Using URL Shortcuts to display Web Content

Video Kiosk supports .url files (internet shortcuts). This feature is typically used to display live web content, like an Instagram feed, but you can reference any URL on the web as well as locally stored html content and images. To use URL Shortcuts, create a .url file and put the .url files in the media folder.

  • If your media folder (Content Loop) includes .url files, the content will be displayed for the duration of time specified in the .url file. (The default is to display the web content for 30 seconds.)
  • If Video Kiosk encounters an invalid URL, it will skip the file and will play the next media file. (A URL is considered invalid if the URL is incorrectly formed or if the page doesn’t exist.)

How to use URL Shortcuts

To use a URL shortcut to display content, follow these steps:

  1. In a Text Editor, create a URL shortcut file, with the extension “.url”.
  2. Place the .url files in your Video Kiosk media folder.

Video Kiosk URL Shortcut file Syntax Guide

SyntaxExplanation Required / Optional
[InternetShortcut]Section identifierRequired
URLIdentifies the url value
Valid Values: Any valid url address
Example: URL=
TIMEOUTIndicates how long, in seconds, Video Kiosk will display the web content.
Valid Values: Any valid floating point number. Default is 30 seconds
Example: TIMEOUT=45
CACHE-MODEIndicates whether to cache the web content
Valid Values:
no-cache – web content is not cached
default – web content is cached
default is no-cache
Example: CACHE-MODE=default
LAYER-TYPEIndicates where to render the web content
Valid Values:
hardware – web content is rendered on the hardware accelerated layer
software – web content is rendered on the software layer
Default is hardware
Example: LAYER-TYPE=software
USER-AGENTAllows you to specify the user agent sent to the web server.
Example: USER-AGENT=Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_5) AppleWebKit/603.2.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.1.1 Safari/603.2.4



If the web page contains audio content, the content volume can be muted during background pre-loading of the content
Valid Values:
true – the volume will be muted
false – the volume will not be muted
Default is false
Example: MUTE-ON-PRELOAD=true



Normally the web page will be displayed when the previous item finishes playing.   You can specify that the web page should be shown as soon as the preloading is complete.
Valid Values:
true – the page will be displayed as soon as the preload completes
false – the page will be displayed when the previous item is finished playing
Default is false
SCALE-IMAGEIf the URL is an image URL and you set this option to true, Video Kiosk will scale the image to full screen.
Valid Values:
true – scale the image to full screen
false – position the image based on the default for the WebView. This varies based on the version of Android being used.
Default is false
Example: SCALE-IMAGE=true

Examples: URL Files

The following example shows the content of a .url file that instructs Video Kiosk to play the BurningThumb Studios home page for 30 seconds without caching the web page content:


The following example shows the content of a .url file that instructs Video Kiosk to auto play a YouTube video for 138 seconds while caching the web page content. Notice that a desktop (Mac OS X) USER-AGENT is specified so that the video will auto play even though the real user agent is on a mobile device which would result in auto play not working:

USER-AGENT=Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_5) AppleWebKit/603.2.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.1.1 Safari/603.2.

Customizing URL Shortcut display

Using Split-screen playback mode

Controlling the Display

  • Background Images Tutorial – How to display an image behind your media as it is playing and behind the panels in split screen mode
  • Background Audio Tutorial – How to play streaming audio or a local audio file while your media is playing
  • Screen orientation. You can set the screen orientation for just the media playback screen. The other views, such as settings, are not affected. To change the screen orientation, go to Video Kiosk Settings > View Options. (To change all the view orientations, use the device System Settings) The supported orientations are:
    • Default (set by the device manufacturer),
    • Landscape,
    • Portrait,
    • Reverse Landscape,
    • Reverse Portrait
  • Fade time between url files.
    To change the fade time between urls, go to 
Video Kiosk Settings > Timers > Web fade time 
and change the display time



Take the Next Step

Have you got a moment to answer a couple of questions?