Clipper Feedback – Our updated email in response to feedback

Well, having to explain ourselves certainly is good for ‘seeing us as others see us’ so we re-edited our original email in response to questions to date. So here is our updated consultation email:

JISC Clipper Project: Audio Visual Media Research Toolkit

Clipper: Enhancing Time Based Media for Research

A collaboration between The City of Glasgow College, The Open University and Reachwill Ltd., Funded by Jisc

Request for Comment / Feedback

Dear All

This is a free and open source software project that we are working on that targets the needs of researchers working with audio-visual resources, but we are aware it has many applications for teaching and learning. If you can have a look and provide any feedback that would be really useful. Links to the demo site etc. appear below

Just some quick points to make in the light of recent feedback – the system will work with any audio / video collection that uses modern open file formats (e.g. MPEG) and as long as it can resolve through to the actual file location. We have chose 3 YouTube videos for demonstration purposes only – it is not a YouTube-centric system. It is a very early part-working prototype intended to act as a conceptual visualisation aid. As such it currently works best in a Chrome browser on a desktop / laptop machine. Final versions will work on all device platforms. The Clipper toolkit could be hosted by an existing collection or archive (e.g. lecture videos or folk music audio) to add enhancements to that service. Or it could be a central service that supports users working with a number of different collections

The data that the user generates creating the clips and making notes is currently stored locally in the browser in the demo version. In the final version the data would be stored in an online user account on a server – there would also be scope to ‘app’ Clipper and use local device storage.

One way of conceptualizing Clipper is that (via HTML5) it supports the user to control the play back of online audio / video by specifying the start and end points as well as adding their own notes and that this ‘user generated data’ is stored as metadata about the source audio / video and when that is called up in a web browser via a clipper document (native file format of a clipper document is HTML) the end user just sees the clips and notes – that ‘point’ to the audio / video – so no media files are being moved around  – its just user generated metadata ‘playing’ in a web browser controlling the source media files. Because the file format of the clipper documents is HTML they are very portable but the user will only ever be able to play the audio / video files they have the rights to access – making it good for complying with copyright and data protection issues. Thus the clipper documents can be owned by the user and the media stays where it is.

The next phase will entail producing a working prototype pointing at different online video collections and allowing the users to store their Clipper data on a server

Initial Consultation email follows:

We are developing a free and open source software toolkit to support researchers in all disciplines who work with audio-visual media and invite you to view our website and blog and visit an online early prototype to get your reactions and comments.

We need to know if this proposed toolkit would be of use to you and your colleagues, if possible by Friday the 19th of June. We would also really appreciate any feedback and comments you have about our work so far and will be very happy to discuss this further with you via email / Skype / phone etc. You can also leave comments at the online Demo site listed below.

For a quick orientation here is a summary of the Clipper toolkit from our online brochure:

“Clipper is a free open-source web application enabling researchers to create and share virtual-clips without altering the original media files. Clipper enables you to mark the start and end of interesting events while playing audio or video data files through a standard web browser. You can add rich text annotations to each clip, and combine clips into playlists (cliplists).”

Here are some web links that provide more information about the project:

Research data management: For those colleagues who are particularly concerned with the management of research data we would like to draw their attention to this blog post:

Best Wishes

John Casey

Clipper Project Manager