Journal / Announcing

Last week, I released our new project, I hope you like it.

OffTheBeatenTracks is a music video project in unusual places. Inspired primarily by wonderful Takeaway Shows, we aim to bring you videos of bands and artists playing their songs in some of the most beautiful, interesting and/or odd places we can find, in Edinburgh and beyond.

I designed and built the site, as well as setting up all the subscription options. We felt that it was crazy that many other sites who do a similar thing make the mistake of not offering easy subscription and syndication. We were determined to allow our users to subscribe to an RSS feed, a Twitter feed, a mailing list and various podcast options, as well as adding all content to popular video sites like Vimeo and Youtube. Our typical user is web savvy enough to subscribe to a podcast, but not necessarily savvy enough to hunt that podcast out and subscribe without some gentle help. That’s why we push our subscriptions front and centre and provide as clear a subscriptions page as possible without labouring the point. We have found it works pretty well so far, although we are considering a few tweaks based on further testing and user feedback.

We use to host our content both for streaming and downloading. Blip allows (seemingly) unlimited storage, as well as large upload sizes. It also offers download links for all files uploaded (if you turn that setting on), both on the page and in RSS feeds. We created two Blip accounts: one for standard web quality versions, and one for High Definition versions. Both accounts have the same content, just in different resolutions. We then took the feed from each account and ran it through Feedburner. Feedburner has a great feature for podcast feeds which allows you to set up the necessary tags within the feed for adding to the iTunes podcast directory. Once we had two feeds set up in Feedburner, we added them to the iTunes directory, and also to the Miro Guide. This gave us three podcast subscription options per feed: iTunes (by far the most popular), Miro, and a universal subscription feed for any other podcast apps. These, added to subscription possibilities in, Youtube and Vimeo, gives us what we believe to be a comprehensive list of options, which we hope any user who might want to subscribe will find usable.

With easy subscriptions and syndication, we believe that we can hugely increase our audience, while making it easier for users to get the content they want.

So go on, subscribe.

And since there won’t be a Video Friday post this week, watch OffTheBeatenTracks Episode #1.1: Come On Gang performing So Good Hold My Hand

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