CURIOS workflow

We are using the CURIOS video mashup tool in an expanding variety of approaches.

To help make the workflow smoother for various groups, we have assembled these notes and tips about how to make best use of the CURIOS service:

  1. Set up a means to record your webinar session.
    1. This may be through the webinar tool, such as Zoom, or may be directly via a webcam on your laptop.
    2. Remember that if multiple windows are used to show the slides, the speaker, the questions and the chat, it may be hard to capture all of these. Test ahead of time.
    3. In your testing phase, pay attention to sound quality, background noise and echo.
  2. Tell the speakers and attendees that you will be recording the session
  3. If the session will be lengthy, have one of the team take note re timings:
    1. when did the session start and stop. This can important with external recordings
    2. if you change speakers, note the time
    3. for any particularly interesting slides or key points made in the session, note the time (at least approximately) – this will help in later editing.
  4. Stop the recording when the session is finished.
    1. It may keep recording while you are wrapping up or debriefing after the session.
    2. Remember to cut these post-session editorializations from the master recording
    3. Make sure the recording is saved where you can get to it later
  5. Download the recording to your laptop.
    1. Even for a lengthy session, this does not generally take long, unless you used high rez video
  6. Upload the recording to YouTube
    1. This is best done by someone who has decent upload bandwidth, something that not all Internet providers can deliver. Better than 10Mbps upstream is preferable.
    2. Make the YouTube video “Unlisted” at this stage.
      1. You do not need to make it “Public”, unless you wish to.
      2. If you make it “Private”, only people with direct access to the video will be able to see it in CURIOS.
  7. Once the video has been uploaded to YouTube and is processed, send the URL to the person doing the mashup.
  8. Login to either OpenLabyrinth or directly to the CURIOS service.
    1. All OpenLabyrinth authors on our demo server have access to the CURIOS service.
      1. Use the menu Tools | Video mashup service
    2. High volume CURIOS editors may be given direct access.
  9. In CURIOS, you will create a new snippet for each segment of the video that you want to highlight.
    1. Enter the YouTube URL for the video then click [Next]
    2. Enter the starting timepoint for your snippet
    3. Enter the ending timepoint for your snippet
      1. You may need to tweak these a bit afterwards.
    4. Click [Next]
    5. If you wish to add Annotation, choose this now.
    6. If you wish to add a secondary sound track, choose this now.
    7. Once the parameters are set, click on [Generate] to get a new slugline.
  10. You can now embed the generated HTML slugline into the raw HTML of the page where you wish to insert this.
    1. This is easy for OpenLabyrinth or WordPress.
    2. It can be slightly trickier for other applications — see Rob’s excellent notes on how to do this.
  11. You are done for that snippet
    1. You may wish to place some text around the snippet, describing its relevance.
  12. You can now create a new snippet by returning to step 9 above.
    1. This is why the timings made by a moderator can be useful during one of the lengthier sessions, or else it can be a nuisance scrolling through a really long YouTube clip.
    2. You can do this with other YouTube videos made externally.
      1. You do not need to own them or to be able to edit them
      2. As long as you have the URL, it will usually work.

The User Guide here may be helpful for the more technical aspects.

Copyright Issues

One of most useful aspects of working with the CURIOS mashup service is that it neatly avoids most of the complexities associated with copyright.

  1. Because the videos are not copied, but are simply linked to, in principle most of the copyright concerns are avoided.
  2. Because the videos are not edited or altered in any way, you do not interfere with their primary use.
  3. Most authors appreciate the additional exposure and publicity that CURIOS brings to their materials.
  4. You do not need permission from the authors of the video in order to make CURIOS snippets.
    1. We do suggest that it is wise to explicitly acknowledge the authors of the source material
    2. The CURIOS tool automatically provides a link back to the original source video so that your viewers can explore the original further if they wish to.
  5. CURIOS only works with YouTube videos that allow embedding (which is the default).
    1. If the authors have chosen to disable this reuse of their materials, you will not cause ructions by opening up material that they wish to keep closed.

Advantages of the CURIOS approach

CURIOS is not a video editing tool. And YouTube now provides a number of ways of editing and interacting with their videos. So why would you use CURIOS at all?

  1. We have found that for quick-and-easy extraction of highlights from videos, CURIOS is much more efficient as a process.
  2. No software is needed. Everything is done within your browser. (Video editing software can be expensive).
  3. You do not need good hardware. Video production often needs a fancy machine with a good graphics card, lots of disk space and a fast processor. None of this applies to CURIOS.
  4. You can create many different sets of highlights or snippets for each video. These can overlap or be designed for different target audiences. Because the original video remains untouched, one snippet will not interfere with another.
  5. It is easier for teams. You do not have to share large video files. Once the material is uploaded to YouTube, anyone can create snippets from it. And more than one person at a time can work on the materials.
  6. It is easier to provide additional materials to supplement your video highlights. You can describe the snippet, provide links out to other materials or videos.
  7. You can work with pretty much any YouTube video. You don’t have to create all the material yourself.
  8. You can add a secondary sound track. This does not affect the original. It does require a bit more work but very few other tools allow you to do that.

Disadvantages of the CURIOS approach

CURIOS is not perfect. Please don’t hesitate to send us suggestions for how we can improve it.

  1. The interface is not very refined and has some quirks.
  2. If a video author removes the source video, or turns off the embedding option, CURIOS will lose access and the snippets will no longer work. This does not happen very often but we are at the mercy of the original producers.
  3. The timing controls only handle whole seconds. This sometimes makes things a bit clunky and less smooth but does not affect the sense of the contents in the snippets.
  4. The snippets do not run together into a single smooth mashup. This is not the intent of the CURIOS service. We believe it is important that viewers know why a particular highlight is useful and so the contextual material that goes with the snippet is important.