Introducing TimeJump

Drop-in deep linking for audio and video podcasts.

Over the past 60+ episodes of ShopTalk, Chris and myself have amassed a lot of incriminating content. After a few requests, we decided it’d be helpful to our listeners to add the ability to deep link our episodes, modeled after the way YouTube handles deep linking. After we built it out for our own purposes, we decided to open source it so other podcasts can use it.

View the site Fork it on Github

The result is a tiny jQuery JavaScript plugin that podcasts hosts can just drops-in their existing site. Even elderly, bewildered, non-technical podcast hosts can probably figure it out.

How does it work?

Simply include the script at the bottom of your episode pages. TimeJump will auto-detect the t (time) query parameter in your URL and attempt to fast-forward listeners to that timestamp.

Supported URL formats include:

http://mypodca.st/2004/09/first-episode/?t=1h23m45s
http://mypodca.st/2004/09/first-episode/?t=1m23s
http://mypodca.st/2004/09/first-episode/?t=1:23

It usually works. iOS is being persnickety and I’ve noticed the _h__m__s and __m__s format seems to be more bulletproof to URL escaping (when Facebook sharing, etc). It doesn’t work with all HTML5 audio/video players but I’m pleased to say it works with my favorite player, MediaElement.js.

Next step: Octothorpes

Coming soon we’ll be releasing # (hash) URL support so you can link to landmarks in the same episode without refreshing the page. It’s essentially the same API, just one character different, but has different powers.

http://mypodca.st/2004/09/first-episode/#t=1h23m45s

I’m already running a beta on the ATX Web Show, feel free to demo it.

Beyond that, I hope it really catches on. It would be real nice to see other podcasts provide a little more value to their listeners who might want to cite or re-listen to a portion of an episode.

Excitingly, one of my favorite podcasts The Changelog has already implemented TimeJump. If you host a podcast, and you implemented TimeJump, reach out to me on Twitter and I’ll add you to the list on the Github page.

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