Since the last post on the Memoways application (about the automatic update), a lot has been done.
Here are the new features of the current version (115, coming from 102).
1) Workspaces / Projects
This is one of the most important conceptual specificities of the Memoways application: the separation between the “objective” and “subjective” metadata of an asset.
In short: an uploaded content (asset) is shown in the workspace, where it is possible to add objective informations (the basic questions of who, where, when and technical informations).
Once this is done, the asset can then be dropped in a project, where it is possible to specify how this content should be used through so called subjective informations (the questions of what does this content tells us, how should it be used, to what kind of narration he belongs to).
to sum it up, it is a bit like adding files into your operating system (the finder), naming and organizing them in order to make something out of them through working on a project with an application.
In order to work with large amount of assets, it is important to filter the content to be able to work only on specific things (like the latest assets added, the assets that are not filled out completely etc). We added 4 buttons to filter the material (recent assets – assets in a Project – Assets in a Workspace).
We will add down the road the possibility to filter on any field and metadata that is usable.
3) Lists and colors
In addition of being able to edit the fields of a list (use scenario, thematics, tags), it is possible to add color information on each element of a list. This can be also be used to create nice data visualizations (on mobile apps or on a web site).
4) Under the hood
Following issues where adressed and solved:
deduplication of fields (lists)
optimization of the database and queries (speed and synchronization)
In order to let more people use our WE app for smartphone (“Walk your movie“), we are making an Android version.
To be more precise, this is done with the help of our partner ISS at the University of Geneva – a great thank you to the crew and specially to Kevin Salvi and Jody Hausman.
Here are the first screenshots of the current state of the application; we plan to release a public version for mid May.
On the road of building up the editing engine, the same team from the ISS used the possibilities of Google Earth to visualize how the editing engine is choosing the media files on the “key points” on the walk.
This video is showing what media file (out of the available files) is chosen in relation to localisation, thematic continuity and speed mapping (the current speed is mapped to a duration range). The resulting video of this test is here.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present Memoways in the Venture Night pitching session at Lift. I had the chance to be coached by very good people (from Accenture & Netinfluence) and, above all, to be helped with magnificent drawings by Anna Cavelleri, who joined our team two weeks ago. We will upload the presentation soon, here on the blog and on the website.
Those few weeks working on a new way of communicating our project where intense and opened doors to a new horizon for our communication: it is not (only) about technology, but about what to do with it, and why you are doing it…
Here is the whole video of this evening; Memoways appears at minute 22 and at 1 hour and 7 minutes. Enjoy !
Thanks to Lift, to the coaches and to Anna Cavalleri !
And here is the reportage on the venture night preparation with the coaches and the venture night – from Nouvo:
Here are some first screenshots of the main editing interface:
The interface should be quite obvious: you have a liste of assets (the non edited footage), you select an asset on the left side, and you can then “index” (tag) the asset with geolocalisation, give an suggestive name (subject) and affiliate the asset to usages and thematics. Those lists, as seen with those two examples, can be managed and edited by the administrator.
Once the indexing work is completed (geolocalisation, name, usages and thematics) the basics are done and it is possible to export a “package” of content to build a specific version of the WE app for iPhone. This package consists of the audio part of the original assets, together with the metadata that are used by the editing engine in the mobile application.
Two more screens to show a little more: the login screen and the upload window.
After a financial support from the OFC / BAK (Swiss Federal cultural funding) this summer, helping us to build up the Memoways application, we just received another Swiss Federal support, from the CTI. To both institutions, a warm "thank you" for the financial help and confidence in our project. Both institutions are giving an important amount of money (for their corresponding financial capacities), so their support becomes even stronger and more important for us.
What is great with those two founding, is that it shows that our project is "compatible" with two, ordinarily separate visions: the cultural politics and the industrial logic. In order to build up a toolset that is generic and open to use outside of a given artistic / esthetic background, we need an open-minded support that is not only focused either on the technical / economic side or only on the artistic / cultural aspects.
A few words about this project, called "MoveYourStory : Automatic and Interactive Mobile Story Creation", done in close partnership with ISS / University of Geneva.
The MYS project will improve the Memoways toolset by taking into account the behaviour and the current interests of the user. This information will be obtained by analysing the data produced by the different sensors of a smartphone.
Here are some informations about how to use this application:
the first thing to do, is to create an admin user. This super admin can then invite other users (admin, editors, viewers) to work collaboratively on tagging assets and / or on projects
select local video files and upload them on the cloud (on the cloud storage of Memoways); the uploaded videos are automatically transcoded (through Zencoder) in the different HTML5 flavors
add “objective” metadata on the uploaded files (who, when, where, how…)
create a project (name, description etc), with specific thematic lists, keywords, contacts…
import chosen assets in the project and add “subjective” metadata (what, about, subject, thematic)
route (connect) the assets to web services (decide on a file base the connection of each asset to specific usages)
At this point, the project can go online and can be used by the public. But the Memoways client software lets also do following things once the projects are in use:
manage projects and usages (the walks and generated movies)
see statistics of usages (assets, walks, movies etc)
manage users (add, remove, change)
A first version of this software will be usable at the end of 2012; once the program is working as it should, it will be freely available on the App Store and our website.
To give an idea of the coming software: a bit of history…
Our first prototypes where in fact home-made CMS: through a web browser, it was possible to edit metatada and work on the use scenarios.
Following picture shows the CMS we used between 2008 and 2010.
This picture shows the moment of the “subjective” indexation (thematics, tags etc).
The principle of the coming application will be close to this: it will be possible to watch the video file, to place it on the map and to add metadata (field by field or through presets).
What happened since our last post ?
We where very busy with following things:
- we did some tests with other DAM solutions (like Kaltura, Brightcove and others), but none of the existing solutions provides the flexibility we need for our project. So we went back to a "homemade" DAM;
– after testing the possibilities of editing the assets with a webapp, we decided to change strategy by programming a native Mac OSX software. More information about this will follow;
– the main actual issue is the financial side: it is very difficult to raise money for this kind of project, especially at this stage. We did several funding requests (lots of work), that are still pending – we hope that good news will come soon…
– the other issue was to find a brilliant programmer for building up our client software – and we found ! Since almost two months now he is working on this Mac OSX software, and we plan to release a beta version at the end of this summer