Give it a REST: iTitle/uTitle linking (oh and you can comment on Vimeo vids in uTitle)

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In Brian Kelly’s Captioned Videos of IWMW 2010 Talks post last month he had three suggestions for improvement: searchable collections; a ‘RESTful interface’ to link to specific tweets in the video; and better cross browser support.

In my last post on iTitle I highlighted 97% of desktop web browsers can now enjoy iTitle Twitter Subtitling – Vimeo edition. With one down I thought I would have a look at providing some additional ways to link to specific parts of captioned videos.

So first filtering tweets. I’ve added an optional url parameter ‘q’ which can be used on both iTitle and uTitle. So to link to Chris Sexton’s ‘odd feeling’ is http://hawksey.info/ititle/v/?id=13542753&q=odd%20feeling

If you try this link you’ll see the list of tweets is filtered, which is great, but … clicking on it doesn’t always jump to the appropriate part of the video. This is a limitation of the JW Player and Vimeo videos which isn’t able to jump to parts of the video which haven’t been buffered yet (not a problem for YouTube video mind you because the way they are served is different).

Another addition to both YouTube clips on iTitle and uTitle is another options to set a ‘start’ time (hh:mm:ss) within the link url (this was suggested by Dries Bultynck when uTitle was launched). So to cue the uTitle video on Using YouTube for audio/video feedback for students at 3 minutes would be http://www.rsc-ne-scotland.org.uk/mashe/utitle/u.php?v=lQ0KclIhfl8&start=00:03:00.

So I think this ticks off the ‘RESTful interface’ for iTitle and uTitle.

In a follow-up post by Brian (Twitter Captioned Videos Gets Even Better) there was a useful discussion started by Anthony Leonard about whether the lag between a tweet being sent and what was being said in the video clip was distracting. As there are a number factors which can effect the amount of time between starting to type a tweet and hit the send button synchronising both streams isn’t easy.

Tony Hirst’s then commented that the auto-mark feature he suggested for uTitle which timestamps a tweet as soon as you start typing could be modified for a ‘live event tweeting’ client. This got me thinking:

Once I include Vimeo support for uTitle you could upload a blank video which is say 90 minutes long. Load up the video in uTitle and when the session starts hit play. Then use the uTitle interface for making tweets (the Tony Hirst patent pending auto-mark feature creating timestamps when the tweeter starts typing).

Once you are done uses Vimeo’s feature of being able to replace existing videos to swap the blank video with the actual video of the event which will have the same video ID.

At this point you could either parse out the results into iTitle using the csv import feature or even cooler distribute a link to the uTitle clip so that other people can add their own comments.

[I know what I'm going to be doing tonight ;-)]

It took more than one night but uTitle now also supports Vimeo videos. I wonder if this method will be used for IWMW11 …

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