the camera steady and allow it to focus. You may need to move the camera closer to the QR code or UPC code to fill the frame of the Digimarc Discover camera display.
Digimarc Discover will connect you to the website associated with the QR code or the Google Product search page associated with the product UPC code.
Why would a link expire?
The creators of Digimarc-enabled content buy a one year activation of the mobile link associated with a Digimarc ID. This link may be renewed each year by the creator of the content, or it may expire.
What mobile devices does the Digimarc Discover App support?
The Digimarc Discover 5.x app works on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch (4th generation+) and iPad 2, 3, Air and mini. The app requires iOS 7.x and higher.
The Discover app also works on Android phone models running Android OS 4.0 and higher, excluding devices with small screen sizes. New Android devices are released at a rapid rate and Digimarc tests a subset of these devices, focusing on popular models running the later Android OS releases. Camera quality, driver implementation and good lighting make the largest difference in the performance of the Digimarc Discover app.
The last version of the Digimarc Discover app, 4.1.2, will still be available for new and existing users who have iOS and Android devices and/or OS that are not compatible with Digimarc Discover 5.x.