Under review

Importing photo captions in RSS syndication imports

Aidian 7 years ago in BLOX CMS updated 7 years ago 7

Have any of you folks had issues importing captions along with photos in RSS syndication imports to your sites? If so how have you dealt with it.

I'm importing photos via the media:rss standard but the photos don't have EXIF data, so I need solution for importing caption & other metadata - hopefully one that doesn't involve writing a script to embed metadata to every image.

Can't imagine we're the first newsroom to have this issue...


You'd think, but no...not supported by TownNews...I shoulda mentioned that!

This is extremely important and I am very surprised that of all the papers TownNews services, nobody has mentioned the inability to pull captions via RSS.

The syndicator tool is a star piece of tech that is highlighted in the sales call when we purchased the software. But nobody says that image captions are not supported via RSS. That pretty much kills any ability to automate it.

The syndicator tool is hamstrung if you have a site that requires photos (we try to have photos with all stories) and you can't pull photos through it with captions.

Hey Aidian, Can you provide more specifics of what you're trying to do? Are you working with a specific RSS feed from an external website? Or are you working with another BLOX site? If so, can you provide the URL you're working with? (You can email me at cmasters@townnews.com). Thanks!

We're importing articles from an affiliated newsroom via an RSS feed and the Blox syndication tool. I'm currently scraping the feed and reformatting it to the media:rss spec - which is what I was told to use by TN support. You can see a sample feed at http://yh-r.com/scripts/traffic/daily/testfeed.xml

My problem is that when I import the image alone it works OK - article is imported along with image, but no caption. When I add a <media:description> tag with the caption to the article the import doesn't work at all. If I can't bring in the caption, I can't bring in the image, and if I have to manually upload the image I might as well manually import the article.

My two options at this point seem to be to either 1) download each image, write the caption info in as EXIF info, and then upload it to a new URL and use that URL in the feed or 2) rewrite the entire feed as NITF and import via the Blox 'jobs' control -- assuming I can figure out a way to automate the import.

Both of those options are a total pain and bad practice - involving fragile code that'll break the minute anyone changes anything.

TN support says they've opened a feature request to get the <media:description> tag supported, but I don't know how long that'll take, and I'm guessing this has been a problem for other newsrooms, and wanted to see how they'd resolved it.

I tested that URL on dev with the setting of 'articles with child media' set. I pulled one of the articles in manually - More Washington cases of deadly birth defect, but rate may be lower - and it loaded with a child image asset which was named the same with a caption of: Dr. Lisa Galbraith, who works in Prosser, Benton County, was the first to deliver babies with anencephaly, a rare and fatal birth defect. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times). That appeared to match this block:

<media:content type="image/jpeg" url="http://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/5c63e51e-6963-11e6-a22e-f55a75bfd7c3-1560x1040.jpg">

<media:description type="plain">

Dr. Lisa Galbraith, who works in Prosser, Benton County, was the first to deliver babies with anencephaly, a rare and fatal birth defect. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times)




thanks for checking this out....I'm looking at the exact same article pulled in via the syndication tool and I'm not seeing an image at all. Can you help me understand what the problem is? You can reply out of band at aholder@yakimaherald.com so we don't clutter up this board.