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Integrating with the 3Play Media API: Demonstrations, Benefits, and Workflows

  • On December 4, we held a webinar with Bryan Ollendyke, an Instructional Technologist at Penn State University, to go over how to develop a custom video solution with the 3Play Media API. The webinar covered both an overview of the API, as well as a demo of Penn State’s automated captioning workflow using the API.


    3Play Media API Overview

    API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is different from a graphical user interface, which is the website or account system that you are probably used to navigating. A graphical user interface is developed to make it easy for a human to talk to the computer, and takes into account things like font and color; an API allows a computer to talk directly to a computer, and allows the passing of data and commands back and forth.

    There are a number of benefits to building an API. First of all, it allows you to design workflows that are catered to your own specific needs. An API allows you to automate repetitive manual tasks, especially if you have a lot of things that need to be done at a large scale. These qualities help reduce cost, labor hours, and organizational and workflow complexity.

    Mo Zhu, a software engineer at 3Play Media, goes over a demo of how to use the 3Play Media API in the recording above.

    Penn State Demo of the 3Play Media API

    Bryan Ollendyke works in the e-Learning Institute at Pennsylvania State University. His main job is working on the ELMS Learning Network, which is a series of web-connected systems that stitch together course experience. One system in that network, ELMS Media, is where they hold all of their media assets for their online courses. They have almost 2,000 videos in the ELMS Media network, many of which require captions for accessibility.

    The webinar recording above shows the numerous ways in which the 3Play Media API automates the captioning process for the e-Learning Institute’s video assets. It took less than a week for Bryan and his team to develop and test the API integration. For them, it was a matter of scale: in the Q&A, he stated that implementing an API-based workflow “saved us from, probably, hiring two or three other people to be a dedicated part of the media staff to pretty much just click the buttons.” Watch his full presentation to get an in-depth understanding of the Penn State workflow.

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