Web Playlists - using SMIL as input format

Posted: Aug 07, 2008  4 comments  

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Web Playlists

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In our strive to make it utmost convenient for our customers to use Web Playlists, we are considering another feature. In my last post I discussed the option of being able to configure the output format for Web Playlists and use open standards like ATOM as possible output in addition to ASX today. We are actually thinking of allowing you to add a XSLT and then be able to configure the output format of your choice that way.

Continuing on the same lines I wanted to explore the option of a standard input format this time. Today we use POX. While this works, it has the problems of not being understood by other media servers and honestly you have to learn a new format. The idea we have now is to use SMIL as an input format. Windows Media Services already understands the SMIL input for Server-side Playlists and so do many other media server platforms. For this release, we are exploring supporting only a sub-set of SMIL modules- SMIL Structure, Media Object (audio,video and ref) and Metainformation modules.

Here is an example of the SMIL playlist would look like. We haven't closed on this yet and would love to hear any inputs you might have here (the example uses SMIL 2.1 but it would really work with SMIL 2.0 or SMIL 3.0 too)

<!DOCTYPE smil PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SMIL 2.1//EN"
                      "http://www.w3.org/2005/SMIL21/SMIL21.dtd">  
<smil xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/SMIL21/Language">
  <head>
    <meta name="title" content="Web Playlists Sample"/>    
    <meta name="author" content="IIS.net"/>    
    <meta name="copyright" content="(c)2008 Microsoft Corporation"/>
    <meta name="timeToLive" content="1440"/>    
    <meta name="inactivityTimeout" content="120"/>    
  </head>
  <body>
    <ref src="a.wmv" >
      <param name="canSkipForward" value="true" />
      <param name="canSkipBack" value="true" />
      <param name="canSeek" value="true" />
    </ref>
  </body>
</smil>

How do you feel about this change? We would love to hear from you.

Comments

Hi Vishal

It's great to see SMIL support!

We would very much like to see an XSLT option; this would be very flexible indeed for our purposes.

Regards

Pete

Aug 11 2008 by Anonymous

Hi Pete

I am really glad to hear that. I would love to hear more about how you plan to use Web Playlists and if you have any other features which could help you, I am happy to hear about them.

Cheers

Vishal

Aug 12 2008 by vsood

Hey Vishal, I know this isn't the exact place to ask this, but I was pointed to your blog for help.

I'm trying to impliment a dynamical playlist that I pulling from a Silverlight App.  I'm using IIS7 and have a wsx file on the server with the following playlist.

<?wsx version="1.0"?>

<smil>

   <media src="httpd://url_removed.com/Feed.aspx" />

</smil>

Then this is the aspx page it's pointing to:

<%@ Page language="c#" %>

<script runat="server">

   private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)

   {

       Response.Write("<?wsx version=\"1.0\"?>\r\n");

       if (Session["tv_feed"] != null)

           Response.Write((string)Session["tv_feed"]);

       else

           Response.Write("<smil></smil>");

       Session["tv_feed"] = "";

   }

</script>

I've verified that the session is being set correclty.  When I look at fiddler I see it going to the feed.wsx, but it never pulls down the feed.aspx.  Is there something else I need to do in order for this to work?

Sep 12 2008 by Jhorra

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