HowTo: Use PicLens and other MediaRSS Clients for your own Website (create MediaRSS with LINQ to XML)

This blogpost is related to the "RSS XLINQ" post – but this time the result will be cooler ;).

About this post
This post is about the "MediaRSS" standard and how you can use it for your own website. If you have never heard of it – never mind. But maybe you have heard of a really cool Firefox Plugin called "PicLens".


"PicLens" is a incredible surface for some internet services, like YouTube, Google picture search, Flickr or Amazon:

This is the Amazon-Surface:


Media RSS
The Piclens guys have implemented the "MediaRSS" standard – that means: Each site with an MediaRSS can be viewed in Piclens. 
If you are a webmaster, you should take a look at this site. We created in the last post an RSS feed with XLinq – MediaRSS shouldn´t be much harder to code:


We have the same project files – only the RSS generation must be changed:

        XNamespace media = "";
        XNamespace atom = "";
        public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)

            XDocument document = new XDocument(
                                    new XDeclaration("1.0", "utf-8", "yes"),
                                    new XElement("rss",
                                        new XAttribute("version", "2.0"),
                                        new XAttribute(XNamespace.Xmlns + "media", media),
                                        new XAttribute(XNamespace.Xmlns + "atom", atom),
                                        new XElement("channel", this.CreateElements())

            context.Response.ContentType = "text/xml";

        private IEnumerable<XElement> CreateElements()
            List<XElement> list = new List<XElement>();

            for(int i = 1; i < 100; i++)
                XElement itemElement = new XElement("item",
                                            new XElement("title", i),
                                            new XElement("link", ""),
                                            new XElement(media + "thumbnail", 
                                                new XAttribute("url", "" + i + ".png")),
                                            new XElement(media + "content",
                                                new XAttribute("url", "" + i + ".png"))

            return list;

This time we need 2 XNamespaces – "media" and "atom" are need to create a valid MediaRSS:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:media="" xmlns:atom="">

These namespaces must be added by using the XAttribute class. The syntax is in my point of view a bit to complex, but I didn´t  find a better way. 

The source code above is everything you need to create a "simple" MediaRSS – there are some other elements supported by piclens – look at the Guide for more information.


We created the RSS auto-detection in the last blogpost. Piclens can now find the MediaRSS elements and show us the pictures on the "Wall" (the Piclens-Button glow if it find a MediaRSS Feed on the site) :


If you have several pictures on your site – publish a MediaRSS Feed. It´s very easy and it´s an open standard (Specification @ Yahoo) – Piclens is just one MediaRSS Client (but today the client with the best surface).

[ Download Source Code ]

PS: I use my german blog as the picture source – please don´t abuse this example (traffic :( ) ;)

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