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Annotator's Workbench

The Annotator's Workbench or AWB is a desktop application for segmentation and annotation of digital video.

Annotator's Workbench for Windows

Sound Issues with Windows

On Windows installs, you will sometimes get some sound distortions. I have done a little further research on the problems with QT greater than release 7.6.0 and audio. The culprit seems to be an audio controller file in the QTSystem directory of Quicktime. If you install QT 7.6.0 and save the file QuickTimeAudioSupport.qtx (3,224 KB) then install a QT release greater than 7.6.0 you will need to replace its file QuickTimeAudioSupport.qtx(120 KB) with the saved one. The audio worked fine for me on my Windows 7 machine. According to the thread that I found this in, this has been reported as a bug to Apple but no fixes have been made yet. Here's the link to the web site: talking about this problem.

Annotator's Workbench for Macs

AWB Documentation

The Users Guide contains documentation for the general use of the AWB. The Configuration Documentation shows you how to produce a different desktop layout for the AWB.

AWB Users Guide

AWB Configuration Documentation

Omeka Tools Needed

The set up described below is for Omeka 1.5.3. The Xmlimport plugin does not work with Omeka 2.

The project file created by the AWB is an XML document ending in .awx and contains the segment start points and end points as well as a title and description for each video segment you have created with the AWB. This NEH project has developed an Omeka plugin, XMLImport, that allows you to load the video segments in the .awx file into Omeka as items. By using a XSLT stylesheet to transform the XML into a comma separated file, the items are loaded with a similar interface as the CSV Import plugin uses, mapping each field in the file to a metadata field.

The code for the XML Import plugin is here

and will soon be on the Omeka site when testing is finished. When you unzip this file, you will need to rename the plugin directory to XmlImport so it can be referenced correctly in the plugins directory. Then add as you would any plugin. In addition you need one of the several themes that I modified/created that supports video layout. Download and unzip to the themes directory,

Video based themes

this set of five themes for video. For the themes that use a timeline, you will also need to install the Simile timeline plugin for Omeka.

Before you can use the plugin, you also need to add the following fields to the Moving Image Item Type Metadata:

  • Segment Start: Start point in video file, formatted as 0:00:00 (h:mm:ss) hours:minutes:seconds.
  • Segment End: End point in video file, formatted as 0:00:00 (h:mm:ss) hours:minutes:seconds.
  • Segment Type: Whether the segment is a part of the overall video, the entire video or from an an outside source, like Youtube. This field can control how the segment is displayed, for instance, Youtube would have a different value in the Video Streaming URL and would require a different playback mechanism. Playback for these themes is currently using the JWPlayer software but any video playback tool can be used with the proper modifications to the theme and the xslt file that loads the item.
  • Video Filename: Name of the video file in the file system such as "filename.ext".
  • Video Streaming URL: the URL for accessing the file over the internet such as "rtmp://"

When you ingest an .awx file with the XML Import plugin, you will map the appropriate values from the file to the Moving Image Metadata fields you have added as well as to the Dublin Core fields. You want to map the fields in the XmlImport file to the fields named above that are part of the Moving Image Data Type that you added. There are a few differences. I generally put the SegmentTitle field in the Dublin Core Title, the SegmentDescription in the Dublin Core Description and the ID field in Dublin Core Identifier. If you choose to map to different fields, you will need to modify the items/browse.php and items/show.php in the theme you are using to show those fields instead of the default fields I have chosen.

Put your .awx file in the xml_files directory in the XML Import plugin directory in your Omeka install. This is similar to adding a csv file to the directory for the CSV Import plugin. Now when you run the XML Import plugin you choose the .awx file you want to import, the XSLT file for the transformation, and then map your csv values to the appropriate fields in your item record and then run the import. As with the CSV Import, the XML Import allows you to back out an import from a list on the status tab.

Video Playback Plugins for Omeka

For Omeka 2: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 2

For Omeka 1: VideoStream plugin for Omeka 1

Setting up at Indiana University

If you are at IU then you have several ways to set up your video files to use with Omeka. There are several ways to serve up the video but the best is probably through a streaming server. If you are currently using or have an account on the main UITS streaming server, the URL you need is "rtmp://" and you'll probably need to add the directories where your videos can be found to the Video Streaming URL field in Omeka. If you have an IU Webserve account you can upload video for streaming to wwwdm and access the video through the URL "rtmp://". I have found that if I use this server, it expects the filename to have the user account prepended in the Omeka Video Filename field, such as "username/". IU Webserve users need to request the ability to stream video. In the samples on the web site, the ethnographic video uses the main UITS streaming server and the film noir uses the Webserve video streaming server.

If you want the Video Filename and the Video Streaming URL fields to be populated when you use the Xml Import plugin to load the video segments, then you will need to modify the segment_dump_csv.xslt file in the xml_files directory in the XmlImport plugin directory to reflect your accounts or directory structure and the streaming server you are using.