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October 8, 2009

VideoANT Tutorial Video!










Hey everyone! We have developed a couple of tutorials for use with VideoANT. They specifically address how to take your video from your desktop into MediaMill in order to prep it for use with VideoANT.

As a reminder, your video needs to be *.mov (h.264-only) or *.flv in order to work in VideoANT. Youtube links work as well.

The video above is the second of two tutorials that starts with how to grab your video from MediaMill and bring it into VideoANT, but it also mentions how you can use the tool without MediaMill access, but mostly it covers the basic functionality that can get you started with the tool.

Tutorial 1 is dedicated to preparing your video for VideoANT using MediaMill . You can watch the MediaMill tutorial video here!

October 7, 2009

e-Learn conference presentation in Vancouver, Oct. 29, 2010

I will be presenting on some of the design and development concepts in VideoANT along with some of the research currently being conducted with the tool. If you are attending the conference be sure to stop by and say hi!

Date: Thu, Oct 29
Time: 02:45 PM-03:05 PM
e-Learn conference information

Creating links to auto-populate the form fields

If you are familiar with the method of passing variables through the URL string, this technique may prove of some value to you. We have been using this internally with one of our partners tools over the past year and have just received a request for this same functionality so I thought I would post it here in case others could benefit as well.

The variables to pass to VideoANT are: videoTitle, email, and videoURL.

The string must be "escaped" like the example you see below:
http://ant.umn.edu/vae.php?videoTitle=mahna+mahna&email=bhosack%40umn.edu&videoUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fmediamill.cla.umn.edu%2Fmediamill%2Fdownload.flv%2F18225.mov

The advantage of this is if you have a video URL and you want this video annotated by someone else, you can create your own link to send to this person so that they click once and have the form auto-populated so that they can jump right to annotating without much effort on the front end.

Make sure to use their email address instead of your own in the URL string, and let them know they can edit or modify the form once they have clicked your link in case it doesn't quite meet their needs!

The XML behind your content

A recent request came up for access to the raw text that gets entered into a projects annotations. I have developed a number of primitive tools over the past year that I have been using for internal purposes. In light of this request I am releasing these pages to the public for your own consumption as they cannot be used to edit your content but are simple ways to gain access to the content you develop. Keep in mind they are nothing fancy aesthetically, but are quite functional in nature :)

I recommend that faculty utilize this first page to extract the raw data entered into the system as a back-up should it be necessary. It also is a great way to render the annotations so they can be searched using a browsers built-in search functionality. Below you will see two links that are quite similar:

EDIT In VideoANT:
http://ant.umn.edu/vae.php?pid=1254943410

Same project extracted:
http://ant.umn.edu/extractANT.php?pid=1254943410

In other words, change the EDIT link from your projects email from vae.php to extractANT.php and leave everything else in place and you get a raw text dump. The time is coded here in seconds so you will get giant numbers that need converted if you want to know their amount in minutes. We have some tools that use this code and need the time in total seconds or I would do this automagically with the php. It is very raw.

You can also get this same data as an XML feed if you would ever need that for any reason:
http://ant.umn.edu/select.php?pid=1254943410

Same deal, change the EDIT URL to "select.php" instead of "vae.php" and you get the proxy XML. You may need to view source on that link if your browser does not include default XSLT treatment. This version of the data is "escaped" meaning that the text is in unicode which needs converted in order to be read legibly. The extractANT.php was developed for folks that needed simplistic access to the content. For those that have a use for developing around the XML feed, you can use the "select.php" version for your needs if desired.

Hopefully this is somewhat useful!