The History of Auto Cue
There was a recent discussion on the forums about the Auto Cue feature in SSP. Mike took a stab at explaining what Auto Cue is and why it exists, but gave the disclaimer that he doesn't work for SSP and doesn't really know its origins. Even so, he actually got it right on. With that, I thought I'd give a bit of history of how Auto Cue came about.
The Auto Cue feature actually came about during the development of version 3. This was the time when SSP went from being just a song presenter to a media presenter -- the "Plus" in "SongShow Plus". Support for image presentation, video playback, and a rudimentary slide show capability were added in this version. Toward the end of the development cycle, I had an opportunity to try some of the features out in real life. My wife was finishing up her masters degree in Piano Pedagogy and was to give a presentation for her thesis. For that, she needed some visuals that included text points, screen shots of music sheets, and a couple of videos. All of these things could be accomplished with the new features of SSP, so I decided to use as the presentation tool.
In the process, however, I noticed that there was a significant lag time when presenting some of the items. After looking into the problem, it was apparent that some of the media items simply required significant time to load and render before they could be presented. This was, after all, back in 1998, and machines were significantly slower then than they are today. The solution I came up with was to have SSP pre-load and render the the item in a program that immediately succeeded the item that was being presented. This solved the problem and lead to a flawless presentation.
When the Cued preview window is open, Auto Cue provides you with a visual of the next program item which is another benefit, but it wasn't the primary inspiration.
Since its introduction in version 3, the usefulness of Auto Cue seems less apparent to me for a number of reasons. I'm planning to start a thread in the You Tell Us forum to discuss the value of this feature.