Monday, August 04, 2008

YouTube video annotations

The Omnisio video annotation technology has been acquired by Google and added to YouTube as a Beta. This allows captions, slides and extra navigation to be added to existing video, without having to edit the actual video. This is to video what Flickr's tags are to still images: it provides a way to add text which can be searched to the video. Most video is not web friendly, being just big video blobs: all you can do is play them.

This is very new to You Tube and there are a few rough edges, for example the "How do I create or edit video annotations?" has the HTML markup visible in the page (someone must have copied and pasted from an Omnisio help page in a hurry:
To get started, log into your YouTube account and go to the Video Annotations page as described">here ...
Here is what it should look like:
To get started, log into your YouTube account and go to the Video Annotations page as described here.
  1. Start playing your video, if it's not already playing using the "Preview" button.

  2. At the moment you want to add an annotation, click on the appropriate "+" icon in the top left-hand corner. You can add annotations that are Speech Bubbles, Notes or Spotlights with text.

  3. Enter your text. You can edit your annotation on the video itself:

    1. Edit text as you type;
    2. Drag and drop annotations anywhere you want;
    3. To resize an annotation, roll your mouse over the edge of it until you see little dots. Click and drag the dots to resize. A speech bubble has an additional resizing dot on the pointer.

  4. You can see all your annotations listed on the left side. Here you have advanced editing options:

    1. You can add a URL link to your annotation. It could be a link to either a specific YouTube Video, a user Channel or a YouTube Search result page.
    2. You can change the both the starting and finishing time manually. An annotation's default start time is when you click to add it ("+" icon). The default end time is 5 seconds later. To change this, just enter the start and finish times you want in [H:MM:SS.s] format. For instance, [0:01:05.2] means 1 minute, 5.2 seconds into the video.
    3. You can delete annotations from the list on the left. Click [x] in the upper right-hand corner of the annotation you want to delete.
Please note: Video annotations are available now as a "beta" feature. We're working hard to get this out of beta and, once we do, annotations will officially support languages other than English, embeds and full-screen playback.

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