The Avalon Media System: An Open Source Video/Audio System for Libraries and Archives


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Presented by Jon Dunn and Claire Stewart at the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Membership Meeting in San Antonio, TX, on April 4, 2013.

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  • Discuss motivations
  • Unique needs: long-term access, fine-grained access control, metadata for documentation and discovery, excerpting and annotation, desire to integrate with existing tools/workflow being used for other types of content.Two main classes of content: instructional video that conveys information; content that is the *subject* of teaching, learning, research, e.g. music, fine arts, film studies
  • Indiana:Demand from Variations implementers and other institutionsIncreased video digitization and creation at IUIU Media Preservation InitiativeIU IT strategic plan: Empowering PeopleNorthwestern:Aging media management infrastructure, inadequate entitlement solutionsIncreased focus on time-based archival collectionsRobust course-based media servicesNo existing system serves needs of librariesHistory of involvement in open and community source softwareDesire to create a sustainable foundation for Variations development and maintenance
  • Need to bridge library/repository and academic video production/management worlds
  • Working with two existing open source communities
  • The audio and video player work in the main browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, and Safari – and on mobile devices (iOS and Android).Integration with a variety of authentication systems are supported, along with management of group-based authorization.Content can be added using manual upload and description, or using the batch import facility (dropbox + spreadsheet).For fast and easy discovery, faceted search is based on the Blacklight discovery tool using MODS metadata.Ingest, management, and search functionality are built using Hydra, an open source repository framework including Fedora, Solr and BlacklightMedia player and processing based on Opencast Matterhorn, another open source technology
  • IU:IJCCRJohn Dempsey films – Film ArchiveCourse reserves – French films – Media and Reserve ServicesIU-produced content – JSoM opera productions – Cook Music LibraryOthers under developmentNorthwestern:Archival audio collection – Robert Marcellus master class – Music LibraryFootball film collection – University ArchivesCourse reserves Others under development: restricted access special collections
  • The Avalon Media System: An Open Source Video/Audio System for Libraries and Archives

    1. 1. The Avalon Media System An open source audio/video system for libraries and archives Jon Dunn Claire Stewart CNI Spring 2013 Membership Meeting 4 April 2013
    2. 2. About Us• Jon Dunn – Interim Assistant Dean for Library Technologies, Indiana University Bloomington Libraries – Project Director, Avalon• Claire Stewart – Head, Digital Collections and Scholarly Communication Services, Northwestern University Library – Co-Product Owner/Director, Avalon
    3. 3. Agenda• Project background and overview• Motivators and use cases• Demo• Release 1 pilots• Plans beyond Release 1• Integration scenarios• Development process and community• Questions and discussion
    4. 4. Project ObjectivesGoal: Create an open source system to enablelibraries and archives to provide online access tovideo and audio collections• Digital audio/video management and delivery system, focused on needs of libraries and archives• Follow an agile, open source development model• Leverage existing technologies, where feasible• Communicate and market the project broadly to increase awareness and grow the community of users and developers
    5. 5. Project Overview• Funded in part by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services• Original name: Variations on Video• Planning grant: – August 2010 – July 2011• Implementation grant: – September 2011 – October 2014• Partnership between libraries at Indiana University and Northwestern University
    6. 6. Project Partners and Collaborators
    7. 7. What needs are we trying to serve?• Libraries and archives (and museums?)• Wide variety of audio/video collections, uses, and access needs – Licensed educational video collections – Video/audio e-reserves – Archival collections – Open access collections• Research and teaching & learning use• Long-term management and access• Tie-in with preservation
    8. 8. Motivators
    9. 9. Existing Solutions Incomplete forLibraries and Archives• Institutional and digital library repositories – e.g. DSpace, Fedora, Digital Commons, ContentDM• Web video services – e.g. YouTube, Vimeo• Classroom lecture capture – e.g. Echo360, Mediasite, Opencast Matterhorn• Online video environments – e.g. Kaltura, Brightcove• Streaming servers – e.g. Flash Media Server, Real Helix, Wowza, Red5• Digital asset management systems – e.g. OpenText, NetXposure, etc.
    10. 10. Bridging library and academic ITcontent management
    11. 11. Release 1 (“any day now!”)• Mobile and desktop playback support• Authentication and group-based authorization• Faceted search, using Blacklight• Manual and batch import
    12. 12. Demo
    13. 13. R1 Pilots
    14. 14. Avalon ArchitectureIntegrations Users Avalon Media System ILS Hydrant Rails App Desktop,LMS, webs Media Player Mobile ites Omni- (Matterhorn Engage) Search Auth Browse All UsersAuthentic- Hydra Ruby- View ation Head horn Can- Black- Authoriz- Browser, Can light ation Drop box Ingest Archival Describe Collection Storage Fedora Solr Matterhorn Media Server Manage Managers Avalon code – consists of Hydrant Rails App and the Rubyhorn gem. Other pieces are leveraged.
    15. 15. Beyond R1 (Partial List, Unprioritized)• Authorization improvements & integrations• Structural metadata for navigation• Technical metadata• Workflow & batch loading improvements• Playlists and clip making• Easy player embedding for other contexts, e.g., course management, websites, publishing sites• Transcripts• Publishing out to other systems• More optimization for mobile• Focused accessibility work• Improvements based on pilots, user feedback, usability testingReleases every three months
    16. 16. Development Team
    17. 17. Development process• A single, blended team• Scrum• F2F for scrum training, prioritization• Daily standups, IRC
    18. 18. Working towards community• Lessons learned in development process• Working with Hydra community• Working with OpenCast matterhorn
    19. 19. Participation• Try out R1 (any day now!):• Download R1:• On GitHub:• Read our blog:
    20. 20. Questions?
    21. 21. Learn More About Avalon• Website:• Listserv: E-mail to subscribe• Social media: @avalonmediasys contact: Jon Dunn: Claire Stewart: