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OAS Playout Twitter interactivity

Experimental support for interacting with the popular social networking site Twitter is now available for OAS Playout.

There are two distinct capabilities being evolved on this front. Firstly, it is possible to generate a Twitter status update periodically which includes a short summary of recently played tracks with customisable wording and web links - an example update could looks as follows.

These can be scheduled for update at hourly or less frequent intervals and could help attract potential listeners. This Twitter module is freely available now to all registered users of Playout in the form of a new Track Lister module - visit the download link you were sent on first registering with us.

The second capability allows a station's Twitter feed to be visible as part of the scrolling message banner, visible along the top of the display.

This capability requires OAS Playout v3.5 and is implemented via an optional add on module.

Interested? Read on more for details.

Rate Limiting

Twitter limits accesses to it's website in order to prevent abuse. Exceed this limit and you will be denied access. Limits are applied primarily on retrieving your feed of current status updates - at present this is set to 150 accesses per hour. If your feed is enabled into the scrolling message bar, Playout will perform a status update every 3 minutes. This will come nowhere near the rate limit imposed by Twitter but you may need to be aware of it if you have other clients active at the same time.

Twitter Feed Modules

The Twitter Feed Modules these two capabilities in the form of a track lister module which is compatible with OAS Playout v3.3 and newer plus integration of your Twitter feed into Playout's Text Alerts (v3.5+).

Track Lister

Once you have downloaded and installed the module it can be configured via the Settings, Track Lister menu within Playout.

Check the Enable Updates button to allow entry of the rest of the configuration information.

In the Prefix box, enter some short text that you wish to prefix all your updates with. Select from the Items to include box, which track details are to be included in your update. You must select at least 1 item from the list, multiple items are also possible (eg. Title and Artist) but this will reduce the amount of tracks you can include in your update - remember there is a 140 character limit. Finally you can include a URL to take you back to your station's website where listeners can find, for example your full "recently tracks played" listings and information on how to tune in. We suggest putting your station link through one of the the URL shortener sites (such as http://bit.ly/) then paste the short URL into the Link URL box to maximise the number of characters available in your tweet. You now need to specify the update interval you wish between issuing status updates. We'd recommend not issuing updates too frequently as that will probably annoy your followers, every 2-3hrs is probably more than enough.

Once configured, the track lister will then, at the desired update interval create a status update which includes details from up to a maximum of the last 10 track played (in reality, you will probably get significantly fewer). So, given the configuration above, you should begin seeing status updates similar to the following.

You can define up to 5 settings to vary how the information is passed to Twitter. This gives a degree of variance to your followers. For example, you could define one which presents a summary of recently played artists (as above) and another one which includes just titles. You can also vary the wording here in the Prefix field and include a different URL link for listeners to click on. You may also want to include further settings which include both title and artist information. Use the Setting drop down box to update the information for each style of update. Playout will then rotate through the list of settings each time it produces an update.

Scrolling Message bar

Starting with the release of OAS Playout v3.5, it will be possible to have your Twitter feed included as part of the scrolling message bar. If you've downloaded the Twitter Feed Modules and this version of Playout is detected, you will automatically have this capability installed.

To enable your registered feed to be included in the Text Alerts, activate Playout Manager and select the Text Alerts tab. From there, create a new message entry in the colour scheme/banner of your choice with just the words:

twitter://

then check the URL button.

Launch Playout, you should now see the last 5 status updates displayed as part of the Text Alerts.

 

 

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