Yahoo’s Pipes platform has been generating lots of buzz in the blogosphere since it launched a few weeks ago. But after the initial excitement waned, people inevitably started asking: What can you actually do with it?
Discover tons of online video content, for one thing. Yahoo calls Pipes “an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator.” And since RSS feeds are starting to play a bigger and bigger role in online video, it’s only natural that some folks would use Pipes to develop video mashups that combine YouTube with music playlists help to automatize BitTorrent downloads.
Here’s a list of the ten of the most useful video mashups to date:
- Last.fm meets Youtube. This mashup searches Youtube for videos of the last ten tracks you played on Last.fm.
- Youtunes. Searches YouTube for videos of the iTunes Top 10 music downloads.
- MP3 blog videos. Scours YouTube for videos of tracks that are popular at the Hype Machine and elbo.ws.
- Rotten Tomato Tubes. Finds trailers for movies recently mentioned on Rottentomatoes.com. Very cool because it also shows you lots of fan creations.
- Coming soon trailers. Aggregates new movie trailers from Apple.com and Google Video.
- Uber Tube. This mashup combines all of YouTube’s site-wide RSS feeds into one giant video maelstrom.
- Multi-site video search. Searches YouTube, Google Video, Metacafe, Yahoo Video, Dailymotion, Break and Grouper at the same time. Works best for rare search terms – or people with too much time on their hands.
- Torrent Search. Scan Isohunt, Torrentspy, Mininova and BTJunkie simultaneously for your favourite flicks public domain downloads.
- TV series downloader. Directly links to Mininova torrents of a TV show of your choice. Of course we believe that our readers will only use this for C-SPAN content.
- NewTeeVee by keyword. Number ten on our list is a bit of a bonus: Get all the NewTeeVee.com stories for a keyword of your choice. Great for setting up alerts – or stalking Ze Frank.
All of these links lead to web-based versions of the mashups, which oftentimes ask you for some parameters. Enter your keywords, click on “Run Pipe” — and you’ll get a list of results. You can also subscribe to these results with a handy pull-down menu that features the most popular news readers.
But wait, there’s more: Feeds like the TV show downloader can also be used with RSS-savvy applications like µTorrent or Azureus to automatically download episodes of your choice. Unfortunately this doesn’t work that well with the Democracy Player (soon to be Miro) yet since most of the Pipes mashups don’t contain proper enclosures.
But this is where you come in: Each of these mashups can be edited with the extremely intuitive Pipes editor. Minor changes are easy once you get comfortable with the basic concept. In fact I edited / compiled two of these Pipes myself in just a few minutes.
The NewTeeVee feed mashup is a good start for Pipes newcomers, since it’s very basic and easily adaptable for using it with other websites. Just start toying around with it, and within no time you might find yourself working on some pretty elaborate video mashups.