Quoting and Tagging Temporal Media

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The last few weeks has seen a flury of activity around pointing inside temporal media files on the web.

Below, I’ve summarized various approaches with abstract examples, using "start" to represent a numerical start time, and "stop" to represent the corresponding stop time, within the temporal media.  Unfortunately, not all start and stop times are expressed in the expected HH:MM:SS format.

http://server/path/item#start

http://server/path/item/start/stop

http://server/path/item?segment_begin=start&segment_end=stop

Of the three approaches, the anchor approach seems most elegant, while the path overloading seems least elegant.  Fortunately, any of these methods should support a generic implementation of deep tagging, since they’re all valid URIs.

BTW, Google also offers a way to embed a video file with a specific start point, by passing in a specific parameter into the Flash video controller.

<embed … FlashVars="initialtime=start" />