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Help me make an online TV channel for user-submitted content a reality.
February 2, 2011 5:36 AM   Subscribe

Attempting to create an online "television" for a massive online course that would rotate through content created by the course participants. Similar idea to betamaxmas but will probably include static visual content like Flickr feeds as well. Hoping to not have to build this completely from scratch but coming up blank on all searches. Read on for the dirty details

The original idea was to use something like Livestream to have an offline video rotation and then we could "go live" with Skype sessions and any other random broadcasting participants wanted to do. That's what we currently have on the site. The site is on Wordpress with a basic embed. The video library Livestream offers is nice. But the huge problem is ads. We're uploading user content and allowing them to wrap it in ads and then dare to charge $350/month for the pleasure of removing them (and the ads are extremely intrusive, preroll, popover banner, the works). So now we're trying to think through a different approach.

Perhaps we keep Livestream around for the one-off live broadcast but what's more important is that the site be an experience where course participants can come "watch TV" and see original user-generated content. We don't necessarily have to host it if we can point to Vimeo and Youtube embeds, but it's the automatic rolling from one video to the next and building a library or database of all this content that has me stumped. It's a tough nut to crack and I'm open to any and all suggestions. The solution doesn't even necessarily have to be free, but shouldn't cost hundreds per month to maintain.
posted by genial to Technology (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
We don't necessarily have to host it if we can point to Vimeo and Youtube embeds, but it's the automatic rolling from one video to the next and building a library or database of all this content that has me stumped.

Youtube has an API that would allow you to automatically roll from one video to the next. (see here - you'll be using loadVideoById() )

If you store all of the Youtube video ID's in an array (JavaScript) you can roll to the next one when the current video ends. The API allows you to setup an event handler for any state change (video pauses, video ends, video is ready to play, etc.).

I'm pretty sure Youtube also has API functions for uploading videos, so you could even setup an upload video form on your site. Whenever a video is uploaded you would save the video ID into a database on your side so you can keep track of it. That way anytime a user goes to the online TV channel page you can populate that JavaScript array from earlier with all of the video ID's you have in your database.

To complicate it even further, you could set it up to play the same video simultaneously for everyone viewing the page.
posted by trueluk at 6:40 AM on February 2, 2011


Here's an example of how to do it. Pastebin link. It's a simple HTML page with a video player, play button and next button (the video itself has play/pause and seeking). There is an array with 3 video ID's, and this is how the script knows which videos to play. When the currently played video ends, a call is made to onytplayerStateChange with a newstate of 0. At this time we load up the next video in the array and play it. This simple page will repeat the 3 videos indefinitely.

You'll need to download swfobject before it will work.
posted by trueluk at 7:00 AM on February 2, 2011


Awesome trueluk, I appreciate your in-depth response. It'll definitely take some time to grok all that but the fact that it's possible is a good sign.
posted by genial at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2011


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