Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Posts Tagged ‘video’

Video Labs: Universal Subtitles on Commons

Universal Subtitles Widget Sync Interface

Universal Subtitles synchronisation interface gives subtitle authors fine grained control over subtitle timing.

For the past 6 months the Participatory Culture Foundation has been hard at work on their latest open web video mission to make captioning, subtitling, and translating video publicly accessible in a way that’s free and open. Part of the Mozilla Drum Beat campaign for a better web, Universal Subtitles is a tool and platform to help bring an open solution to subtitling web video. Commons has supported timed text via the mwEmbed gadget for some time, but up until today it has been very difficult to create the initial subtitle track. I have been watching the development of the universal subtitles efforts, and while at the subtitle summit and open video conference we were finally able to hack on bringing the Universal Subtitles widget to Wikimedia Commons.

Today, I am happy to share our first pass at integrating our open subtitle efforts. Please keep in mind this integration is still very early on in development, but the basic milestone of being able to use the tool on commons to create and sync up subtitle tracks is an important first step. Even without helpful tools in place, the Wikimedia community has been creating subtitles and translations. We hope this new subtitle edit tools will broaden the number of participants and enable the Wikimedia community to set a new standard for high quality multilingual accessibility in online video content.

If you have a moment, feel free to check out the widget and provide some feedback. If you are looking for a video to subtitle, check out the recently created needs subtitling category.

Michael Dale, Open Source Video Collaboration Technology

Video Labs: P2P Next Community CDN for Video Distribution

As Wikimedia and the community embark on campaigns and programs to increase video contribution and usage on the site, we are starting to see video usage on Wikimedia sites grow and we hope for it to grow a great deal more. One potential problem with increased video usage on the Wikimedia sites is that video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images that make up Wikipedia articles today. Eventually bandwidth costs could saturate the foundation budget or leave less resources for other projects and programs. For this reason it is important to start exploring and experimenting with future content distribution platforms and partnerships.

The P2P-Next consortium is an EU-funded project exploring the future of Internet video distribution. Their aims are to dramatically reduce the costs of video distribution through community CDNs and P2P technology. They recently presented at Gdansk Wikimania 2010, and today I am happy to invite the Wikimedia community to try out their latest experimental efforts to greatly reduce video distribution costs. Swarmplayer V2.0 is being released today for Firefox (an Internet Explorer plugin is in testing). The Swamplayer enables visitors to easily share their upload bandwidth to help distribute video. The add-on works with the Kaltura HTML5 library ( aka mwEmbed ) and, to enable visitors to help offset distribute costs of any Ogg Theora video embed in any web page.

p2p next desing overview

Swarmplayer next design overview, learn more on

We have enabled this for Wikimedia video via the multimedia beta. Once you installed the add-on any video you view on Wikimedia sites with the multimedia beta enabled will be transparently streamed via bittorrent. The add-on includes simple tools to configure how much bandwidth you use to upload. Even if you upload nothing, using the add-on helps distribute load by playing the video from the P2P network and the local cache on subsequent views. The Swarmplayer has clever performance tuning which downloads high priority pieces over http while getting low priority bits of the video from the bittorrent swarm. This ensures a smooth playback experience while maximizing use of the P2P network. You can learn more about the technology on the Swam player add-on site

The P2P Next Team from Delft University of Technology will be presenting the P2P-Next project at the Open Video Conference on October 2nd.

Michael Dale, Open Source Video Collaboration Technology

Four videos of Wikipedia’s volunteers

Earlier this week we announced the first of four videos featuring Wikipedia’s volunteer editors, Wikipedia: Username. Today we released the fourth and final video in the series, Wikipedia: Great feeling.

All four of the videos have now been posted – both on the Wikimedia Commons and also on YouTube. The videos are all available under CC-BY-SA. For the YouTube version, consider opting into YouTube’s HTML5 beta, to support the open web. We strongly believe in the importance of open video formats for an open web, and most modern browsers can now play either the open WebM or OGV format.  The videos on Wikimedia Commons will automatically playback with an open-source HTML5 player in Firefox.

The full list of videos now available:

Wikipedia: Username (OGV|YouTube)

Wikipedia: Nice people (OGV|YouTube)

Wikipedia: Edit button (OGV|YouTube)

Wikipedia: Great feeling (OGV|YouTube)

The videos will also be available for download in HD versions on Vimeo.

Lots of people have reposted the videos on facebook (via the Wikipedia fan page), Twitter, and  Please watch and share the stories of Wikipedia editors.

We hope you’ll agree that the values, passion, energy and authenticity of Wikimedia’s volunteer community come through in full force. Wikimedia is a very special community, and we hope that we’ll be able to inspire many more to join it.

Thanks for watching, and thanks for sharing!

Jay Walsh, Communications

Video Labs: Kaltura HTML5 Sequencer available on Wikimedia Commons

sequence drag drop

Screenshot showing a search for cats and drag an image into the sequence

I am happy to invite the Wikimedia community to try out the latest Kaltura HTML5 video sequencer as part of a Wikimedia/Kaltura Video Labs project that can now be used on Wikimedia Commons with resulting sequences visible on any Wikimedia project. For those that have been following the efforts, it has been a long road to  deliver this sequence editing experience within the open web platform and within the MediaWiki platform. This blog post will highlight the foundational technologies in use by the sequencer in its present state and outline some of the upcoming features in Firefox 4, and enhancements to the sequencer itself that are set to improve the editing experience.

If you want to just jump into editing, please check out the commons documentation page and play around with the editor and let us know what you think. This project is early on in its development. Your bug reports,  ideas, feedback and participation will help drive future features and how these tools are used within Wikimedia projects.

If you’re interested in Video on Wikipedia in general, please consider joining the Wikivideo mailing list which will cover a wide range topics, including the sequencer, collaborative subtitles, timed text, video uploading, video distribution, format guidelines, and campaigns to increase video contributions to the site.

And finally, if you are in the New York area consider checking out the Open Video Conference coming up October 1st to the 3nd, which will be a great space to hack on open video and work on ideas for the future of video on Wikimedia projects.


Who edits Wikipedia?

This week the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to introduce a series of short videos that were produced in Summer of 2010 that highlight our users: the volunteer contributors from around the world who help make projects like Wikipedia a reality.

(The clips will be posted on this YouTube channel, and also as CCBYSA files on the Wikimedia Commons)

These videos were produced with two key outcomes in mind: to inform the general public about the people and inspiration behind our movement, and also to energize and inspire new Wikipedia editors to engage bravely in contributing to Wikipedia.  The latter focus is particularly important for the Foundation’s current Public Policy initiative outreach, but we’re hopeful they will inspire other new editors around the world.

Altogether we will be launching four videos, and today’s video ‘Username’ is a short clip that introduces some of the 35 Wikipedia editors that were interviewed during the annual Wikimania conference last summer in Gdansk Poland.  We’ll launch the rest of the clips through this week, hosting them on video sharing sites and of course on the Wikimedia Commons.  The clips are all CCBYSA 3.0, including the great background music by Matthew Carey.

The clips were created for the Wikimedia Foundation by a team that’s been working with the Foundation over the past year. They were directed by Jelly Helm, produced by Noah Stanik, shot by DP Reed Harkness, and edited by Sarah Marcus. The Germany-based film production crew Living Colour was an essential partner in bringing everything together at the shoot in Gdansk, Poland, and Fenton Communications, who have been supporting the Foundation over the past year, were our agency partners in pulling this project together. We also owe the organizers of 2010′s Wikimania conference a great deal of thanks for helping us sort out the production on the ground and for letting us borrow participants for short interviews.

And of course our great thanks go to each of the 35 Wikipedins who took the time to open up and share their views and philosophies about our movement. The Foundation is incredibly fortunate to be able to meet so many Wikimedia volunteers, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to share some of the passion and energy we see every day.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more!

Jay & Frank / Communications & Public Outreach

Using Video to Recruit New Wikipedia Editors

How can we recruit even more people to make Wikipedia a richer, deeper learning resource? For one thing, by making it easier to contribute (see our previous announcement). But, we also have to make our readers aware that their help is welcome, and ease them into taking the first steps to improving or creating an article. So, we’re funding the development of a slate of outreach resources such as brochures and videos that help people to get started, some of which target specific audiences like teachers and students.

Our partners are 27 regional Wikimedia chapter organizations, and anyone else who wants to help. Here are two recent examples.

Wikimedia Italia has funded the production of a 7 minute introductory video, “La Wikiguida di Wikipedia”. You can watch it on YouTube (with subtitles) below, or view or download the video in Ogg Theora format. It’s now linked to on every page of the Italian Wikipedia. The video was produced by Christian Biasco, and more videos are planned to be produced later this year.

If you don’t speak Italian, you may be interested in Howcast’s lovely introduction to creating a Wikipedia article, embedded below:

Produced with guidance from Swedish Wikipedia volunteer Lennart Guldbrandsson, it’s a fun and comprehensive intro, and uses Howcast’s powerful “how-to player” to guide viewers through the instructions. Howcast San Francisco, by the way, now resides in the offices previously used by the Wikimedia Foundation, so perhaps they were inspired by forgotten wiki paraphernalia. ;-)

The Wikimedia Foundation didn’t plan or commission these videos, but we’re very happy and grateful that they were made – we believe instructional video resources will be essential as we scale our efforts to recruit new editors. A big thank you to Wikimedia Italia and Howcast for leading by example. Moving forward, we are seeking opportunities to assist and encourage our chapters and individual volunteers in creating these types of outreach resources.

Erik Moeller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Open Video Alliance Launches “Video on Wikipedia” Campaign

Today, our friends at the Open Video Alliance launched an important advocacy project (see their announcement), called “Let’s Get Video on Wikipedia“. The project aims to motivate more people to take and upload relevant educational video content to Wikimedia’s media repository, Wikimedia Commons.

Video can play an important role in an encyclopedia and in other learning resources. Whether it’s clips of animals, speeches, interviews, excerpts from important films, explanatory animations, footage of historical events, or even collaboratively created documentaries exploring complex topics — video can enrich our learning experience. There are about 4,500 video files in our media repository today, a tiny number. We don’t expect that Wikipedia will turn into “Wikitube” anytime soon, but we do hope that thousands more relevant educational videos will find their way into articles in our projects.

The Wikimedia Foundation also believes that two things need to change for video on the web: it needs to break out of the Flash container used for most video on the web so that developers can build smarter and richer applications, and it needs to be shared in a free format so that anyone can shoot and broadcast video without paying fees. That’s why we use an open video standard for all our videos. The “Let’s get video on Wikipedia how-to” provides simple instructions to convert video into a free and open format and upload it. And, of course, all video content on Wikimedia Commons can be re-used by anyone for any purpose: we’re open all the way.

The campaign is being co-organized by Mozilla Drumbeat, Wikimedia New York City, and the Participatory Culture Foundation, makers of the open source Miro video player and downloader.  It’s also a trial-by-fire for some of the new video technology we’ve been working on in partnership with Kaltura. In short, it’s a demonstration of the power of building alliances. If you’re a video maker or a web developer, we hope that you’ll join us in supporting open standards and free educational video content.

Wikipedia volunteer TheDJ provides some further under-the-hood information in his blog summary.

Erik Moeller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

New Media Features Gadget

I would like to announce that some of the new media features are now available in gadget form on Wikimedia Commons and the English Wikipedia. These include a new ogg player, the add media wizard, and firefogg upload support. I hope having these components in gadget form will enable some more testing and feedback :)

Getting Started to enable these components you must turn on the mwEmbed gadget. You can turn it on by visiting your preferences page. Once you enable the gadget you should shift reload to ensure you have a fresh copy of the JavaScript. (note you will need to enable the gadget for each wiki you want to test (ie both for wikimedia commons and Wikipedia). Once enabled you can check out the following features: (more…)

Wikimania talk videos

Yesterday’s tech talks from Wikimania are online at our temporary video file staging location (Ogg Theora format). They should appear on Commons soon. :)

Update: Some of the movies have encoding problems; reencoded versions should be reposted within a couple days. Sorry!

Scaling Wikipedia Mobile

Some of the things I learned about new projects and scaling issues.

BTW, I think we can settle that Ruby applications don’t have to be slow. Far from it.

[vimeo 5749262 600 450]

Follow me on Twitter @hcatlin or @WikimediaMobile