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Home > NEH Project > The Streaming Video Plugin for Omeka

The Streaming Video Plugin for Omeka

Video Playback Plugins for Omeka

For Omeka 2: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 2

For Omeka 1: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 1

Documentation for the Video Playback Plugin for Omeka

For Omeka 1 and Omeka 2: VideoStream plugin for Omeka Documentation

On this website I show the use of a streaming video plugin to embed video in any theme developed for Omeka 2 or greater. There is also a version of this plugin that works with Omeka 1.5.3. See the tools section for more information on configuration and other tools you can download

To see how to modify the themes themselves to support embedding digital video see this website (using Omeka 1.5.3) for further discussion of the use of themes to create video layouts. And see this website on Films Noir to see how you can use themes to create complex layouts that might assist with research.

This project is funded by an NEH Office of Digital Humanities Startup Grant. The project is managed at Indiana University by the Indiana University Library in Bloomington, Indiana. The goal of the project originally was to create a plugin for Omeka that will allow the use of video segments and annotations created with the Annotator's Workbench to be ingested into Omeka. This plugin has been created and will soon be available. The Annotator's Workbench is a desktop tool to create segments and annotations from digital video, developed as part of the Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis (EVIA) project at Indiana University with funds from the Mellon Foundation.

After creating this plugin, it became apparent that while one way to access the items created for segmented and annotated video was through the creation of a new theme to layout the videos on the site, another way was to create a plugin that would allow the embedding of the streaming video in any theme. So to that end, we also developed a plugin that will embed a video player in any theme. This plugin works with both release 1.5.3 and release 2.0.3 of Omeka.

Using Themes for Video Playback

For the first way of accessing digital video I have create a theme that displays video based items. have modified the theme Easy-Colour by adding page layouts for browse and show items that checks for a start point in the video. If it exists, then it uses the video layout. If not, it uses the standard layout for images or text. These files contain the code that determines whether the video will stream from a server or use HTTP streaming. This code would need to be modified for use by each site, depending how they will be streaming the video.

See this website for further discussion of the use of themes to create video layouts.

Import Items for XML

For creating new items for Annotator's Workbench, I have created a plugin called XmlImport that allows the user to select an awx file (an XML file created by the Annotator's workbench) and then choose an xslt file to transform that file into a comma separated file that can then be loaded as items into Omeka. The field in the xslt for the Video Streaming URL will need to be modified to point to the correct streaming server that you will be using. The value in this field is used with the filename to construct the URL that will be used to stream the file.

The Five Video Themes

The five video themes contained in the videoThemes.zip all have two additional directories. The first is the jwplayer directory. This directory will need to have the jwplayer.js javascript file and the player.swf file that are both used for flash and html5 playback in the default configuration of the plugin. If you choose not to use jwplayer, you will need to modifiy the code in items/browse.php and items/show.php in the video theme you plan to use. The second directory is the videos directory. I use this directory to hold video files that will be used for http streaming if the device doesn't support flash, like an iPad for instance. The default setup for jwplayer tries to play the video as a streaming flash file and if that is not supported, uses the html5 video tag for video playback.

Streaming Video Plugin

The plugin for embedding the video player in any theme adds an element set called Streaming Video. This set contains the elements used by the player to determine the location of the video streaming server, the video filename, setup for different streaming protocols, etc. In addition, the plugin configuration allows the administrator to choose whether to display just a specific segment of a video, display the entire video or as the video plays, display the current segment that is playing. And the administrator can limit the available protocols for playback. The three supported protocols are Flash, HTTP Streaming and HLS Streaming. HTTP streaming is used by some browsers that do not support Flash and HLS streaming is used by iPad and iPhone. HLS streaming requires special preparation of the files using tools from Apple for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) or using ffmpeg.

Video Playback Plugins for Omeka

For Omeka 2: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 2

For Omeka 1: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 1

See the tools section for more information on configuration and other tools you can download.