Thursday, May 31, 2007

YouTube APIs: Where We Are and Where We're Going



Dave Parker of the YouTube team talked about the YouTube APIs:

What can you do with YouTube APIS today?
  • Search videos by tag / category
  • Get a users public profile, friends, and favourites
  • List featured and popular content
  • Fetch playlists
RSS Feeds: Quick and Easy

You can get access to a lot of content, for yourself or other users, and also common feeds for the most viewed etc.

REST and XML-RPC

These are the core APIs, which offer a lot more functionality that you can in a read-only feed. Dave compares the REST and XML-RPC approaches for some examples. Although the request is different (XML-RPC has a standard XML request format, whereas REST just uses HTTP), the response is very similar. The result is a response XML document with metadata that you can then use.

Dave shows us a thumbnail view application that was developed by a third party API developer. As always, the cool stuff comes from you.

Dave walked us through the various methods that map to the high level "what can you do today" items.

Dave has the nice side effect of having cool YouTube videos that he can use as part of his demos. Much nicer than if you were demoing work from a bank... here he can show sleepy kitten.

Google AJAX Search API

There are Google APIs that also access the YouTube content. Dave created an AJAX Search video bar on the fly, and showed us some snoring puppies. This component searches across YouTube and Google Video.

The Future

Google Data APIs are coming. The benefits here are that client libraries are available, support is all over. You should expect to see new search calls, filters, and we are investigating how to open upload and write functionality.

The Video Category Search Demo uses an early version of these new apis. The entire demo is written in client-side JavaScript using the JSON output.

Q & A
  • Q. Can I control the thumbnail instead of the first frame? A. It is being worked on.
  • Q. When can I sell my videos on YouTube? A. Working with partners to get all types of video into the service. This morning we announced a partnership with EMI. For content creators, the model is advertising based.
  • Q. Is there a JS API to control the flow of video, e.g. syncing to a particular area in the video. A. On the list! An underused feature is autoplay="on|off".
  • Q. Will you allow direct access to the video file? A. Focusing on the embedded player. The player could then be embedded in your own application
  • Q. Are you going to provide more video data? A. Yes. Thinking about how to show more about a creators audience and such.
  • Q. Can you help me upload? A. We have partnered with mobile providers, camera devices, etc.
  • Q. You can search metadata, but how about searching the video content itself (voice recognition etc) A. This is why being part of Google is good for us.
  • Q. I am interested in location information. Is there a road map for geotagging, and deep tagging? A. Today there is an unspecified geo field, but there you get content like 'my bedroom' as well as full addresses or lat/lng. We are doing work to get better here: "Show me video from 5 miles around me"
  • Q. Do you have video editing in the pipe? A. Excited about crop and red-eye style edits, which isn't easy.
  • Q. Are you enabling photos and videos to live together? A. Nothing to announce now, but Active sharing was just released on the TestTube, and we are looking at doing more things in this field

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