How to do the YouTube Video Cycle!

As you might know by now, I'll be presenting a session at Do It With Drupal on December 10. If you didn't know, get a ticket, and then come back here! I'm currently building a YouTube clone with Drupal in my spare time. When I'm done with it all, I get to come talk with you folks about how I did it.

Obviously, I'm not going to replicate the entire YouTube site. There comes a point of diminishing returns, especially for something I'm doing for fun. So I have to pick and choose what pieces to build. (For the record, there will also be parts that I believe will be improvements on YouTube; not difficult, since I'm building it with Drupal.)

YouDrup Video Cycle

The video slide show on YouTube's front page would have been a case-in-point. It's built in Flash, and I figured I would skip it, since it's just eye candy. Normally for that, I would use jCarousel or Views Slideshow, but neither replicates YouTube's functionality, and they seemed out of place for this slider that slides 5 videos at a time. But then I remembered someone telling me about the jQuery Cycle plug-in, by the same author of the jQuery Media plug-in.

Read More to See How I Did It (in 20 minutes, nonetheless)...

Embedded Media Field a Media Essential

Embedded Media Field has grown exponentially in the last year since I've begun developing it. From its humble beginnings as a brainstorming session at DrupalCampNYC last spring, it has grown from a quirky method of make embedding YouTube videos easier for editors to a full-featured suite of modules allowing for drag-and-drop placement of third party videos, images, and audio clips.

Used on a wide range of sites, such as Air America, NRDC, and Drupal Dojo, the module is a flexible and powerful solution for embedding multimedia.

Read on for its strengths and weaknesses...

YouTube API Sneak Peek!

As referred to in YouTube API for Drupal on the Way, beeradb has now opened the YouTube API module for development. He and I have been working to polish it up and make it ready for release.

You can take a look at the YouTube search on this site if you want to try it out! You can currently search YouTube for tags or users from the form, and see the results right here.

Obviously, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are some cool things planned for it in the near term, such as integration with Media Mover, Embedded Media Field, and yes, Rob, I haven't forgotten about Annotation Field...

And of course, the holy grail of single site integration of a YouTube video upload from your browser...

YouTube Expands API: Good for Embedded Media Field

So YouTube just added some new features to their API:

  • Upload videos and video responses to YouTube
  • Add/Edit user and video metadata (titles, descriptions, ratings, comments, favorites, contacts, etc)
  • Fetch localized standard feeds (most viewed, top rated, etc.) for 18 international locales
  • Perform custom queries optimized for 18 international locales
  • Customize player UI and control video playback (pause, play, stop, etc.) through software

How does this apply to Embedded Media Field? And how about to Drupal as a whole?

Embedded Media Field still needs to tie into the Media Mover module, firstly, to even allow uploading (harvesting) videos and sending them to YouTube (processing) before storing them in the content field. Once it does that, though, we can get a little smarter. Perhaps allowing users to post responses through the API, which would become YouTube videos showing up in response to a video there, and automatically also becoming a response to the Drupal content.

We can also tap into the custom queries when selecting video to embed.

Finally, we should be able to have more control over the UI, and could use jQuery to control the playback of the video, perhaps autoplaying a few seconds after the page load, or maybe jumping forward to our favorite part of the video. We'll have to see about that.

What does that mean for the Internet? As pointed out by Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch, Google's just flexing their muscles a bit more, trying to ensure the bulk of video on the Internet goes through GooTube. At least Embedded Media Field is taking a more open approach, independently supporting many other providers, such as Blip.TV, Revver, and Brightcove.


Drupal China gets Embedded Media Field!

Jacob Redding (jredding), Robert Scales, and John Zhu conducted a panel about Drupal in China yesterday at DrupalCon. We all learned about why and how China is beginning to embrace Drupal.

I plan to do a better write-up for the Drupal Newsletter, so you'll have to wait till then to hear more about it. However, I did manage to sneak in quick 20 minutes during the panel and write Embedded Media Field support for, the Chinese version of YouTube. As a side-note, tudou translates roughly to 'soil tofu', or 'potato'.

You can see a higher-res version of the video at Jacob's blog

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The Society for Venturism has chosen me as the recipient of its charity for this year, to hopefully offer me cryonic preservation when the time comes. And this month, Longecity, an excellent forum for the discussion of issues related to extending the lifespan of humans, has offered up a matching grant of up to a thousand dollars to help out! So help out! Please.