WordPress Media Library

The screencast below is about one of the under-the-hood features of WordPress. So it’s going to be of zero interest to anyone who doesn’t have (or has had) a blog or website using WordPress as the content management system.

WP is great for searching. I have 5,000 posts going back 15 years but if I can remember a word or phrase, WP will find all references in a matter of seconds. If you include media (photo, video, audio) with your post, WP puts it in the Media Library. I had more than 1,600 pieces of media in my library but I couldn’t search because I hadn’t taken the time to give the media a useful name or any other metadata. This 6 minute screencast shows how I cleaned that up and why.

As I’ve experimented with various online tools for managing media (iCloud, Google Photos, Flickr), I’ve found myself drawn back to my WordPress blog. Let me hasten to point out almost nobody visits my blog. That’s been true since the beginning. It’s always been more journal/archive.

But when I put images online, I try do so in some context. If I have 50 photos of my mother as a young woman, I’d rather include those (as a slideshow or gallery) as part of blog post that might include links to other posts and images. You get the idea.

For me, the stories behind the images (if I know them) are as important as the images themselves. A blog works well for this. And because it is self-hosted, I don’t have to worry that Yahoo! or Google or Facebook might one day kill it.

Gallery: Thumbnail view

Video galleries with tubepress

This blog is built on WordPress and one of the things I love about it is the endless selection of plug-ins. There’s one for anything you might ever want to do. Like creating a video gallery. Tubepress is just the ticket for this organizing your videos for easy browsing/playing.

I’m still exploring the features of this plug-in and you can follow my progress by clicking the navigation tab at the top of the page. Hover over VIDEO for a couple of other pages.

 

Onswipe. Flipboard for WordPress

If –as I believe to be the case– most folks will do their web surfing on a tablet device (probably an iPad), I want to be ready. The minimalist theme (Thesis) I have on smays.com looks fine in a browser on the iPad but there’s more to it than that.

You just interact differently with the iPad: leaning back, swiping with your fingers, sharing on Facebook and Twitter… it’s a different experience and –for many– a better browsing/reading experience. Which brings me to Onswipe, a WordPress plug-in that optimizes your blog for a tablet. Think Flipboard.

I’ve only played with Onswipe for an hour or so but can already see a number of changes I’ll be making in coming days and weeks. The plug-in is new and still needs a few tweaks but I’m sure they’re on the way.

One thing Onswipe might do is breathe new life into older posts. The MENU button in the top right corner of the page pulls down to reveal the categories into which I’ve placed posts. If, for example, you were interested in what I might have posted regarding RADIO, it’s a little easier to find and browse with Onswipe.

If you’re reading this on an iPad, you’re feedback will be most appreciated.

YouTube SimpleGallery

I love WordPress. I won’t bore you with all the reasons. But one very big one is: plug-ins. These are little add-on’s that add extra functionality to your blog/website. Today one of our sites needed a way to display multiple videos on a single page. I found several plug-in’s that looked like good candidates and settled on one called YouTube SimpleGallery. It’s free but I made a small donation to the developer.

I usually test plug-in’s here, to get the hang of them. If you click on the VIDEO tab at the top of the page,you’ll see a bunch of thumbnail images that –when clicked– play the video on YouTube.

You can also configure the plug-in so the video pops up in its own window.

No more fancy embedded audio players

There is no shortage of audio player plug-in’s for WordPress. But I’ve had a dickens of a time finding one that works reliably with the theme I’m using here at smays.com (and on a bunch of other sites, for that matter).

I sort of like the way the player looks and it feels like the audio begins playing a little faster (than a simple text link to the MP3 file). But I’m tired of screwing around with these things and have decided (for now) to skip the Flash or Java or whatever the hell kind of code these things use.

I don’t know from shit when it comes to Flash and Java and all that so I’m just gonna go with a plain old text link. Should load whatever app or media player you have configured for MP3 files. And if you’d like to download the MP3 file, now you can.

Ahh. Feel better already.