Omeka, Youtube and OKAPI - What now?

Hi all,
I'm investigating the use of Omeka to create a collaborative digital storytelling portfolio of student work, however I am unclear about its support of embedded multimedia and youtube links.

Ultimately, I envision a platform that can encapsulate a youtube clip with narrative text, photos, meta data and allow for commenting. Similar to a blog, but without the inherent chronology.

I love Omeka's design philosophy and was impressed by the OKAPI revision. It's actually exactly what I'm looking for, however it seems as if it's no longer supported, and embedding youtube/flash in ver 1.1 seems a bit ambiguous.

Any suggestions on where I go from here? Will Omeka support my needs or does more development still need to take place to incorporate more multimedia interactivity?

Although I'm not much of a programmer, I can definitely appreciate the effort that has gone into the backend of the system - quite phenomenal!

Any advice/recommendations are highly appreciated!


University of Richmond

Hi Ken,

The OKAPI plugin package was developed by an independent web developer who worked with the Open Knowledge and Public Interest group at UC-Berkeley. They submitted it to our plugin repository and they would be responsible for updating it if they choose to do so.
Here is the blog post about the OKAPI package with links to contact information

Having said that, individual movies can be saved as Omeka items that are tagged and contain metadata. As long as your site visitors have the Quicktime plugin enabled in their browsers (most people do), anyone should be able to view movies with the QT player in an Omeka site.

Also, YouTube movies and different types of embedded mashups can be inserted into a SimplePage.

It's not perfect, but it's workable if you want to give it a go.

Good luck!

Hi Sheila, Thanks for the prompt response! Quicktime files could work, however with the YouTube method, the students would own the data stream and could appropriate it for other personal learning environments, like their own blog - not just our portfolio. I played with the simple page plug-in, however it doesn't seem to categorize the data like an item. Its just an additional page in the navigation (similar to Wordpress pages). I envision about 50+ digital stories this year and the Simple Page method might not meet my needs.

In the OKAPI version, it looks like the video is embedded as an item:

and can be organized and interacted with, accordingly.

I installed the OKAPI version, but it resulted in the following error when I tried to modify the theme:

Warning: file_put_contents() [function.file-put-contents]: Filename cannot be empty in /omeka1/application/libraries/Omeka/Logger.php on line 68

After searching Google for similar issues, I stumbled upon this:

I'll try to touch base with OKAPI's authors for resolve, but whether we wind up using Omeka or not, thanks to you, your colleagues and GMU for this wonderful contribution to the field!


Also forgot to add, I'm also receiving this error in the item that contains the Youtube embed code:

Warning: strrpos() [function.strrpos]: Offset is greater than the length of haystack string in /omeka1/application/helpers/Functions.php on line 1312

Maybe its just may lack of PHP knowledge. :(

Adding embedded external videos to Items should not be difficult. You might add a custom field to the Items metadata list called "External Multimedia" or something. Then fill it in with the embed code provided by YouTube or, etc. Make sure you check the Use HTML checkbox. Though we haven't done it yet with Items, we did embed YouTube and Flickr slide shows inside the exhibit pages at Digital Amherst. To get the look and placement of the OKAPI package you'll have to edit the theme PHP and CSS files.

kwarren, what version of Omeka are you using? I we have already fixed the bug you mentioned in the latest release of Omeka.

Hi Will - My apologies for the delayed response, we are using the latest version of Omeka and were able to get everything working as planned. Thanks for your help everyone!