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Search, REST & Play! Video Discovery

12.05.2011
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James Alexander, Open University:  The Open University has been creating programmes in partnership with BBC for over forty years. The resulting video archive contains over 9,000 programmes and 70,000 tapes of raw footage. The Access to Video Assets (AVA) project has been making this collection accessible to facilitate reuse and digitally preserving content: about 100TB of data so far.

Making video discoverable presents challenges that go beyond text-based search, and AVA has used Solr in unlocking this archive and bringing order to a collection that contains a plethora of physical and digital formats: these include over twenty types of tape, BBC holdings records, library catalogue and transmission data, subtitles, transcripts, rights contracts and other documents.

The resulting interface is designed to make video and metadata held in a repository accessible in innovative and intuitive ways for use by non-specialists. Its features include tag clouds hyperlinked to play out video content as well as other visualization and exploration tools including image storyboards, dynamic menus and facets.
This presentation outlines how Solr's REST API has been used to rapidly develop a Drupal interface and how indexing can be used to produce 'in-video' search.