Media Transcriptions Roadmap

I’ve started work on the Media Transcriptions module today. This module will allow the attachment of Transcriptions (or Closed Captioning) to video and audio files. The initial version in CVS is from some work by Jonathan DeLaigle (grndlvl), who is a co-maintainer & developer of the module.

For full functionality, you’ll need to wait for Drupal 7, because of the long-awaited hook_file and Fields in core issues.

However, there will be releases with limited functionality for Drupal 6, and even a teaser for Drupal 5, with a promise of smooth upgrading as things progress.

What this Means for your Multimedia

The goal is to allow an editor to directly edit a video or audio during playback and add transcription notes, ideally straight in the player, and have that transcription available to Drupal for various needs, such as text searches and display.

To get there we’ll follow a meandering path through various Drupal releases, taking advantage of what functionality each has to offer.

  1. Create a Transcription content field.
  2. Allow that field to be connected to a specific file.
  3. Create a Views formatter to display the Transcription as an XML file, suitable for inline closed captioning.
  4. Create another formatter to display the transcription on the page, but timed in synch with playback.
  5. Tap into Drupal Media Player’s and the JW FLV Media Player’s JavaScript API to allow ‘pause and transcribe’ functionality through a form.
  6. Add the same functionality as a plugin to those players.
  7. Tap into YouTube API and Embedded Media Field to allow similar transcriptions for embedded YouTube (and Blip.TV?) videos.
  8. Tie it into Asset for good measure.

So that’s the rough outline. Some of the functionality will be available as early as later today. I’d like to feature it for the YouTube clone I’m building for the Do It With Drupal seminar. Don’t expect a fully functioning solution until Spring 2009, however.