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Congress-ipedia: Among the early sources that will be tapped for video enhancements to Wikipedia pages is Metavid, an open-source repository of Congressional speeches and hearings.

The project also includes developing Web tools to create smooth methods for transferring and editing videos. When a Wikipedia editor finds relevant snippets, he will be able to preview them, and set the “in” and “out” points, without having to worry about file conversions. “Presently, the work flow is pretty atrocious” for people trying to download, convert, and edit video, says Dale, citing the notoriously confusing array of incompatible video formats now in use. With the new Wikipedia system, “people will be able to easily inject media into pages, in a way that wasn’t possible before,” he says.

Kaltura is helping develop the tools needed to simplify video importing. “It’s uploading, importation–all the things that have to happen before you can edit the files,” says Shay David, CTO and cofounder of Kaltura. The system will be publicly demonstrated for the first time this afternoon at the Open Video Conference in New York City.

Erik Moeller, deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation, says that he hopes the effort will help promote wider access to vast stores of historical material, political speeches, interviews, documentaries, and anything else that could figure into Wikipedia, the world’s seventh most popular website. “It is sad and unfortunate that the public broadcasters are not the ones leading this movement,” Moeller says. “The mission should be to do whatever they can do to maximize distribution, and I’m not seeing that right now.”

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Credits: Wikimedia Foundation,

Tagged: Computing, Web, Internet, search, open source, copyright, Wikipedia, videos

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