Video Archiving Updates

For the last two weeks, I have been researching video editing and archiving software. While I had once been quite hopeful about Premiere Pro, an Adobe video editing software, because of its supposed speech analysis abilities, I was disappointed to find the feature was removed from the newest versions and no previous versions could be downloaded. As a result, I decided to abandon Premiere Pro and research OHMS in greater depth.

Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) is an open source video indexing software created by The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky that allows archivists to mark specific, searchable topics in the oral history videos. The great thing about OHMS is its ability to upload a thesaurus of similar key terms an outside researcher might use to search the videos. For example, a student might want to see how many English Alumni have studied abroad. While we may have indexed the moments in each video when the interviewee mentions going abroad, we may not have used the same exact key words the student uses (e.g. “off-campus study” versus “study abroad”). OHMS would allow us to index each of these moments with a variety of similar terms in order to maximize the usefulness of the search tool.

There are two related problems raised by OHMS. First, OHMS has no upload feature, it is essentially a metadata overlay for videos stored on other websites. So OHMS can create metadata for a video uploaded to YouTube but it has no storage feature itself. This is only a problem because as of right now, the videos are stored on Google Drive which does not create individual URLs for every video. It will only play the videos. In order to use OHMS, the videos would have to be uploaded elsewhere. The second problem is related to the first in this storage aspect. While it seems unlikely, it is possible that OHMS will only allow an archivist to use the metadata created using its software if the videos are displayed using the OHMS video interface. I say this is unlikely because it would be odd for an open source software that comes in two pieces (video indexing and video display) to force the user to use both pieces. Nevertheless, it is an important aspect to research as we hope to only use the indexing software.

In the future, I will look more into OHMS and attempt to answer these questions. I will also create videos for the English Department/Alumni Relations using the interviews we already have using iMovie.