Announcing the RAMP MetaPlayer Framework & Popcorn.JS
At SXSW last week we announced the launch of our developer portal, which now provides an entirely new way for customers to leverage the benefits of our MediaCloud platform. Our new API's now allow developers to easily enhance their existing applications and user experiences with the rich metadata, search and related content capabilities RAMP has become recognized for.
Our first commercial project was for the People's Choice Awards. In this implementation we used popcorn to load Freebase biographical information about the celebrities mentioned in the 30 years of video in the People's Choice archive. The celebrities were identified using RAMP's MetaQ technology, which allows use to identify key concepts within any audio or video across an entire catalog of video. Rather than have a person go over each video manually and mark the important points in the video, we can programmatically identify these concepts. Within the first 90 days we saw a lift in user engagement of over 70% but integrating these "lean-forward" features. We announced this project as the first commercial implementation using Popcorn.js at the Mozilla Hackfest in London this past November. At the festival we also contributed our Freebase plugin which can be found on Github.
RAMP is extremely excited about the future of Popcorn.js and what it can and will do for interactive media. We believe that for any framework to be successful in the market it has to be open and standards-based, which is why we have based ours completely around the HTML5 specification. This means that we will continue to broaden our support players based on other technologies by building HTML5 adaptive interfaces which multiply the innovation behind HTML5 with the power and robustness of enterprise streaming Flash and Silverlight players. Some of the key benefits of the RAMP/Popcorn integration:
- RAMP brings interactivity to enterprise scale. Thousands of videos can have frame-related content or advertising;
- For PopcornJS, MetaPlayer provides a much needed separation of content and presentation;
- Broadens the use of Popcorn for commercial applications by contributing IE8 support to the core library
- Embraces HTML5 as a standard, but pushes forward UI design with features immediately accessible to the extensive amount of video already on the internet in the form of Flash and Youtube players.
With video as a native web element, the text of a video can be re-imagined. By providing the full transcript along side the video, new use cases emerge. Fast readers can scan ahead, text search can highlight relevant passages, and words within the transcript can be clicked to jump directly to the relevant point of the video. An easy auto-scrolling window allows for the same real-time experience through karaoke-style highlighting. Best of all, the scrolling transcript is written as a PopcornJS plugin.
With the addition of timed text, tags, and related content it becomes increasing desirable to indicate to the viewer where the interesting parts of the video are and provide easy jump-to points. With the MetaPlayer Timeline and Controls plugin, an iPad-friendly and CSS customizable scrubber bar is drawn with color-coded markers and tooltips. When combined with the Search plugin, a keyword search will dynamically add new markers letting watchers dig deep into video content. The MetaPlayer Framework includes these as well as dozens of other ways to visualize and interact with video metadata.
Looking forward to your comments and feedback!