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For the last several years, RadioTimes have been providing data to the XMLTV community. It’s relied on by the many users of software PVRs, such as MythTV and SageTV, as well as some who have customised their hardware PVRs to get better listings data.
From this week MetaBroadcast will be taking over responsibility for the maintenance and support of the RadioTimes feed for XMLTV on an ongoing basis. RadioTimes are still kindly providing the listings data, but they thought it best the feed be generated by us, from our global index of video and audio data Atlas, so that it carries on for as long as needed, and hopefully receives even more love across time.
First thing to say is don’t worry :) The feed will remain at the same URL for now, and we have been working hard to provide it from our systems in exactly the same format. Most things will continue to work as they do now, though you may notice some differences in programme titles, descriptions, genres and episode numbers. This is because we’re using the same data as on the new RadioTimes website and this has some editorial differences to the old feed. Nothing should break unless you are using the RadioTimes choices and film ratings. That content is not currently covered in the Atlas model, but we’re keen to understand how many people use it and, in general, work with everyone who uses the data to further improve it over time.
Second thing to know is we’re committed to the XMLTV community. We’d like your thoughts on how we can make it easier to access and process the data. Is it time we move from RadioTimes' tilde delimited format to another, more appropriate longer term? What’s missing from the feed that you’d like to see? How can we make it better? From now on, we’re listening to you, as well as hosting all these conversations.
Third thing and last, if you’re a developer and would like to work with us on improving the feed, please get in touch on the discussion group for Atlas. Atlas is an open source project and we’d love you to contribute, be it ideas or code. The group is also the best place to report any problems with the feed. We hope there won’t be any, but it’s good to have a way to let us know how you’re getting along.
In fact, we have already benefitted from testing and advice from XMLTV maintainer Nick Morrott and we’d like to thank him for the help he has given us in making sure the feed works with XMLTV. Any remaining bugs are wholly our fault though and if you find one, let us know and we’ll fix it as soon as we can.
All of us here at MetaBroadcast are incredibly excited to be getting involved with such a vibrant and innovative community of tv mavens. We look forward to seeing what we can do together!
We’re making this announcement in partnership with RadioTimes. Their blog post is here.Download as PDF