End of Summer Closure

Seattle Community Media's annual End of Summer closure will happen at the end of August.  The dates affected are August 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29 and September 2 (Labor Day).  During that time the Studio and Community Room will be closed.  SCM staff will not take calls and will not respond to emails or phone messages during the closure.  

Producers please note that we will not be scheduling new programs during the closure!  Programming for this period will be similar to what we have done in past years.  We will repeat the programming week of August 4 - August 10 during the first week of the closure, beginning August 18.  We will repeat the programming week of August 11 - 17 during the second week of the closure, beginning August 25.  We will repeat the programming of August 11, 12 and 13 on Sept 1, 2 and 3. 

The programming of new content/shows will resume Wednesday, September 4.

This update addresses 3 important topics, each described in detail below.
Concise details are provided, so the topics may be a little lengthy, but IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF THESE UPDATES – PLEASE READ THEM!

  1. Simpler workflow of adding your Programs (Updated Jan 20th)
    • New and important update about creating your Programs
  2. Improved Video Uploading for your Programs
    • You upload your Videos AFTER you create a program, and they are not sent to Archive.org until after they have aired – important New changes explained.
  3. Miscellaneous Items

We will be holding two in-person training sessions to help anyone who would like in-person training.  The sessions will take place Wednesday, February 13th at 1:30pm and 6pm.  Each session will be 1.5 hours long.  And finally - MANY, many thanks to those particular producers that have been gracious, patient, and helpful while we work out the kinks in this rushed launch. Your assistance has been invaluable, and is most appreciated.

The SCM Staff

Topic #1 of 3: Simpler workflow of adding your Programs

Once your Series is set up, you can begin adding Programs for your viewers.  There are a few critical concepts that you must be understand that are very, very different from the old site:

The most profound difference from the old site is that now you must create your Program before you upload the video for it.  You create ONE Program per week/per Series, and normally never delete it.

  • Your Series has one regular timeslot assigned to it for each week of the year (52 episodes).
  • An “Episode” is a specific kind of Program – one Episode for each of the 52 timeslots that your Series has. The program has the Title, Description, and other details for that episode.   
  • Other kinds of Programs include Specials and Promos. (These kinds are scheduled differently than Episodes – more about that later.)
  • Each Episode is for a specific week – if you miss the week, you cannot go back and add it – on a calendar, that week has passed – you can’t go back in time.
  • ALL SCHEDULING is driven by the Week you select when you create the program – previously you could send emails, or include a date in the title, etc. – This will not work on the new site!!!
  • Later this year, all Episodes will be automatically scheduled – Dean will NOT be doing it manually, so it is imperative that you Add your Program in advance of its cutoff date.

Adding an Episode is vastly different from the way it was done in the past. 
Here are the steps to create new Programs:

  1. Sign into the website and go to your Dashboard.
  2. From the Producer Tools menu, click on My Programs
  3. Within your Series on the page, click Add/Edit Programs
    • This used to be referred to as “creating an Episode page” on the old site. 
  4. You will be presented with a list of all Programs that have already been created
  5. Click Add Program
    • The new site allows different Program types: Episodes, Specials, and Promos
    • You can create multiple Episodes at a time now – weeks or months in advance of their air date. 
  6. Begin by selecting “Episode for a Series” from the dropdown list
  7. Choose the week that this Episode should be broadcast.
  8. Complete the required fields. Certain fields have very specific purposes:
    • Title: Do NOT put “notes” or dates in the title. What you type in here is what viewers see on broadcast schedules, and is preserved forever on archive.org
    • Synopsis: Appears in broadcast schedules
    • Published: Determines if the Episode appears on the public website to viewers
    • Topics: Try to use “generic” terms such as Elections, Festivals, or Poetry – they’re used on archive.org as links, and will be used on the public site in the future as “tags”
    • Audience & Content Ratings: Be ACCURATE with this for each Episode – there are serious legal risks for the Station, and membership ramifications for you if they are not accurate!!!
    • YouTube Link: If you have published your video to YouTube, you can put that link here. It will be visible to the public before your program airs, and is also published to archive.org after your Episode is aired.
  9. When done with each field, click Save - You will add your videos later.  

Topic #2 of 3: Improved Video Uploading for your Programs.

When you are ready to add the video for your programs follow these steps.  You'll notice this process is very different from the past.  You no longer need to FTP your video files to us and this process doesn't involve an "ingest" folder.

  1. From the Producer Tools menu, click on My Programs
  2. Within your Series on the page, click Add/Edit Programs
    • Presently, you cannot directly replace a video, so these steps are for adding a video. Video Replacements are scheduled to available within a few weeks
  3. Before proceeding, you should understand how the Upload page works:
    • A separate page opens for you to select and upload your videos
    • It is a separate window so that you can continue to do other work without waiting for uploads to complete
    • Closing or Refreshing the Uploader page will cancel any incomplete uploads.
  4. Click Upload Videos.
    • You will confirm that all the programs that you want to upload for have been added.
    • If the Uploader Page was previously opened and uploads started, you may be asked to confirm that you want to proceed anyways.
  5. From the dropdown list, choose the Program you are uploading a video for.
  6. Click on Select Video File to upload… and find your video file
  7. The selected file will appear below with some file details. A preview player of the file may appear if you have an appropriate player for the file on your computer.
  8. After you have selected all your videos, click Start All Uploads.
  9. Each upload will proceed consecutively. You can leave or minimize the window and do other things while the upload proceeds.

Once the upload completes, the system begins the Ingestion process:

  1. Your uploaded file is checked for validity and given a system standard name
  2. It is placed in line to be “transcoded” to MP4 format. Transcoding takes at least as long as your video is. Formats like M4V and F4V may take up to 5x longer.
  3. If the video exceeds your allotted timeslot, or contains mature content, a 10 second disclaimer is prepended to the program.
  4. The file is downloaded to the Station, awaiting broadcast
  5. You will receive an email when the video is complete and ready for broadcast.
    • If you have to contact the station about the file/episode, REPLY TO THAT EMAIL. It contains all the details that are needed by us to make changes in the system for you.
  6. You can check the progress of the Ingestion with the Upload Ingestion History button for your Series.

Topic #3 of 3: Miscellaneous Items.

Currently, most scheduling refers to “Week of…”. The broadcast weeks begins on Sundays, so with Dean knowing your regular timeslot, the actual date of your timeslot will be used for broadcast scheduling.
Automatic Broadcast Scheduling (ABS)
ABS is expected to be introduced in the early spring. When that is activated, it will be using information that YOU have provided for each of your episodes. If for no other reason, be sure that you clearly understand how to add scheduled Episodes to your Series to avoid later confusion or broadcast problems.
Scheduling Studios and Classes
This will be available within a week or so. Some tweaks to the system have interfered with them being live, so when those adjustments are made, those features will be activated
Public Site vs. Producer Site
The complexities of producing a TV Series has been put on it's own separate website - The Producer Tools. While we work on finishing these features, and when there are production technicalities being faced, the public will be completely unaffected when finding and viewing your programs. The Public site is refreshed on a regular basis daily, and real-time updates will be in place when we have fully finished and tested the Producer tools.
For Fastest Response
PLEASE contact us with the links on the producer site. While it may be tempting to send an email to an individual, DOING SO WILL BE SLOWER. We want these tools to work for you, but spend a lot of time away from email programs, and using the contact links on the site will send an ALERT to us about your message, so we will get to it much sooner than when we get to our email.