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

1Password 6.6.4 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Cocktail 10.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.2 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Together 3.8 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.13 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Vienna 3.1.9 :e81515b: - RSS and Atom ne...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
iExplorer 4.0.12.0 - View and transfer f...
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
OpenEmu 2.0.5 - Open Source game-emulati...
OpenEmu is about to change the world of video game emulation, one console at a time... For the first time, the 'It just works' philosophy now extends to open source video game emulation on the Mac.... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.3 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more

Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »
How to rake in the cash in Bit City
Our last Bit City guide covered the basics. Now it's time to get into some of the more advanced techniques. In the later cities, cash flow becomes much more difficult, so you'll want to develop some strategies if you want to complete each level.... | Read more »
PixelTerra (Games)
PixelTerra 1.1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1.1 (iTunes) Description: The world of PixelTerra is quite dangerous so you need to build a shelter, find some food supply and get ready to protect... | Read more »
Tokaido™ (Games)
Tokaido™ 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Discover the digital adaptation of Tokaido, the boardgame phenomenon that has already sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, and... | Read more »
Card Thief (Games)
Card Thief 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Card Thief is a solitaire style stealth game played with a deck of cards. In Card Thief you move through a deck of cards as a... | Read more »
Smilegate’s crafting battler Super Tank...
Super Tank Rumbleputs you in the seat of your very own, handcrafted tank. You can choose from over 100 different parts to create your Super Tank before taking it out to wreak havoc on your opponents in glorious PVP combat. Now, Smilegate is upping... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Save $230 with Apple Certified Refurbished 13...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $230 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Today only! 15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch B...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $300 off MSRP for today only. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only... Read more

Jobs Board

Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.