Thursday, May 24, 2012


Yahoo! Pipes, pipes, and more pipes for YouTube

Lately I've been playing around with Yahoo! Pipes and learned some new things. I already presented the YouTube Activity Feed, which I've cleaned up a little. And I've made three more pipes.

YouTube Activity Feed

Pipe ID: 58c841d14337ba4fbf693abd9701dc49
Pipe Web Address:

Here's my previous article about this feed. YouTube API 2.0 does provide activity feeds, but you need to register an application to get developer key. My idea was to read the same info from user's channel feed page in html, parse the html and republish as a feed, and YouTube Activity Feed pipe does that.

As html parsing is quite complex task, if YouTube changes the feed page structure a lot, this pipe might break. I'll probably try to fix it if that happens.

YouTube Likes Feed

Pipe ID: a58d86555f7eb396e73d58ff50edc8f1
Pipe Web Address:

Same idea as in Youtube Activity Feed, but it gets only "liked videos" from the channel feed page. It is a bit simpler to parse only the likes. Also with this pipe, if YouTube changes the feed page a lot, the pipe might break.

YouTube Uploads and Favourites

Pipe ID: 0c2ee991c8d94ed0ceb19865c252e047
Pipe Web Address:

YouTube has gdata feeds for user uploads and user favorites.

This pipe combines these two feeds, descriptions will be for example "2 days ago USERNAME favorited" or "1 hour ago USERNAME uploaded". The tricky part was to get this humanized date "2 days ago" derived from feed item's timestamp. It could not be done in Pipes only, so I extended its functionality with a web service I coded into Google AppEngine. It goes through the list, converts "y:published.utime" to humanized date like "2 days ago" and stores it in field "when" and returns the list back to pipes. Here's an article about the web service: Extending Yahoo! Pipes with Google App Engine.

This pipe should be robust, as it uses feeds as source, not page html.

YouTube Feed

Pipe ID: 73c5ee4a46e1837d908deaa60b1858d2
Pipe Web Address:

This fourth pipe simply combines Uploads and Favourites and Likes Feed. Structure is very simple. Output is something similar to YouTube Activity feed, but it does not contain comments, playlist additions nor channel subscriptions. But sometimes simpler is better.

All pipes are compatible with my gadget which works also on Opera (Yahoo! Pipes badge does not). Just change the pipe ID (_id) to use a different pipe.

Feel free to examine these pipes, you can also make clones which you can modify. Comments are welcome, too. :)
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