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Author David Luebbert
Posted 4/18/08; 1:54:17 AM
Msg# 5455 (top msg in thread)
Prev/Next 5454/5456
Reads 68484

Google video index points + the OPML Editor = Video Index Outlines

When videos are served from Google's website, it is possible to craft URLs that start a video at a particular time index inside of a video. Google introduced this feature a two years ago but I just recently caught on to what they had done.

. Dave Winer's OPML Editor application, whiich runs on Macintosh and Windows machines, is an outline processor. Documents that are created by the OPML Editor are in a outline document format called the Outline Processor Markup Language, abbreviated OPML, and are given a .opml tag on computer file systems.

 I helped Dave produce the first Mac version of this application. I was very interested in the music applications that Dave's project could enable, and decided to lend a hand.

The SongTrellis Excerpt Service is able to create OPML indexes that point to musical events that occur in an excerpt. The work I did with Dave made it possible to create this feature of the SongTrellis site.

When text is recorded at the lowest level of an outline (ie. has no text recorded below It at a lower outline level), it is possible to attach links to that text. A special link icon is shown in front of such linked subheadings within the editor.

Clicking on the link icon in from of linked text causes that link's URL to be sent to a web browser, with a browser being launched if one is not active.

Using the Google Video and OPML Editor capabilities together, it's possible to write an outline using the OPML Editor, whose subheadings describe interesting moments within a video performance. By attaching appropriate video playing llinks to those subheadings, we can create an OMPL index outline that allows us to navigate precisely within a long video to all the moments described by our index.

The link creation process goes like this: first, by scrolling around in the video player provided by, we find and record the start times where the interesting moments referred to begin within the video.

Following that, for each subheading description, we select a subheading, execute a command to Add Link, paste the URL text that launches the video into the Add Link text edit field and add the time specification that corresponds the subheading to the end of the video URL within the text field. Finally we complete the link creation task for that subhead. If for example you wished to start the video at the moment that plays 7 min. 14 sec. past the beginning of the video, you would add the text "#7m14s" to the end of the URL.

 If you later clicked on the subheading which is storing this URL, the video we are asking to play will be loaded into the Google video player and will be pre-scrolled to the 7 minute 14 second mark.

I've published a screencast that demos how to use this kind of media index outline. In this screencast, I click on linked outline subheadings in an OPML document that I prepared to launch windows that play a music video starting at different interesting moments within a performance. The subheading text I've typed describes the video scene that will be launched when you click on the subheading.

The screencast URL is:

Later today, I hope to make a new screencast which demonstrates how to download and setup a new copy of the OPML Editor on a computer, and then show how to use that to create an OPML Media Index Outline document.

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Last update: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 at 8:32 PM.