Video transcription project

Revision as of 12:12, 14 September 2012 by Tim Bird (Talk | contribs) (Development notes)

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This page describes the video transcription project for the elinux wiki.


The purpopse of this project is to create transcripts of ELC and ELCE talks, as pages on the elinux wiki, via crowdsourcing. The value of transcripts would be that the material in the talks would be much more accessible to people. It would be searchable, and the talk could be read instead of watched (which is time-consuming). This essentially makes the talk accessible via random access instead of sequential access. There is a lot of very good content that is preserved in the videos that have been made over the years, and the goal of this project is to make that content more accessible and usable.

Process and methodology

In order to crowdsource the effort, a structure and method will be developed for:

  • keeping track of the completion status of each talk
  • managing the transcripts and keeping them in a uniform and useful form
  • keeping track of who has worked on each talk (transcript credits)
  • reviewing the transcripts for accuracy (and vandalism)

Random idea: Maybe use a different wiki for the talk pages, that allows database operations on the pages (like websed/tbwiki tables).

Process per page

1. check if page is listed in global presentation list 2. create a presentation page for the presentation (using a template?) 3. add a link to the talk in the global presentation list 4. add a link to the talk in the global topic list

Here's a link to the List of Embedded Linux Presentations


  • add a status column to each conference's talks page, indicating the transcript status and linking to the talk page.
  • add a page for each page, with the presentation's information (title, description, author, transcript, link to video, etc.)
    • make a template for a presentation page
  • solicit participation in the project
    • make a call for volunteer transcribers on celinux-dev and at ELC Europe

Historical work, other references

See All Topics - work done by Devin Flake to categorize past presentation material, from 2008

Development notes

  • need to investigate a way to have the presentation pages be consistent. MoinMoin has template pages, what does wikimedia support?
    • investigate wikimedia page creation
      • This seems to be supported, in a very limited way, and only with plugins, via a "preloading" option.
      • MoinMoin is much better here, suggesting at page creation time any page that has a template with a prefix or suffix that matches the to-be-created page.
      • I guess we'll have to settle for just trying to be consistent
      • Maybe the page creation could be automated
        • Should I write a script to create a presentation page, and associated link on the 'list of presentations' page?
  • need to create global presentation list (working on it, decided to add session incrementally)
    • have a separate page for presentations by topic?

The first session I tried was the Samsung fragmentation page from ELC - unfortunately, there was no video for this. The second session I tried was for Mike Anderson's keynote from ELC 2012 - setting up the page was a bit of a pain. Very clear instructions are needed for this. It should be as mechanical as possible, with little room for error.

How much time does it take, per minute of video?

Format of YouTube caption file: (See

 >> FISHER: All right. So, let's begin.
 This session is: Going Social
 with the YouTube APIs. I am
 Jeff Fisher,
 and this is Johann Hartmann,
 we're presenting today.

They use square brackets for comments like [laughter], [music], or [pause], and angle brackets to indicate a speaker change.

Starting and stopping the video is painstaking. Backing up the video is difficult to be precise at.

For Mike's talk, it took me about 6 minutes of transcribing for each minute of video. I was trying to go as fast as possible and timing myself. I think a reasonable estimate for each minute of video is about 10 minutes of time (set up, actual transcription, corrections, saving). This is when done out of context (a single minute session).

6 minutes would be an hours, so a 60 minute video would therefore take about 10 hours to transcribe. Give another 2 hours for a second pass, and we're talking about 12 hours per video. That's a lot, and clearly outside the scope of what one person could do.

Note that Mike's talk had very good audio, and Mike speaks slowly and clearly with no accent.

Mashup resources

Popcorn maker popcorn maker allows you to augment a video on the web?

Video mashup tools (JayCut, JumpCut, MovieMasher, Mix and Mash,

Youtube supports video annotations:

Session Template

See Session:Template