One of the easiest ways to get started with DeliTV is to use it to watch video feed subscription from YouTube.
With DeliTV, you can bookmark the following sorts of Youtube content and then view it in a DeliTV Channel:
|Bookmarked YouTube page||Resulting DeliTV subscription|
e.g Teachers’ TV channel
|Recently uploaded videos for that user|
|Playlist page e.g T151: 3D Geo-World Demos||Playlist feed|
|Video page e.g The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)||Single video|
|[NEW] Search results page e.g Search for “formula one”||Search results containing 20 most relevant videos|
Here is the example channel bookmarked to a demo DeliTV channel guide: delitv_ytdemo:
(You can of course grab a copy of any of these bookmarks into your own delicious account.)
We can now bookmark this channel guide so that it appears in a DeliTV multiplex. In the following example, I’m bookmarking it to my main delitv feed, and also to the boxeetest5 multiplex.
Here’s the result in my boxeetest5 feed:
And here’s a view of the delitv_ytdemo channel guide:
This is what the bookmarked user/channel produces – the recent uploads listing for that user/channel:
And here’s the playlist guide:
Remember, with DeliTV you don’t need to bookmark the actual Youtbe feed – just bookmark the user/channel, playlist or video page to Delicious, and DeliTV will do the rest for you…
To learn how to subscribe to your own DeliTV channel, see Deli TV – Personally Programmed Social Television Channels on Boxee: Prototype
PS a new feature, currently in testing, lets you bookmark a search results page. Whilst it is possible to generate searches for playlist or users/channels as well as videos, DeliTV currently returns just the 20 most relevant Youtube videos when a Youtube search results page is bookamarked.
One of the nice things about iPlayer is that there are plenty of RSS feeds available for different sorts of content that is currently on iPlayer.
So for example, there are feeds available by channel, by genre, by genre and channel, feeds that contain the most popular programmes, and so on.
To a certain extent, you can also configure your own feeds:
Feeds… hmmm :-)
Trying to subscribe to one of these feeds as is in Boxee gives…. nothing – no video items found:-( But if you tidy up the programme URIs that are contained in the feed up a little (for example, by using Boxee/BBC Feed helper pipe that just strips everything off the end of the programme URI after the programme ID. So for example http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00mq4r3/sign/Land_Girls_Destinies/ becomes http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00mq4r3) then you can subscribe to and that the programmes in Boxee…
Simply(?!) grab the BBC iPlayer programmes feed URI, paste it into the pipe, grab the RSS feed URI for that pipe containing that BBC iPlayer feed URI, and then subscribe to that feed in Boxee, and you can watch a thematic BBC iPlayer channel…
But that’s way too difficult, right? It’s much easier to just bookmark the feed to your DeliTV channel, and the DeliTV pipework will handle it for you. So for example, if you bookmark this Signed BBC TV programmes feed with your DeliTV tag on delicious, you’ll have that channel added to your DeliTV schedule :-)
PS remember, you can also bookmark BBC category pages, such as this one for BBC Thrillers (or on iPlayer: BBC TV Comedy (Sitcoms) with your DeliTV tag, and the programme feed should work correctly in your Boxee DeliTV channel:-)
Now I just need a day or two to put a proper DeliTV homepage togther, with some simple instructions and a screencast or two… Unless someone would like to volunteer to do that?! ;-)
Many of you will know that the OU co-produces several BBC television programmes, including Coast and The Money Programme, as well as a wide range of one off series.
If you want to keep up-to-date with OU/BBC programmes, you can now watch BBC/OU programmes on their own dedicated DeliTV channel: just bookmark http://pipes.yahoo.com/ouseful/bbcouiplayer to your DeliTV collection:-)
For details of getting started with DeliTV, see Deli TV – Personally Programmed Social Television Channels on Boxee: Prototype
If you interested in the technical details of how this channel was put together, read on…
What I originally hoped to do was make use of an earlier hack that underpinned Recent OU Programmes on the BBC, via iPlayer (also available on iPhone: iPhone 7 Day OU Programme CatchUp, via BBC iPlayer). Unfortunately the pipework behind those applications has broken (note to self: repair them… – DONE:-) becuase they relied on using a search of the BBC website, a search that now appears to be broken in Yahoo pipes (something to do with a robots.txt exclusion:-(
So it was time for a rethink…
My source of recent OU/BBC programmes is the @open2 twitter feed, which gives the title of the programme and the channel:
So what I needed was to find a way of getting the iPlayer programme IDs for these programmes. My first thought was to take each programme title from the @open2 feed, and search twitter with the name using the from:iplayer_bbcone search limit. But the @player_bbcone feed doesn’t seem to be complete, so I ruled that out…
Digging around the iPlayer site, I found a list of feeds containing content by channel currently on iPlayer (I think? God only knows how this’ll scale if they start to do much longer than 7 day catch-up….?!) – BBC iPlayer feeds
[DOH! Something just jumped out at me there... have you seen it yet...? Important post to follow after this one...:-)]
So I created a pipe (BBC TV – Current Programmes on iPlayer) that pulled together the BBC TV feeds, and allowed you to “search” them by title (i.e. search by filtering…;-):
One thing I noticed in one of the @open2 tweets was a capitalisation error, which would fail to match in titles in the filter, so I used a regular expression to remove the effects of capitalisation from the filter stage. (I found the trick from a quick search of the Pipes forums,in a reply by @hapdaniel: replace the grabbed text with the \L prefix (i.e. I used \L$1 as the replacement text to convert everyhting in the $1 string to lower case. \U works for upper (\l replaces applies to the first char, as does \u).)
I could then run the titles from the @open2 feed through the BBC programmes pipe to grab the progamme URIs on iPlayer.
So here’s the pipe. We start by getting the last 50 items from the @open2 updates feed (using ?count=50 to get more than the default number of items from the feed), use a regular expression to parse the tweets to identify the programme titles, remove the duplicate programme title items from the feed using the Unique block, put the time that tweet was sent into a universal/canonical form and then filter by date so we only get tweets from the last 7 days.
We then run each item through the BBC programmes filter described above and return the recent programmes feed:
A couple of tweaks to the DeliTV pipe handle, you know, stuff ;-) and you can now bookmark this pipe – BBC/OU 7 Day TV Catchup (or it’s RSS feed output) to delicious, tagged so that it appears in your DeliTV feed, and you have a channel dedicated to recent BBC/OU TV programmes that have been broadcast on BBC One to Four and that are currently available on iPlayer :-)
So it seems that the naming of my delicious/Boxee TV hack infringes a Trademark…
All Art Media, Inc. 161 Fort Road South Portland, ME 04106 7 September 2009 OUseful.info, The Blog http://www.programmableweb.com/mashup/delicious-tv-for-boxee Attention: Tony Hirst RE: Trademark Infringement Dear Mr. Hirst: [All Art Media, Inc. ] (the “Company”) owns and operates [Delicious TV]. The Company also owns trademarks associated with its business - find a sample at DeliciousTV.com - [registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office with the registration number “U.S. Reg. No. 3,069,320,” (“Trademark”) registered on March 14, 2006. It has come to our attention that your blog and websites, OUseful.info, The Blog and Programmableweb.com, has been using our Trademark or a very similar mark (“Infringing Trademark”) in association with the marketing, sale, distribution or identification of its products and/or services, and is thus trading on the name, goodwill and reputation earned by the Company. It is possible that you were unaware of this conflict and we believe it is in our mutual interest to bring it to your attention and resolve it. Our Trademark provides us with certain proprietary rights, including the right to monitor and restrict the unauthorized use of our Trademark, or confusingly similar trademarks, in association with non-Company products or services. We must exercise this right to protect the value of both our Trademark and of our business. Our Trademark signifies the high quality of products and services offered by the Company and indicates to our customers and to the consuming public that all of our goods and/or services come from a single source. As such, it contributes substantially to the goodwill and value of the Company. Federal law supports our position that confusingly similar trademarks may cause undesirable confusion in the public. This confusion may in this instance cause material and irreparable harm to our Trademark by eroding the distinct association among our Trademark, our products and services, and the Company. Your actions constitute trademark infringement and unfair competition under both state and federal law, including the Lanham Act, (15 U.S.C. §§ 1051-1127). Remedies for such infringement can include payment of actual and treble damages, recovery of profits, reimbursement of attorney’s fees, and may also include injunctions against your further use of the Infringing Trademark and the seizure of infringing materials. We respectfully request that you immediately discontinue any and all use of the Infringing Trademark in association with the marketing, sale, distribution, or identification of your products or services. Please respond to us in writing by email within fourteen (14) calendar days indicating that you will cease and desist from any and all further use of our Trademark, the Infringing Trademark, or any confusingly similar trademark. We hope this issue can be resolved civilly and that we can avoid pursuing any further legal remedies. This letter is not intended to be a full statement of the facts in this matter, nor is it a waiver of our rights and remedies, whether at law or equity, all of which are expressly reserved. Sincerely, Elizabeth Carson President 161 Fort Road South Portland, ME 04106 USA 207-871-8600 firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Producer Delicious TV's Totally Vegetarian 207-871-8600 www.delicioustv.com
Now, as far as the ProgrammablWeb goes, I don’t think I was registered/logged in when I submitted the hack, which means I can’t change any of the details there. But is it my responsiblity to now go round the web trying to clean up all mentions of Deli TV? If you have posted anything about, you know, that hack, please modify it along the lines of, I dunno, “Deli TV”.
Ho hum… Anyway – Deli TV, then? Or the “The DeliBox?”…? Which do you prefer?
A week or so ago, Liz Azyan posted a list of UK HEI Youtube channels. Although not quite as polished as @liamgh et al’s OU Boxee app, I piucked up on a couple of suggestions Liam made over a pint last night about simply subscribing to an RSS feed in Boxee to roll my own UK HEI Youtube Boxee channel thing…
So here are the institutional channels:
and here’s a peek inside one of them:
This lets me watch the most recently uploaded videos to all (?) the UK HEIs’ most recent uploads to their Youtube channels, organised by institution via a lean back TV interface.
(You might be able to submenu the institutional channels/streams according to playlists they have specified, as well as tidying up things like icons/logos, maybe, but this was a 10 minute hack, rather than a half hour hack, ok?!;-)
Here’s the recipe…
1. Grab the table from Liz’s web page and create a feed from it:
2. Generate the feed URIs for the most recent uploads to each channel (in the form required by Boxe – e.g. rss://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/abertayTV/uploads?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published):
Filter out stuff that isn’t a feed and complete the pipe:
If you now launch the Boxee app, select:
- Video Feeds (My Feeds)
- the UK HEI Youtube Videos Channel
And from there, you should be able to browse – and play – the recent uploads to all the UK HEI Youtube channels that Liz has listed.
Not that I had a niggle with my Boxe player – I could hear the audio but not see the video for any of the Youtube videos when I tried to play them. If anyone else tries out this channel and gts the same problem, please let me know and I;ll see if it’s a feed problem. Otherwise, I’ll assume it’s a local glitch…
Here’s the RSS feed URI again: “UK HEI Youtube Channels on Boxee” RSS feed
PS out of interest, if I had bid to do this as a #jiscri project, how much should I have asked for?
- planning: 10 mins chatting with Liam over a pint ysterday;
- design: <5 mins looking up Youtube API/URI patterns
- implementation:: <5 mins creating Yahoo pipe
- configuration: <5 mins subscribing to the pipe feed in Boxee
- testing: <5 mins seeing if it worked in Boxee (which it doesn’t, properly, but I’m blaming that on a local problem and trustung that it does actually work… err…?!;-)
Okay, so all told it was maybe a sub-20 minute hack rather than 5 minute one?
- documentation: (i.e. blog post) 30-45 mins, incl grabbing screenshots.
And I’m on holiday today…
Over the weekend, a submission went in from The Open University (in particular, from Liam GreenHughes (dev) and
some of the OU Comms team Dave Winter in Online Services (design)), to the Boxee application competition (UK’s Open University on boxee).
For those of you who haven’t com across Boxee, it’s an easy to use video on demand aggregator that turns your computer into a video appliance and lets you watch video content from a wide range of providers (including BBC iPlayer) on your TV. Liam’s been evangelising it for some time, as well as exploring how to get OU Podcasts into it via RSS’n'OPML feeds (An OU Podcast RSS feed for Boxee).
(For those of you who prefer to just stick with the Beeb, then the BBC iPlayer big screen version provides an interface optimised for use on your telly.)
As well as channeling online video services, and allowing users to wire in their own video and audio content via a feed feed, Boxee also provides a plugin architecture for adding additional services to your Boxee setup. The recent Boxee competition promoted this facility by encouraging developers to create new applications for it.
So what does the OU Podcasts Boxee app over and above a simple subscription to an OU podcasts feed?
A pleasing, branded experience, that’s what.
So for example, on installing the OU podcasts app (available from the Boxee App Box), an icon for it is added to your Internet Services applications.
Launching the application takes you to an OU podcasts browser that is organised along similar lines to the OU’s Youtube presence, that is, in terms of OU Learn, OU Research and OU Life content. The Featured content area also provides a mechanism for pushing editorially selected content to higher prominence. (Should this be the left-most, default option, I wonder, rather than the OU Learn channel?)
In the Research area, a single level of navigation exists, listing the various episodes available:
Th more comprehensive Learn area organises content into topic basic based themes/episode collections (listed in the right hand panel) with the episodes associated with a particular selected theme or collection displayed in the left hand panel. Selecting an episode in the left hand panel then reveals its description in the right hand panel (as in the screenshot above).
So for example, when we go to the OU Learn area, the Arts and Humanities episodes are listed in the left hand area (by default), and available collections in the right.
We can scroll down the collections and select one, Engineering for example:
Episodes in this collection are listed in the left hand panel, and further subcollections in the right hand panel (it all seems a little confusing to describe, but it actually seems to work okay… maybe?!;-)
Highlighting an actual episode then displays a description of it.
Selecting a program to play pops up a confirmation “play this” overlay, along with a link to further information for the episode:
Both audio and video content can be channeled to the service – selecting a video programme provides a full screen view of the episode, whilst audio is played within a player
The “Read More” option provides a description of the episode, as well as social rating and recommendation options:
Finally, a search tool allows for content to be discovered using user selected search terms,
If you search with an OU course code, and there is video on the OU podcasts site from the course, the search may turn that course related video up…
This wouldn’t be a OUseful post if I didn’t add my own 2p’s worth, of course, so what else would I have liked to have seen in this app. One thing that comes to mind is a seven day catch-up of OU co-pro content that has been broadcast on the BBC (or more generally, the ability to watch all OU co-pro content that is currntly available on the BBC iPlayer). I developed a proof-of-concept demonstrator of how such a service might work on the web, or for the iPhone/iPod Touch (iPhone 7 Day OU Programme CatchUp, via BBC iPlayer), so under the assumption that the Boxee API can provide the hooks you need to be able to play iPlayer content, I’d guess adding this sort of functionality shouldn’t take Liam much more than half-an-hour?!;-)
I also wonder if the application can be used to preserve local state in the form of personalisation information? For example, could a user create their own saved searches – and by default their own topic themed channels? Items in such a feed could also be nominally tagged with that search term back on a central server, if, for example, if a user watched an episode that had been retrieved using a particular search term all the way through?
To vote for the OU Boxee app, please go to: vote for your favorite apps, RSVP for the boxee event in SF.
PS the OU Podcasts app is not the only education related submission to the competition. There’s also OpenCourseWare on boxee, which porvides a single point of entry to several video collections from some of the major US OCW projects.
PPS it also turns out that KMi have a developer who’s currently working on a range of mobile apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Android phones and so on. If any OU readers have ideas for compelling OU related mobile apps, you just may get lucky in getting it built, so post the idea as a comment to this post, or contact, err, erm, @stuartbrown, maybe?
PPPS Now I’m not sure how much time was spent on the app, but as the competition was only launched on May 5th, with a closing date of June 14th, it can’t have been that long, putting things like even the JISC Rapid Innovation (JISCRI) process to shame…?!;-)
A handful of posts across several Guardian blogs brought my attention to the Guardian’s new Google TV app (eg Guardian app for Google TV: an introduction (announcement), Developing the Google TV app in Beta (developer notes), The Guardian GoogleTV project, innovation & hacking (developer reflection)). Launched for the US, initially, “[i]t’s a new way to view [the Guardian's] latest videos, headlines and photo galleries on a TV.”
The OU has had a demo Google TV app for several months now, courtesy of ex-of-the-OU, now of MetaBroadcast, Liam Green Hughes – An HTML5 Leanback TV webapp that brings SPARQL to your living room:
[Try the demo here: OU Google TV App [ demo ]]
Liam’s app is interesting for a couple of reasons: first, it demonstrates how to access data – and then content – from the OU’s open Linked Data store (in a similar way, the Guardian app draws on the Guardian Platform API, I think?); secondly, it demonstrates how to use the Google TV templates to get put a TV app together.
(It’s maybe also worth noting that the Google TV wasn’t Liam’s first crack at OU-TV – he also put together a Boxee app way back when: Rising to the Boxee developer challenge with an Open University app.)
As well as video and audio based course materials, seminar/lecture recordings, video shorts (such as the The History of the English Language in Ten Animated Minutes series (I couldn’t quickly find a good OU link?)), the OU also co-produces broadcast video with both the BBC (now under the OU-BBC “sixth agreement”), as well as Channel 4 (eg The Secret Life of Buildings was an OU co-pro).
Many of the OU/BBC co-pro programmes have video clips available on BBC iPlayer via the corresponding BBC programmes sites (I generate a quite possibly incomplete list through this hack – Linked Data Without the SPARQL – OU/BBC Programmes on iPlayer (here’s the current clips feed – I really should redo this script in something like Scraperwiki…); as far as I know, there’s no easy way of getting any sort of list of series codes/programme codes for OU/BBC co-pros, let alone an authoritative and complete one). The OU also gets access to extra clips, which appear on programme related pages on one of the OpenLearn branded sites (OpenLearn), but again, there’s no easy way of navigating these clips, and, erm, no TV app to showcase them.
Admittedly, Google TV enabled TVs are still in the minority and internet TV is still to prove itself with large audiences. I’m not sure what the KPIs are around OU/BBC co-pros (or how much the OU gives the BBC each year in broadcast related activity?), but I can’t for the life of me understand why we aren’t engaging more actively in beta styled initiatives around second screen in particular, but also things like Google TV. (If you think of apps on internet TV platforms such as Google TV or Boxee as channels that you can programme linearly or as on-demand services, might it change folks’ attitude towards them?)
Note that I’m not thinking of apps for course delivery, necessarily… I’m thinking more of ways of making more of the broadcast spend, increasing it’s surface area/exposure, and (particularly in the case of second screen) enriching broadcast materials and providing additional academic/learning journey value. Second screen activity might also as contribute to community development and brand enhancement through online social media engagement in an OU-owned and branded space parallel to the BBC space. Or it might not, of course…;-)
Of course, you might argue that this is all off-topic for the OU… but it isn’t if your focus is the OU’s broadcast activities, rather than formal education. If a fraction of the SocialLearn spend had gone on thinking about second screen applications, and maybe keeping Boxee/Google TV app development ticking over to see what insights it might bring about increasing engagement with broadcast materials, I also wonder if we might have started to think our way round to how second screen and leanback apps could also be used to support actual course delivery and drive innovation in that area?
PS two more things about the Guardian TV app announcement; firstly, it was brought to my attention through several different vectors (different blog subscriptions, Twitter); secondly, it introduced me to the Guardian beta minisite, which acts as an umbrella over/container for several of the Guardian blogs I follow… Now, where was the OU bloggers aggregated feed again? Planet OU wasn’t it? Another @liamgh initiative, I seem to remember…
PPS via a tweet from @barnstormed, I am reminded of something I keep meaning to blog about – OU Playlists on Youtube. For example, Digital Nepal or 60 Second Adventures in Thought, as well as The History of English in Ten Minutes. Given those playlists, one question might be: how might you build an app round them?!
PPPS via @paulbradshaw, it seems that the Guardian is increasingly into the content business, rather than just the news busines: Guardian announces multimedia partnerships with prestigious arts institutions [doh! of course it is....!] In this case, “partnering with Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House, The Young Vic, Art Angel and the Roundhouse the Guardian [to] offer
all more arts multimedia content than ever before”. “Summits” such as the recent Changing Media Summit are also candidate content factory events (eg in the same way that TED, O’Reilly conference and music festival events generate content…)
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to look at the Linked Data project from different points of view. Part of the reason for this is to try to find one or more practical ways in that minimise the need to engage too much with the scary looking syntax. (Whether it really is scary or not, I think the fact that it looks scary makes it hard for novices to see past.)
Here’s my latest attempt, which uses Yahoo Pipes (sigh, yes, I know…) and BBC programme pages to engage with the BBC programme Linked Data: iPlayer clips and videos from OU/BBC co-pros
In particular, a couple of hacks that demonstrate how to:
- find all the clips associated with a particular episode of a BBC programme;
- find all the programmes associated with a parrticular series;
- find all the OU/BBC co-produced programmes that are currently available on iPlayer.
Rather than (or maybe as well as?) dumping all the programme data into a single Linked Data triple store, the data is exposed via programme pages on the BBC website. As well as HTML versions of each programme pages (that is, pages for each series, each episode in a series, each clip from a programme), the BBC also publish RDF and XML views over the data represented in each page. This machine readable data is all linked, so for example, a series page includes well defined links to the programme pages for each episode included in that series.
The RDF and XML views over the data (just add .rdf or .xml respectively as a suffix on the end of a programme page URL) are slightly different in content (I think), with the added difference that the XML view is naturally in a hierarchical/tree like structure, whereas the RDF would rather define a more loosely structured graph. [A JSON representation of the data is also available - just add .json]
In the following demos, I’m going to make use of the XML rather than RDF expression of the data, partly to demonstrate that the whole linked data thing can work without RDF as well as without SPARQL…
There are also a couple of other URL mappings that can be useful, as described on the BBC Programmes Developers’ site:
Again, the .xml suffix can be used to get the xml version of the page.
So – let’s start with looking a the details of a series, such as @liamgh’s favourite – Coast, and pulling out the episodes that are currently available on iPlayer:
We can use a Yahoo Pipes Fetch Data block to get the XML from the Coast episodes/player page:
The resulting output is a feed of episodes of Coast currently available. The link can be easily rewritten from a programme page form (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lyljl) so that it points to the iPlayer page for the episode (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00lyljl). If the programme is not available on iPlayer, I think the iPlayer link redirects to the programme page?
This extended pipe will accept a BBC series code, look for current episodes on iPlayer, and then link to the appropriate iPlayer page. Subscribing to the RSS output of the pipe should work in the Boxee RSS app. You should also be able to compile a standalone Python runnable version of the Pipe using Pipe2Py.
Now let’s look at some linked data action..(?!) Err… sort of…
Here’s the front half of a pipe that grabs the RDF version of a series page and extracts the identifiers of available clips from the series:
By extracting the programme identifier from the list of programme clips, we can generate the URL of the programme page for that programme (as well as the URI for the XML version of the page); or we might call on another pipe that grabs “processed” data from the clip programme page:
Here’s the structure of the subpipe – it pulls together some details from the programme episode page:
To recap – given a programme page identifier (in this case for a series), we can get a list of clips associated with the series; for each clip, we can then pull in the data version of the clip’s programme page.
We can also use this compound pipe within another pipe that contains series programme codes. For example, I have a list of OU/BBC co-produced series bookmarked on delicious (OU/BBC co-pros). If I pull this list into a pipe via a delicious RSS feed, and extract the series/programme ID from each URL, we can then go and find the clips…
Which is to say: grab a feed from delicious, extract programmme/series IDs, lookup clips for each series from the programme page for the series, then for each clip, lookup clip details from the clip’s programme page.
And if the dependence on Yahoo Pipes is too much for you, there’s always pipe2py, which can compile it to a Python equivalent.
PS hmm, as well as the piPE2py approach, maybe I should set up a scraperwiki page to do a daily scrape?
PPS see also Visualising OU Academic Participation with the BBC’s “In Our Time”, which maybe provides an opportunity for a playback channel component relating to broadcast material featuring OU academics?