Mediathread is a Django site for multimedia annotations facilitating collaboration on video and image analysis. Developed at the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL)
Python 2.7 (Python 2.6 is still supported, but we encourage you to upgrade.)
Postgres (or MySQL)
Flowplayer installation for your site (See below for detailed instructions)
Flickr API Key if you want to bookmark from FLICKR
Build the database
For Postgres (preferred):
A. Create the database
For MySQL: (Note: Mediathread is not well-tested on recent version of MySQL.)
A. Edit the file
- comment out the line
- uncomment the
B. Create the database
echo "CREATE DATABASE mediathread" | mysql -uroot -p mysql
Create a local_settings.py file in the mediathread subdirectory. Override the variables from
settings_shared.pythat you need to customize for your local installation. At a minimum, you will need to customize your
For more extensive customization and template overrides, you can create a deploy_specific directory to house a site-specific settings.py file:
$ mkdir deploy_specific $ touch deploy_specific/__init__.py $ touch deploy_specific/settings.py
deploy_specific/settings.pyand override values in
DATABASESdictionary. This is where we add custom settings and templates for our deployment that will not be included in the open-sourced distribution.
Build the virtual environment Bootstrap uses virtualenv to build a contained library in
The rest of the instructions work like standard Django. See: http://docs.djangoproject.com/ for more details.
Sync the database
Run locally (during development only) ./manage.py runserver myhost.example.com:8000
Go to your site in a web browser.
The default database is not very useful. You'll need to create a course and some users. Login with the superuser you created in Step #5.
Click the 'Create a Course' link.
- Click the "+" to make a group. Name it something like "test_course"
- Click the "+" to make a faculty group. Name it something like "test_course_faculty"
- In the "Add users to group" field...
- add yourself as a faculty member by putting your username with a "" in front like this "admin"
- add some fellow faculty/student accounts -- you can create new accounts right here (read the instructions under the textarea)
- Click "Save" and then click the upper-right link "Django administration" to get back to the regular site (yeah, not the most intuitive).
- In the "Add users to group" field...
Experiment with saving assets by visiting: http://myhost.example.com:8000/save/
[Please note that the docker setup for Mediathread is still experimental. There are likely to be rough edges here.]
If you have docker set up and docker-compose installed, you can get a development environment up and running very quickly. To initialize it, the following steps are recommended:
$ docker pull ccnmtl/mediathread $ docker-compose run web manage syncdb # create a superuser when asked to $ docker-compose run web migrate
After that, a simple:
$ docker-compose up
will bring up a development server on port 8000 (if you are running boot2docker, it may end up on a different port) backed by a PostgreSQL database.
Production deployment with Docker is also possible, though even less
tested than development. The
settings_docker.py file has the default
settings that the docker image uses and is designed to allow you to
override/set the important values through environment variables (so
configuration can be kept out of the docker image).
DJANGO SITE INFRASTRUCTURE
Mediathread makes use of the Django Sites framework. https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.6/ref/contrib/sites/
By default, Django creates a site called "example.com" with an id of 1. This id is referenced in settings_shared.py as SITE_ID=1.
In your production environment, RENAME example.com to your domain.
If a new site is created, update SITE_ID= in your deploy_specific/settings.py or local_settings.py
ALLOWED_HOSTS is "a list of strings representing the host/domain names that this Django site can serve. This is a security measure to prevent an attacker from poisoning caches and password reset emails with links to malicious hosts by submitting requests with a fake HTTP Host header, which is possible even under many seemingly-safe web server configurations." More here: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.6/ref/settings/#allowed-hosts
Make sure the ALLOWED_HOSTS is set properly in your deploy_specific/settings.py or local_settings.py
For deployment to Apache, see our sample configuration in
apache/sample.conf. This directory also contains standard
django.wsgi file which can be used with other webservers
To support bookmarking assets from a variety of external sites, Mediathread instances must be accessible via http:// and https://
Mediathread instantiates a Flowplayer .swf or HTML5 player to play many video flavors. Flowplayer requires you to have a local installation and will not allow you to serve the player off their site. Free versions exist for both players. Here are the basic instructions to install Flowplayer on your systems and point Mediathread at it.
- Both versions are available here. https://flowplayer.org/pricing/#downloads.
- Install both versions on a public server on your site.
In the same directory as the Flash player, also install:
http://flash.flowplayer.org/plugins/streaming/rtmp.html - flowplayer.rtmp-3.2.13.swf
http://flash.flowplayer.org/plugins/streaming/pseudostreaming.html - flowplayer.pseudostreaming-3.2.13.swf
http://flash.flowplayer.org/plugins/streaming/audio.html - flowplayer.audio-3.2.11.swf
In your local_settings.py or (better) deploy_specific/settings.py set FLOWPLAYER_SWF_LOCATION, like so:
FLOWPLAYER_SWF_LOCATION= 'http://servername/directory/flowplayer-3.2.15.swf' FLOWPLAYER_HTML5_LOCATION = 'http:///flowplayer-5.5.0/flowplayer.min.js'
FLOWPLAYER_AUDIO_PLUGIN = 'flowplayer.audio-3.2.10.swf'
FLOWPLAYER_PSEUDOSTREAMING_PLUGIN = 'flowplayer.pseudostreaming-3.2.11.swf'
FLOWPLAYER_RTMP_PLUGIN = 'flowplayer.rtmp-3.2.11.swf'
- For Flash, the plugins are picked up automatically from the same directory, so don't need the full path.
- These are the versions we are currently using in production here at CU.
In your local_settings.py or (better) deploy_specific/settings.py specify your Flickr api key.
DJANGOSHERD_FLICKR_APIKEY='your key here'
Mediathread's About & Help pages are constructed using the Django Flat Pages architecture. (https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.6/ref/contrib/flatpages/). In order to setup pages for your site, follow these steps:
Navigate to the Mediathread /admin/ area, Flatpages.
Create a new flat page, e.g. url: /help/ or /about/, select your domain site site and add content.
The page should be immediately available by navigating to yourdomain/help/ or yourdomain/about/
Our help documentation tailored for the Columbia community and our in-house video upload system is here: http://support.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/knowledgebase/topics/6593.
And, Nate Autune helpfully added this a few months ago, "Thanks to Rebecca Darling from Wellesley College, who graciously gave permission to re-publish her "Mediathread Guide for Students" under a Creative Commons license. Here is a link to where you can download it: http://bit.ly/MediathreadStudentsGuide"
Current development on the Mediathread bookmarklet is aimed at supporting the standard set forth by Schema.org (http://schema.org/). This format includes a system of hierarchal terms and their associated values. Use of the metadata terms itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop are used to help stucture the data such that Mediathread can make sense of what metadata is assocaited to the item or items being brought into the application. Examples of this structure can be found here: http://schema.org/docs/gs.html#microdata_itemscope_itemtype.
Use the Google Rich Snippet test tool to test your structure: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
It is also worth noting that the LRMI (Learning Resource Metadata Initiative) has been working with Schema.org in creating a more robust set of property (itemprop) terms that have been accepted into the standard. Some of these terms may be useful in determining what might best describe a data set or collection. Here is a link to this new specification: http://www.lrmi.net/the-specification