Overview

A pod is a 65-second promotional video, and all associated metadata, that is assigned to a time slot in the PBS KIDS 24/7 live stream. Examples of pod content could be sponsorship messages, station branding messages, previews of a show or any assortment of messaging that your station wants to highlight. 

Each pod can be scheduled to appear in your linear stream using rules. If multiple pods are scheduled for the same time on the same day, you will encounter a conflict

Specifications

The following are the specifications for your video and audio files.

Please pay careful attention to what is listed here. If you deviate from the following specs your file may not successfully ingest.

Video

Audio

  • File Formats: MPEG-4 (.mp4) and MOV (.mov).
  • File size: 250MB (Larger files need to be uploaded through Dropbox or a URL hosted on station's local server.)
  • File length: 65 seconds
  • Total Stream BitRate: 15 Mbps Video Stream
  • Codec: AVC (H.264)
  • Frame Size 16/9: 1920 x 1080

  • Frame Rate: 29.97 fps

  • Pixel Aspect Ratio 1:1 (square pixels)
  • Scan Type: Progressive
  • Video Stream BitRate: 14808 Kbps

  • Video Stream BitRate Mode: VBR 
  • Codec: AAC
  • Audio Stream BitRate: 192 Kbps

  • Audio Stream BitRate Mode: CBR
  • Number of Audio Channels: 2 (Stereo)

  • Audio Channel's Positions: L, R

  • Sampling Rate: 48 KHz
  • Bit Depth: 16 bits

Adding content

There are three ways you can add content to your pod:

  1. FTP a publicly available asset file then insert the URL into URL field in the Source section of the pod console
  2. Upload a file
    1. Drag-and-drop the file from your desktop
    2. Use Dropbox to upload large files
  3. Create a spot in the AIM console - this option will be available mid-October 2021

Video files will be stored and identified by the file name and the file name is editable.

Errors

Each upload option could result in an error if any of the following occurs: 

  • Video file is too short (does not reach 65 seconds)
  • Video file is too long (exceeds 65 seconds)
  • Video file is corrupted
  • Video file is in unsupported format

Metadata

The following metadata is associated with each pod:

FieldDefinitionRequired
Pod NameThe title of your pod(tick)
SourceThe URL or file that contains your interstitial content. Files must be .mp4 or .mov less than than 250MB. Learn how to add larger files(tick)
40-character Content ID#12 alpha-numeric characters; some station use older or unique IDs that have fewer characters; we should not validate the number of character. Single video files can have extra content IDs and be concatenated. Can be ISCI Code/Ad ID :: http://ad-id.org/(error)
Client Name(s)Used for reporting. Typically the name of the organization the spot represents. Example: Northwestern Energy(error)
Element ID NumberAn ID that keeps track of underwriters and funders. Example: UI2684753-U. Element IDs must be unique. If you do not add an Element ID, one is automatically added for you when processing is complete.(error)
Expiration DateA field used exclusively for metadata. This field does not determine when a pod will expire. Learn how to delete a pod(error)
Protrack ID(s)ProTrack is software that helps independent multimedia facilities acquire, schedule, monetize and distribute content. Learn more(error)
Spot NameThe name of the spot that was created in the AIM console. Learn more about spots(error)
Tape
(error)
Order
(error)
DurationThe duration of the pod (should be 65 seconds).(error)
DescriptionA brief description of the pod content.(error)

How to create a pod

You can create a pod in one of the following ways:

  • From any screen, click the Create New dropdown menu and click Pod (Figure 1.1).

Or

  • Click Pods in the top navigation menu (Figure 1.2).
  • From the main Pods screen, click Create New Pod (Figure 1.3).

Figure 1

  • In the Pod Name textbox, type a name for your pod (Figure 1.1). Be sure to name it something that indicates the purpose of the pod (e.g.: Promotion clip).
  • In the Source section, you can add your file in one of the following ways (Figure 2.2):
    1. Click the URL radio button if your file is hosted on a server. Type the full URL of your file in the URL textbox provided (e.g.: https://www.pbsdownload.org/download/aim.mp4)
    2. Click the radio button next to File to browse your computer for the file or drag and drop the pod file from a location on your computer. With this option, you can drag and drop the file into the dotted File textbox or click browse to search your computer for the file and add it. In this example, we are clicking browse to search our computer for a file.

If your video file exceeds 250MB, use Dropbox to add your video file to AIM. Learn how

Figure 2

  • Once the file has loaded, you can replace it with another, if necessary, by clicking Replace file (Figure 3.1).
  • In the Description textbox, type a short description of your pod content (Figure 3.2). This is optional but can be used as an organizational tool.
  • When finished, click Save Pod (Figure 3.3).

Figure 3

  • After uploading your file, the Status section displays Processing (Figure 4.1). This means that the file is being ingested and may take up to 15 minutes to complete.
  • A preview of the file appears on the right side (Figure 4.2). You can play the video while the file is processing.

Pods will not show up in the schedule until they are done processing. This is a safety feature to ensure that no blank airtime appears in your live stream.

Figure 4


  • After about a minute, refresh the page to update the status (Figure 5).
    • You can do this but using the browser's refresh button (Figure 5.1) or by accessing the refresh feature with a mouse click (Figure 5.2). These options vary by your operating system and browser. 

Figure 5

  • When the file has fully ingested, the Status section displays Ready (Figure 6.1). This indicates that your file has completely processed. Hover over the question mark icon to see additional details about the status of your ingest.
  • An Element ID is added automatically (Figure 6.2).
  • You can apply a new rule to the pod or add the pod to a new campaign from this screen (Figure 6.3). Learn about rules
  • Edit or delete the pod at any time using the buttons in the top right corner of the page (Figure 6.4).

Figure 6

How to edit a pod

Pods cannot be edited until processing is complete.

  • Click the blue Edit Pod button located in the top right corner of the pod (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Type any edits in the textboxes provided. If you have added a file as the source instead of a URL (Figure 2.1), click Replace file in the File section (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2

  • To add a new file, in the File section, drag a new file to the textbox or click browse to browse your computer for the new file (Figure 3).

Figure 3

  • When finished, click one of the Save Pod buttons located at the top or bottom right side of the page (Figure 4).

Figure 4

How to delete a pod

Pods cannot be deleted until processing is complete.

  • Open the pod you want to delete. In the upper right corner, click the red Delete Pod button (Figure 1).

Figure 1

  • Check that you are deleting the correct pod. If sure, click Delete Pod (Figure 2).

Figure 2

How to assign a pod to a campaign

Campaigns are bundles of pods that can be scheduled just like pods. The same pod can be assigned to different campaigns. You can assign pods to a campaign when you are creating a new campaign or editing an existing campaign.

  • After you've created your pods, create a new campaign or edit an existing campaign.
  • In the Add Pod section, begin typing the name of the first pod in the textbox provided. When the name of the pod appears, click to add it.
  • Click Add Another Pod to add all subsequent pods.
  • When finished, click Save Campaign.

How to remove a pod from a campaign

When removing pods from a campaign, they are simply being removed from the campaign, they are not being deleted from the system. 

  • To delete unwanted pods from a campaign, click Campaigns in the top navigation menu.
  • In the Add Pod(s) section, click the X to the right of the pod you want to remove.

How to use Dropbox to upload a video file

If your video file exceeds the 250MB size limit, you must add it to AIM either by adding the full URL of the file that is hosted on a server or use Dropbox to upload your file to AIM. Learn how to use Dropbox