hAudio in Yahoo! Media Player

This blog post is for techies.

It’s natural for Yahoo! Media Player to support hAudio. hAudio has valuable functionality and is generally well thought out.

But it’s too big a project. The syntax is very complex. Writing a parser and accurately supporting the features is a large job which is out of scope for the media player team. The verbosity of the syntax will turn off many users. And using the syntax is too complex to do by hand; users absolutely can’t write hAudio without a dedicated hAudio editor.

What my team needs is an open source library for parsing the syntax and managing the feature set. This library would have to be small — we have strict limits on code size that are already hard to manage. The library would have to be fast — we already have a long lag time to parse big pages, and our metadata syntax can be parsed much more quickly than hAudio. The library would have to be under a license that we could incorporate into a commercial project; this probably means a BSD license.

What users need is a user interface for authoring hAudio integrated into their working enviroment. For example, editors within Drupal, WordPress, Moveable Type, and social networking sites.

I appreciate the good work of the hAudio creators. They took on a difficult and practical goal and had both the persistence and skill to pull it off. So I’m sorry to say that their project is not yet at the point where my team can take advantage of it.