The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 5/11/15

After initial online discussions with Caroline Cochrane, the Head of Information services, I visited the The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) on Thursday morning, 5th of November to meet up with colleagues to discuss how Clipper might be applied to research at the RCS. It is worth noting here that research in the context of the performing arts is often described as ‘practice-based’ or ‘practice-led’, with research not being so rigidly separated from teaching as in the rest of academia.

A standout feature of this meeting was the similarity in researcher requirements for managing their data in relation to journal publishing at the RCS to those at Roslin – this was a real turning point for the project I think. Many thanks to the RCS colleagues named below.

Present at the meeting were Hilary Jones, Marc Silberschatz and Marius Jugariu (their roles are described below.

Hilary Jones, is Lecturer in Voice and a member of ‘The Centre For Voice in Performance’ at the RCS and is director of the MEDEA project devoted to research into accents and dialects.

Marc Silberschatz, a digital researcher based in the Drama, Dance, Production and Screen Faculty and Coordinator for the Classical and Contemporary Text programme.

Marius Jugariu, is
Learning Technologist at RCS and is responsible for the MEDEA site as well as all other aspects of e-learning at the RCS – he’s a very busy guy!

It was yet another fascinating and very productive meeting here are the main points, with the main bullets being RCS staff questions and sub-bullets being my initial responses and thoughts

  • Can Clipper be integrated with Kaltura?
    • We think so – as long as we can find a way to resolve to the file locations
  • Can we have a start and an end point to be associated with an annotation? Rather than it just being linked to a particular point on the timeline? Have the option to have an annotation be able to play the resource for duration of the annotation.
    • Yes we think so – not sure if we have had this request before. Annotations seem to be a very fertile area for the imagination. So with assigning a duration to an annotation we are kind of looking at a ‘clip within a clip’. Which, when you think of it makes sense especially if the ‘parent’ Clip is quite long. This presents some interesting interface challenges.
    • It is possible that users might want the ‘best of both’ i.e. to pin an annotation to a particular point on a timeline and associate it with a duration – presumably a duration that includes the pinned point.
    • Taking this further it is also possible that users might want to pin the same annotation to more than one place in the timeline (say for similar events) and have different durations. This might take the form of a ‘copy and paste’ function for annotations – with the ability to fine tune the annotation after it is pasted in terms of time, duration, and content.
    • This also raises the question of how would the duration of the annotations be represented in the player? We have already ben puzzling about how to represent the annotation pinned times
  • Could Clipper be integrated with systems that use Flash and other proprietary based formats? (Panopto, echo360, Helix Media Library, Planet stream etc.). Some these proprietary systems are also not just using their own proprietary file formats but are deeply locked into proprietary operating systems and platform like .aspx
    • We could include a Flash player to deal with Flash – other systems may be more problematical – as they ant to lock customers into their ecosystem
    • For research applications the emphasis is on open formats and the guidance from funders is that it should be as open as possible (MPEG family, Ogg, etc.) – note open does not always mean ‘free’ (relevant to MPEG patents etc.)
    • For research we would recommend transcoding into open formats for future access and these closed systems may well support that
    • But we need to have a path to deal with closed formats – of course the owners can create their own extensions to Clipper
  • It would be useful to know how Clipper might be used with a Flash based legacy collection
    • Good question! We need to look into that – should be possible
    • You could mark up you collection in Flash (with a Flash player added to the toolkit) then transcode it and have the Clipper player automatically pick up the new format
  • It would be good if the annotation link paused the playhead at the point of the annotation
    • Yes that is what we plan, but if the annotation has a duration – then it might also need its own play control
  • Would be good to display relevant rights and IPR information
    • Agreed, could be on the page and / or in the Clips
  • It is worth checking out the RCS site (based on wiki technology) called PaperClip see to see how Clipper might be integrated – it has a lot of users and is where the RCS documents productions but it currently as little video or audio
    • Will do
  • Marc pointed out that having a function Clipper to export the Clips and the source files would be really useful and is something that is increasingly being done in Arts research publishing – see the Journal Of Artistic Research JAR as an example (also see The rationale for this is that it overcomes depending on having one a persistent location for your resources.
    • Yes this is possible and it has been mentioned before at the Edinburgh NLS workshop. It has been something we have wanted to avoid – but it keeps coming back!
  • If Clipper could be integrated with Zotero for reference management that would great!
    • That makes a lot of sense and we will look into it.
  • In Phase 3 of Clipper could we integrate Clipper in-house to the MEDEA project site
    • Yes and we would really like to do that as a companion activity to working with The Roslin Institute
  • Could users access their cliplists on mobile devices?
    • Yes – the interface needs more work though
  • Could Clipper be used to ‘Clip’ non-time based materials? For instance part of our online prospectus? For PDF for Web pages?
    • No – but it is an interesting idea (there are other tools that would do this)
  • Could Clipper be used use outside HE?
    • Yes!
  • For MEDEA we would like a mobile app – where students can record themselves and compare their performance to the MEDEA master and be able to see videos of the mouth shapes and movements of the lips.
  • We would also like to do something similar for the British Sign Language (BSL)
  • Question from Clipper here. Would the RCS be interested in exploring the use of cloud services? To upload your audio and video and transcode it etc.? And would the ability to download Clips and the target resources
    • RCS – Yes
    • RCS But the only thing is costs – it would be good to know!
    • If Clipper was in existence as a service it would be interesting to trial it – as we are rewriting a lot of our programmes to reflect changes in technology
    • It would give us a real competitive edge and fit with out strategic plan
    • A collaboration with Clipper would make us ‘digital pioneers’
    • We have very few digital researchers and that would help us change that
  • Clipper would work very well with the American IDEA project (International Dialects of English Archive) based in the USA
  • We work with Scottish and international partner institutions and they could make a lot of use of Clipper combined with MEDEA
    • Me – might be possible to have different user accounts so users could manage their own Clips etc.
  • For me Clipper is brilliant! I can see very clearly uses for it, I really can, and how I would use it and embed it locally and with our partner institutions
  • For a Journal like JAR has an entirely different submission process to other journals where you use their web tools to create a multimedia presentation that then goes to peer review. The journal of performance is looking to do more multimedia stuff as well. So a tool [like Clipper] that lets you create a multimedia presentation with the key clips of data and here’s the writing that’s surrounds that – so you are getting that 360 degree picture of a research output would be really useful if it was easy and not the pain that it is today!