You Tube Module Review

Title: You Tube Module for 68 Classifieds
Developer: Techconnx
Author: Larry Hotchkiss
Price: $30.00
Compatability: V4.0.x & 4.1.x
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 of 5)
Pros: Many options built in for the display of the video. Straight forward Administration for your settings. Adds a very good value to your sellers
Cons: Tied to an extra field, therefore tied to a category. Extra field text shows in listing which is meaningless to the site viewer. Documentation is sparse

Overview:

The You Tube module is a great concept that allows a 68 Classifieds site owner the ability to offer their potential sellers an embedded You Tube video into their listings. The module works as advertised for the most part and is well worth the inexpensive $30.00 price tag.

I guess if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. I can see several uses for the creative site owner for use of this module. Here’s a few that I thought of just off the top of my head, Real Estate virtual tours, Employment ads with employer video (How great it is to work for us), Car sales showing the car in action especially for muscle or custom cars, Personals um… well the feed does come from you tube, so I think you’ll be safe with a PG-13 rating anyway :-) , Affiliate marketers showing their wares, Travel agents, etc…

What you get:

A folder with a bunch of files including a readme. Hey, it’s a freaking module, what did you expect?!?

Installation:

The installation of the You Tube Module is pretty straight forward. If you’ve installed other modules, you won’t have any trouble, however because of the way that this module works, you will need to follow the instructions for full set up and use. The good thing is, that the documentation gives you step by step instructions that even a novice can follow. There is one exception to this when installing the module in v4.1, there is no “Regenerate” button. There is active modules and inactive modules. This will show in inactive modules until you, um… activate it. :-) Bear in mind that I forgive this oversight as v4.1 is still not a released version as of yet.

Because of the tie-in to an extra field, you will need to create an extra field specifically for use with this module. This must be created before you can use and fully configure the module as stated in the instructions.

Other Setup:

In order for this to work, you need to setup an extra field for the You Tube Module to work. This is a straight forward process, however if you haven’t done this before the documentation could be a little bit more elaborate.

You will also need to add some code to either your viewlisting.tpl or viewlisting2.tpl template file for this to work. This is again a little sparse on the documentation. For someone like me or the developer, you wouldn’t think twice and just do it, however for the novice the first thing that comes to mind is, “How do I know which template that I’m using?”. There is nothing said as to how to determine that.

The documentation does specifically indicate that depending on which version of 68 Classifieds you’re using, you will need to copy and paste the correct code for the version that you’re using. Again, it doesn’t indicate how you know which version that you are using. Additionally, it says to paste this code where you want the video to display. Unfortunately, this isn’t really how it works. If you just paste the code in there as it is, the video will display at the top of the listing regardless of where you paste the code. As all of the listings items are within a table, you need to paste your code within correct table elements.
Example if you wanted to put the video right after the “Description”:

 <tr><td colspan=”2”>the code</td></tr>

A developer or an experience HTML coder would know this, however many would not.

Configuration in the Administration:

The configuration of the You Tube Module, once installed is a well laid out page and is pretty straight forward. This is where this module really shines. You wouldn’t think that there is much to simply showing a video in your listings. The developer even put in defaults to the point where you don’t actually even need to do anything here, except to choose your extra field. It will work just fine with the default settings. If you’re one that wants to fiddle with every detail, it’s all there for you.

Here’s the list of settings that are offered:

  • Display YouTube: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • YouTube Video Player Height in px: Text field (default=344) < --youtube default
  • YouTube Video Player Width in px: Text field (default=425) < --youtube default
  • Loop Video: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Show related videos: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Auto Play Video: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Enable Shortcuts: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Display Player Border: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Border Color: Text field (default=000000) < -- Black
  • Control Color: Text field (default=000000) < -- Black
  • Allow Full screen Display: Yes/No (default=Yes)
  • Video ID Field: Drop down (list of extra fields in your database)
  • Update button

Although all of these default settings will work, I personally think that having a video auto play, is a big NO NO!, Also, perhaps a little color instead of black might be good too. A nice blue that matches the blue in the default template might be nice (336699).

One anomaly that I ran into was that although I had the “Allow Full screen Display” set to “Yes”, the video that I used wouldn’t go full screen. The icon in the controls turned red on mouse over, so I assume that this isn’t the You Tube Module, but enforced at youtube.com itself. I wasn’t able to confirm that other than, the video that I used wouldn’t go full screen on two other sites that were also showing this same video.

One other item that I would like to see added to this module is a border size. Since you get to choose whether or not to display a border as well as the color, it seems to make sense that you would also want to control the size of the border itself. I personally think the border is a little big for my tastes.

Documentation:

The documentation is the “readme.txt” file that is in the youtube folder. You can, of course open it with any text editor on your computer. It is also viewable from the “?” in your administration/modules on your site once it’s uploaded to your site. Of course, if you don’t know where or how to upload it to your site, then you should obviously read it from your computer first.

The documentation has all of the information that you need to install, setup and use the module. If typos and grammar really bother you, you may cringe in your seat while reading through this. You have been warned.

I have a personal pet peeve with most documentation. In my personal opinion, I feel that generally speaking, most developers fail to realize the opportunities that they have in their documentation and this documentation is one of those. Furthermore, small developers usually write their own documentation which as a developer fail to realize that their audience is usually nowhere near their technological savy. Although everything is there that you absolutely need to have, I felt myself longing for more. Why not have this in html, so at least the one link provided for the developers site works instead of copying, then opening a browser, then pasting in the url and then pressing enter. Give some more elaborate examples of use. For instance instead of pasting xxx code into your template where you want it, how about “I suggest placement right after your description within the table like this ***full example code***” and “Some people prefer to have it at the top of the listing right after the title and price like this ***full example code***”

Other things that could also be done, especially in html is a little self promotion. Example: Don’t forget to add your review for the You Tube Module at classifiedmods.com. Click here to add your review. Or maybe, if you like this module click here to suggest it to a friend. How about some cross promotion like “If you liked this module consider purchasing some of my other modules modulex, moduley and modulez. All clickable links to their respective page on the developers site.

Mike-N-Tosh Buying Advice:

This You Tube Module is an excellent way to enhance your 68 Classifieds site. It is well worth the meager investment that it costs and could be the deciding factor as to whether your potential sellers use your site instead of someone else’s. I do also believe that with just a little bit more work on the developers end, this could be a well polished and shiny module… maybe even worthy of a version 1.0 instead of 0.2!

If you buy this module from reading this review, don’t forget to tell him that Mike-N-Tosh™ sent you! Maybe then he’ll give me a copy for my own use. ;-)

DISCLAIMER:

ALTHOUGH I MAY KNOW MANY OF THE DEVELOPERS THAT I WRITE THESE REVIEWS FOR, I DO NOT WORK FOR THEM, I AM NOT A PARTNER WITH THEM, I AM NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THEIR BUSINESS, I GET NO MONETARY COMPENSATION FOR THESE REVIEWS.

THIS REVIEW IS A PERSONAL INTERPRETATION OF HOW I BELIEVE THEY WORKED (OR NOT) FOR MYSELF. I DO NOT MAKE ANY CLAIM AS TO HOW THEY WILL WORK FOR YOUR OWN USE. I DO NOT ENDORSE, WARRANT OR GUARANTEE ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS FOR YOUR PURPOSES.

4 Responses to “You Tube Module Review”

  1. Chuck Justice Says:

    Mike………..PLEASE………..PLEASE email me ASAP. I need contact with you.

    Love EVERYTHING this site has to offer.

    Thanks for you hard work

    Chuck

  2. Kristen Says:

    Hello,

    I would like to contact you for a quote on customizing the classified ads script. How can I do so?

    Thanks,

    Kristen

  3. Poembeddy Says:

    FANTASTIC!

  4. Get Your Ex Back Says:

    Hey, nice tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to that person from that forum who told me to go to your blog :)