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December 03, 2007

Video Transcript Browsing Interface

CNN has presented a unique and powerful UI for viewing and navigating the video of one of the recent Presidential debates.  Aside from having done a great job presenting the transcript alongside the video (with appropriate click-to-play-from-here functionality), as well as a table-of-contents by topic; CNN has created a unique "map" of the debate, allowing a user to single out a moment, a particular speaker, or the results of a search by spoken word in a brilliant, graphical display.  

What's also interesting is the implementation:  a client-side Flash applet handles the whole thing by reading a single XML file that contains the entire contents of the debate in text form.  

It's one of the finest examples of this kind of thing that I've seen.  I'd love to know if anyone has thoughts about other situations in which this kind of interface could really add value.  The cost would be an issue - transcripts are expensive, as is massaging a transcript into the descriptive XML required for this tool.  Automation using tools like the Virage VideoLogger and Pictron's Audio Gateway can identify speakers and generate text from speech - the accuracy would certainly be far less than what CNN has done here, but for some purposes, would it be "good enough"?

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This is great stuff.

Perfect for distance learning programs.

WOW, this'll keep me busy for years. I've been subscribing to your RSS feed for months, but somehow I missed this great list.

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