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" />

One Response to Quoting and Tagging Temporal Media

  1. Joe Clark says:

    No, Google’s URI is not “valid.” Anchor names must begin with a letter, not a number. Again, while this is nonsensical, it’s what the spec says. Blogger does this wrong, too, and it’s trivial to do right. We don’t expect even the most minimal standards support from Google.