Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Archives: The return of a long-lost friend


When we suddenly had to move from Zaplive's platform to our own one last year we knew we were going to be in for a challenging time, and that it would take a while to restore all the features we'd gotten so used to. Basically we had to start with a clean sheet of paper and develop everything from the ground up. But, even so, we would never have thought that reconstructing a recording and archiving system would take as long as it did.

We've finally cracked it though and it will be relaunched later today. With a few exceptions, most streams have been recording again for some time already, so there will be lots of 'old' footage to look back to and 'video mark'. (Some exceptions unfortunately include the Safari game drives and water hole camera where due to the streaming issues we've only managed to properly start recording about two weeks ago.)

All the recordings and video marks made in the old days, when they were still called 'seek points' or 'hot spots' will be available again. Only once we started working on it did we realise there were so many of them. We're starting off with almost 500,000 video files and close to 80,000 video marks from the old days and are now adding thousands of new clips every day. Hopefully soon to be augmented by lots of video marks created by you.

Another amazing fact we found was that over half of the existing video marks were created by two people only! Between the two of them, Kathy (in WV) and Sharon Moser created close to 45,000!!! I can't even imagine how much effort they must have put into that. To them, but also to all other video markers a big 'thank you' from us and I'm sure all other viewers, as archives without video marks are like an encyclopeadia without an index: There's lots of valuable info, but it's impossible to find.

While the general functionality will be the same as before there are also some notable differences:
  • The archives are fully functional from within the player, and that includes embedded players on other web sites.
  • In addition to a title and description, pre-defined 'tags' can be added. These will help with searching as they will avoid mis-spelling and regional spelling differences.
  • There are several ways of finding archive clips and video marks, including directly entering a date, and the player will stay on that page after watching a clip, so no more need for endless going back one page at the time for each clip.
The version that will be launched is a basic version. PixelProject will still be smoothening out some of the rough edges over the coming days, but in view of all the nest activity we decided to not hold back the release any longer. For future releases, we will add Facebook and other sharing, separate pages for archives with more tagging and search options and, very soon 'seamless play' will be added, This means that once the end of one clip is reached, the next one will start playing automatically. This will making watching long events, like e.g. Safari's game drives, or events that run across two or three clips that much easier and pleasant.

One final bit of good news for many, as we've had many questions about this, is that the wild dog den archives will also return! A little bit more work is needed here, but I'm hoping to make them available within a week from now.

As said, all functions should work, if sometimes with a rough edge, and we'd like to hear your feedback on any problems you might encounter, suggestions for improvements, etc. Please send these to webmaster@wildearth.tv and include the word Archive somewhere in the subject line, so we can identify them.

Finally, together with our producers I've tried to add as many tags for all streams as possible, but if you feel some you'd like to add are missing also please let us know at webmaster@wildearth.tv, with 'Tags' somewhere in the subject line.

--Peter

4 comments:

Buckets and Boxes of Rain said...

Three cheers for Sharon and Kathy!!! Yea Yea Yea. And Three Cheers for Pete!!!! Yea Yea YEa

Buckets and Boxes of Rain said...

Three Cheers for Sharon and Kathy! Yea Yea Yea. And Three Cheers for PETE!!!! Yea Yea Yea

ed said...

thank you Peter

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. So glad to have the archives back. I miss so much when I work, will be great to catch up on the excitement again! A really big THANK YOU!!!
Laura (aka animalladylae)