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Using InSite to Illustrate a Video

Posted September 10, 2019

Once we built the open source InSite system and started using it, it became obvious that the technology has uses beyond enabling the interactive interview transcripts that are central to the Duke Living History site. One thing we’ve been talking about is using an interactive transcript to illustrate a video, or give a guided tour.

I’ve now got an example of this – it’s a short interactive video I made to illustrate a workflow.

Here’s the workflow: We have an existing interview transcript that we need to connect to the matching interview video so it can be posted as an interactive transcript on the Duke site. My illustrative interactive video starts at the point where the transcript has been automatically sectioned by sentence, but each sentence has to be connected to the right point in the audio so it can be posted as sentence-level WebVTT.

I’m using the interactive transcript to explain and to guide the viewer to pay attention to certain parts of the video that show key steps. For one of these I wanted to illustrate how quickly you can section a transcript if you do it right – keep the audio rolling at 1.4 times or higher and use the mouse to move the cursor if you miss a cut.

You can click the video sentence “Watch carefully – the cursor move is happening now.” over and over to loop the video to see this 1-second move.

Because this is an interactive transcript you can select that sentence and you’ll get a direct URL that looks like this:
http://livinghistory.sanford.duke.edu/interviews/sectioning-audio-with-foot-pedals-demo-2/#58

So you can link to that sentence from elsewhere, like here: “Watch carefully

A little later on I show how to recover from another mistake – reversing a cut made accidentally. This takes more like two seconds.

Click “Just after the cut…” to get to the start of that bit.

I can think of many more interesting uses for this type of interactive page. Wouldn’t it be great to get a guided tour of a movie or documentary from the director via interactive transcript? It’s also a good way to illustrate a tricky sports move, or unpack any kind of fast-moving audio or video and guide viewers through it. I think this will help people better absorb, remember and be able to get back to audio and video information.

There’s more background about interactive transcripts on the PatchonTech Interactive Transcripts Page.

This first appeared in the Patch on Tech blog, December 20, 2018

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Kim Patch

Kim Patch is lead researcher for the Rutherfurd Living History program. She’s a user interface expert, writer, editor, software developer and musician. She writes the patchontech blog. kim@scriven.com