Christian Heilmann

Posts Tagged ‘api’

Making vid.ly conversion and embedding easy

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I am lucky enough to have a vid.ly pro account to convert videos. Lucky because lately the free service started limiting the amount of times you can watch a video in a month (as they were hammered by a lot of traffic from Asia abusing the service). In case you still haven’t heard about vid.ly – it is a service that converts a video into a few dozen formats for HTML5 embedding and gives you a single URL to redirect devices to the correct format of the video.

Now, to make it easier for my colleagues to convert and embed videos in HTML5, I built a simple interface for converting and embedding a video on our blogs. For this I am using the API, but I wanted to avoid having to give my key out for colleagues to use.

The interface to convert videos is pretty easy:


<h1>Vid.ly conversion and embed


Simply add the URL of the video to convert below and you get the embed code.
An email will inform you about the successful conversion.
Conversion could take up to an hour.







One of the cool features of the API is that it allows you to define an email that is not the one connected with the key to be the one that gets notified both of the conversion start, errors and success email. That made my job a lot easier. All I needed to do was assemble the correct XML and send it to the API. As the result is XML, too, I needed to check what came back and give feedback in the form:


$key = ‘{add your key here}’;
$message = ‘’;
if(isset($_POST[‘send’])){

if($_POST[‘email’] !== ‘’ && $_POST[‘url’] !== ‘’) {
$query = ‘‘.
AddMedia481‘.
‘.$key.’‘.
‘.$_POST[‘email’].’‘.
‘.$_POST[‘url’].’‘.
AWS
‘;
$url = ‘http://m.vid.ly/api/’;
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_URL,$url);
curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_POST,1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS,’xml=’.urlencode($query));
$result = curl_exec($ch);
curl_close($ch);

$xml = simplexml_load_string($result);

if($xml->Success) {
$vid = $xml->Success->MediaShortLink->ShortLink;
$video = ‘‘;
$message = ‘

Conversion started

‘.

The video conversion is under way. ‘.
‘You should get an email telling you so and an email when ‘.
‘the video URL is ready. The code to copy & paste into ‘.
‘the blog is:

‘.
‘;
} else {
$message = ‘

Error

‘.

Something went wrong in the conversion,’.
‘please try again.

‘;
}

} else {
$message = ‘

Error

‘.

Please provide a video URL and email

‘;
}

}
?>

Pretty simple, isn’t it. Now my colleagues can add their email, give the form a URL where the video to convert is on the web and will get a copy and paste HTML for the video, for example:



Which results in:

Giving HTML5 video to the browsers who support it and a link to vid.ly for those who don’t :) The code is on GitHub as a Gist:

Fixing the Slideshare HTML displayer

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

It is impossible to write a blog post about HTML5 and embed slides in Flash in the same without suffering lots of wisecracking comments that don’t have anything to do with the content. To avoid this, I wrote Slideshare HTML and blogged in detail about how it works.

Well, I hacked and scraped and sooner or later this will always bite you in the bum. As it did when the Slideshare developers changed the URLs of the images of the mobile version which of course broke my embedding tool and got me a lot of emails asking me why oh why I have forsaken people.

Bitching on the developer mailing list of Slideshare helped and now the oEmbed API returns not only the number of slides and urls and all the other goodies but also the right image suffix to use.

So, in short words – it is fixed and as I am now using the API rather than building a ScrAPI it should work smoother.

TTMMHTM – BBC Web animals, two very cool APIs and there’s something about the LG logo

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Things that made me happy this morning:

TTMMHTM: Scuba attacks in Norway,safer internet, mouse tracking and SMS API

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Things that made me happy this morning:

Giving technology to the world – a talk about writing good code examples

Friday, February 5th, 2010

One of the things I love about my company is that you are perfectly allowed in Yahoo to give “Fire and Brimstone” talks to rally your colleagues. It is a very open company and if you can back up criticism with proof and offer solutions people are happy to listen to you.

Last Thursday I took the opportunity of being in the Silicon Valley to give a talk about giving technology to the world, pointing out mistakes we made in explaining our services and APIs, what works well and how some competitors do a great job at explaining complex technology in an easy to understand fashion.

It was a great opportunity to explain the concepts of developer evangelism to an internal audience who hadn’t yet read anything about the matter of seeing developers as an audience.

Check the slides on SlideShare and the audio on archive.org:

Listen to the Audio of the talk on archive.org:

Do you know any great API sandboxes and documentation? I’d be happy to have more positive examples!