Modules: Need to stream some videos or music? We have modules

Posted by: tomon 2007/4/30 3:30:00 14900 reads
Well if you've been around xoops for a while and your like me, then you maybe disappointed by the fact that McNaz the Xstreamer module developer, has dropped all his projects. This of course is a great loss to our community, but hey don't worry you still have more options ahead, and there in development.

Webshow - Beta

Webshow, first of the streaming modules we shall review here, has some great potential and after extensively testing this module I can certainly see a bright future, that is of course if the development continues.

So now your probably asking what is webshow?

Well first of all Webshow is based upon the Mylinks module, of course modified to suit the purposes intended. The streamer also uses a well known flash streamer that is widely used in other plug-ins and modules available for other CMS's and blogs.

The streamer 'Flash Media Player' is available from the following source, although please note this is not the xoops modulised version I'm speaking of here:

http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=Flash_Media_Player

Features

Are you wondering what can this module do?

If so then let me give you some insight, this module is only on it's second release, and still beta, even though the birth of this module is relatively recent, don't let this put you off, after all without beta's, you wouldn't have some of the quality modules around today.

Beta release modules are not recommended for production use, I have tested it in this environment though, and so far it's proved to be a valuable module.

From the front end visible to your users, not much is different from the 'Mylinks' module, with the exception of the media player which streams your files are there, here are the basic front end features, bullet-pointed.

- Submit - Allow your users to submit media (however they cannot upload, only link)
- Categories - Create categories for your users to submit too, or for your own content
- Popular - Show the most popular media files by views
- Top Rated - Show the top rated media, as voted by your members
- Rate Play-list - Allow uses to rate the media files
- Report Broken Play-list - Allow members to help maintain your module, by reporting broken media files
- Tell A Friend - Allow your members to tell friends about the media file (opens mail client)
- Notifications - Integrated with Xoops notifications
- Comments - Integrated with Xoops comments
- Streamer - The Flash Player can be sized up-to full screen, and also has volume control too

Now we've covered the paintwork, lets take a brief look under the bonnet of this beauty.

Wow this is a nice engine, although it could do with some buffing up, you'll see what I mean if you install this module, the features in the back-end have the pre-existing 'Mylinks' stuff:

- New Submissions
- Broken Submissions
- Modification requests

The index page at first may seem a little daunting and complicated, but once you've had a play, you should pick it up really quickly.

The index page allows you to add new categories, play-lists and players.

So what else is there:

- Category - another link to create and edit categories or sub-categories, images can also be uploaded here as you get in the original 'MyLinks' module

- Play-list - If you already have media there, then you can modify or delete those, however if your adding new media you have the following options:
-- Web Feed - As it states on the tin, you can provide a web feed of another stream, good idea to save your bandwidth and if the source your using doesn't mind you using their bandwidth then this could be a cool feature. (I believe it has to be an XML Play-list)
-- Media Directory - This is kinda a bulk upload, choose this option and tell the module where the directory is (on the following form), it will then stream all media in that folder, personally I don't like this option as I prefer all media to play separately, however if your in a band and playing an album this is a cool feature, as from the front end your users can click on the album and listen to each song, without loading separate pages.
-- Single File - This is the option to only play one file, which is my personal favourite.

The following form after choosing what media you adding will give you a long list of options which I'm not going to heavily details here, however it has a cool option to choose the media type, and the module currently supports:

- MP3
- FLV
- SWF (possibly add flash games?)
- Gif, JPG, PNG

The next feature, which is pretty cool, allows you to create your own player, as in height, width, colours, etc.

Ohh one thing I didn't mention is that you can also watermark any stream on your website, just like you-tube does, if you want to have your own logo, then some image editing is required. (To add logo do this through player editor/creator

Licensing

Webshow is release under the standard gpl code, however the flash player which is used was released under the CC license (some rights reserved), and is not native to xoops. You can use the streamer for FREE providing it is for non-commercial use, there are options available should you require it for commercial purposes, and they are as follows:

+ €15 - Single site
+ €100 - Allows you to use his Flash scripts on as many websites as you want!

Downsides And Suggestions

We're not talking bugs here, we're just mentioning some minor annoyance which could perhaps be addressed and corrected.

Groups - There is currently no support for xoops groups, which means if your running a free - stroke subscription base, then you either show all or nothing at all. also you can't limit what member groups can submit, which is a great shame, but hopefully something for the future.

Tell A Friend - Opens a mail client, personally I would like to see it have a form that the user can fill in, along with capacha, then the information is sent to friend, I feel that by opening a mail client this can put some people off referring new users, and not only that when my computers going slow, this doesn't help matters.

Module Banner - Personally I hate modules having there own banners, and often I comment these out of the code, I feel that unnecessary images like these only serve to hinder your users experiences, especially those whom are still on 56k modem connections, and there are a few.

Uploading - Currently if you want to add a new stream, you have to upload the file by FTP (File Transfer Protocol), there is no support for uploading via this module, which is also a downside for the user front end, well that's if you wanted your members to be able to submit content, I bet your thinking, 'hey hold on, he said up there that there was a submit' and your quite right, there is but they can only submit streaming links, for example to their own files on their own server or perhaps you-tube (I've not tested with you-tube, so don't quote me it doesn't work)

Bugs

I'm not going to delve into the bugs here, yes the module has some but this is not the place to discuss them in my opinion. If you want to see the current reported bugs or have some bugs to report yourself then do so over at the dev.xoops.org website.

So where can I download?

http://dev.xoops.org/modules/xfmod/project/?webshow

Summary

This is to summarise my own thoughts here, I've been a little selfish and keep writing about streaming videos, well this is not all that can be achieved with the module, you can of course stream music and in some cases a collection of images

This would be my choice so far, especially with the recent departure of McNaz whom stopped all development on XStream, that coincidentally didn't work in Internet Explorer, and he had no interest in supporting this browser.

VideoBB

Right now lets move onto VideoBB, well what can I say?

I feel this module has a lot of potential, but for me personally I see too many downsides, and for me they would be major, however for you they could be ideal, read on and we'll see.

Features

- Integrated Xoops comments
- Users can vote for the media

I really don't feel there is anything special 'feature wise', so I'm really not sure what to document here, apart from it's a basic module and may well suit the needs of many, however for me, it falls a little short.

If the developer is reading this, then please don't be disheartened by my comments, I see a lot of potential in your module, and even if it stays simple, it will suit the needs of many, but unfortunately not myself.

Licensing

The whole module is under the standard gpl licence.

Downsides And Suggestions

Users can download your media from the front end, which is no good if your running subscriptions, or want to try and protect your media.

Very limited options

I tend to have problems getting media to run in Firefox, however I've not assessed this module as extensively as I have with the Webshow and Xstream module, so the chances are this could be simply fixed.

No xoops groups, which renders the module useless for subscription use.

I dislike that the module has settings and configurations from the front end, personally I feel such things should be kept in the admin, after all that's what it's for.

Not sure about the 'Age' feature as it simply displays some graphics of discs?

The module developer has chosen to log his link to the dev.xoops site and E-mail address on the front end, which is not always great for commercial usage.

No upload options, all videos are streamed from one nominated file directory on your server.

Bugs

I'm not going to delve into the bugs here, yes the module has some but this is not the place to discuss them in my opinion. If you want to see the current reported bugs or have some bugs to report yourself then do so over at the dev.xoops.org website.

So where can I download?

http://dev.xoops.org/modules/xfmod/project/?videobb

General News Side Note: Should I be granted permission to upload images to the new Xoops Server, future press-releases will contain graphical images to better emphasise the module and their great features, as well as enhancing your Xoops experience.

Other Modules

Some modules, I've missed out and although I'm not going to review them, I feel they still deserve a mention, so here they are:

SmartMedia

Smart Media is developed by the Smart Factory team, although the last release seems to have been in around 2005, I have asked about further developments within their forum (4th April 2007), however no official reply has been made at the time of this article publication.

Download:

Smart Media Download - Click Here

X_Movies

I know very little about this module, it seems to allow streams from Google and You-Tube, and as far as I can tell it is being developed for XoopsCube, although I could be wrong.

I've heard of xoopsers using it, so I presume it would be compatible with xoops 2.0.16

I believe the following link is correct for the developers site of this module.

X_Movies Download - Click Here

If any one has more details on this module or corrections, then please feel free to let our community know.

I currently unaware of any other media streaming modules.

These modules where tested and reviewed based upon their use within xoops 2.0.16

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

http://www.dxoops.info