One of the really handy things about Youtube is the ability to share bookmarks that “deep link” to a particular point within a video (e.g here’s Google having a dig at Microsoft; the URL? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5aJAaGZIvk#t=29m10s, which should start the video playing 29 minutes 10 seconds in. That is, just add something like #t=29m10s to the end of the Youtube video page URL to start the video playing that far in).
A similar service is offered on podcast material published through the wonderful IT Conversations, that lets you deep link in to a particular part of an audio file, which is great for sharing audio quotes and, err, messing around with: IT Conversations samples trigger pad;-)
Anyway, anyway, yesterday I saw this:
which means you can now deep link in to iPlayer content :-)
As with the Youtube deep linking, if you know the URL pattern, you can can create your own deep links on the fly (just add, ?t=21m45s, for example, on to the end of the URL to start the programme playing 21 minutes 45 seconds in.)
Something else I thought was interesting – the shared link is actually a BBC short link. So for an example, this is the sort of link you are given to share:
which then resolves to something like this:
I’ve raised the issue before now (in conversation with HEI internet services people, rather than through blog posts, I think?) about whether HEIs should run their own short code services (maybe as a Library service), but it’s always been shot down as being an extra hassle that we don’t need to worry about. (I always saw it as an opportunity for providing a couple of value add services: 1) providing a persistent web identifier that could act like a DOI; 2) providing a level of indirection (as in the case of a DOI) that might help as part of an archiving or “archival redirection” project – e.g. in the case of content moving and URIs changing (because they do change).)
Anyway – it seems as if the BBC think running their own short URI service is a good idea.. It’d also be useful to know if the short URI will permanently map to the same full URI, or whether it will support a more arbitrary form of resolution, e.g. maybe hooking in to services like URIPlay?
PS sort of, but not really, related, see also: Open University Podcasts on Your TV – Boxee App
PPS note the deep link time code doesn’t work with radio content in iPlayer console.
PPPS for a hacky mashup way of making use of timecodes, see Searching the backchannel with Twitter subtitles
3 thoughts on “Deep Link into BBC iPlayer Content”
The Open University library does provide URL aliases for (at least some) resources. The project I’m currently working on (http://www.open.ac.uk/telstar) is about referencing – but these days this often includes a link to the online resource.
In the example you have – if you referenced the BBC video, and provided a link would you link directly to it, or prefer to use an alias provided by the library? What if it were a reference to the BBC homepage – do you think a library sponsored alias would be a better idea than just a link to http://www.bbc.co.uk?
The shortened BBC URLs expand the code l9n18 to b00l9n18 so I can’t imagine them changing where it points to – that was the whole point of the /programmes URL scheme.
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