Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toob: Creative Annotation of Video

I love the internet because every day I have the opportunity to be inspired, stunned (good and bad), challenged and intrigued. I found an amazing site that succeeds on so many levels.  It appears to be a side project as it's part of the person's domain.

The project is called toob and the creator is Travis McLeskey.  He describes the site;
"toob is animated, anyone-edited annotations for YouTube videos. It's a site where you can add time-coded annotations to videos and then watch them swoop in and out as the video plays....I made a fan website for an album by the mashup artist, Girl Talk. The album was "Feed The Animals", and my website was The whole point of the site was to let you listen to the album while a readout below the music player showed what songs Girl Talk was sampling at the current playback position....While it was originally made for music and video mashups, it's really just a wiki of video annotations."

As he says "you listen to the album while a readout below the music player showed what songs" are being sampled.   The songs featured on the site are largely rap and remix type albums, as you would expect.  However they've gone beyond simple listing of the tracks that are being played and overlayed, and this is the beauty of the design.

The different tracks float in from the right, appearing stronger as they near being played.  The length of the bar underneath them illustrates how long the track appears for before fading out and flying off the left side of the screen. The effect is a natural reading flow.

Editing is fairly rough, but effective.  The formatting is:
  start time|stop time|line 1|line 2|row number|color  

So the elements I added read
3:09|3:11|Pulp Fiction||5|#00CCFF
5:47|5:50|Blues Brothers||5|#00CCFF
The nice part about the editing is that you can tack your edits onto the last of the other edits. This is nice b/c you don't have to order them in any manner, but it does make it challenging to correct other people's times.

The video at the top is a Beastie Boys song which illustrates the integration of the various music clips and the lyrics flying in from the right and leaving on the left. The second video is a Kleptones video which is comprised of various movie clips.  While the music isn't as complex or layered as the Beastie Boys song, the use of the fly in for movies is a nice use.  I have to say that I was saddened by the fact that Hair and the Blues Brothers weren't called out in the clips, so I had to correct that before recording these demos.

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