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  • Created a custom theme, and by using category filtering and a highly customized podpress plugin, have been able to create a pretty decent local news site. Fully iphone video compatible (m4v) and alot of little extras. I’d love to get feedback as well as suggestions for improvements.

    The site is


Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Moderator John James Jacoby


    It looks exactly like I would expect a news website to look, so good job with the implementation!

    In my personal opinion, I would give your middle and right columns a little more margin to separate them, and change the body font from Trebuchet to something more easily readable, like Times, Georgia, or even Lucida/Tahoma/Arial.

    Being even more nit-picky, your “bottominfo” class could benefit from some extra margin-top to even out the text placement, and your header and footer are suffering from the 1px alignment issue I’ve run into so many times before with aligning centered background images. 🙁

    Overall, it’s awesome you used WordPress for this, and I think you worked it the best way you could.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I’ve updated the font to lucida, tahoma, arial, and have maintained the headlines in times roman. I’ve tried to separate the right sidebar from the content using a thin line. There’s not alot of room there, unfortunately.

    As far as the footer. Its hard to change that without killing it completely in one of the other browsers. I’ve tested this theme on chrome, firefox, ie7 and ie6 as well as safari.

    Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to critic it. I really appreciate it.

    Excellent. It looks very professional. It’s what I would expect for a television station. How many people contributed and how many hours went into it?

    Looks very nice.
    One question though:
    How did you manage to update the jw player and get it to show the video thumbnail in podpress?

    I’ve been trying all day to get my .jpg image to show in the actual player on the article but it won’t. It shows up perfectly when creating a new post in the admin, just not in the post.

    Merry Christmas

    Wow wow! Very nicely done. Like a previous poster, I am wondering how many people and hours went into this; it’s quite impressive in functionality.

    From a layout perspective, I’ll echo another poster’s observations in that the lack of margins/whitespace between your main content and the sidebars is a little overwhelming. This is essentially a three-column layout, and the center column runs right smack up against it’s brethren; there’s a feeling of overcrowding in all that.

    One thing that may help in creating some more “breathing room” on the page would be adjustments in the type sizes. The headlines are quite large and well-spaced; the body text is also large. I thought maybe there could be a large elderly/visually impaired element in the station’s demographic, but then I notice that the type size in the sidebar comments is quite tiny… so there must be a happy medium somewhere.

    Another way to look for breathing room would be in the sidebars. Again, if you look at this as a classic three-column layout, both sidebars are a little dominant. The giant weather girl is super-hot and Ron Jeremy is… well, Ron Jeremy, but the main content is getting a bit pushed around. Suggestions here: play around a bit with shrinking the color fields and graphic ads to give some margin room; and try breaking away from the centered alignment in your left sidebar. Those links are taking up much more pixel-canvas than they need.

    Overall, this is a 9.5 of 10. Something you can be proud of.
    I’m just giving you some critiques because it’s the best stimulation (and I’m a prick).

    hi great site with a good clean look, I thought the sidebars were closing in on the main content a bit, and I was surprised to see you’ve built on wordpress 2.5.1
    Great achievement though. good luck.

    Thanks for your kind replys. I built it myself, it took about a week for the initial site to go up, and a couple of months of tweaking.

    I was able to get the thumbnails working by using the plugin “Post Image”. To be able to show the thumbnails and preroll videos on podpress, I had to modify the player spawn code so that it would accept m4v’s for ipods.

    Here is what I added to podpress.js around line 134

    case 'm4v':
    				if(strAutoStart == 'true') {
    					strAutoStart = '';
    				} else {
    					strAutoStart = '&autoStart=false';
    //begin experimental  m4v
    filename = (strMediaFile.replace(/.m4v/i, ""));
    strResult = '<object classid="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" width="320px" height="240px" codebase="">';
    				strResult += '	<param name="src" value="'+filename+'_1.jpg" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="href" value="'+strMediaFile+'" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="scale" value="1" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="showlogo" value="false" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="controller" value="true" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="autoplay" value="'+strAutoStart+'" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="bgcolor" value="000000" />';
    				strResult += '	<param name="pluginspage" value="" />';
    				strResult += '	<embed href="'+strMediaFile+'" width="320px" height="260px" scale="1" cache="true" bgcolor="000000" showlogo="false" autoplay="'+strAutoStart+'" controller="true" src="'+filename+'_1.jpg" type="video/x-m4v" target="myself" pluginspage=""></embed>';
    				strResult += '</object><br /><br />';
    strResult = '<embed src="'+podPressBackendURL+'players/flvplayer.swf" width="320" height="260" author="FOX XRIO 2" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" repeat="list" stretching="fill" image="='+filename+'_1.jpg" flashvars="&controlbar=bottom&fullscreen=true&stretching=fill&repeat=list&file='+podPressBackendURL+'playlistm4v'+(Math.floor(Math.random()*3)+1)+'.php?filename='+filename+'&image='+filename+'_1.jpg" />';
    //end experimental m4v

    As you can see from the code, the thumbnails must have the same name as the video file.

    In order to get the prerolls to work, I created files called playlist1.php playlist2.php and playlist3.php (one for each preroll) I manually alter these to fit the individual prerolls that I want to run. Here is the sample code for one of these.


    $filename = (isset($_GET['filename'])) ? strval($_GET['filename']):'117';
    $previewimage = ($_GET['filename']) ? strval($_GET['filename']):'117';
    if (strpos($filename, '.flv') === false)
    {$filename = $filename . '.flv';}
    $filename = trim(''. $filename);
    $year = substr($filename, 0, 4);    // returns the year
    $month = substr($filename, 4, 2);    // returns the month
    //if (strpos($previewimage, '_1.jpg') === false)
    $previewimage1 = $previewimage . '_1.jpg';
    $previewimage2 = trim(''. $previewimage1);
    print <<<END
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <playlist version="1" xmlns="">
    <title>Standard Playlist</title>
    <annotation>Standard Playlist</annotation>
    <title>FOX Rio 2</title>

    I hope this information helps.

    Quick update,

    I added 5px padding on the story content on both the left and right hand sides. I’ve been trying to minimize the dominance of the left sidebar( With limited success). And now I’m trying to figure out the correct text size range for the sidebar stories.

    We have a large “Winter Texan” population which frequents this website. They are generally older, which is why the text is a bit larger on the site. I used to have a toggle for the text size, but it proved itself to be a much larger hassle than it was worth.

    Again, I really appreciate the feedback.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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