As a Media Support Tools Developer for the AOL Video Team, we were tasked to develop small applications or 'tools' which could test the AOL Video & Music system to ensure the appropriate user experience.
At that time, my passion was the international user playback experience. The video and music assets were tagged with metadata that indicated which geographical locations the asset was legally permitted to play. If the ingest process failed and an asset ended up tagged incorrectly or was stored on the incorrect edge server, when the user tried to play the asset an ugly error message or a blank player interface resulted. This created a poor user experience.
I worked with the AOL Networks and the ingest developers to capture all the parameters that referenced the asset to understand the various ways to confirm that all metadata matched. Meaning that the geo-tags matched other asset information. There were various places in the system where the problem could be addressed. However, the goal was to minimize the amount of "human" intercession and the number of fixes which needed to be applied.
The geoTool leverages the test API built by the AOL Video QA team. It makes calls the production XML files via the API and streams the data through a current version of the AOL Player. So - the tool also provides preliminary function checks for the player development team.
Technology & Feature Highlights
The geoTool uses a number of PHP include files, AJAX handling and XML parsing; to parse the assets API. It features test assets which can be used to test the application to ensure that 1. the API is working correctly; 2. the geoChecker is working correctly and 3. to test & demo the functionality & features of the tool.
There is also a section which can be used to batch test the video and music assets by making calls to the API. Interacting with the API is a matter of coding to the API WebService? written by AOL QA dev.
The tool no longer works as the AOL Video portal and the API have been discontinued. It is included on the wiki to showcase my knowledge of PHP, webservices and knowledge of interacting with APIs?.
Still to do
Even though the assets will not play and the validation does not work, my goal is to convert this to PHP OOP - now that it is more stable and to incorporate a jquery framework to provide additional interactions. This tool can be repurposed for any other application which requires data validation with a friendly user interface.
The goal is to link to a document repository where I can archive the code for review.