TECH TALK: Video on the Internet: Ramesh Jains Views (Part 2)

Ramesh Jain continues his discussion on IPTV and discusses two challenges that need to be addressed going ahead editing and searching.

Current video editing tools are difficult to use. And, the tools that are easy to use dont give enough control to author what an amateur producer might want. This is an interesting challenge to the multimedia communityand at the invitation-only Berkeley retreat at the 2003 ACM Multimedia conference, participants (about 30 leading researchers) correctly identified it as a grand challenge for multimedia. Add to authoring environment, addition of tools that will provide tagging for presentation like HTML did for text. Such tools lets call them Video Presentation Markup Language (VPML). These tools will allow any player to take a video and play it as the producer intended it to be played.

The second and equally important problem is how to find videos of interest. Search engines have trained the current generation of Internet users to search for information using easy tools like specifying keywords. How will we search for video on the Internet? Current search techniques on the Internet extend text-based techniques, but theyre still rather limited compared to what we need for accessing video. The multimedia information retrieval research community and the practicing video retrieval community are poles apart. Theyre developing more or less disjoint approaches: The research community wants to use only visual characteristics because thats where interesting research challenges are. Practicing people want to just apply text-based approaches because thats what they know. Everybody recognizes that to be successful, you must use all knowledge sources and all possible techniques for accessing video information. Unfortunately, thats where it ends most of the timejust talking about combining multiple sources to solve this puzzle and then going to your workplace and continue what youve been doing. We need people who will take this challenge seriously and start developing techniques to access video information using text processing, visual computing, audio recognition, and folksonomy.

In this post, Ramesh Jain discusses why video will replace text as the primary media on the Internet:

I always believed that video is the most dominant medium of expression that humans have developed and will replace text. Video subsumes audio, visual, and textual media and allows appropriate combination of these to express ideas and experiences. At one time, just few years ago, it was so difficult to create, store, and distribute videos that very few people could imagine that video could become a folk medium for expression. Even a few years ago it appeared that it would be long time before video could really become a popular expression media.

First internet, then availability of bandwidth, and then explosion in digital camera have resulted in a situation that some people have started calling the next bubble. Well whether bubble is there or not is the market issue, the popularity and explosion in use of video is going to stay as much as internet stays after the last bubble. Video is so powerful medium that people are going to increasingly use it. A very major advantage of video will soon emerge as a powerful unifying force across different language groups. As people dubbed popular movies, tools for adding audio tracks will propagate and popularize videos across languages.

Ramesh Jain discusses the concept of channels:

Channels on TV used to be broadcast channels in which a company decided what the users should want to see and programmed accordingly. Accordingly, we all became couch potatoes and selected a channel and watched it. When multiple channels became commonplace we started channel switching and then channel surfing (particularly to avoid commercials).

Now the term channel is starting to take a different meaning. Initially it started by video sites currently the most popular Youtube offering special interest channels to which you could subscribe. And now they are taking it further bringing in more internet culture. On the Web, you are simultaneously both producer and consumer. So in terms of channels you could be both a couch-potato as well as a channel-broadcaster. Moreover you could be remixing contents from different producers or even from different channels and producing your own branded channel.

Well it did happen to text so why not to video?

Plenty of food for thought. Moving on, we will take a closer look at the phenomenon of user-generated content.

Tomorrow: User-Generated Content

TECH TALK Video on the Internet+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.