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#1 Edited by rick (504 posts) -

Yeah for a while now we've been promising changes to the API in relation to our videos to clean up the way we serve video. This has dragged on because we've been really sensitive about breaking what's out there now and forcing developers to make major changes. After lots of revisions we have come up with a method that will not force us to change the API at all! You still likely will need to change your site / app if you use our video but those changes are fairly easy.

Web Sites:

You will no longer have access to usable HTML5 video links. Sorry. Your only option will be using our Embed Player and Embed Player API. Click here for the sample. This has gone though a lot of testing and QL crew is already using it. It was made to be super easy and I'd be happy to work with you if you have any questions etc.

Apps:

For details on authentication for apps check this out: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/wcarle/blog/how-to-write-a-gb-premium-video-app/114534/

AppleTV:

We've created a new set top link code URL for Apple TV that should get your app approved by Apple. Using the current /xbmc URL will get your app rejected. Point your users to www.giantbomb.com/apple-tv. We will also have to be a part of your store submission (Apple's rules) so contact me well before you're ready to submit so we can discuss all that this entails.

Private Scripts: [Updated Nov 23]

For those of you who have your own scripts to download videos you can append your API key to the urls.

e.g. http://v.giantbomb.com/2015/10/15/vf_showerwithyourdad_ql_10072015_3200.mp4?api_key=abc123

You will only be able to download 20 videos in a 24 hour period (which is about the most we put out in a 24 hour period). So you'll need to run your script daily to keep up. Also we will look very unfavorably to holders of an API key attached to any downloaded videos we find in the wild or in URLs in some sketchy GoogleDoc. Premium or not.

We're launching these changes in December (the apple-tv thing is live now). If you haven't contacted me and updated your stuff it will break. Don't worry we will accept all requests for an app authentication key.

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#2 Posted by Szlifier (1426 posts) -

I'm glad to see the changes to the video player API made it in at last. I didn't test them on QLCrew, yet, but the most important stuff (like not working in Firefox) seems to be fixed. I can hopefully get rid of all workarounds.

Does this affect the ability to download videos on a video page?

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#3 Posted by atholm (46 posts) -

Great!
I think this provide good options for both apps and web solutions, especially good to see the new apple-tv endpoint.

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#4 Posted by TigerDX (433 posts) -

How should I proceed to update a private script for downloading GB videos? It's merely a perl script which iterates through the most recent non-trailer videos and makes sure I have an up-to-date local cache.

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#5 Posted by sbarre (74 posts) -

Related question: does this mean the direct download links for premium videos is also going away?

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#6 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@sbarre: It does not. Premium users will still be able to download video from the site. You will not be able to use a script or any kind of app to do that though and I recommend against doing that because it could get you banned.

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#7 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@tigerdx: That's going to be a problem. Have we talked about this in the past? ...anyway contact me directly and we'll work something out.

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#8 Posted by sbarre (74 posts) -

@edgework said:

@sbarre: It does not. Premium users will still be able to download video from the site. You will not be able to use a script or any kind of app to do that though and I recommend against doing that because it could get you banned.

Thank you for clarifying. I do not use a script, I just like to download episodes of the premium series to load on my tablet for when I'm traveling and have time to catch up on them - Metal Gear Scanlon 5 is on deck for December!

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#9 Posted by cikame (1948 posts) -

@edgework: I'm sorry app is such a vague term, would i be banned for using a download manager to download videos? I like to throttle download speed sometimes.

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#10 Posted by doctorkohaku (47 posts) -

@edgework: I use a script called youtube-dl through a firefox addon called mpv-youtube-dl-binding that lets me play most videos on the web in an external video player (mpv). For premium videos, I stream the download link directly with mpv. I do this because watching video in a browser is a massive CPU hog. Could this get me banned?

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#11 Posted by stordoff (782 posts) -

@edgework said:

@sbarre: It does not. Premium users will still be able to download video from the site. You will not be able to use a script or any kind of app to do that though and I recommend against doing that because it could get you banned.

Could you clarify what you mean by "script or any kind of app"? My main use case for the download links is opening it in VLC (mainly for always on top video), and downloading using the Synology Download Station app.

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#12 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@doctorkohaku: I'm not really sure what that does but its likely. If you can use that app for Hulu, Netflix or Amazon prime then you should be fine with our content. If not then it will be blocked and if our firewall thinks its malicious (piracy) it will trigger an IP block. If you're premium you can always manually download the HTML5 source and watch in your own player.

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#13 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@stordoff: See the above comment. I'm going to guess that anything from Synology is going to trip the firewall. I understand Synology software isn't malicious in most cases but it most definitely can be used in that way.

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#14 Posted by rick (504 posts) -
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#15 Posted by Lavos (94 posts) -

Simular to @tigerdx, I use a Golang CLI program of my own design to:

  1. Access the API via my API Key to retrieve videos objects.
  2. Cache the video objects in a local database, staying well within API rate limits.
  3. Print video objects to the console in a user-friendly manner.
  4. Enqueue interested videos to a "to be downloaded" list.
  5. Download videos via high_url to the local HDD.
  6. Watch file locally on my RaspberryPi via omxplayer.

It's mainly a quicker way for me to "Right Click, Save" the videos I'm interested in watching. I've had trouble with slow ISPs in my apartment so I couldn't stream video consistantly.

Is this going to be OK? What would need to be changed in that flow to faciltate these new changes? I've been a Premium Member since the beginning and I want to continue to support you guys; I would hate to be harming the site in any way.

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#16 Posted by wchigo (817 posts) -

Sorry but I wanted to ask about this just in case because I didn't understand things fully. Generally, on my PC, I download the videos using Chrome directly through the site's download button, so I'm confident to say that I'm fine in that case.

However, I do also enjoy using the Giant Bomb Video Buddy on my iPad to download videos and watch them at a later time (especially in the case of multiple long episodes like the recent Extra Life stuff); from my admittedly limited understanding of what's going on, would that be affected and possibly get me banned if I were to continue using the app? Thanks for taking the time to answer questions from the community and sorry again for the stupid question.

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#17 Edited by Onemanarmyy (2725 posts) -

@wchigo said:

Sorry but I wanted to ask about this just in case because I didn't understand things fully. Generally, on my PC, I download the videos using Chrome directly through the site's download button, so I'm confident to say that I'm fine in that case.

However, I do also enjoy using the Giant Bomb Video Buddy on my iPad to download videos and watch them at a later time (especially in the case of multiple long episodes like the recent Extra Life stuff); from my admittedly limited understanding of what's going on, would that be affected and possibly get me banned if I were to continue using the app? Thanks for taking the time to answer questions from the community and sorry again for the stupid question.

The video buddy app dev needs to make sure that his app protects the video's, and everyone is properly authenticated so that they only see the videos that they're supposed to be seeing (no premium content for free users). I doubt that this is a huge hurdle, so the app should be fine.

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#18 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@wchigo: You'll be fine, although I'm still waiting for the Video Buddy dev to get back to me. So, hopefully you'll be fine assuming I get in touch with him.

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#19 Posted by wchigo (817 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: The app does already do that; you have to authenticate before you can access premium videos. I can't speak for the verification method, but it does do that at least. Cheers duder.

@edgework: Cool, thanks for the answer. In that case, I certainly hope he gets back to you prior to the deadline. Cheers staff duder.

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#20 Posted by Silver-Streak (1857 posts) -

Here's hoping the Windows 8/10/Phone Store App for Giant Bomb (Aptly named, Giant Bomb) gets updated with the new authentication stuff. It already requires you to authenticate your account, but I'm unclear if it'll meet the new requirements.

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#21 Posted by fatgeezer (4 posts) -

I'm stupid at anything tech/pc/net related so my apologies if this has been addressed already.

I use Free Download Manager to download videos direct to my PC. I queue up the files, and set the FDM to download one at a time. It's been working fine up to now, but if it's against any rules I'd rather stop than get banned.

So is this allowed? Is this the kinda thing y'all are even talking about?

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#22 Edited by rick (504 posts) -

You guys drive me crazy. I totally get what you want to do why and that's why and I really don't want to get you banned for doing it. Send me a PM and I'll give you a way around all of this with minimal changes.

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#23 Posted by Lavos (94 posts) -

@edgework: Thanks for taking the time for talking with about this! That's already more than most sites would have done.

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#24 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

Updated for clarification on private scripts. Re-read OP

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#25 Posted by WalkerD (502 posts) -

Sketchy is a little harsh.

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#26 Posted by Baillie (4708 posts) -

Man, all this seems like an easy way to get banned while just being an avid fan.

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#27 Edited by Brazilianrogue (3 posts) -

@edgework: I apologize in advance if this is totally unrelated, but should expect any issues with the RSS feed of videos? Specifically through apps like PocketCasts or similar where we are authenticating with username for premium content (eg: http://Username:password@giantbomb.com/videos/feed/hd/)

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#28 Posted by TheBadYetiMan (47 posts) -

@edgework said:

@sbarre: It does not. Premium users will still be able to download video from the site. You will not be able to use a script or any kind of app to do that though and I recommend against doing that because it could get you banned.

Will the 5 videos in a 24 hour time limit rule still apply if I'm literally going to the video and clicking download -> save as from there, or is it only script type stuff? Just got a new 1TB HDD and was gonna fill it with GB content

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#29 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@thebadyetiman: You can manually download as many videos from the site as you possibly can.

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#30 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@brazilianrogue: Podcasts will work as they currently do for the most part as long as the app you use isn't being dumb about the authentication.

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#31 Posted by TheFaxman (70 posts) -

@silver-streak: I just noticed this and am working on fixes for the Windows apps (along with some long overdue updates)

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#32 Posted by Silver-Streak (1857 posts) -
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#33 Posted by TheFaxman (70 posts) -

@silver-streak: The update that resolves the video playback issues is published (along with a pile of fixes and new features)

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#34 Posted by cyborgx7 (100 posts) -

I'm very happy about that update for scripts. Having to use api keys on the download links themselves always seemed like the sensible solution. The limit of 5 videos a day might be a little short when I feel like watching a bunch of old videos on a weekend or something, but should be plenty in general.

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#35 Posted by Zaph (308 posts) -

Thanks for allowing such a hassle-free private scripts provision, I was able to fix my Alfred workflow with only a single line change.

Question about a small bug. Almost all images attached to the video API are in JPG format, with the occasional PNG. However, some videos are listed with PNG urls but are actually JPGs, so unless you manually change the extension, you get an API error - example http://www.giantbomb.com/api/video/2300-10909/?api_key=. Any chance of a fix, or is it part of a larger problem?

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#36 Posted by TigerDX (433 posts) -

@edgework Thanks so much for your efforts making private scripts still viable.

The only time I can see the 5 videos in 24 hours being an issue is around Extra Life time, but I suppose that's a bridge we can cross when we come to it. It might just be a case of downloading them over the course of a few days, which may well be mitigated by a reduced flow of content following those very long streams.

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#37 Posted by Gentlemen_Demon (7 posts) -

I've been trying to get in touch with edgework (rick) about the unique user agent and a custom request header for apps, but both edgework at giantbomb.com and rick at giantbomb.com are bouncing all emails i send - am i missing something or does this page need to be updated?

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#38 Posted by alecgdouglas (87 posts) -

@gentlemen_demon: Ran into the same issue today, seems like the post needs to be updated. Any other devs know of the current contact details for the user agent + custom request header stuff?

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#39 Posted by rick (504 posts) -

@alecgdouglas: @gentlemen_demon: I'm no longer at Giant Bomb so those emails will bounce. AFAIK you don't need to worry about the custom request header stuff. That was so apps would be ready for some stuff I planned to put into production that never happened and likely won't happen.

You still need a custom user agent but you can pick whatever you want. You will need to append the END USER's API key to all video requests. See "Private Scripts" in the OP. You can do an app activation to get/generate the user's API key. There's a post somewhere about how to do that...

For other questions etc. ask @wcarle cause I don't work here. :P

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#40 Edited by alecgdouglas (87 posts) -

@rick: Thanks, that's very helpful.

@wcarle: (and anybody else that might know) What's the current best practice for retrieving the end user's API key?

I'm fine going the Boxee route but what's the endpoint I've got to hit with the Boxee code to get their API key?

The closest I can find is this post from ~2.5 years ago: http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/api-developers-3017/any-plans-for-authentication-via-gb-cv-1482731/

But the giantbomb.com/validate endpoint doesn't appear to exist.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks :)

Edit: Nevermind! Looks like the endpoint is giantbomb.com/api/validate - d'oh!

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#41 Edited by Gentlemen_Demon (7 posts) -

@wcarle Another question: how does the GB Video Buddy app allow users who aren't logged in to watch premium and non-premium videos? i'm looking to use the same permissions for my app but not sure how to go about it

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#42 Edited by wcarle (303 posts) -
Staff