PRX.org 3.11 released

On Friday night we released version 3.11 of PRX.org.

The biggest user-facing enhancement to PRX.org with this release is the addition of popup audio players to the pieces and playlists on the home page (and other pages) of our site.  This allows users to listen to audio right from the home page of the site and to keep the audio playing in the popup player while browsing other pages.  It is our first step in the creation of an embeddable widget audio player that we hope to make available to producers.  This would allow producers to embed their pieces on their own websites and promote them on social networks like Facebook.

There is also an exciting change behind the scenes.  In this release we’ve added support for single sign-on to PRX.org from our extended family of PRX.org apps.  For many PRX.org users this won’t change anything.  But station members using the Networks app to share content or the Billboard app to manage programming and schedule data can now have a single username for all of the sites.

We hope you enjoy the enhancements!

Joining PRX

beccaOne month after joining PRX as a Web Application Developer, I’m happy to report that I’m having a great time, learning rapidly, and already beginning to make some improvements on prx.org.  I’m Rebecca Nesson, PRX’s newest technical staff member.

The PRX offices are only a short distance from my old digs in the Computer Science department at Harvard from which I am receiving a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics on Thursday.  (Really, who doesn’t want computers to learn to speak English?)  And I feel right at home sharing space with the Berkman Center where I studied cyberlaw when I was a law student at HLS and worked on educational technology as a research fellow after I graduated.  After many years in academia I wanted to work in a production environment where I could improve my engineering skills.  But I didn’t want to go just anywhere.  It had to be an organization that was doing something really cool.  Enter PRX…

PRX is leading the way in helping public radio to flourish at a time when many other forms of media are struggling to remain current.  In my view, the key to our success is figuring out how to streamline the best parts of what public radio already does and envision new ways that public radio can serve and grow its audience.  We do that by building the technology to make it happen.  As a programmer at PRX my work is to build the media environment I want to live in.  That is cool.

In the near future I’ll be contributing to PRX by working on the core web application.  As I get more experienced here I hope to be able to bring some of my computational expertise to bear on our technology and to help integrate PRX content creatively into online educational experiences.

When I’m not at PRX I’m generally hanging out with my family, which has grown from two to four people in the last year and a half.  I’m also a big supporter of local farming and I volunteer as a board member at Waltham Fields Community Farm.