Lots of new toys

OK, first I gotta say that I love our blog name – there was definitely some debate in our office about what we should title our new blog (let’s just say that one idea involved clip art of an alligator – don’t ask). Is Taffy a little corny? Maybe… but admit it, you’re gonna remember it, right?

Alright, down to business.

Who says summer is time to rest? Our development team has been hard at work to get all kinds of new and exciting features in place for the Fall. Consider this a sneak peak…

•Live blogging! When we unveiled our GameCentral interface last summer, we included a live chat feature. And while many schools have used and enjoyed the feature, a lot of schools have held off simply because a chat room can open the door to, well, let’s just say some “colorful” commentary. With that in mind, we’re putting the finishing touches on an integrated live blog (which, like the chat, will appear in the portal adjacent to the audio or video stream). This new feature will allow our clients to utilize a more moderated environment; the admin can choose to approve or ignore user comments for inclusion in the blog, promote other users, include hyperlinks and all kinds of other pretty cool things. You can even use the interface for a blog-only event.

•Mobile live stats! (And, yes, I am going to add an exclamation point after every item because these deserve exclaiming!) We’ve got a beautiful graphic interface set for our mobile live stats this year. We’ll be ready to show off the baseball/softball interface at CoSIDA – and the Fall sports will not be far behind. We’ve spent a lot of time to make sure the interface is pleasing to the eye – but also incorporates the play-by-play and statistical information in a logical and useable way (which isn’t as easy as you’d think when you’re working with a lot fewer pixels!). So, any mobile device with a web browser will be able to access live stats. And, remember, we’re still the only provider to support both StatCrew AND DakStats (you’re welcome NAIA schools).

•Media downloads! (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but this feature is already live and there’s a link available in the client CMS). Most of our clients have – at some point or other – asked us if they could get a copy of an audio or video file from one of their archives. Now, that functionality exists with just a few clicks. As soon as we’ve posted archives (which happens almost immediately after the event for video – and within 48 hours for most audio events), our users can download the corresponding MP3 (audio) or MP4 (video) files and edit them to their heart’s content. We also support batch downloading, in case you’re looking to download several files at once.

•Automatic audio archiving! For our clients who broadcast audio by dialing into our studio, we’re now going to provide the option to manually start/stop a recording of the audio through simple commands (for instance, 1# might start the recoding, and 2# might stop the recording). The benefit, you might ask? For clients who utilize this feature, their archives will be available almost immediately following the game in the On-Demand tab of the portal (no more waiting for our staff to edit the files).

•Integrated Twitter feeds in the portal! We’re pursuing a means of allowing our clients to have their most recent Twitter feed automatically scroll through the ticker area (above the media player) in the portal. Pretty cool stuff. So, let’s say you have a fan watching a live women’s basketball game and you just tweeted the final score of the MEN’s basketball game – within about 60 seconds or so, that tweet will scroll through the ticker. The possibilities are pretty exciting.

•Pre-roll integration! We already provide the means to incorporate rotating footer graphics and gateway graphics (splash screens) in the portal; now, we’re adding the ability to include pre-roll audio and video clips as well. You’ll be able to upload an audio or video commercial, for example, and have that commercial play as soon a user clicks on a “Watch” or “Listen” link – as soon as it’s done, the stream they requested will automatically begin playing.

So, there you have it! We’ve got several other exciting features coming as well, but this should at least get your feet wet. Let us know your thoughts!

  • All good stuff — keep it coming!

  • Joe domagalski

    I am disabled so I depend on listening to my computer for alot of my entertainment at night since I stuck in my home. I was wondering if it would be possible to send me a list of the mninor league baseball teams that I might be able to listen to on Stretch. Thank you in advance for your help with this. I really appreciate in, and I think other listeners might also like it if you could put it somewhere on your website.

    Thanks again,

    Joe Domagalski in Las Vegas