A playlist can have multiple videos and categories.

Categories and playlists on the Zype Platform
Search filters on the Zype Platform
Related playlists
Categories, playlists and your Roku app

Categories and playlists on the Zype Platform

As you make your way through the Zype Platform, you might have some questions about the differences between a playlist and a category. At the end of the day, both are used to return a set of videos, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. This blog post will look at categories and playlists and help you better understand how and when to use them.

What are playlists and how do I use them?

A playlist on the Zype Platform is a collection of videos that you assemble under a title. Common playlists might include: Trending Videos, Most Popular, Editor’s Choice, etc. Playlists are great for when you want to create and curate, by hand, a set of videos that might not fall under a specific category.

What are categories and how do I use them?

A category on the Zype Platform is a label that you can create and assign to any number of videos. Common categories for video content might include: Genre, Tag, Type, Season, Series, etc. Categories are more generic than playlists and can be mass assigned to videos in your Video Library.

I’m using the Zype Platform to create a Roku app. What is the difference for me?

Roku apps will treat categories and playlists the same, as they are both just a collection of videos. For an in-depth guide on how to create your Roku app, make sure you check out this blog post

Search filters on the Zype Platform

If you’ve been busy adding video content to the Zype Platform and creating playlists, you might be at the point where you’ve got a few pages of each. To help you better manage your content, we’ve added a set of filters to the videos and playlists pages:

video filtering

playlist filtering

The filter buttons let you select as many parameters for your search as you’d like. Each button has a dropdown you can use to select a value to search by. The default search options are the categories you’ve created for your site and “Active” (whether or not the video is marked as active). You can create and manage your categories here.

Once you’ve selected all of the filters you want to use, click the search button to see the results.

You can search by entering a search term, using the filters or both!

If the filter buttons are grayed out, that’s because you don’t have any videos or playlists yet.

Check out our previous blog post on defining categories and playlists, if you have questions about getting started.

Let’s say you’ve already got some video content on your Zype destination site, but now you’d like to recommend additional content based on what your users are watching. The solution we’ve implemented is called related videos. In this post, we’ll be covering how to create a playlist of related videos that are recommended to a viewer based on what the video they’re watching. Here’s an example of the finished product:

related playlist

The related videos section is automatically created for each video on your site, but if you’d like to be more specific about which videos are displayed there, follow along as we set up a playlist of related videos.

Setting up the playlist can be done from the admin portal. Navigate to the playlist section on the sidebar and and click “New Playlist”. Follow through the menu and create a playlist (make sure it’s active!).

playlist navigation

How can I choose which videos are shown in the playlist?

This is an easy one. Use the “Add Videos” button to select which videos will appear under the related videos section.

add videos navigation

How can I choose which videos display the playlist?

Choosing the videos that will have your playlist displayed is done through the playlist edit screen. You can get there quickly by clicking on the name of your playlist here:

edit your playlist

Use our multiselector to search for the videos you want and click on them to move them into selected videos. Click “Save Changes” when you’re done.

choose related videos

Let’s confirm

You should take a second and make sure everything is going according to plan. Go to your site and view a video that you added to selected videos in the previous step. Below the video, under the section “Related Videos”, you should see the playlist you just created and the first few videos you added. You can also update any of your current playlists to act as a playlist of related videos by following these same steps.

Check our previous post on how to set up your Rails App with the Zype Gem!

Categories, playlists and your Roku app

We aim to make the development process of a Roku Channel as easy as possible using our Zype Roku SDK. To do this, our sample Roku Channel focuses on three major components of the Zype Platform: playlists, categories, and Zobjects. Since the playlists, categories, and Zobjects are being pulled into your Roku Channel using the Zype API, they are all editable using the Zype Platform and do not require republishing to the Roku Channel Store to make a change.

We will be using screenshots from our sample Roku Channel to highlight what you can do.

playlists and categories

Featured playlist

The first slider of the home screen is the featured playlist. This can be any playlist that you have created using the Zype Platform. Note, only Zype videos will play.


Below the first slider are category sliders. Note that the category sliders and the featured playlist slider are identical. The only difference is how we are calling the Zype API to return us the videos in each slider. On the Zype Platform, you select a category that you want to iterate through for the rest of the home screen. In the picture above, we are iterating through the category ‘Genre.’ Thus, the first category slider is the ‘Genre’ with a value of ‘Adventure’ and the second category slider will be the next ‘Genre’, which is ‘Comedy’.


Zobjects in video detail

You also have the option to provide additional metadata about your videos in the video detail screen. You select one Zobject to be above the description and one Zobject to be below the description. In the example above, we selected the Zobject ‘Actor’ to be above the description and it lists the actors that we have associated with the video. Similarly, we selected the Zobject ‘Director’ to be below the description.