Checking in

I suppose I ought to blog once in a while, so this post is to check in. Since last time I posted here the big news is that the software I have been working on in stealth mode for the last three years finally went public under the name of Yahoo! Media Player. It has gotten great reactions, been picked up on a bunch of notable pages, and been covered by well known sites like Tech Crunch. This software was originally going to be Webjay 2.0, but wasn’t released before the Yahoo! acquisition and ended up becoming the nucleus of a new Yahoo! project.

It’s not much like Webjay the site, which was a combination playlist editor, portal, generator, and social networking site. But philosophically it is still about media with URLs, openness, sharing, and interoperability.

It is also still about playlists. But it is a major twist on the concept. The player accepts all sorts of traditional playlists, like XSPF and M3U, as well as feed formats like RSS and Atom; it even has an integrated screen scraper which can use a remote web page as a playlist. But primarily the web page in which the player is embedded is the playlist.

Web pages are a very good playlist format. They are visually customizable, semantically rich, standardized, documented, open, flexible, decentralized and implemented world-wide. To the extent that they didn’t have syntax for everything playlist-oriented, we were able to use semantic HTML with a light sprinkling of extensions.

However I can’t use the player on my blog here, which is the reason why I haven’t been writing on this blog. This blog is hosted by wordpress.com, which blocks out Javascript. I need to move my blog to another host.

The code name for the player project, by the way, was “goose.”

5 thoughts on “Checking in

  1. Wouldn’t it be better to write a WordPress Compatible plug-in for your player rather than switching your blog. While you are at it, I would write a Drupal plug-in. Sure, it will be easier for you, but for the long run viability of the player, a WordPress plug-in is probably a good way to go because the 100s of thousands of other WordPress/Drupal users will not be so eager to switch.

  2. Hey David,

    There is a plug-in already, but you can’t install plugins for yourself on wordpress.com.

    Drupal plugin is a great idea. How do we get one?

  3. Charles, that’s precisely right.

    I had to go dark after the initial pass in order to do the software in stealth mode. But those conversations we had developed directly into this new stuff, including the htrack format.

    BTW, I did many revs to get it right, including testing it out by marking up existing pages and writing pseudocode to parse my working drafts. But a weird thing about it is that it’s a lot like M3U in the end — it’s as tight and simple as possible, but you can’t extend it by putting more elements inside a master container element.

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