Avalon Features - Latest Major Releases

Release 7.7 - Feb 2024

Changes and Updates

  • Ramp replaces the previous media player and most presentational elements on the Playlist and Item pages
  • Application speed has been greatly improved on the Playlist and Item pages
  • Multiple caption files can now be associated per media file, with language value assigned for each caption file
  • New "Add to Playlist" form provides greater flexibility when adding media to playlists
  • "Series" added as a new descriptive metadata field and is also indexed for faceting
  • Improvements to accessibility that bring user-facing Avalon pages up to WCAG 2 Level AA conformance
  • Transcripts can be marked as "machine-generated" to appear differently in the UI
  • Previous and Next buttons added to the media player for easier navigation between sections
  • Added checkbox to set auto-scroll property for transcript viewer
  • Structural Metadata Editor now displays video when available
  • Searching in the Timeline listing has been changed to allow for friendlier, fuzzier matching
  • Changes to collection admin page forms for updating access control
  • A new administrative facet allows filtering by item access level
  • Many updates and additions to IIIF manifest generation
  • IIIF Authentication removed from publicly accessible items
  • Support for reCaptcha v3
  • Support for Solr 9
  • A new system script has been added to improve reindexing from Fedora

Full release notes including bug fixes and changelog are available at https://github.com/avalonmediasystem/avalon/releases/tag/v7.7.



Release 7.6 - April 2023

Updates and Fixes

  • Updated to Rails 7 and Ruby 3
  • Long filenames can now be viewed in full on the Manage Files edit page
  • Fix for missing files in the Google Drive adapter for Browse Everything
  • Updated build of the Structural Metadata Editor
  • Bug fixes for the media player
  • Minor updates to IIIF manifest generation



Release 7.5.1 - February 2023

Avalon 7.5.1 includes a variety of updates and bug fixes.

Updates and Fixes

  • Fix for issues selecting newly created segments in Timelines
  • Timelines with custom scope on media files render as expected
  • Transcript viewer now renders as expected when Controlled Digital Lending is disabled
  • Fix for a track selection issue when the player is paused
  • Long filenames can now be viewed in full in the Manage Files edit page
  • Structural metadata now properly passed in API responses
  • Filename handling improved for media files
  • Updates for Rails and other dependencies


Release 7.5 - December 2022

Avalon 7.5 includes a Controlled Digital Lending feature and a variety of updates and bug fixes.

Controlled Digital Lending

  • When enabled, authenticated users must borrow an item to stream media streams
  • Items can only be checked out to a single user at a time
  • A new Checkouts page presents a table of a user's current checkouts
  • Lending periods are configurable per item and via collection defaults
  • CDL functionality can be enabled or disabled for each collection

Updates and Fixes

  • Greatly improved performance for the Manage Users page
  • Removing a user in Manage Users now removes the user from all system groups automatically
  • Google Drive can now be used as a source alongside other filesystem options
  • Increased sanitization and sanitization options for filenames during post-processing
  • Remove Structure button now prompts for confirmation before removing structure data
  • Default user session length reduced


Release 7.4 - July 2022

Avalon 7.4 provides significant updates keep current with supported releases of core libraries and a small set of additional changes and bug fixes.

Dependency Updates

  • Rails 6
  • Bootstrap 4
  • Blacklight 7

Updates and Fixes

  • Greatly improved performance for the Manage Users page
  • Removing a user in Manage Users now removes the user from all system groups automatically
  • Google Drive can now be used as a source alongside other filesystem options
  • Increased sanitization and sanitization options for filenames during post-processing
  • Remove Structure button now prompts for confirmation before removing structure data
  • Default user session length reduced


Release 7.3 - March 2022

Avalon 7.3 includes support for uploading files from Google Drive, a new component that allows users to view and download transcripts on the item page, and a variety of dependency updates and bug fixes.


  • Upload files directly from Google Drive
    • Google Drive can now be added a source for the Avalon Dropbox file picker
    • Update settings.yml with your Google OAuth 2.0 Client ID and secret to enable
  • Transcript file download and viewer
    • Transcript documents can now be added to item sections
    • A transcript component will render on the item when a transcript document is present
    • Upload in VTT or or DOCX format to view the transcript on the item page
    • Users can download transcript files and click VTT timestamps to seek in the viewer
  • Support for Google Tag Manager values for enhanced Analytics data


  • Ruby 2.7 support
  • Updated Docker build
  • Dependency updates
  • Better User Experience When Removing Captions
  • Better resizing for the Advanced XML editor

Bux Fixes

  • Fix for broken copy functionality on playlists
  • Fix for file handling when a collection folder is missing or misnamed


Release 7.2

Avalon 7.2 includes support for supplemental files, an improved authentication flow for restricted content, and the ability to merge items, as well as variety of bug fixes and updates for supporting libraries and components.


  • Intermediate Page When Accessing Restricted Content
  • Support for supplemental files
    • Files of any type can be
    • Files can be associated at the item or section level
  • Merge multiple items


  • Cron jobs now run through Sidekiq
  • Dependency updates
  • Structural Metadata Editor can be used when no audio data is present
  • Added stereo mixdown to encoding parameters for video
  • Added link to Sidekiq dashboard under the "Manage" menu

Bug Fixes

  • Fixes for S3 transcoding
  • Fix API issues with collection names
  • Better aligned elements in the embedded media player

Release 7.1.1

Avalon 7.1.1 includes a number of smaller updates and bug fixes.


  • Email and website contact fields added for collections
  • Added probe service for IIIF
  • IIIF authorization added to manifests
  • Dependency upgrades; Rails updated to
  • Structural metadata editor updates
    • Play/pause using the spacebar
    • Finer precision available for time values
    • Bug fix for parent suggestions when adding a new timespan
    • Fix for save structure flash message remaining indefinitely
    • Disable drag and drop during inline editing

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue with quality selection and volume levels being reset between sections
  • Fixed autoplay functionality for Playlists
  • Zero-width space characters stripped from form input
  • Derivative files are deleted when masterfiles are deleted
  • The "Become" feature in user management respects LDAP group membership
  • Fixed a bug with the replay feature of batch ingest

Release 7.1

Avalon 7.1 includes default styling improvements, a variety of bug fixes, and updates for supporting libraries and components.


API Updates

  • API keys now respect the permissions of the user associated with a key. Manager-level users, for example, can now use the API to get the full range of data for items in collections they manage
  • Problematic string escaping in some JSON responses corrected

Styling and Visual Improvements

  • Styling improvements and fixes for cards, tables and buttons
  • Increased default resolutions for thumbnail and poster images

Other Updates and Bug Fixes

  • Resolved issue where collection managers could not delete collections
  • Encode settings have been changed to avoid unnecessary frame rate conformance and provide compatibility with legacy streaming servers
  • Updated the Structural Metadata Editor in Avalon with fixes and dependency upgrades
  • Resolved bugs with email setting for SMTP and AWS
  • Playback issues resolved in legacy browsers
  • Intercom improvements and fixes
  • Remove ImageMagick dependency


Release 7


Avalon 7 is a major release with changes relevant to end users, collection managers and system administrators. In addition, this release of Avalon coincides with the release of Avalon Turnkeya fully configured, containerized version of Avalon built for Amazon Web Services.
Avalon 7 includes:
  • Collections Index and Landing Pages
    • The Collections Index provides a new way to navigate collections and units within Avalon. Each collection also now has a customizable landing page where users can find the collection description, thumbnail and a short listing of content.
  • Local User Management
    • Avalon can now use the Persona gem for a local authentication strategy, allowing for completely local user management through a convenient dashboard.
  • Transcoding Changes
    • Avalon’s transcoding services have been folded into the application, allowing for the retirement of Matterhorn as a dependency and bringing a new transcoding dashboard directly into the application.
  • Redesigned Homepage
    • A newly designed default homepage allows for easy customization of featured collections.
  • Full release notes are available on Github.
  • Simple and cost-effective deployment to AWS using Terraform
  • Optimized for growing collections with limited traffic 
  • Fast transcoding using cloud-native tools (ElasticTranscoder)
  • A straight-forward production-ready environment that relies on AWS native technology or containers for all dependencies (Fedora, Solr, Postgres, Transcoding) 
  • Can be extended for specialized or fault-tolerant use cases

For information on releases prior to Avalon 7, see this page.