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.
- Google offers a way to link to specific time point within a video file by defining a new URL anchor form
- Odeo offers a way to link to a specific time range within an audio file by overloading the path portion of a URL
- MotionBox offers a way to link to a specific time range within a video file by appending parameters to the URL
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" />