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The External Videos plugin allows you to automatically collect and dispay the videos from an external site such as your YouTube user channel. External Videos creates a post for each video automatically. For example, it finds all the videos of the user "Fred" on YouTube and adds them each as a new post type. The videos can be presented in a gallery using the shortcode [external-videos]. There is also a widget to add a list of the most recent videos in a sidebar.

This plugin can be very useful if you are following a channel that produces videos periodically. Once they are published to your video channel, they automatically show up on your site. Currently supported sites are: YouTube, Vimeo, and DotSub.

Step 1. Download and Install

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Dashboard > Plugins > Add New search for "external videos

Step 2. Configure the plugin

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After installation you will see

  1. A new section for adding the new post type
  2. Under Settings there will be a new settings link for External Videos. Click External Videos to set up.

Step 3. Add Authors

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  1. Choose the video host (Currently supported sites are: YouTube, Vimeo, and DotSub.)
  2. Type in the Author ID
  3. Add the Developer and Secret key only if you are using Vimeo
  4. Click Add new author

To find the Author ID go to the video channel in your browser and find the author. For example on youtube, I have a channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/eawebeddy. The Author id is "eawebeddy" that is the only thing that needs to be typed in the id field.

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After you click Add new author, you will see the author listed in the Authors section.

Step 4. Retrieve the videos

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Click Update Videos from Channels and the program will retrieve all the videos and create a post for each one. If it's a channel with a lot of videos, this may not work due to memory limits. It did work well with all the channels I tried that had less than 20 videos listed.

A cron is atomically set up to retrieve the newest videos once per day. You can manually retrieve new videos at any time by using the button, or just let the cron do its job.

Step 5. Edit the video posts

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Go to Dashboard > External Videos > External Videos and you will see a list of all the video posts. Choose one to edit.
Choose a post to edit and click on it to open the editing.

The post that is created has the video embedded, and some basic other information. When you edit the post you can add anything you want to enhance the post.

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  1. The YouTube embed code
  2. The description taken from YouTube
  3. The channel information

In edit mode

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You can add pictures, format text and use any editing facilities.

The published post

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  1. The video and information inserted by the plugin.
  2. The added image and text from your editing.

Option 1. Create a video index page.

To create a video index page, create a normal post, and insert the short code [external-videos]

The general shortcode is [external-videos], which creates a video gallery. See the sample below.

You can also now specify [external-videos feature="embed"] to get just the latest video as a featured video and with all its embedding code.

You can further specify [external-videos width="300" height="200"] if you want to change the width and the height of the embedded video.

And you can specify [external-videos link="page"] if you want to get the links on the video gallery to link straight through to the video posts created by the plugin instead of opening in a pop-up lightbox.

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The index (which is just a normal post) lists all the videos, and clicking on a thumbnail will open the video for viewing in a popup.

There are a couple of things about the index you should know.

  • First, you can only create one index. If you are following several channels, you can't separate them and have a different post or page for each channel.
  • There is no pagination for the index. If you have thousands of videos there's no way to limit them on the page.
  • There is no styling for the display, so you'll need to edit the styling in your theme's CSS file to adjust spacing.

Option 2. Use the video plugin as a video library and insert videos as needed.

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Click an Add Media icon
You don't need to use the automatic posting ability. The plugin will keep your list of videos updated, and you can manually insert any video into any post or page in the same manner as adding other media.

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Click External Videos tab
A new tab has been added to the media upload.

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Click Show/Hide to open the listing
Click Insert Into Post

You'll see all the retrieved videos listed, and when you click Show it will expand the listing so you can click Insert Into Post. Click Hide to toggle the view.

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The video code will be inserted and you can then edit the post or page like any other.

Option 3. Use the widget to list videos

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You add the widget to the sidebar or any widget area of your theme as usual. You can list up to 15 of the most recent videos. The plugin will keep track of them for you and add and delete titles as the video channels are updated.

The widget as it appears in the sidebar

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This plugin goes a long way toward automating the management of videos on a blog site. It adds the newest ones and deletes them when they are deleted from the channel, so your site is always up-to-date.