Once installation is complete, axle is ready to use. We’ve designed axle with simplicity and accessibility in mind, after reading this quickstart guide, you should be able to use axle’s basic features right away.

Remember, axle is a server application. You won't find axle in your applications folder. axle is always running from the axle server you have set up. This makes it extremely accessible (any computer on the network can see axle at [ip address of axle server]/axleweb). It also means axle is never off. Axle is always running on your server, even if no one is logged into axle, as long as the server is turned on.

Like any application, axle has its own vocabulary and concepts. Understanding them will help you take full advantage of the software's features.

Users In axle, a user is a name, password, email, and bundle of permissions. You must be logged in as a user to use axle. Any number of people can be signed in as the same user at the same time, but their actions will all be recorded as the same user.

Catalogs A catalog is a folder you designate on your storage that axle monitors and recreates in its interface. When you make changes to the folder (add or remove files or folders, rename files, etc.), axle automatically updates itself to match. When you make changes in axle (move files, rename files, etc.), axle changes the original files on your storage to match.

Proxies The media you see in axle (with the exception of audio files) are proxies of the original that axle has automatically generated with either FFMPEG or Episode Pro. This allows you to play media quickly, even over a network connection. Until axle has generated a proxy for it, files in axle are represented with a document and watch icon. You can add metadata during this phase, but you cannot see the media.

Metadata Metadata is information about your files that axle stores in its database. To add metadata to your axle files, you must first create data fields in the admin section. Once that's done, any user with the appropriate permissions can fill in the data fields for specific files. You can search your media library for specific metadata or combinations of metadata, making it the best way to organize your media.

Now that you have a broad understanding of these concepts, we'll go over how to navigate axle’s user interface, as well as manage your users, catalogs, and metadata.