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  • Good afternoon. We are going to talk about the Online Video Project at James Madison University. Just so you will know where we are coming from – JMU is a comprehensive, state university in VA. We have about 16,000 students and most of them are undergraduates. In this project we have licensed hundreds of videos from vendors such as Films for the Humanities and Sciences, Annenberg, and PBS and we are in the process of making those videos available online to our campus community. I’ll start with a brief overview of the project. Grover will fill in the technical details. And Jeff will wrap up with a discussion of licensing and copyright issues.
  • OhioLINK was an early player in this field. In a project started in 2003 they licensed video titles from Films for the Humanities and Sciences and made them available online for the OhioLINK consortium. Learning about the OhioLink project was the inspiration we needed to jumpstart our own Online Video Project. Our goal was to provide high-value, high-use online video programming in decent quality for both classroom and desktop viewing. A short-cut way to restate that goal from the user’s point of view is “No More Video Check-Out.” We knew we wanted to start playing in the online video sandbox so Jeff began exploring licensing terms with Films for the Humanities and Sciences. When some end-of-year funds became available (you know that budget dust at the end of fiscal year that has to be spent quickly), we were able to license a first batch of titles.
  • Now that we had the content, we needed to figure out exactly what to do with it. A streaming media task force was assembled to review the issues and to make implementation recommendations. The task force included key folks from a variety of campus perspectives. It is important to bring all the players together when planning a new initiative – we wanted to make sure all our ducks were in row before launching the project.
  • The task force reviewed technical issues and determined that the campus infrastructure was adequate for the project, which was a relief since we had already licensed the videos. They also recommended that we encode the videos in MPEG-4 format; that we provide two streaming options for higher and lower bandwidth connections; and that we provide a download option for faculty if the licensing allowed.
  • The task force also reviewed user access and support issues and made several recommendations. First they recommended that we standardize on the QuickTime media player to simplify user support. They also recommended that we use an existing database system called the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) to manage access to the online video collection. It was fairly easy to modify the MDID to handle the video collection so no new system development was needed for this project. (In case you are interested – the MDID system was developed at JMU to manage digital image collections and to integrate the use of digital images into the classroom. The software is available under an open source license and there is an active user community of institutions who have implemented the system. You can get more information from the MDID web site – mdid.org.) But back to this project … the task force also recommended that we put links to the online videos in the library catalog so that users would find the online videos right along with the rest of the media collection. And finally they recommended that we begin with a small pilot project.
  • Now let’s take a quick look at how this actually works from the user’s point of view. If you start your search in the library catalog you might find a record like this one for a video called “The Art of Conducting”. Note that the library has this title on videotape in the Music Library and it is also available in the online collection. Clicking the link to connect to the online video will take you to an MDID log in screen and once you pass the login screen you will see the brief record for the online video. I also could have started my search in the MDID database rather than starting in the library catalog. I just have a small demo collection installed on my laptop so the only version available is the 500k stream. If I were logged in to the real collection as a faculty member I would have two “Watch Now” buttons for the 300k stream and the 500k stream, plus a download button so I could download a local copy of the file. Let’s look a small bit of this video just to give you flavor before moving on. … Nice little interlude but probably enough of that.
  • I am going to turn it over to Grover now who will talk about the nitty gritty details of the technologies and processes involved in the project. Grover …

060320 mmtf presentation 060320 mmtf presentation Presentation Transcript

  • JMU Online Video Collection
    • Background and Technical Processes for the VIVA Multimedia Collections Task Force
    • Jeff Clark, Grover Saunders
    • James Madison University
  • JMU Project
    • GOAL: Provide high-value, high-use online video programming in decent quality for classroom or desktop viewing.
    • “ No more check-out”
      • Inspired by OhioLINK project.
  • Project Implementation
    • Initial task force included all campus technology partners
      • Library
      • Media Resources
      • Classroom Technology
      • Center for Instructional Technology
      • Information Technology
      • Computing Support
  • Task Force Recommendations
    • Campus infrastructure adequate
    • MPEG-4 format
    • Streaming options for high/low bandwidth
    • Download option for faculty if possible
  • Task Force Recommendations
    • QuickTime player for standard support
    • User access and authentication through existing Madison Digital Image Database
    • Add links to library catalog records
    • Small pilot project first
  •  
  • The Process
  • The Cata lo ging • DVDs are received from the vendor. • Cataloging info is collected and organized in an Excel spreadsheet • DVDs are sent to CIT for encoding.
  • The Ripping
    • DVDs are copied to the hard drive and encoded in groups of ten using Handbrake.
      • Free & Open Source
      • Archive quality .mp4
      • Archive stored for future revisions to project.
  • The Ripping MPEG-4 chosen as archive format to facilitate ease of future encoding. This is the most time consuming aspect of the process mostly due to dead time between DVDs.
  • The Encoding
    • Archives are encoded for delivery using Sorenson Squeeze
      • Streaming
        • 300k for off-campus
        • 500k for on-campus
      • Download
        • VBR suitable for viewing full screen in class
  • The Encod i ng “ Watch Folder” allows us to automatically process files after they are ripped. MPEG-4 Video with AAC Audio 300k - 480x360, 256k,15fps, 32k audio 500k - 512x384, 512k, 30fps, 64k audio VBR - 512x384, 1Mb, 30fps, 128k audio Archive - 720x480, 2Mb, 30fps, 256k audio
  • The Ripping & Encoding Hardware
    • Dual 2.3 Ghz G5 from Apple
      • Wide range of video tools available for OS X.
      • Eventually 3 dedicated machines for this task.
      • Processors and HD space most important criteria for any purchase.
  • The Cataloging Part II
    • MDID
      • Restricts access to JMU community and manages rights to individual files.
    LEO – JMU’s online library catalog. This ties the physical resources with the online version. Promotes service. Upload files to the server Updates to catalogs made from spreadsheet
  • The Streaming Server
    • Apple Xserve with Xraid
      • Dual 1.8 Ghz G5
      • 1.1 TB of storage in RAID 5
        • Expandable to 4.6 TB by just adding modules
      • Chosen for price and ease of administration.
      • 919 Titles (460GB) and 453 Archives (314GB)
  • The Viewer
    • MDID determines access to individual files.
    • Users must use Quicktime player to view streams.
    • When vendor allows it, faculty also can choose to download the video ahead of time for in class viewing.