Using the Zoom API to deal with webinar panelists

In response to the pandemic my school is using Zoom Webinars for various performances. Our student Improv group has done a number of performances. The cast all need to be “panelists” in Zoom parlance, and when you duplicate a Webinar it does not duplicate the panelists. That’s a pain since there are a lot of panelists, and for each you need a name and e-mail address.

I finally got tired of dealing with it and spent a few minutes figuring out the Zoom API. If I ever have a little more time, I’ll make a Google Apps Manager (GAM) knock off that I’ll call ZAM! In the meantime, perhaps someone else will find this helpful.

First, Zoom has good documentation of its API. To start, you will need to build an app to get credentials. For my scripts, I’m using JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for authentication. I found this post in the Zoom Dev Forums helpful as a starting point.

Get information on a Zoom user

Here is a short Python script to get information on a user to give a little idea on how to use the API.

import jwt   # pip3 install pyjwt --user
import http.client
import datetime
import json
import sys

api_key = '********' # replace with credentials from
api_sec = '********' # your app in Zoom Marketplace

# generate JWT
payload = {
'iss': api_key,
'exp': datetime.datetime.utcnow() + datetime.timedelta(hours=2)
}

jwt_encoded = str(jwt.encode(payload, api_sec), 'utf-8')


# call API: get user list
conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection("api.zoom.us")
headers = {
'authorization': "Bearer %s" % jwt_encoded,
'content-type': "application/json"
}
email = str(sys.argv[1])
conn.request("GET", "/v2/users/" +  email, headers=headers)
res = conn.getresponse()
response_string = res.read().decode('utf-8')

user_json = json.loads(response_string)
json_formatted_str = json.dumps(user_json, indent=2)
print(json_formatted_str)

You can use this like this:

# python3.7 zoom-user.py user@domain.com

{
  "id": "xxxxxxxxxxx",
  "first_name": "John",
  "last_name": "Smith",
  "email": "user@domain.com",
  "type": 2,
  "role_name": "Admin",
  "pmi": 111111111,
  "use_pmi": false,
  "personal_meeting_url": "https://myschool.zoom.us/j/111111111?pwd=UmVTASDFc3pXUTNpOFZNb34A09",
  "timezone": "America/Chicago",
  "verified": 0,
  "dept": "",
  "created_at": "2020-04-13T02:42:31Z",
  "last_login_time": "2020-05-22T19:38:06Z",
  "last_client_version": "4.6.20561.0413(mac)",
  "pic_url": "https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/a-/AOh14GgQadfagrA8l4U9fhsbZ1hOTMSvDxE3gGQ",
  "host_key": "111861",
  "jid": "3timqwabrvs00ayurhg_ha@xmpp.zoom.us",
  "group_ids": [
    "qCpDwoo5T1qS4cn8RSy8rQ"
  ],
  "im_group_ids": [],
  "account_id": "fhsbZ1cOTMSvDxE3g",
  "language": "en-US",
  "phone_country": "",
  "phone_number": "",
  "status": "active",
  "job_title": "",
  "location": ""
}

Note: I’ve redacted/change all of the ID and info above for obvious reasons.

Getting a list of all webinars panelists

This Python script lists all of the panelist names and email addresses.

import jwt   # pip3 install pyjwt --user
import http.client
import datetime
import json
import sys

api_key = '********' # replace with credentials from
api_sec = '********' # your app in Zoom Marketplace

# generate JWT
payload = {
'iss': api_key,
'exp': datetime.datetime.utcnow() + datetime.timedelta(hours=2)
}

jwt_encoded = str(jwt.encode(payload, api_sec), 'utf-8')

# call API: get webinar panelists
conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection("api.zoom.us")
headers = {
'authorization': "Bearer %s" % jwt_encoded,
'content-type': "application/json"
}
webinarid = str(sys.argv[1])
conn.request("GET", "/v2/webinars/" + webinarid + "/panelists", headers=headers)
res = conn.getresponse()
response_string = res.read().decode('utf-8')
response_json = json.loads(response_string)

for panelist in response_json["panelists"]:
    print(panelist["name"],  panelist["email"])

Here is an example of the script in action listing panelists for webinar id 91119118113:

# python3.7 zoom-webinar-panelists.py 91119118113
John Smith jsmith@domain.com
Jane Smith jane.smith@anotherdomain.com

Adding Panelists to a Webinar

Next is a Python script to add a panelist to a webinar. It takes the webinar ID, panelist name and email address as parameters.

import jwt   # pip3 install pyjwt --user
import http.client
import datetime
import json
import sys

api_key = '********' # replace with credentials from
api_sec = '********' # your app in Zoom Marketplace

# generate JWT
payload = {
'iss': api_key,
'exp': datetime.datetime.utcnow() + datetime.timedelta(hours=2)
}

jwt_encoded = str(jwt.encode(payload, api_sec), 'utf-8')

# call API: add panelist
conn = http.client.HTTPSConnection("api.zoom.us")
headers = {
'authorization': "Bearer %s" % jwt_encoded,
'content-type': "application/json"
}

num_arguments = len(sys.argv)-1
webinar = str(sys.argv[1])
email = sys.argv[num_arguments]
name = ""
i = 2
while i < num_arguments:
    name = name + sys.argv[i] + " "
    i = i+1
name = name.rstrip()
print(name, email,webinar)
body = "{\"panelists\":[{\"name\":\"" + name + "\",\"email\":\"" + email + "\"}]}"

webinar = str(sys.argv[1])
conn.request("POST", "/v2/webinars/" + webinar + "/panelists", body, headers=headers)
res = conn.getresponse()
response_string = res.read().decode('utf-8')

Here is an exampling of using the script to add “John Q. Public” john.q.public@domain.com to webinar id 91119118113:

python3.7 zoom-webinar-panelists-add.py 91119118113 John Q. Public john.q.public@domain.com

{"id":"91119118113","updated_at":"2020-05-25T23:25:22Z"}

Closing Thoughts

Using these ideas in these two scripts, I can easily copy panelists from one webinar to another. Hopefully this is enough to get you started using the Zoom API. As I mentioned at the start, I think it would be awesome to have a tool like GAM but for Zoom. I’d much rather manage Zoom from the command line.

Virtual Graduations & End of Year Events in the time or Coronavirus: Stream Deck

In a previous post, I mentioned that I used Wirecast to do live video production of events I broadcast using Zoom. Normally, I’d like to have someone helping me, but that’s much harder when everyone is remote. Fortunately, I found the Elgato StreamDeck to help. It’s a USB hardware device with a bunch of buttons. Each button can trigger an action. Each button acts as a little screen that can be customized. There is a rich ecosystem of plugins for Strem Deck that make it work with other tools.

Here is what it looks like from a recent production:

Most of the blue buttons are clips in Wirecast and the bottom left button is the “play” button for Wirecast. The little red dot on the top left clip shows that it is live. A green dot on another clip shows that it is “next.” I really like the Wirecast plugin for Stream Deck since it gives feedback on what is playing (the red/green dots).

On the bottom right are five buttons that control Zoom (focus/ turn on/off webcam, turn on/off mic, show participants window, show chat window). They are based on the work of LostDomain and make use of Keyboard Maestro, and it’s plug-in for StreamDeck.

The black buttons are for when we went live and I muted the virtual webcam so that the active speaker became the live speaker.

What is nice is that I can control Wirecast while it is in the background and I’m managing Zoom.

Here is another picture of the StreamDeck from another production:

For this production I didn’t use the virtual webcam and instead played videos in QuickTime. The video quality seemed to be a bit better when sharing my screen rather than using a virtual webcam, and video quality was really important for this production.

The two columns of buttons on the right are mostly to control Zoom (except the bottom two). I added a shortcut to the “Share” button and “Record” (again, making use of Keyboard Maestro). The bottom right is a clock that shows the time (including seconds).

All of the other buttons are AppleScripts to control QuickTime Player and Preview. One of the challenges of using QuickTime to play videos in front of an audience (Zoom or in-person) is that they can see you futzing around opening the video and going full-screen. Using AppleScript can really minimize this, especially when triggering it from the StreamDeck.

Here is a little AppleScript to open and play fullscreen a Quicktime video (based on https://gist.github.com/biojazzard/2829190):

set unixpath to "/Users/ssimon/Desktop/PA Night Long.mp4"
set macfile to (POSIX file unixpath)
tell application "QuickTime Player"
	activate
	delay 0.5
	open file macfile
	set looping of document 1 to false
	--FullScreen
	--FullScreen
	--set presenting of document 1 to true
	--GetBounds
	present document 1
	play document 1
	
end tell

I also wanted to be able to pause the video:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
	activate
	delay 0.5
	pause document 1
end tell

And to play:

tell application "QuickTime Player"
	activate
	delay 0.5
	present document 1
	play document 1
end tell

I also wanted to close a video (QuickTime Player will open additional videos in tabs when in fullscreen):

tell application "QuickTime Player"
	activate
	close document 4
end tell

You can also open a document in Preview in fullscreen:

set unixpath to "/Users/ssimon/Desktop/roman.jpg"
set macfile to (POSIX file unixpath)

tell application "Preview"
	activate
	open file macfile
	tell application "System Events"
		keystroke "f" using {control down, command down}
	end tell
end tell

The end result is that nobody sees me moving my mouse around to control QuickTime Player or Zoom and I can rapidly play a video.

For the show, I launched the video (via a StreamDeck button / AppleScript), immediately paused it (via a StreamDeck button / AppleScript), used the Stream Deck “Share” button for Zoom to open the screen sharing window, picked the QuickTime Player window, checked “Optimize for full-screen video clip” and “Share computer sound”, and then the “Share Screen” button. Then I hit “play” (via a StreamDeck button / AppleScript). When the video was over, I stopped sharing my screen and let the speaker talk, and when he was done, I repeated the process all over for the next video.

In the future, I’ll probably change the AppleScript not to play the video and leave it paused, to simplify the process.

I haven’t had a chance to play with it, but there is a mobile version of the StreamDeck software for Android and iOS which looks like it could be a cheaper alternative to buying a StreamDeck.