Open Video Workbook

Introduction & Overview

This course has been created for the School of Open as part of a series of 'course sprints (so far: Berlin 2012, London 2013) in a project convened by xm:lab with the help of FLOSS manuals and several international partners.

If you want to get a video ready for the web, if you want to subtitle a video in a compatible way, if you want to stream a video, then this workbook is a great place to start. Maybe you want to annotate online video with live tweets and interactive maps. Perhaps you are an artist looking for a more an innovative way of working with video art and projections.

As far as we know, there are very few general overviews of the open video field, and the high level of technical discussion in specialized fora might keep users and developers interested in the topic from getting actively involved. This is all the more important as not all developers are permanently online and free to roam the web for resources, sifting through hundreds of sites to find what they are looking for.

The course is framed within a peer-to-peer education framework 1, as we believe strongly in the sharing of knowledges between users (and developers). But we also think that a more comprehensive understanding of the issues involved in discussions around open video will create greater awareness of the politics of code: decisions about how content is encoded is directly related to what you as a user can do with this content.

What this means is that seemingly technical issues are directly related to your freedom to create, share, and use, and we hope that this course will be of interest to you even if you have little technical knowledge (or, at this point, interest).

If you are a user, go right to the tasks. If you are (also) a facilitator, check out the 'Train the Trainer' section. Whether you teach in a community organization, school, university, or any other kind of workshop setting, you will want to frame your facilitation in a way that best addresses the needs of the users you work with. We provide an overview that ranges from questions of task design to conversations about the politics of code.

There are many reasons to get excited about the possibilities of open video. Don't just take our word for it, check out projects like Open Video Alliance, FOMS, Mozilla Popcorn and HTML5 Video. Rather than listing all the good things about open video now, we'll introduce different arguments with examples in each chapter as we look at all the great tools that are out there.

Become a Module Creator

Rather than providing comprehensive overviews of free / open source video tools, these (self-contained) open video modules are designed to accomplish a specific tasks using a specific tool. We feel that the experience of successfully completing a module with open video tools is the best way to raise interest in open video tools more generally.

If you really enjoy working with a specific open video tool, share your enthusiasm by designing a module for a specific audience and email it to !

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