View Full Version : Datalink and RSS...

08-02-2010, 12:39 PM
I am working on creating a scrolling news ticker across the bottom of a screen that is fed by headlines from RSS feeds from the web. I don't have an issue creating a text file in the correct Datalink format, but I'm trying to figure out how to make this work on the Livetext 2 side.

The challenge I have here is that RSS can return a variable number of headlines that will take a finite time to scroll across the screen. I am looking for some way to know when the entire file full of headlines has been displayed so I can write the next batch of headlines for Livetext 2 to display. Is there any type of handshake available with Livetext 2/Datalink that lets a program poll for status like this?

My ideal solution is to make a template with a single headline variable. I would then write the first headline to the file, wait on a semaphore of some kind until it is displayed, and then loop back to write the next one. This way, it wouldn't matter if I had ten headlines or 1000's of headlines. This approach would also let me add things on the fly if I wanted to without waiting for a queue of things to finish displaying before it shows up.

I know I could just create a template with 100's of unique headline variables, fill up the file and let it run. That just seems pretty crude and not all that flexible for a live situation.

Thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.


08-02-2010, 02:50 PM
If there's an elegant solution at the moment, John, I haven't come on it, sorry. There's no messaging on completion of playback (or loop iteration). There's another thread on similar issues somewhere or other, but in my own experiments I didn't find a tidy way to make crawl updates seamless with current versions.

08-02-2010, 04:45 PM

I have some similar desires as well let me know if you are going to program something as I may be willing to pitch in on cost of this as well...

Lots of potential uses.

Twitter Stream.
News Stream
Event stream based on hash tags
Predefined list
Mashed up RSS list of new content

There are a number of potential display options as well, lower third, full screen.

I think there would be a pretty big market for this, I don't care how it gets in to the box so long as it does not take a rocket scientist to get it displayed.


08-03-2010, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the reply's. There is a lot more than RSS I'm looking to do here - pulling a Twitter feed on specific #tags is very popular at events and is high on my list. I love the simplicity of the Datalink model, but it's a shame there isn't a option for just a little more control with things like this.

I'll work some more on this in my (few and far between) spare cycles to see what I can figure out.

My next line of thought: I don't need to know that anything was rendered out to the screen - just that the file had been read and is cached. I'm guessing that Datalink will read the file, cache it, render it, then loop back to read the file again. If Datalink opens and closes the file on each read, I may be able to detect that and use it instead of an official semaphore. I'm going to look in to what I can find out from the file system re: the state of the file.

Other ideas welcome. Hopefully I'll get the time to dig a little deeper here.

03-26-2012, 08:13 AM

I'm looking into having a twitter feed update during a live tricaster production.

I was wondering if you had any luck trying to do this?

03-26-2012, 08:34 AM
Hi Fin3r - I did put together a quick and dirty Python script to poll an RSS feed and produce an XML file for datalink. Not pretty, but it worked..

Of course, now I'll need to find it. I'll dig back into my backup for the show and see if I saved it there. (I considered it a throwaway since I would like to do something more comprehensive, so didn't really focus on preserving it.)

If you message me directly with what you would like, I'll see what I can do to help you - no promises, but a good faith effort...


03-26-2012, 08:47 AM
Use this URL in Datalink to access a Twitter account as an RSS feed.

http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name={screen name}

Replace {screen name} with the name of the Twitter account you want to be following.

For an example, my Twitter feed would be as follows:


After that, you should be able to get the Datalink fields in LiveText.
In my example below I'm using my own Twitter account in the name, QuakeBert.

%QuakeBert Twitter:1[title]%
would be the most recent feed
%QuakeBert Twitter:2[title]%
would be the second most recent feed and so on

03-26-2012, 08:50 AM
Excellent - Thanks!

03-29-2012, 10:42 AM

I was trying this out my self and noticed that only my postings were available. Is there a way to get the tweets for incoming posts from friends and outside parties?

I have a client that wants to have a live twitter feed during a seminar with the twitter results coming up on screen of people either at the event or watching the stream on line. When I play around with this I can only see what I post.


03-29-2012, 01:05 PM
I think you will need a Feed Aggregator to do something like this. What I found above was just from some online searching. As far as I can tell it might be limited to just showing your own feed of sent tweets.

03-31-2012, 09:39 PM
Okay, I think I found what you need to do this.

First, connect your Twitter account to the following web service

It will allow you to get your entire Twitter stream as an RSS feed. Once you get your Twitter account connected, open the RSS feed form the 'Cadmus' page. This is easy to do with IE7+ as there is an RSS icon in the command button bar and as I don't see an RSS button on the main webpage [see attached picture]. Copy this RSS feed URL into Datalink and the rest should work like I had listed in my above message.

I just tried this and I was able to see tweets in the RSS feed that were sent directly to me.