A few weeks ago we released the first version of Akvo RSR to support embedding video in an update. Partners who make short videos of their work and upload them to a video provider like YouTube can now embed those videos in Akvo RSR project updates. We kept the feature range small for this first version, and decided to support only 3 providers: YouTube, Vimeo and Blip. At the bottom of the Add update form under Embed a video you will see three new fields for entering the video’s URL, a caption, and a credit. The URL is what you see in the address bar of your web browser, the part that begins.

  • Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU1lwv0mjZg
  • Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/21248863
  • Blip: http://blip.tv/file/5133033/ OR http://akvo.blip.tv/file/5133033/

Recently both Blip and YouTube made changes to their code. These changes mean the process of getting the right URL isn’t quite the same as it was when we conducted testing in April. For Vimeo, finding the URL to copy and paste into the update form is still as easy as copying what is in the address bar when you’re watching the video. For the other providers the process is a bit more complicated.

Changes to Blip

Since release, Blip has changed their URL format entirely. Videos already embedded in Akvo RSR before the Blip system changes work fine, but right now the embed code that Blip serves up leaves just a link in an Akvo RSR update. We aren’t the only site affected by this, and we’re working on a fix. Since we use Blip for our own video, Mark and Luuk at Akvo are running a Blip workaround by uploading to Blip, then cross-posting to YouTube from inside Blip, and posting the resulting YouTube video into Akvo RSR.

Changes to YouTube

YouTube has also made changes in recent weeks, offering users (as the first option) a shorter URL for sharing videos in addition to the longer form shown above. Look for short-form support from us soon.

In the meantime, if the YouTube URL in the address bar is not like the one above, you can get to the long form as follows:

1. Select Share, then click the show options link.

2. Check the Long link box.

3. Copy the long URL which appears in the text box.

The recap

So, the long and short of video embedding for now is:

  • Vimeo works fine
  • YouTube embedding works but with LONG URLs only
  • Blip’s new URL form for embedding does not work with the current Akvo RSR release

Stay tuned for more on video embedding. In the meantime, check out a few updates with embedded video, like this one from Uganda. I think you’ll agree it really helps bring a project to life!

Beth Whiteside is Quality Assurance manager at Akvo. She’s based in San Francisco.

Updated 15/6 by Mark C: Swapped top graphic to feature YouTube and Vimeo logos. Blip gets a logo when it stops messing with its URL formats.