This is a guest post by Franck Tankoua, founder of ViJump.
Online videos are now part of our life. We get exposed to them every day. Today, there are over 4 billion visits per day on YouTube alone. 300 hours worth of videos get uploaded on YouTube every single minute. Not surprising.
Despite that humongous number of online videos and users, not so much effort is being put on processing and easing the use of these videos. What is more, video players/providers remain basic and fail to answer upcoming challenges. A play/pause button and a cursor is usually all you can get.
What more could you get ? And is there a way to make your video experience better? Absolutely. There should be more technologies focusing on answering those needs and ViJump offers an interesting approach.
We need shorter and more focused videos: Video trimming
Back when the internet was an emerging technology, we were happy to see a page show up after a minute. Now it is no longer an option for any internet user as speed matters so much. What is more, videos are getting longer, which is not a bad thing as long as they are useful. It is okay to cover different aspects and topics in the same video. While we get information from videos, in the coming years it will be crucial to get the information we are looking faster. The challenge is not that people producing videos need to change the way they do things but that the ones watching the videos should be able to easily focus on the sequences that interest.
Have you ever watched a video and thought: “these parts are interesting, let me save it for later for myself or show to my friend John”? Not that you have a friend called John but you get the point… When you take a book or a magazine, you can read it in the order that you want, skip parts (diagonal reading), highlight parts and even read abstracts ( short summary) made by others. With videos, all you can do right now is to try to memorize the time intervals corresponding to your points of interest. This is not possible.
Video trimming is addressed by ViJump thanks to the segment bar that helps you to quickly highlight a collection of crunchy parts and save it as a crunchier version of the original video. You create your own video abstract with a shorter and focused experience that you can share with others or watch later.
Searching inside videos:
Who thinks searching inside videos thinks voice and images. Let’s focus on the voice as it is the best way to search a specific topic or context with precision.
Video transcription has been a hot topic lately and many big companies, such as Google, worked very hard on this issue. There has been a lot of progress made but it still is insufficient. With the best recording conditions (reduced background noise, music and accidents like someone coughing in the background, etc.) software can achieve good results in English. But let’s admit that those video recording conditions are way too unusual. I am pretty certain that we will achieve great results in the future, but we are not there yet. Other languages such as French and German are suffering from their syntax complexity. With these, natural language processing software can have a hard time producing good automatic transcriptions.
Searching inside videos is all but doomed. We tend to forget that the main goal of video producers is to have as much viewers as possible. Enabling a user to search in their videos increases the attractiveness of their content no matter how long they are. This is because people will not tend to leave the video as soon as they start feeling less interested about the part they are currently watching. It is therefore important that video players enable a simple method for the authors or supporters to quickly add text annotations to their video to help to their audience.
A feature to search inside videos has been tackled by ViJump as a help for video trimming. You basically search not only to find parts that interest you, but also to obtain a shorter and focused version that you can readjust as needed and save.
Save/Share Video Cuts
Let’s go back to the first problem: there are too many videos, and these are too long .
Once videos are trimmed into cuts that are more focused and shorter, putting the result back online or sharing it with others allows the community to access parts they would have never watched before. The main reasons that come to mind are:
- Some viewers are not patient enough to wait for the eventual parts of the video they were interested in. Some of you might be saying: “Duh! Why would I wait?”.
- The lack of search inside videos in players is a missing tool that would help to jump straight to the interesting parts.
Given the humongous number of online videos available, the challenges is to use them effectively. Especially as the video players speed innovation is not moving as fast as expected. We looked at the challenge that represents the processing of a massive number of online videos. Then, we tried to point out where the next innovation should be taking place to answer the growing needs. Trimming videos for your personal interest and sharing it with the community appears to be a good solution as it helps creating more focused videos that are easier to process. Searching inside videos is a neat feature with a bright future in the world of video annotations and automatic transcription.
What are you doing today to cope with this? Do you have other hints on how to tackle this problem? Have you tried ViJump?
Software Architect and Developer
Web and New technologies evangelist
CEO of Applite SARL
Twitter: @FranckTankoua, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org