Auto Publish Video Diaries


(September 2005)

First there were blogs and online diaries; now we have video diaries and video blogs. There's something intuitive in being able to record a video diary snippet and make it available to friends as well as a wider audience. For many people the technical challenges of recording and publishing video files, including updating web pages with the latest entries, is too much of a chore or simply beyond them.

Designed for use by "Big Brother" style voyeur houses where the housemates record video diaries, Auto Publish Video Diary can perform the entire recording and publishing process in just 2 clicks! Press once to begin recording, and press again to stop. The video is instantly published to the web/media server and HTML web pages updated. APVD will publish diaries for one or more authors, and even publishes multi-author diaries - ideal for groups of friends and housemates.

Leave APVD running for instant action. Now you can record and publish diary updates whenever you want - capture your thoughts as they occur and put them online immediately.

Visit the APVD home page


Originally designed for use by "Big Brother" style voyeur houses where the housemates record video diaries, Auto Publish Video Diary automates the entire recording and publishing process.

APVD can be executed occasionally or left to run continuously. When APVD starts it loads a configuration file created and saved by Windows Media Encoder. This specifies the camera source(s), encoding, compression and transforms to be applied to the session.

When idle it displays a menu consisting of large photo-buttons showing each author which when pressed (especially handy with touch-screen panels and tablets) will proceed to "preview" mode with a countdown until recording begins - allowing time for the author to 'frame' themselves and get comfortable.

The video continues recording until the author presses the live video-preview button or the operator-configurable maximum recording duration is reached.

When the recording stops the author is asked if they want to accept the recording and publish it, or cancel and delete it. If they cancel APVD returns to the menu of buttons.

If they accept APVD publishes the diary. It is possible to configure APVD to operate in batch or immediate mode. In batch mode APVD stores all the recorded videos locally and publishes them to the web/media server once a day using a configurable schedule. If operating in immediate mode publishing is done right away.

Once batched or published APVD returns to the menu.

Publishing begins by transfering the recorded video file(s) to the web/media server. APVD prefers to transfer files using Windows Networking, so if you are publishing to a remote Internet server its best to use a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection between the server and the local PC/network. APVD can also publish files using FTP, but remember that the username and password are transmitted without encryption and are vulnerable to snoopers.

Publishing also involves updating HTML files that contain links to the diary videos. Based on its configuration APVD edits two files: a single summary HTML file that contains links (one each for each author) to the latest-diaries, and separate diary-list HTML files (one file for each author). In a scenario with 6 authors, there will be 1 latest-diaries file and 6 diary-list files.

The configuration options control how the HTML files are updated, and what is written, giving the APVD operator great flexibility in making it work with existing pages and formats.

Video files are by default named using the format author-yyyyMMdd-HHmm.wmv, e.g. John-20050911-1045.wmv. This can be customised using the recordFilenameFormatSpecifier option.

APV can insert pre-recorded lead-in, advertising, and credits video files by utilising Windows Media Encoder Source Groups.