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Need tools for secured downloads and RSS 2.0 feeds, please.

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  • Julian Doncaster (Yahoo1)
    I m looking at a project to do weekly videos following one of our local (back to 1300 or so) folk traditions - called well dressing - that involves each
    Message 1 of 17 , May 1, 2005
       
      I'm looking at a project to do weekly videos following one of our local (back to 1300 or so) folk traditions - called "well dressing" - that involves each village making a display from natural materials around the traditional water source - typically flower petals on puddled clay - each year. Each display lasts up to roughly a week and they are done by around 100 communities (1->8 wells each). Some pics are on my site here http://www.welldressing.co.uk/ 
       
      This is going to be quite expensive to do - taking up to 20% of my time between now and October and involve 5-8000 miles of travel, so it looks as if I may need to offer a subscription service with longer vids in addition to the short ones.
       
      I've done the research to establish that the interest is out there, but I'm looking for software that will let me do the following:
       
      a) Offer password protected downloads, for each file and each subscriber (or group of subscribers), ideally over time periods. 
      b) Deal with payments.
      c) Offer a password secured RSS 2.0 feed.
       
      I can do the first two using something like Actinic Catalogue with downloads (not cheap <g>), but I'd welcome other suggestions. I could do the personal accounts with Actinic Business ($1200 - even less cheap <g>), but that is beyond budget at this stage.
       
      I have no experience whatsoever of doing secured RSS feeds. Any advice would be welcome.
       
      Regards
       
      Julian
       
       
    • Adam Quirk
      ... I can recommend CCbill for the first 2 issues (although if you want to accept Visa there s a $1500 fee, ooo I hate Visa), and I m currently investigating
      Message 2 of 17 , May 1, 2005
        > a) Offer password protected downloads, for each file and each subscriber (or
        > group of subscribers), ideally over time periods.
        > b) Deal with payments.

        I can recommend CCbill for the first 2 issues (although if you want to
        accept Visa there's a $1500 fee, ooo I hate Visa), and I'm currently
        investigating the secured RSS thing myself.

        > c) Offer a password secured RSS 2.0 feed.

        Let's compare notes:

        If you put your RSS feed in a password protected directory, users will
        only be able to access it if their aggregator supports HTTP
        authentication, or they are viewing it in their browser.

        A list of these aggregators is at:
        http://labs.silverorange.com/archives/2003/july/privaterss

        From what I gather, you'll be using this to deliver enclosures to customers?
        I'd think simple HTTP authentication should be enough security for
        this application, probably wouldn't worry about SSL.

        I'm going to be using this for a client's site soon, we'll see how
        many people actually Get it.
        My guess: Not many.
        Most people don't even know what RSS is, much less secure RSS. But,
        if you make delivery seamless enough and give good step-by-step
        instructions I suppose they won't really have to.

        -Adam
      • Joshua Kinberg
        ANT supports HTTP authentication... however I m not sure how to handle payments on the client side. Maybe you accept the payment first through some other
        Message 3 of 17 , May 1, 2005
          ANT supports HTTP authentication... however I'm not sure how to handle
          payments on the client side. Maybe you accept the payment first
          through some other means, and then distribute the login that the user
          needs to complete authentication.

          However... its not all that secure if the user is downloading files...
          if you are looking at that model then you probably want streaming or
          something with DRM protection...

          I'd be interested to learn more though...

          -Josh


          On 5/1/05, Adam Quirk <bullemhead@...> wrote:
          > > a) Offer password protected downloads, for each file and each subscriber (or
          > > group of subscribers), ideally over time periods.
          > > b) Deal with payments.
          >
          > I can recommend CCbill for the first 2 issues (although if you want to
          > accept Visa there's a $1500 fee, ooo I hate Visa), and I'm currently
          > investigating the secured RSS thing myself.
          >
          > > c) Offer a password secured RSS 2.0 feed.
          >
          > Let's compare notes:
          >
          > If you put your RSS feed in a password protected directory, users will
          > only be able to access it if their aggregator supports HTTP
          > authentication, or they are viewing it in their browser.
          >
          > A list of these aggregators is at:
          > http://labs.silverorange.com/archives/2003/july/privaterss
          >
          > From what I gather, you'll be using this to deliver enclosures to customers?
          > I'd think simple HTTP authentication should be enough security for
          > this application, probably wouldn't worry about SSL.
          >
          > I'm going to be using this for a client's site soon, we'll see how
          > many people actually Get it.
          > My guess: Not many.
          > Most people don't even know what RSS is, much less secure RSS. But,
          > if you make delivery seamless enough and give good step-by-step
          > instructions I suppose they won't really have to.
          >
          > -Adam
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Adam Quirk
          ... You re right, it s not that secure. Probably secure enough though. DRM is difficult and expensive, password protection is easy and cheap. Streamload just
          Message 4 of 17 , May 1, 2005
            > However... its not all that secure if the user is downloading files...
            > if you are looking at that model then you probably want streaming or
            > something with DRM protection...

            You're right, it's not that secure.
            Probably secure enough though.
            DRM is difficult and expensive, password protection is easy and cheap.

            Streamload just popped into my head, I think they offer password protection.
            May want to check them out.

            Adam
          • Julian Doncaster (Yahoo1)
            Message 5 of 17 , May 1, 2005
              >Adam:

              >I can recommend CCbill for the first 2 issues (although if you want to
              accept Visa there's a $1500 fee, ooo I hate Visa), and I'm currently
              investigating the secured RSS thing myself.

              This is now me thinking aloud.

              * My response to Adam

              Sounds even more expensive than Actinic <g>.

              AFAIK the way actinic does it is to have an encoded link and generate a different one for each download. It then manages the
              redirect to the actual enclosure in a non-transparent way.

              As a package Actinic has a steep learning curve and is complex, but is robust and powerful. Once set up it tends not to break. I've
              used it the past to manage an online image library of thousands of images. The limit is around 10000 discrete products.

              One approach would be to separate payment and delivery - but this requires admin overhead and

              >If you put your RSS feed in a password protected directory, users will
              only be able to access it if their aggregator supports HTTP
              authentication, or they are viewing it in their browser.

              I see a few options for password protected RSS:

              Stick all the enclosures in a database and download as binary streams. This requires a lot of programming to generate, manage, and
              authenticate downloads and is "rolls-royce" solution. Some portal solutions may be configurable to do this. Would probably require
              (in my MS environment SQL Server). Not practical for me now.

              Force - as you say - authentication at http level. One question is assuming one password-protects the directory, do we apply that to
              the RSS file, or just to the enclosures?

              Another possibility is to use a forum package, and the admin within that to control access. Imho straightforward, but perhaps
              clumsy. Would need a forum setup that controls direct access to attachments - either by indirection or by loading attachments into
              the db.

              >I'm going to be using this for a client's site soon, we'll see how
              >many people actually Get it.
              >My guess: Not many.

              I agree here - this implies a direct download option as well as an RSS feed.

              * One business model looks something like this:

              ------------------------------
              Two levels of service: free and premium. I am think of both vodcasts and podcasts - probably done so that the podcast is the audio
              track of the vodcast. An example of the type of thing I mean is here: www.bestchurches.org.uk (this is a podcast not a vodcast). I
              have a couple of trials but nothing online. The terminology would be "audioguides" and "videoguides".

              Potentially there could be separate tiers for podcasts and vodcasts.

              Free would give a short intro video (2-3 minutes) and/or commentary - available via RSS2.0.

              Premium could give extra services (it is critical to deliver sufficient added-value over the free service):

              Longer video/podcast (say 10-12 minutes).
              Potentially photos, screensavers, wallpapers and so on cold be included.. Archives of these (I did a similar photo project for the
              last 2 years for
              fun, and have about 10,000 professional quality photos available).
              Could all be available via RSS 2.0 if it is doable.
              Could also include extra info - satellite nav locations, walking instructions etc. There is not a published database of these.
              Special features - vodcast of how these things are done etc.

              Premium services could be on a one-off or time sbscribed (monthly/whole season) basis. This is where the admin has to be right. This
              has to work with zero, a couple of dozen or a couple of hundred subscribers.

              Pricing is the tricky one, which has to relate to the admin effort involved, and to the value of the product, and needs to be as
              automatic as possible.

              I think I would be guided by other online services - which would imply a single download of £1-2 = $2-4 = Euro 2-4, and perhaps a
              monthly sub of £5-7 = $10-15, with a free registration and perhaps a short "premium" trial subscription.

              The thing that has to be cast-iron is the delivery of (at least) a weekly vodcast.
              ----------------------------

              * The technology to do it

              I'd be looking at this sort of solution:

              - Manage the free options via a blog, as we are all doing already.
              - Manage one off downloads and purchases via an Actinic-like E-commerce product.
              - Deal with subscriptions via an ecommerce product to buy the subscription (Actinic or similar would do it) and a download control
              system (I have seen a couple of examples). Accounts on the download control system would be managed manually for small volumes. The
              right download management system would include group access.
              - If the thing takes off a high-end version of an ecommerce setup that can handle time-based access to downloads is Plan B.

              * The RSS 2.0 side is a nice add-on to this model - nice but not essential.

              Comments on any aspect of this post are most welcome.

              Rgds

              Julian
            • Nathan Peters
              There is an easier way to accomplish this : simply put all the files in a password protected directory and have your script serve up the files. Since your
              Message 6 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                There is an easier way to accomplish this : simply put all the files in a
                password protected directory and have your script serve up the files. Since
                your script can read the files locally no matter how password protected the
                directory is, it just grabs the file one bit at a time and serves it up to
                the user. This way you can handle authentication any way you want and arent
                limited to using HTTP authentication

                In php you could accomplish this with less than 10 lines of code. Just send
                a header to the browser with the correct content type and then grab the file
                and send the contents to the user.

                The request to the browser would then look something like this :
                http://www.xyz.com/getfile.php?filename=xyz.wmv

                Heck, for an extra $50 / year, you could get an SSL certificate and then not
                only would users have to register to get your files, but all the files would
                be encrypted in transmission.

                So there is really no need to put them inside the database.

                > I see a few options for password protected RSS:
                >
                > Stick all the enclosures in a database and download as binary streams.
                > This requires a lot of programming to generate, manage, and
                > authenticate downloads and is "rolls-royce" solution. Some portal
                > solutions may be configurable to do this. Would probably require
                > (in my MS environment SQL Server). Not practical for me now.
                >
              • Michael Sullivan
                take a look at this. http://www.olate.co.uk/products/iono/index.php if not that alone, you might consider mediawrapping, which just encapsulates media in its
                Message 7 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                  take a look at this.

                  http://www.olate.co.uk/products/iono/index.php

                  if not that alone, you might consider mediawrapping, which just encapsulates media in its own shell player for better protection and management.  I tried that as an experiment once using runtime revolution (runrev.com) so it was cross-compatible and used quicktime.

                  sull

                  On 5/2/05, Nathan Peters <yahoo@...> wrote:
                  There is an easier way to accomplish this : simply put all the files in a
                  password protected directory and have your script serve up the files.  Since
                  your script can read the files locally no matter how password protected the
                  directory is, it just grabs the file one bit at a time and serves it up to
                  the user.  This way you can handle authentication any way you want and arent
                  limited to using HTTP authentication

                  In php you could accomplish this with less than 10 lines of code.  Just send
                  a header to the browser with the correct content type and then grab the file
                  and send the contents to the user.

                  The request to the browser would then look something like this :
                  http://www.xyz.com/getfile.php?filename=xyz.wmv

                  Heck, for an extra $50 / year, you could get an SSL certificate and then not
                  only would users have to register to get your files, but all the files would
                  be encrypted in transmission.

                  So there is really no need to put them inside the database.

                  > I see a few options for password protected RSS:
                  >
                  > Stick all the enclosures in a database and download as binary streams.
                  > This requires a lot of programming to generate, manage, and
                  > authenticate downloads and is "rolls-royce" solution. Some portal
                  > solutions may be configurable to do this. Would probably require
                  > (in my MS environment SQL Server).  Not practical for me now.
                  >

                  Yahoo! Groups Links

                  <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/

                  <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      videoblogging-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                  <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                       http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/




                  --

                  i n t e r d i g i t a t e . c o m
                • Jason Romney
                  I m talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value the group s input please.
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                    I'm talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value
                    the group's input please.

                    http://www.networkinsight.org/events/3g_content__mobile_devices.html/group/6

                    Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                    good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?

                    Thanks for your views in advance,
                    Jason Romney
                    www.netvideo.com.au
                  • Jason Romney
                    Hi everyone, I m talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value the group s input please.
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                      Hi everyone,

                      I'm talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value
                      the group's input please.

                      http://www.networkinsight.org/events/3g_content__mobile_devices.html/group/6

                      Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                      good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?

                      Thanks for your views in advance,
                      Jason Romney
                      www.netvideo.com.au

                      PS: sorry about posting with the wrong subject heading just now.
                    • Julian Doncaster (Yahoo1)
                      Thanks for the advice both. Olate Iono ... Iono looks to be aimed at software apps rather than media files - if I read it right you need to insert their code
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                        Thanks for the advice both.
                         
                        Olate Iono
                         
                         
                        Iono looks to be aimed at software apps rather than media files - if I read it right you need to insert their code into an application.
                         
                        Their "Olate Download" product would be relevant for me but is Unix only.
                         
                        Thanks for your comments too, Nathan.
                         
                        Julian
                         
                      • Mohammad DAMT
                        ... I m vlogging using 3gp video (converted to flash for visitor s convinience only) http://aksi.mdamt.net/log/cat/nontonBlog/ I found it useful because I only
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                          --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, Jason Romney <jason.romney@n...>
                          wrote:
                          > Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                          > good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?

                          I'm vlogging using 3gp video (converted to flash for visitor's
                          convinience only)
                          http://aksi.mdamt.net/log/cat/nontonBlog/

                          I found it useful because I only own a Nokia 6630 and want some
                          videoblogging. So I just capture using the phone's camera, edit the
                          video using the video editor in the phone, and send it to my weblog
                          using the phone's email program. It's videoblogging tool in a box.

                          The only limitation is only the video resolution which is very small
                          (176x144) and the audio is not good (using AMR-NB 8kHz). But this
                          limitation is off course the phone's limitation, not the limitation of
                          the 3G.
                        • Joshua Kinberg
                          Rocketboom has a 3GP video feed available: http://www.rocketboom.com/vlog/tele_daily_enclosures.xml -Josh
                          Message 12 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                            Rocketboom has a 3GP video feed available:
                            http://www.rocketboom.com/vlog/tele_daily_enclosures.xml

                            -Josh

                            On 5/2/05, Mohammad DAMT <mdamt@...> wrote:
                            > --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, Jason Romney <jason.romney@n...>
                            > wrote:
                            > > Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                            > > good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?
                            >
                            > I'm vlogging using 3gp video (converted to flash for visitor's
                            > convinience only)
                            > http://aksi.mdamt.net/log/cat/nontonBlog/
                            >
                            > I found it useful because I only own a Nokia 6630 and want some
                            > videoblogging. So I just capture using the phone's camera, edit the
                            > video using the video editor in the phone, and send it to my weblog
                            > using the phone's email program. It's videoblogging tool in a box.
                            >
                            > The only limitation is only the video resolution which is very small
                            > (176x144) and the audio is not good (using AMR-NB 8kHz). But this
                            > limitation is off course the phone's limitation, not the limitation of
                            > the 3G.
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • Julian Doncaster (Yahoo1)
                            I have my usual Four Minutes on Podcasting test video available in several screen sizes suitable for 3g at www.newmediaexpo.info in half a dozen formats if
                            Message 13 of 17 , May 2, 2005
                              I have my usual "Four Minutes on Podcasting" test video available in several screen sizes suitable for 3g at www.newmediaexpo.info in half a dozen formats if you are doing comparisons.
                               
                              Haven't got there with the 3g specific formats yet though.
                               
                              In your presentation you should address the question of News Aggregators for phones - I use ipodderSP - and the pros and cons of direct connection or via bluetooth/laptop.
                               
                              Rgds
                               
                              Julian
                               
                            • Julian Doncaster (Yahoo1)
                              Thinking a little further about video formats, and security questions, I have the following thoughts: * From a security viewpoint of the seller, a format for a
                              Message 14 of 17 , May 3, 2005
                                Thinking a little further about video formats, and security questions, I have the following thoughts:
                                 
                                * From a security viewpoint of the seller, a format for a bought video should be viewable but not easily reusable. That would suggest a format such as MPEG or WMV rather than MOV or AVI.
                                * For controlled downloads, multiple formats become difficult to manage. Actinic, for example, allows only one digital file per product. You can get around this by using several different products in a set - but is can get messy. I am tempted to go for a single format - viz MPEG - that can be read widely.
                                * A nod needs to be given to making things available on DVD later.
                                 
                                So I will probably go for Actinic Catalog (as I am comfortable with the application) for the one-off sale options, and subscription "packages" - the subscription packages to be implemented via a separate download management service with significant added value (wallpapers, factsheets etc.).
                                 
                                One-off video sales will probably be in MPEG format. Not sure about the size. There is also probably a place from the word go for 3g format. Comparatively, MP3s are straightforward.
                                 
                                There need to be good sample downloads so that people can test their setup.
                                 
                                I also suspect that there needs to be a rapid evolution of the service to reflect early comments.
                                .
                                This is an interestingly different set of priorities than videoblogging.
                                 
                                Julian
                                 
                              • Jay dedman
                                ... for all the hype about 3G video phones, i cant think of anyone making anything good with them. bad audio, bad frame rates, no editing. jay
                                Message 15 of 17 , May 3, 2005
                                  > I'm talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value
                                  > the group's input please.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.networkinsight.org/events/3g_content__mobile_devices.html/group/6
                                  >
                                  > Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                                  > good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?



                                  for all the hype about 3G video phones, i cant think of anyone making
                                  anything good with them.
                                  bad audio, bad frame rates, no editing.

                                  jay
                                • Joshua Kinberg
                                  Jay, Are you referring to regular folks using cellphones to record video, or do you mean commercial video producers attempting to create content for delivery
                                  Message 16 of 17 , May 3, 2005
                                    Jay,

                                    Are you referring to regular folks using cellphones to record video,
                                    or do you mean commercial video producers attempting to create content
                                    for delivery to cell phones?

                                    -Josh


                                    On 5/3/05, Jay dedman <jay.dedman@...> wrote:
                                    > > I'm talking about 3G content to a conference today in Sydney and would value
                                    > > the group's input please.
                                    > >
                                    > > http://www.networkinsight.org/events/3g_content__mobile_devices.html/group/6
                                    > >
                                    > > Anyone have an opinion please, about what is good 3G content, why it is
                                    > > good, who is making it and whether demos are available via a link?
                                    >
                                    > for all the hype about 3G video phones, i cant think of anyone making
                                    > anything good with them.
                                    > bad audio, bad frame rates, no editing.
                                    >
                                    > jay
                                  • Jay dedman
                                    ... Im talking about both. give me an RSS feed with 3G content that you enjoy watching. maybe its the fact that Im in the US...and 3G really doesnt exists
                                    Message 17 of 17 , May 3, 2005
                                      > > for all the hype about 3G video phones, i cant think of anyone making
                                      > > anything good with them.
                                      > > bad audio, bad frame rates, no editing.

                                      > Are you referring to regular folks using cellphones to record video,
                                      > or do you mean commercial video producers attempting to create content
                                      > for delivery to cell phones?

                                      Im talking about both.
                                      give me an RSS feed with 3G content that you enjoy watching.
                                      maybe its the fact that Im in the US...and 3G really doesnt exists here.

                                      Jay
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