Back when websites first began utilizing audio clips to coincide with written text and/or pictures being posted, it seemed like the most radical and technologically advanced idea to come along since Al Gore invented the internet. (Hee Hee)
Yet when these websites began posting both audio and video clips, it greatly increased not only the number of visitors to the site, the addition of actual video presentations allowed viewers to actually see both indisputable visual evidence, and an authority level accreditation to the websites statements, views, and/or opinions.
Considering the massive influx of traffic, as well as notoriety, sites that had the ability to add both audio and video were suddenly drawing in, every media outlet, company web page, personal weblog and especially paparazzi driven tabloid sites and sites dedicated to investigative type reporting.
There were several websites that were created simply because there were now available technologies that allowed them to post videos on the internet.
Although it was a wonderful, magical era in which the entire world was embracing this new audio/video revolution with every rung of the society’s ladder holding massive gatherings, holding hands and singing “I’d like to buy the World a Coke” while celebrating the “World Peace” that was declared by every World leader, all due to online video/audio publications. (Yeah Right)!
Truth was, there were hardly any places on Earth, or computer with a strong enough internet connection that, after locating a site and finding the video clip you wanted to view, the flaws of watching video were not immediately exposed after clicking on the video link. The mind-boggling WAITING!!!!
You had to wait, what seemed like decades, on the video to load. Then wait for the video to begin. After the video finally begun, a few ‘Nano seconds’ later, it would stop, with the only visual effect being a “buffing” symbol.
When “buffing” would complete, the viewer could finally watch their much anticipated video clip for roughly another few seconds till, well, you know, “buffing”.
If you were very fortunate, sometime within the next 2 hours or so, you could actually see the video in its entirety… maybe.
Dave Winer Saves Us, Again:
After already creating both weblogs, and the means of syndicating the published material posted on them, and other sites dedicated to the syndicating the information they publish, it was only fitting that when enough people, spoke loud enough, it would be Dave Winer that would listen.
Of course it would require the divine intervention of two of Winer’s cohorts in technology and media publications, Marc Canter and Adam Curry, who repeatedly persisted that the solution was out there somewhere, and if anyone could find it, or create it out of thin air, it would indeed be Dave that could do it.
The first thing that needed addressed was what Dave saw were the three fatal flaws in the desire to essentially stream video/audio. #1) The mind numbing wait for the file to load; #2) It took longer to load the video and watch it than the duration of the clip would last. (Took several minutes to see a few second clip) and #3) the quality of the video was typically awful to say the least.
So this begged the questions, how could individuals enjoy video clips without having to wait so dang long? Why could videos that were downloaded previously onto our computer play so quickly, flawlessly and exceptionally on demand? How could the two be connected in a way we could have both our favorite site’s video links on our computer’s hard drive to be viewed at our leisure?
Fortunately for Dave, as well as current and future internet users, the answer was already close by. Really close by. In fact, it was practically in the palm of Dave Winer’s hand. Why? Basically, he had virtually already created it, perfected it, and half the world was already using it. RSS.
Essentially, it works like this. RSS feeds provide subscribers with all their favorite sites’ updates, headlines and current events by utilizing aggregators and/or feed readers to pull in all the selected sites periodic, or daily publications into one localized area within their browser so when they click on their RSS link again, everything is there in one place for them to enjoy, without having to meticulously go from site to site clicking bookmarks and viewing the material individually.
With that thought in mind, Dave went to work developing a method that would utilize an aggregator as well to go from site to site, search out and locate the audio/video files, proceed to pull them from the site and throughout the night, or computer’s downtime, it would download the video files onto the computers’ hard drive to be waiting for the subscriber to view upon their return.
PAYLOADS FOR RSS
What Dave created was a simple, but highly technical tweak to the fundamental XML language within an RSS syndicating publication.
Each time a file is chosen to be posted to an RSS feed, it must be written using the correct language and metadata <tags>.
Dave went to work writing out an innovative tag within the language. By adding <enclosure> into the RSS, the aggregator could find, read, pull, and then push the file into the subscribers’ chosen location for later use.
Essentially there are 3 factors that create this format. In the process, the language needs to know “URI” to know “where” the file is, “Length” to know how big it is and finally, “type” to know exactly “what kind” of info the aggregator is pulling from.
What You Want/When You want It:
By using the right coding, the RSS file can be written to transfer whatever kind and type of data or file chosen, where exactly the file is within the site, and when it will be transferred and downloaded for the subscriber.
Basically, because of the way the RSS file can be set up, the files will be downloaded whenever is convenient for the individual. Whether it be during working hours, while the computer is offline at home, or during the night when the user is sleeping soundly in bed.
With the introduction to Payloads for Podcast, now a user can do away with the common flaws within the old way of watching video.
Using payloads/podcasts, the video does not need filtered or buffed, or even loaded for that matter. It is already downloaded and saved into the computer’s hard drive. Now the user clicks the video file, it instantly begins playing, flows smoothly without interruption and the quality is only limited by the computer’s internal memory and functional capabilities.
Just another one of Dave Winer’s simple, yet complex sounding method of saving the World from the things that bog us down and waste our web surfing time. Thank You Dave!!!Payloads For RSS