Met to discuss a possible budget for capture of the remaining 33 videos in our list, and planning for the next stage. We'll put a budget together next week, and leave the second and third stages (transcription and a web interface) for the future.
Met with the gang to discuss next steps, and discussed using the TS video as a pilot, since we already have a transcription of it. Back in the office, contacted the AV folks to ask if they might actually have MP4s as part of the DVD production process, so we don't need to rip and re-encode the DVDs of recent recordings. Test-ripped one of our DVDs to MP4 using Handbrake -- there's a good 64-bit version. Took about an hour, and came up with a file less than 1GB. Still not small enough for the Web, though; I'll do another one next week aiming at a smaller video size, and see what I can get it down to.
SM has finished capturing 16 videos now, and has burned DVD archives from most of them. While she burns the remaining ones, she's working on transcribing the Shippey video. Greg stripped off the audio track, and I worked on it a bit to bring up the quality. It had a loud continuous hum which had to be removed, and the volume was pitifully low. After bringing it up a bit, I tried time-stretching it so it would run at typing speed, to make the transcription go more easily, but the results were pretty poor; squeaky artifacts are introduced as soon as you get above about a 30% increase in length. This might work better with higher-quality audio, or with a better set of tools (such as Sonar 7, which I've used at home to stretch multi-track audio data with some success), but in this case it didn't help much.
SM has finished about a quarter of the transcription, which is in plain text. When it's done, I'll use Transformer to convert it to a suitable format, probably XHTML based on what we're using for Vic Van Video, leaving gaps for the timings, and she'll go back through and add all the timings. Then we'll see what we can do about a Web version of the video, as a pilot.
So, now we have a working solution for labelling the disks. We did a quick, text-only test and it worked a treat. Took 16 minutes, though. I'll start working on a "look" this week.
The drive is external, using a Macallay housing (USB/Firewire) and a LG drive; we had to buy Toast 9 for doing the burning on the Mac. It appears as though the software that is needed is more like a printer driver, with the "front-end" being the same old crappy interface that they've been using for years to design stick-on labels. Clipart is dismal and the editing tool itself is basically MS Publisher v2. That said, I don't think one needs to us it - it looks like you can import TIFFs and use them.
The Hollister M4V being complete, we wanted to create a DVD from it. After getting it into iDVD, we discovered it was too large to fit on a single-layer DVD, so we created an iDVD project file and burned that to a DVD instead. Then we passed that to Greg F., who had a DL DVD disk, and burned it to DVD for us (and also made a nice cover for it). We now have two DVDs. It's definitely time to create the iDVD theme, before we burn too many more which will have to be re-created with a new theme when we get the LightScribe drive.
... for this.
Martin and I got a quick tour of iDVD from Greg F. and it looks like we have a winner with iMovie and iDVD. Here's what we think we can do:
1) capture from S-Video tape to disk with iMovie 8 and render to disk using the "Large" output filter (looks like H.264@720x540). This produces an m4v file (just a renamed mp4) of approximately 1GB for a 45-ish minute lecture.
2) import the m4v in to iDVD and add the m4v as supplementary data. This creates a regular DVD filesystem (VIDEO_TS and so forth) plus a regular m4v file, giving us an on-DVD archive!
3) transcode the large m4v to a more web-ready format. Say H.264@320x240 and about 15 fps or so. We can use MPEG Streamclip for that; it does batching as well.
iDVD also appears to provide the ability to create an "archive" version which actually archives the iDVD project, including all media, fonts, text files, photos etc. Not sure if we need that, but it will allow us to edit the DVD later if we need to. The app also lets us produce a disk image (.img file) of the DVD, which may be useful for the tape archive.
A really professional look can be achieved by creating a DVD sleeve and using a matching Lightscribe theme on the disc itself. A LaCie external dual-layer, Lightscribe DVD burner can be had for around 150CAD.
Set up this blog and did a tentative capture/render today with Sheryl using iMovie 8. If we can make iMovie work it will provide a very simple workflow. The limited output options may be a deciding factor, however.
I'm hoping that we can export H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) from iMovie and use it as the basis for producing a standard DVD, an archive file for tape and a web-ready version for use with a flash player. We should know by week's end whether we'll be using iMovie or FCP for the initial phase.
I've done a bit of work looking in to Flash as an alternative to QuickTime (as is used in the original, written by Mike) and it looks promising:
* We can create H.264 video (with an mp4 extension) and have a flash player play it back from the filesystem; the advantage being that we only need to create one web-ready file for playback in multiple players..
* Flash has pretty rich APIs for JS and ActionScript that we can use to blend video, text and extra content.
* Flash supports a subset of the W3 Candidate Recommendation for Timed Text which may be of use. Even if we don't rely on Flash for the captioning we can use the W3 standard for our data. EduTech wiki has an entry on the subject here.
* a free, CC licensed Flash player is available that appears to have a large user-base and an involved developer. Source is available.
- An example of the player using TT is here.
- A thread dealing with using the player in a PHP-based app is here.
- From the same site, a list of apps that can be used to produce captioning: MagPie (Windows, free), Subtitle Workshop (Windows, free), Captionate (Windows, 45USD). From the looks of it we might want to just stick with oXygen, or even roll our own web-based app to create captions.
This pilot project which will determine best practices for the digitizing, archiving and publishing of UVic's Lansdowne lecture series. The existing collection, primarily stored on videotape, will be digitized and archived in the first phase. The second phase will address the accessibility of the material to the general UVic population. The intent is to produce a web-based application that will allow users access to all of the lectures produced within the Faculty of Humanities.
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