Archive for the 'Digital Media' Category

Vertov Plug-in Brings Digital Audio/Video Annotation to Zotero

Posted in Digital Humanities, Digital Media, Open Source Software, Research Tools on March 19th, 2008

Concordia University’s Digital History Lab has released Vertov, an open-source Zotero plug-in that allows users to create clips from digital audio or video files, annotate them, and include the annotations in Zotero.

Read more about it at "Vertov: A Media Annotating Plugin for Zotero" and "Vertov Brings Video Annotation to Zotero."

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    Preserving Mixed Analog/Digital AV Archives: PrestoSpace Project Case Study

    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Digital Media, Digital Repositories on March 19th, 2008

    The Digital Curation Centre has published DCC Case Study—PrestoSpace: Preservation towards Storage and Access. Standardised Practices for Audiovisual Contents in Europe.

    Here's the "Executive Summary":

    Explicit strategies are needed to manage 'mixed' audio visual (AV) archives that contain both analogue and digital materials. The PrestoSpace Project brings together industry leaders, research institutes, and other stakeholders at a European level, to provide products and services for effective automated preservation and access solutions for diverse AV collections. The Project’s main objective is to develop and promote flexible, integrated and affordable services for AV preservation, restoration, and storage with a view to enabling migration to digital formats in AV archives.

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      Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects

      Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media, Digitization on March 19th, 2008

      Koninklijke Bibliotheek has published Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects.

      Here's an excerpt from the "Management Summary":

      The main conclusions of this study are as follows:

      Reason 1: Substitution

      JPEG 2000 lossless and PNG are the best alternatives for the uncompressed TIFF file format from the perspective of long-term sustainability. When the storage savings (PNG 40%, JPEG 2000 lossless 53%) and the functionality are factored in, the scale tips in favour of JPEG 2000 lossless.

      Reason 2: Redigitisation Is Not Desirable

      JPEG 2000 and JPEG are the best alternatives for the uncompressed TIFF file format. If no image information may be lost, then JPEG 2000 lossless and PNG are the two recommended options.

      Reason 3: Master File is the Access File

      JPEG 2000 lossy and JPEG with greater compression are the most suitable formats.

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        NDIIPP's Carl Fleischhauer on Video Formatting and Preservation

        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media on March 13th, 2008

        The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress has released Carl Fleischhauer's presentation on "Video Formatting and Preservation" at the Digital Library Federation 2007 Fall Forum.

        Here's an excerpt about the presentation from the March 2008 issue of the Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter:

        Fleischhauer discussed content wrappers, bitstream encodings, metadata and format profiles for born-digital content. He also spoke about emerging reformatting practices at the Library’s new facility for audiovisual collections and a handful of notable NDIIPP projects.

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          NEH Awards $474,474 in Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

          Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Humanities, Digital Media, Open Source Software, P2P File Sharing, Social Media/Web 2.0 on March 11th, 2008

          The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $474,474 to Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants recipients.

          Here's an excerpt from the press release:

          Note: The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Grants bearing this designation have been recognized for advancing the goals of this program.



          University of Alaska, Fairbanks $50,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Siri Tuttle
          We the People Project Title: Minto Songs Project Description: The collection, digitization, organization, and archival storage, as well as dissemination among the Minto Athabascan community, of recorded performances of Alaskan Athabascan songs.



          University of Arizona $25,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Douglas Gann
          Project Title: Virtual Vault
          Project Description: Electronic access to the world's largest collection of whole pottery vessels from the American Southwest through digital renderings of Arizona State University's Pottery Vault and relevant prehistoric archaeological sites as well as interviews with anthropologists, conservators, and Native American potters.


          Lake Forest

          Lake Forest College $25,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Davis Schneiderman
          We the People Project Title: Virtual Burnham Initiative
          Project Description: The development of the Virtual Burnham Initiative (VBI), a multimedia project that would examine the history and legacy of Daniel H. Burnham's and Edward H. Bennett's Plan of Chicago (1909).


          College Park

          University of Maryland, College Park $11,708
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Matthew Kirschenbaum
          Project Title: Approaches to Managing and Collecting Born-Digital Literary Materials for Scholarly Use
          Project Description: A series of planning meetings and site visits aimed at developing archival tools and best practices for preserving born-digital documents produced by contemporary authors.



          University of Massachusetts, Boston $24,748
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Joanne Riley
          We the People Project Title: Online Social Networking for the Humanities: the Massachusetts Studies Network Prototype
          Project Description: The development and evaluation of a social networking platform for the members of the statewide Massachusetts Studies Project.


          Wheaton College $41,950
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Mark LeBlanc
          Project Title: Pattern Recognition through Computational Stylistics: Old English and Beyond
          Project Description: Development of a prototypical suite of computational tools and statistical analyses to explore the corpus of Old English literature using the genomic approach of tracing information-rich patterns of letters as well as that of literary analysis and interpretation.


          Mississippi State

          Mississippi State University $50,000
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Paul Jacobs
          Project Title: Distributed Archives Transaction System
          Project Description: Development of open source web tools for accessing online digitized collections in the humanities via a system that communicates with multiple database types while protecting the integrity of the original data sets.

          NEW YORK


          Unaffiliated Independent Scholar $23,750
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Daniel Visel
          Project Title: Sophie Search Gateway
          Project Description: The development of an interoperable portal within the Web authoring program, "Sophie," for locating and incorporating multi-media sources from the Internet Archive.


          Hofstra University $23,591
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: John Bryant
          We the People Project Title: Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive
          Project Description: The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

          New York City

          New York University $49,657
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Brian Hoffman
          Project Title: MediaCommons: Social Networking Tools for Digital Scholarly Communication
          Project Description: Development of a set of networking software tools to support a "peer-to-peer" review structure for MediaCommons, a scholarly publishing network in the digital humanities.

          RHODE ISLAND


          Brown University $49,992
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Julia Flanders
          Project Title: Encoding Names for Contextual Exploration in Digital Thematic Research Collections
          Project Description: The advancement of humanities text encoding and research by refining and expanding the automated representation of personal names and their contexts.



          University of Texas, Austin $49,251
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Samuel Baker
          Project Title: The eCommentary Machine Project
          Project Description: Development of a web-based collaborative commentary and annotation tool.



          University of Virginia $49,827
          Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
          Project Director: Scot French
          We the People Project Title: Jefferson's Travels: A Digital Journey Using the HistoryBrowser
          Project Description: Development of an interactive web-based tool to integrate primary documents, dynamic maps, and related information in the study of history, with the prototype to be focused on Thomas Jefferson's trip to England in 1786.

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            JPEG 2000—A Practical Digital Preservation Standard?

            Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media, Standards on February 21st, 2008

            The Digital Preservation Coalition has published JPEG 2000—A Practical Digital Preservation Standard?.

            Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

            With JPEG 2000, an application can access and decode only as much of the compressed image as needed to perform the task at hand. This means a viewer, for example, can open a gigapixel image almost instantly by retrieving and decompressing a low resolution, display-sized image from the JPEG 2000 codestream.

            JPEG 2000 also improves a user’s ability to interact with an image. The zoom, pan, and rotate operations that users increasingly expect in networked image systems are performed dynamically by accessing and decompressing just those parts of the JPEG 2000 codestream containing the compressed image data for the region of interest. The JPEG 2000 data can be either converted to JPEG and delivered for viewing with a standard image browser or delivered to a native JPEG 2000 viewer using the JPIP client-server protocol, developed to support the JPEG 2000 feature set.

            Using a single JPEG 2000 master to satisfy user requests for dynamic viewing reduces storage costs and management overhead by eliminating the need to maintain multiple derivatives in a repository.

            Beyond image access and distribution, JPEG 2000 is being used increasingly as a repository and archival image format. What is remarkable is that many repositories are storing “visually lossless” JPEG 2000 files: the compression is lossy and irreversible but the artefacts are not noticeable and do not interfere with the performance of applications. Compared to uncompressed TIFF, visually lossless JPEG 2000 compression can reduce the amount of storage by an order of magnitude or more.

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              Digital Video on JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments)

              Posted in Digital Media, E-Journals, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on January 20th, 2008

              In a digital video from the Google Tech Talks series, Moshe Pritsker, Editor-in-Chief of JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), discusses that video-based journal.

              Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

              Contrasting the rapid advancement of scientific research itself, scientific communication still heavily relies on traditional print journals. Print journals however, lack the necessary characteristics to allow enable an effective transfer of knowledge, which is significantly impeding scientific progress. Addressing this problem, the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE, implemented a novel, video-based approach to scientific publishing, based on visualization of experimental studies. Created with the participation of scientists from leading research institutions (e.g. Harvard, MIT, and Princeton), JoVE provides solutions to the "bottleneck" of the contemporary biological research: transparency and reproducibility of biological experiments. JoVE has so far released 9 monthly issues that include over 150 video-protocols on experimental approaches in developmental biology, neuroscience, microbiology and other fields.

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                Goodbye Digital Music DRM, Goodbye RIAA?, and Hello Music Watermarking

                Posted in Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Digital Rights Management on January 13th, 2008

                SONY BMG has moved beyond experimenting with non-DRM-protected music tracks and indicated that its entire catalog will be available as MP3s from Amazon by the end of the month. SONY BMG is the last of the "big four" music labels to offer MP3s via Amazon (the others are the EMI Group, the Universal Music Group, and the Warner Music Group). Napster has also announced that it will offer MP3s for sale this spring (its subscription service will still use DRM). It would appear that the DRM era for digital music is coming to a close.

                Meanwhile, rumors continue to circulate that the RIAA is endangered due to a potential withdrawal of funding from the EMI Group.

                The decline of digital music DRM does not mean that the labels have given up the fight to stem the tide of illegal downloads. MP3s from Sony and Universal include "anonymous" watermarks that allow them to be traced as they move through the Internet to provide infringement data for music labels and to potentially allow filtering by ISPs.

                Nor does the decline of digital music DRM mean that Hollywood will quickly follow, avoiding the mistakes of the music industry.

                Read more about it at "DRM Is Dead, but Watermarks Rise from Its Ashes," "Napster to Sell DRM-Free Downloads," "Sony Joins Other Labels on Amazon MP3 Store," and "Under Pressure from EMI, RIAA Could Disappear."

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                  Image Management Software Descriptions from TASI Survey

                  Posted in Digital Media, Digitization on January 10th, 2008

                  TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images) has published descriptions of information management software resulting from a vendor survey (e.g., see the Greenstone description). TASI notes: "The information has been provided by the system developer/vendor in answer to TASI's survey, but has not been independently verified."

                  TASI recommends that readers consult Systems for Managing Image Collections and Choosing a System for Managing your Image Collection as background for evaluating the survey responses.

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                    Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 8th, 2008

                    American University's Center for Social Media has released Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, which examines fair use issues in user-created digital videos. See the announcement for links to videos used in the report.

                    Here's an excerpt from the "Next Steps" section:

                    The effervescence of this moment at the dawn of participatory media should not be mistaken for triviality. The practices of today’s online creators are harbingers of a far more interactive media era. Today’s makers—feckless, impudent, brash, and extravagant as they often are—in fact are the pioneers of an emerging media economy and society. Recognition of the importance of fair use, within the copyright law toolkit for cultural creation, is both prudent and forward-looking for those concerned with maintaining an open society.

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                      Sophie Project Gets $1 Million from Macarthur Foundation

                      Posted in Digital Media, E-Books, Social Media/Web 2.0 on December 4th, 2007

                      Thanks to a million dollar grant from the Macarthur Foundation, version 1.0 of Sophie, software that allows non-programmers to easily create multimedia documents, will be released in February 2008. Sophie runs on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. An alpha version and several demo books created with Sophie are available.

                      Here's an excerpt the project's home page:

                      Originally conceived as a standalone multimedia authoring tool, Sophie is now integrated into the Web 2.0 network in some very powerful ways:

                      • Sophie documents can be uploaded to a server and then streamed over the net
                      • It's possible to embed remote audio, video and graphic text files in the pages of Sophie documents meaning that the actual document that needs to be distributed might be only a few hundred kilobytes even if the book itself is comprised of hundreds of megabytes or even a few gigabytes.
                      • Sophie now has the ability to browse OKI (open knowledge initiative) repositories from within Sophie itself and then to embed objects from those repositories.
                      • We now have live dynamic text fields (similar to the Institute's CommentPress experiments on the web) such that a comment written in the margin is displayed immediately in every other copy of that book—anywhere in the world.
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                        New York Public Library Makes 600,000 Digital Images Available to Kaltura Users

                        Posted in ARL Libraries, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Culture, Digital Media, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on November 30th, 2007

                        The New York Public Library has made its collection of 600,000 digital images available for use by Kaltura users. Kaltura is a free, online collaborative video production site.

                        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                        The New York Public Library and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the organizations have joined forces to further enhance online rich-media collaboration. The New York Public Library's treasure trove of 600,000 digital images can now be incorporated easily into Kaltura's group video projects. The library's digital collection includes a wide range of rare and unique images drawn from its research collections. These range from Civil War photographs and illuminated Medieval manuscripts to historic views of New York City, Yiddish theatre placards and 19th Century restaurant menus. Users can search, preview and add these library images directly from the Kaltura web site (To try it, go to, click 'start a kaltura').

                        "Kaltura is a good fit for The New York Public Library as we work to take advantage of the latest technologies and approaches to make our collection freely and widely accessible," said Joshua M. Greenberg, Director of Digital Strategy and Scholarship at The New York Public Library. "We are excited to enable the use of our extensive Digital Gallery of historical images in Kaltura's cutting-edge and innovative application. Working with Kaltura was a natural step in enabling the creative use of these rich materials in the broader online world."

                        Kaltura enables groups of users to collaborate in the creation of videos and slideshows, similar to the way in which Wiki platforms allow users to collaborate with text. When creating a Kaltura video, users can upload their own videos, photos, audio and animation, can import their previously uploaded material from MySpace, Photobucket or YouTube, or they can access and import rich-media from various public-domain and CreativeCommons sources such as Flickr, CCMixter, Jamendo, and now The New York Public Library. Kaltura aims to team with additional databases and digital resource partners in order to both provide users with the widest array of rich-media, and to provide its resource partners with access to Kaltura's Global Network of users, content, and services that allows unprecedented collaboration around rich-media creation, remixing and distribution.

                        "We strive to provide users with the most comprehensive, enjoyable and user-friendly experience possible when creating their collaborative Kalturas in a fun, safe, and legal environment; The New York Public Library database is a huge addition to resources that we offer, both in terms of its size and the great value that it brings," said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.

                        "Kaltura was built around the principles of openness and sharing with the mission to enhance collaboration and to lower the barriers of participation—it is through partners with a similar vision, like The New York Public Library, that we can achieve our goal of delivering the world's first open platform for peer production of rich media, with the broadest access to rich-media materials, resources and databases," Yekutiel added. "We are truly honored by this collaboration."

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                          Digital Scholarship

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