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Vertov – a Zotero plug-in for annotating video

annotating a film with vertovSo you know Zotero is my new favorite toy, right? Through Jeremy Boggs I just heard about Vertov, a zotero plug-in that lets you annotate movies. It seems a bit like the Annotator’s Workbench video annotation software being developed at EVIADA at the University of Indiana, but it’s available for download now and works with all that Zotero goodness.

There’s a very helpful screencast video that demonstrates how to use the plugin, and from initial testing it works very well. It loaded without a hitch, and worked as advertised. I love the idea of being able to maintain annotated video clips, tag them, and cross reference them against other citations in your citation database. Once Zotero 2.0 hits the scene this will become especially powerful. I’m thrilled to think that we could create a repository of all our unlabeled video archives, for example, and allow people to annotate them as part of their research process, contributing metadata and citations back to the larger community of people using that footage.

The only problem I encountered was my old enemy the unrecognized video codec. I have a small collection of home movies that I wanted to try to annotate, and although I can play all of them with VLC or Quicktime, hardly any of them would load in firefox itself, which seems to be pre-requisite for using Vertov to annotate them. The good news is that I was able to load mpeg movies, and everything worked beautifully with those (see the above screen-shot, e.g., of me annotating a video of Dean the rabbit eating). I wonder if this would be less of a problem on a PC? Also, I figure that as working with video becomes more common surely we’ll start moving towards standard codecs so this will be less of a problem.

Bravo, Concordia Digital History Lab! I’m definitely going to start talking to faculty at the library about this tool, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Comments

Comment from Stuart Thiel
Time: March 25, 2008, 9:36 am

Hello! I’m so glad you liked Vertov!

Anything that plays in quicktime can play in vertov, once I configure it to be recognized. Sometime this week I’ll grab a list of quicktime-friendly extensions and make vertov recognize them.

Of course, you’ll still have to add the URLS manually to a Zotero entry if firefox won’t load them :(

Comment from Stuart Thiel
Time: March 25, 2008, 9:49 pm

Here is a list of the audio/video formats now supported in 0.7.2 (51, many of them obscure):
mp3
wav
avi
mov
mpg
flc
dv
sdp
mp4
mpeg
moov
qt
movie
au
3gp
3gpp
3g2
3gp2
ac3
aac
aif
aifc
aiff
amc
amr
bwf
caf
cdda
cel
dif
fli
gsm
kar
m15
m1a
m1s
m1v
m75
mid
midi
mpa
mpm
mpv
mqv
qcp
qtl
sdv
smf
snd
ulw
vfw

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