Modern social media gives you plenty of choices when it comes to media content publishing. Most of them seem great, but I was missing something when using such functionalities as relations on Facebook or Instagram, considering my actual needs and type of content I would like to publish. As I feel I did not come up with anything innovative or groundbreaking here, I made a simple enhancement to tune it up for my purpose.
What is vGist
vGists are simply short but not time-limited videos, presenting some essence of a creative process. Two of the most fundamental assumptions here are that vGists are placed in the context of this longer-term process and do not disappear after a period of time.
I keep my vGists as subsections of content pages. They are automatically sorted by capture date (not upload date) in descending order (newest comes first). However, the "Play all" button allows the set to be played either direction, where oldest to newest is the default. Additionally, the player allows easy navigation between videos in the playlist, as the user should be able to go through the entire process progress quickly.
Videos are always demanding when it comes to processing or serving. I was looking for a universal yet performant solution, so I implemented an HLS transcoder with FFmpeg to serve my media adaptively. It works well (despite constant improvements in my transcoder profiles, as I still learn about codec compatibility across different devices), and it is a direction to go. As capture date is important for vGists, my video processing service attempts to retrieve capture date from uploaded file's metadata or require a user to set one manually before making the media available to the public.
Where do I go from here
First of all, I will need to prove this concept with some user feedback. Technically it works as expected, but the technical side was not much of a concern here. I need to verify whether this form of presentation is useful from a user's perspective and not a creator. Beyond proving the concept, I will work more on the technical side of serving videos. I want to focus more on the transport layer, which might get seriously interesting.