Tikkunology Blog



TubePlayer Update - Themes!

Mon 8/15/2011
02:12
More than 38 months ago

Great news! The YouTube team has rolled out an enhancement for the embeddable player, and it's an exciting one -- a revamped look and feel with the ability to customize the colors! I am excited to notify you that the jQuery Tubeplayer plugin has been updated to support themes and colors, as well as a few additional updates. 

The jQuery TubePlayer plugin has been one of my most popular projects. The project has received 252 links from 92 different domains within the past year and over 5,000+ downloads via my site alone. YouTube continues to dominate with over 3+ billion views a day (that's crazy, isn't it?) and I hope that the TubePlayer has helped impact that number in some way. 

The TubePlayer plugin was created to facilitate the growth of the YouTube player on the web. The plugin simplifies control to the actual player by providing easy hooks for developers - onPlayerPlaying, onPlayerEnded, etc. Moreover, the plugin allows developers to implement their own user interface to control the player by using Javascript to trigger events like 'play', 'pause', 'stop', 'volume' etc. The TubePlayer plugin is HTML5 friendly and conforms to the YouTube Player API. Feel free to hop on over to GitHub to check out the code.

This update allows developers to specify the theme of the player - "dark" or "light", and the color of the progress bar - "red" or "white". By default, the plugin adheres to the YouTube specification - which is a dark themed player with a red progress indicator. The players do indeed look much slicker and I feel that the embedded player will start appearing on more sites as a result of this change. I hope that the TubePlayer helps you -- whether it's to provide hooks for analytics, implementing your own UI to control the player, to power a custom playlist or the various other ways in which you can utilize video on your site, and encourage you to reach out to me @ntikku if you have any questions at all -- I'll do my best getting back to you asap.

Below are screenshots of the different themes. Enjoy! 

Tags: #projects
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Hello, 2011

Wed 2/2/2011
01:05
More than 45 months ago

I can't believe it's already February; the past month has literally flown by.  So far, it's been a great year, and I'm really excited about what's to ensue.  Below are some highlights of the past month –

Pyxis Mobile

The mobile space is hotter than it's ever been.

Over the past few years, the need to sell the value of mobile applications has declined dramatically (understandably).  Instead, with the hyper-active innovation in the smart-phone and tablet markets, companies interested in taking advantage of them are focusing on figuring out how they can offer an application that adds value to their respective businesses.

With the plethora of devices in the market today, companies face the challenge of picking relevant technologies that are capable of providing: cross-device (and version) coverage, secure connectivity to their data and app store deployment; Let alone development & maintenance costs.

For enterprise companies, this need is being addressed by MEAPs - Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms.  Insert, Pyxis Mobile.  Powered by a passionate and highly driven group, our services allow companies to focus on the application's utility, while leaving the technical layer to our platform (via a no-code solution). The industry is constantly growing and everyday is exciting and things we're working on right now are going to take our platform to the next level!

App from Scratch VII

"App from Scratch" is an internal competition held at Pyxis Mobile.  The competition's primary goal: create an application that pushes the bounds of the platform we offer.  When asked to provide suggestions, I decided to bring my web (+YouTube) expertise and meld it with a mobile application, and suggested "SocialDJ".  The application's primary intent was laid out as a tool that helps to crowd source a YouTube playlist utilizing voting and suggestion functionality via any mobile device (think: trying to suggest a song at a club, now think: mobile device).  It turned out that others in the company felt that it could be an interesting idea, and as a result was voted into the competition.  

After having engaged in several hackathons (and winning a couple last year!) the environment was right up my alley. This time, however, I was given the opportunity to lead the team that I was to draft and had to learn and juggle around a whole variety of different and new technologies.  AFS turned out to be extremely riveting and competitive.  The team I had drafted turned out to be an exceptional group who truly rocked out in their respective areas.  We were given a couple of hours the week prior to organize designs and interface components and then went on a non-stop four day sprint to create the application.

We presented our fully functioning application by publishing the mobile application to the android market to get the crowd involved in creating a playlist.  After displaying a true "application from scratch" with potential ad revenue, our team won an award!  The application will be available under our public facing consumer brand, Movela, so stay tuned :)

Blackberry

After two months of bb development, my outlook on the tools and environment have not changed drastically.  The JDE is an incredible debugger, though not the best code writing IDE (intellisense, where u at?).  As a result I use both Eclipse and the JDE (a bit of a nuisance, but fortunately my beast of a machine has no problem handling it).  RIM has recently released a new Eclipse plugin, which I'm looking forward to giving a shot.

My recent work has all been around SQLite.  SQLite is awesome for so many reasons (flat file format, portable, light-weight, documentation, contributors etc).  As awesome as SQLite is though, the implementation in the BB infrastructure has proven to be a bit painful at points (attaching db's together,wuttup?).  That said, for the most part things are smooth sailing and my prior MySQL experience is coming into play very nicely.  

TubeLoop

I recently updated my project, TubeLoop with more HTML5 niceties - most prominently, Drag and Drop.  Additionally, it has been successfully added into the Chrome web store, and has been installed 140 times in the past three weeks.

To date, 150 users have signed up for TubeLoop.  I would typically think that the number is small, but have recently reset my expectations.  It's a bummer that while there is great utility in the application (and everytime I demo it I get great feedback), it hasn't proliferated more.  Regardless, I've been able to take advantage of it in certain social settings and use it personally, allowing me to socialize the music that I like.  Observing analytics it appears as though users are enjoying the site, so hopefully it will grow in time. =)  

Equities

What a start to the year! The DOW just hit 12,000, for the first time since 2008.

I started investing in 2007, right before the crash in 2008.  Ever since, we've experienced a significant recovery in the economy and the markets.  Investing in 2008 and 2009 was easy - everything basically went up.  2010 was slightly more challenging, personally.  Toward the tail end of the year though, I decided to focus on the Tech sector - the sector I love, intently follow and immerse myself in.  To mitigate my portfolio's risk I decided to purchase ETFs.  So far, things are looking up, even though a lot of technical indicators suggest a correction.  Anyhow, these are the companies currently on my watch list:  AAPL, MU, NFLX, NVDA, LOGI, RAX. MU is my current fav.

Finally some analytics - at the end of the week I will be welcoming my 55,000th visitor to Tikku.com within the past 7 months.  TubePlayer has been downloaded 3,000 times to date (my most popular project).  Radmenu continues to get great impressions, but I haven't seen it being used much.  BillboardTube.fm has received 2,000 visitors in the past month.  TubeLoop.com has received 12,000 visitors in the past month.  

There are several hackathon's this month, so hopefully my next post will reference a new project!

 
Tags: #investment , #blackberry , #projects , #hackathon
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Image Color Swatch

Thu 11/25/2010
01:00
More than 47 months ago

I love color.  Often times when I'm looking for a color palette to work with I find a website that I like and then view source on it.  If I can't grab the colors from the CSS properties, I usually take a screenshot and crop the section I'm interested in, or download the image that represents what colors i'm looking for, and pass it through those free utilities that will tell you the color properties of the image.  

During my vacation, I had a goal to get back into signal and image processing, after being out from school for some time now.  A simple utility to traverse through the matrix of pixels in an image, and then some RGB math is where I started.  In an interest to determine the color palette from an image, I created my own utility that allows me to utilize both my local file system and an external URL.  I've opened up my Image Color Swatch utility with the ability for a user to pass a URL in for users to utilize.  

If you ever find yourself curious about the colors of an image (like facebook photos), just copy the URL into the swatch utility, and have it analyze the colors for you.  Check it out: see an example of the Flickr logo

Tags: #projects , #utility
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BillboardTube.fm

Thu 11/25/2010
00:54
More than 47 months ago

Everyone knows and loves the Billboard Charts.  The charts define what is considered 'hip' and 'fresh'.

If you haven't noticed, A lot of sites that I have created are centered around YouTube.  I love the source and so do a ton of people.  As much as I enjoy surfing on YouTube and watching videos, I think its extra special and exciting to be able to have context around the videos you're watching.  It is primarily for this reason that I have open sourced two projects (one that allows users to search YouTube via a simplified jQuery plugin [jQTubeUtil], the other that allows controlling the YouTube embeddable player [TubePlayer]) and have utilized them in various different capacities. 

In my quest for different ways of enjoying YouTube, I have come up with 

  • A loop creator of YouTube Videos based on a 'Smart Search' - YouTube QuickPlay
  • A site that allows one to browse through YouTube videos posted by all relationships (friends, pages, musicians etc) and create and share playlists - TubeLoop
  • A flipbook of artists you like on Facebook and their videos (w/ published dates and meta data around how hot the artist is and how familiar they are) - LikeBook.fm

And have created yet another one.  This time utilizing the Billboard Charts.  The Billboard Charts + YouTube Videos = YouTube surfing the Billboard charts.  It's really fun, and free.  The only snag with this is that the Billboard API isn't really maintained properly (pretty stagnant as far as updates go), and as a result the feeds are a month behind and some feeds don't work properly. 

Anyhow.. go check it out - BillboardTube.fm

Tags: #projects
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