TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Integrating Podcast Producer 2 and Your CMS

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 03
Column Tag: Podcast Producer

Integrating Podcast Producer 2 and Your CMS

How to use Podcast Producer 2 and several popular CMS packages

by Michele (Mike) Hjörleifsson

Syndicate, Syndicate, Syndicate

In the previous installment, we looked at and dissected a workflow, its contents, the plist files and how to modify them to your requirements. After reading the article, one may think that Podcast Producer 2 customization and content distribution is intimidating for any purpose other than the standard fare provided in Podcast Composer.

Well, this is far from the truth and I wanted to set the record straight with some explicit examples of how to integrate Podcast Producer 2 content into the three of the arguably most popular open source content management or blogging software. Next, I'll demonstrate how you can, with a simple Python script, pull content from the Podcast Producer Library and send it to whatever process you'd like to perform on the content. And last, but certainly not least, I wanted to point out a neat tool that was released after the last article that you can use to add YouTube publishing to your workflow files. Yes, that's right, you can publish right from Podcast Producer 2 directly to YouTube thanks to a gentleman named Marcel Borsten.

To get started, let's explore the Podcast Library provided by Podcast Producer 2. This feature, new in Podcast Producer v2, is a required output in Podcast Composer, which creates and maintains several RSS and Atom feeds. These feeds are categorized and contain information on all of your published podcasts. As seen in the following screenshots, you can retrieve feeds based on user, workflow, date (historical), keyword, and custom feeds.


Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3

Safari presents the feed pages with some user friendly options such as expanding or contracting the length of "article," which in our case is a podcast, information, sorting options, filtering options and the ability to update, mail a link to the feed, subscribe to the link in mail or add a bookmark to the feed in Safari.

So what is so great about Podcast Producer creating these unexciting feed pages? That's simple: RSS and Atom have become widely used standards for syndicating content into all sorts of applications and websites. Simply pointing a feed reader to the feed will provide a dynamic display of your podcasts in another website, a portal, a blog or any RSS and Atom enabled application, whether web based or desktop based. Let me demonstrate with examples in WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

WordPress

Using WordPress, logged in as an administrator, you can simply click on the appearance category, select widgets, and then drag the RSS widget to the sidebar. This presents a popup for you to enter the feed URL, title and several other options for title and description. Just copy and paste the link from the Podcast Producer feed page that you want to display in your WordPress site into the feed URL. Next, change the URI from feed:// to http:// and then change atom_feeds to rss_feeds in the URL itself, give it a title and then click Close. Open your WordPress site in a separate window and you will see something like this. Voila! It's that easy.


Figure 4

If you have podcasts in your feed they will almost instantly populate the widget and provide a link for anyone who would like to view or download them. Another neat feature is that by default, publishing puts the format of the podcast into parentheses after the entry. This way, your users can choose which format they would like to view or download.

Drupal

Drupal, a popular open source blog and community building platform uses a feature called blocks to add functionality. Using the Feed Aggregator "block" in Drupal accomplishes the same task with ease. Configuration was again quick and easy:

1. Log on as a site administrator

2. Follow the Administer->Site Building->Blocks->Modules links

3. Select the Aggregator module check box

4. Save your settings.

This enables the RSS/Atom reader functionality in the Drupal software.

5. Click the "administration by module page" link in the middle of the page.

6. Click the Feed Aggregator in the Aggregator section, and then click the Add Feed link at the top of the center section.

7. Enter a title for your podcast section and then paste the feed URL into the URL box. Remember to change the URL to rss_feed from atom_feed then

8. Click the Save button.

Now that your feed is configured you will need to let Drupal know to put the feed on your public or private page(s) and where to present it.

9. Click on the Administer link in the left sidebar

10. Click on the Configure Permissions link for the Aggregator section. A permissions table will be presented for various modules.

11. Locate the aggregator selection and Choose the anonymous or authenticated user selection.

12. Click the Save Permissions button at the bottom of the page.

Last but not least, we need to place the feed somewhere in the sites presentation structure.

13. Click on the Site Building link in the left sidebar

14. Click on the Blocks link which presents the Blocks configuration page.

15. Find the title of your podcast feed and drag it from Disabled to the display area on the site which you would like to see the feed. For my example I chose right-sidebar.

16. Click the Save Blocks button and you are done.

This may seem to involve a lot of steps, but Drupal administrators should know this path well.


Figure 5

Joomla

Joomla is an open source content management system used for corporate, community and blog websites. Joomla uses modules to enable functionality and provides a module called mod_feed that allows you to integrate feeds from external sites into its content management system. Configuration was again quick and easy:

1. Log into the administrative portion of the site.

2. Click Extensions, and then select Modules.

3. Click on the Feed Reader and then click Edit.

4. Add the feed URL the same way one would in WordPress and subsequently in Drupal and then select the desired options.

To position the feed properly on your site, Joomla uses a methodology called location tags.

5. Select the appropriate one for your site (shown on the right in the example below).


Figure 6

CMS Installs

Installing various CMS products usually entails their own set of instructions, so check the documentation for the CMS you're working with.

In general, I installed Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress using the latest tar files available from their sites and extracting them each into a separate directory in /Library/WebServer/Documents, opened a MySQL session from the terminal to create a separate database for each. Finally, I opened a browser and ran the default web-based installs for each program by simply directing the browser to their respective directories. The entire process took less than an hour, from start to syndication, for the entire group of sites. I have never used WordPress or Drupal before. That should provide an indication of how easy it is to integrate Podcast Producer into your own blog or website.

Other Publishing Engines

There are other CMS and publishing engines that also can use an RSS feed to aggregate information.

Microsoft Sharepoint Server also provides a "Web Part" for RSS feeds that allows you to accomplish the same functionality similar to that shown with the Open Source CMSs in a Microsoft Sharepoint site. The installation is similar to the three previous installations: log on as an administrator, add the Web Part, configure it with the feed URL and then publish it to the location on your Sharepoint site(s) and bingo, it's available.

Last but certainly not least, Apple's Wiki/Blog can be added as a target output directly in Podcast Composer to accept Podcast posts automatically so there is no need to integrate Wiki/Blog with the RSS/Atom feeds. You just need to create the Wiki/Blog site and enable podcast publishing.

As you've seen, the feeds provided by Podcast Producer 2 provide for easy, fast integration with any web-based application that supports RSS or Atom feeds. This is a great advance for Podcast Producer administrators who want to leverage the podcasting infrastructure into existing web applications already deployed in their organization. If you have multiple feeds from multiple workflows or even multiple Podcast Producer sites, you can collect them all into single or multiple blogs or websites with this simple technique.

Workflow Considerations

Now that you have a firm handle on the feeds, I will let you in on a little secret. Modifying workflows using the XML technique to add custom functionality can be a bear, but it has the advantage of leveraging Xgrid to distribute the processing load. But, if you either know how to submit your own scripts to Xgrid or, the more likely case, have one process you need to run on the videos posted to your Podcast Producer that won't benefit from Xgrid.

I have written a basic Python script example that will read a configuration file containing your feed(s) and then execute whatever command line application you'd like on the resultant video file(s). The benefit of using an external program that reads the feeds and processes the finalized videos may not be obvious at first so let me explain a use case.

Let's say you have content creators that want to be able to change their bumper videos (the videos appended and post-pended to the original content), Quartz Composer introduction, watermarks etc. Well, if they open a workflow that had its XML modified for custom processing, they will either not open or require you to apply the custom XML bits back to the new XML files created by Podcast Capture. Also, if Apple changes the functionality of, or more likely, adds features to Podcast Composer you end up in the same predicament. Using an external script to process the videos after production allows the content creators to play around with the workflow content processing as much as they like and your process will still execute on the output of their workflow.

This process requires three to five files depending on whether you'd like the process to be automated by launchd or not. The three common files are the Python script, the pdata.lst file and the workflow_html file. The Python script (code listed below) does the processing. The pdata.lst file is used to store a list of identifiers for podcasts that have been processed to avoid repeated processing of the same content. Finally, the workflow_html file contains a simple .conf style list of the feed titles, URL for the feed and location to store the resultant file(s). The optional two files are a plist file for /Library/LaunchDaemons specifying when to execute the script, and a bash script to properly execute the Python scripts (the latter is probably not necessary in most cases). The assumption made is that you have two video output files but you can see clearly where to modify or add more in the #Custom Definitions section. You must run sudo easy_install feedparser to get the feedparser library onto your system.

To start, create a directory in /Library/Application Support called something you will remember and place an empty pdata.lst file in there. Next, create a file called workflow_html in the same location using the following format:

[testing]
url=http://myserver.lan:8171/podcastproducer/atom_feeds/A5245942-2230-4EF4-8EC0-704DA45295A3
location=/Volumes/placetoputfiles/

The information between the brackets is the name of the feed and is just a placeholder. The URL is the feed URL, and the location is the place where the files will be placed. Note that the trailing slash in the location entry is critical. Notice the area for custom definitions that will be specific to your installation and the last two lines which simply execute a shell script passing the filename. You can pass any of the variables for the podcast I collect in the script to your shell script in that line but append them as parameters. Next is the Python script, which is listed below:

from subprocess import call
import os
import feedparser
import urllib
from sys import exit
from ConfigParser import ConfigParser
# CUSTOM DEFINITIONS GO HERE
podcastdatabase = '/Library/Application Support/MyStuff/pdata.lst'
listtoprocess = '/Library/Application Support/MyStuff/workflow_html'
orderAppleTV = 1
orderiDevice = 0
# Checks to see if podcast was processed & exits gracefully
def checkpodcast (pcastid,database):
   pdatabase = open(database, 'r')
   processed = False
   podlist = pdatabase.read()
   pdatabase.close()
   index = podlist.find(pcastid)
   if (index >= 0): 
      processed = True
   return processed
#Adds podcast urn to pdata.lst so we dont process twice
def addtopdata   (pcastid,database):
   pdatabase = open(database, 'a')
   pcastentry = pcastid + '\n'
   pdatabase.write(pcastentry)
   pdatabase.close()
   return 
##### ACTUAL CODE ######
pasnum = 1
## Open the listtoprocess to get list of workflows
config = ConfigParser()
config.read([listtoprocess])
sections = config.sections()
#process the podcast feeds
for item in sections:
   # Parse the workflows for feed and directory info
   workflowfeed = config.get(item,'url')   
   locationstring = config.get(item,'location')
   # grab the destination location of the output
   podcastDestination = []
   podcastDestination.append(locationstring)
   theFeed = feedparser.parse(workflowfeed)
   # If no feed postings exit move on to next workflow
   try:
      latestentry = theFeed.entries[0]
   except IndexError:
      continue
   #check to see if we already processed this one if so quit
   checkifprocessed = checkpodcast(latestentry.id,podcastdatabase)
   if checkifprocessed: 
      print latestentry.id
      continue
   # Store id for adding to the pdata list
   entryid = theFeed.entries[0].id
   #Get the Header data for the feed itself
   podcastTitle = latestentry.title
   podcastAuthor = latestentry.author
   podcastDescription = latestentry.description
   # RSS puts the date and time within a weird string
   # we only need the date so split at the T in the date 
   # string and just grab the date
   tDate =latestentry.date.split('T')
   podcastDate = tDate[0]
   #initialize the lists
   podcastDuration = []
   podcastFile = []
   podcastType = []
   podcastDir = []
   podcastFname = []
   podcastDest = []
   # Gather the data from the feed into lists
   # The last item is a thumbnail so use length - 1
   # iPod/iPhone version should come first and AppleTV
   # should come second when creating workflow with Podcast
   # Composer, if not change the order in the custom 
   # definitions settings orderiDevice and orderAppleTV
   for i in range(len(latestentry.links)-1):
      entryDuration=""
      entryHREF=""
      entryTitle=""
      entryDuration=latestentry.links[i].duration
      entryHREF=latestentry.links[i].href
      entryTitle=latestentry.links[i].title
      dirtemp=entryHREF.split('/')
      podcastDir=dirtemp[5]
      podcastFname.append(dirtemp[6])
      podcastDuration.append(entryDuration)
      podcastFile.append(entryHREF)
      podcastType.append(entryTitle)
   podcastDtemp = latestentry.date.split('T')
   # Since content is published on the same date, 
   # we only need the first one
   podcastDate = podcastDtemp[0]
   aTVhref = latestentry.links[orderAppleTV].href
   iPhonehref = latestentry.links[orderiDevice].href
   # download iPhone version and write the file
   mysock = urllib.urlopen(iPhonehref)
   fileToSave = mysock.read()
   oFileName = podcastDestination[0] + podcastFname[orderiDevice]
   oFile = open(oFileName,'wb')
   oFile.write(fileToSave)
   oFile.close
   #download AppleTV version and write the file
   mysock2 = urllib.urlopen(aTVhref)
   fileToSave2 = mysock2.read()
   oFileName2 = podcastDestination[1] + podcastFname[orderAppleTV]
   oFile2 = open(oFileName2,'wb')
   oFile2.write(fileToSave2)
   oFile2.close
   #Update the podcast database
   b = addtopdata(entryid,podcastdatabase)
   # Put your shell commands (cmd) and arguments (arg) here 
   call(['cmd', 'arg1', 'arg2'], stdin='...', stdout='...')
   call(['cmd', 'arg1', 'arg2'], stdin='...', stdout='...')

Granted, this script is a little rough. I should have iterated the content rather than fixing it to two files in and two downloads out, but it you get the general idea of what I was trying to accomplish in under a hundred lines of actual code.

Conclusion

I can't express enough the leaps and bounds of benefits of using Podcast Producer 2 has made versus the first version, or even a manual process. It is a great tool. For continually updated how how-to's and information about the Podcast Producer community there is a great non-commercial resource at http://podcastproducer.org. Take a browse at the how to section and you will find a script and detailed instructions for adding YouTube output to your workflow XML files as an additional publishing output. I have tested this and it works great. Thanks to Marcel for posting it. And, if you come up with a neat tip or tool please participate and share with the community. Well that is all on Podcast Producer for now. If you'd like to see more, please email the editor, and I'll be happy to oblige. Till then... Happy tech'ng.


Michele (Mike) Hjörleifsson has been programming Apple computers since the Apple II+, and implementing network and remote access security technologies since the early '90s. He has worked with the nation's largest corporations and government institutions. Mike is currently a certified Apple trainer and independent consultant. Feel free to contact him at mhjorleifsson@me.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

iExplorer 4.1.10 - View and transfer fil...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
iExplorer 4.1.10 - View and transfer fil...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
Adobe InCopy CC 2018 13.0.1.207 - Create...
InCopy CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous InCopy customer). Adobe InCopy CC 2018, ideal for large team projects... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 15.40 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Adobe InDesign CC 2018 13.0.1.207 - Prof...
InDesign CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous InDesign customer). Adobe InDesign CC 2018 is part of Creative Cloud.... Read more
Apple iOS 11.1.2 - The latest version of...
iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to... Read more
Slack 2.9.0 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 2.9.0: Slack now officially, and fully, supports Japanese.... Read more
iExplorer 4.1.9 - View and transfer file...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
PCalc 4.5.3 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
iExplorer 4.1.9 - View and transfer file...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Mighty Battles guide - how to build a so...
Mighty Battles, the latest title from Hothead Games, is set to take the App Store by storm. The game puts a welcome twist on lane battlers, adding FPS elements to spice things up a bit. You'll collect cards to put your own military unit to gether,... | Read more »
Rules of Survival guide - how to be the...
The PUBG craze makes its way to mobile, with more and more battle royale games debuting on iOS and Android. Rules of Survival joins the ranks of mobile PUBG-likes, offering a classic battle royale experiences that doesn't vary too much from its... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
The weekend is upon us friends, and it's time to take a look back and reflect on all of the wonderful games we've played over the past few days. This week was jam packed with new releases. There were some big, long awaited launches, some fun... | Read more »
Lineage II: Revolution guide - tips and...
At long last, Lineage II: Revolution has now come to western shores, bring Netmarble's sweeping MMORPG to mobile devices. It's an addictive, epic experience, but some of the systems in the game can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help... | Read more »
A Boy and His Blob (Games)
A Boy and His Blob 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fight terrible monsters and collect epic...
Released on Western markets early last month, Dragon Project, created by Japanese developer COLOPL, brings epic monster hunting action to mobile for the very first time. Collect a huge array of weapons and armor, and join up with friends to fight... | Read more »
I Am The Hero (Games)
I Am The Hero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: I Am The Hero is a pixel art, beat 'em up, fighting game that tells the story of a "Hero" with a glorious but mysterious past.... | Read more »
Kauldron (Music)
Kauldron 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Kauldron is our warmest sounding, punchiest synth yet! A completely new modeling technology, combined with carefully designed... | Read more »
Lineage II: Revolution is mobile’s bigge...
NCSoft’s hit fantasy MMORPG series has just made the leap to mobile with the help of Netmarble in Lineage II: Revolution. With over 1.5 million players having already pre-registered ahead of the game’s launch, Revolution hit the app stores... | Read more »
Swing skilfully in new physics-based pla...
Sometimes it’s the most difficult of obstacles that can be the most rewarding. One game hoping to prove this is OCMO, the new tough but fair platformer from developers Team Ocmo. Primed to set every speedrunner’s pulse racing, as an otherworldly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Black Friday pricing on Macs and iPads now av...
B&H Photo has lowered prices on many Macs, iPads, and iPad Pros as part of their Black Friday week sale. Save up to $200 on MacBooks and iMacs and up to $150 on iPads. B&H charges sales tax... Read more
Best Apple iPad deals this weekend, up to $80...
Apple resellers are offering 9.7″ iPads and 10.5″ iPad Pros for up to $80 off MSRP this weekend as part of their early Holiday and Black Friday sales: Adorama is offering new 2017 9.7″ 32GB WiFi... Read more
Early Black Friday sale: Apple iMacs for up t...
B&H Photo has 27-inch iMacs in stock and on sale for up $130-$150 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished Mac minis starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Save on 12″ MacBooks, Apple refurbished model...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Early Holiday sale: 12″ iPad Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has 12″ iPad Pros on sale today for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H collects no sales tax outside NY & NJ: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749, save $50 – 12″ 256GB... Read more
Holiday sale prices on Apple 13″ MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100-$150 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro... Read more
Sale: 13″ MacBook Airs starting at $899, $100...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off... Read more
Week’s Best Deal on 13″ MacBook Pros: Apple r...
Apple has a full line of Apple Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ MacBook Pros available for $200-$300 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Deal: 15″ 2.6GHz MacBook Pro for $1799 w/free...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ 2.6GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and available for $600 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.... Read more

Jobs Board

Product Manager - *Apple* Pay on the *Appl...
Job Summary Apple is looking for a talented product manager to drive the expansion of Apple Pay on the Apple Online Store. This position includes a unique Read more
*Apple* Pro/Consumer Apps Support Engineer -...
…exemplify AppleCare's expert technical support paired with exceptional customer service for Apple 's software apps. This person is a problem solver, who understands Read more
Partner Marketing Manager, *Apple* Pay - Ap...
Job Summary The Apple Pay partner marketing team is looking for a Marketing Manager to develop and drive US programs. The right candidate will be passionate about Read more
*Apple* Solution Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solution Consultant - Rochester, MN Job Number: 113037950 Rochester, MN, Minnesota, United States Posted: 19-Sep-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are Read more
Sr. Experience Producer, Today at *Apple* -...
# Sr. Experience Producer, Today at Apple Job Number: 56495251 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 23-Jun-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.