Direct Access to YouTube Channels

October 14, 2007

This morning, we made an update to the AJAX Search API that provides you with direct access to YouTube Channels, Most Viewed Videos, Top Rated Videos, and Recently Featured Videos.

As millions of you have already discovered, our insanely popular Video Bar Control is a great way to showcase your favorite videos on your site. Using this new feature, you will be able to "subscribe" a Video Bar to the lonelygirl15 channel, the Most Viewed YouTube Videos Channel, or any combination of channels and search expressions.

As part of this update, the Video Bar Wizard has been modified to make it very easy for you to configure a Video Bar with a mix of channels and search expressions. In addition, the control has been updated to include a new player style and location. This lets you continue to have multiple Video Bars all over your pages while ensuring that the player is always positioned very close to the Video Bar.

If you have an existing Video Bar on your site and just want to modify it in place to take advantage of the new features, take a look at the updated reference guide. What you will find in the reference guide is pretty straight forward:

  • A query expression of ytchannel:fordmodels will access the fordmodels channel
  • A query expression of ytfeed:most_viewed will access the Most Viewed YouTube Videos
  • A query expression of ytfeed:top_rated will access the Top Rated YouTube Videos
  • A query expression of ytfeed:recently_featured will access Recently Featured YouTube Videos
  • All of the ytfeed: based expressions also accept time modifiers of .today, .this_week, .this_month, or .all_time. For example, the search expression ytfeed:most_viewed.this_month provides access to the Most Viewed YouTube Videos this month.
We, along with the YouTube team are excited to be able to deliver these features to you and hope that they meet your needs. Make sure to let us know what you think by posting a message or two in our developer forum.

While I have your attention, and while we are discussing Video, I'd like to also show you some clever things that you can do with video that is not hosted on YouTube. One of our good customers, The Real News Network, in addition to their YouTube Channel, has a large collection of high quality video that is exposed via an RSS Feed. Using the AJAX Feed API in conjunction with the Slide Show Control, multimedia developer Allen Booth has built a very compelling Gadget. Try out the gadget on your Google Personalized Home Page. Note how it uses the Slide Show control to show off the high quality video thumbnails present in the feed, and that when you click on a thumbnail, the associated video will play in place using a custom and highly optimized video player. In future posts, we will take a deeper look at this approach.

Update: Something important that I forgot to mention in this post... The new functionality we are delivering today is based in part on the YouTube Data API, part of the large and growing family of GData APIs.