Xtech 2006: Tristan Ferne – Chopping Up Radio

Finding things when your content is audio is hard, and BBC has a lot of audio content. So need to use metadata, so have info about whole programmes. Don’t have data about how these programmes can be chopped up, e.g.

– news stories

– magazine programmes

– interviews

– music tracks

Acquiring metadata about programmes:

– in production process, either people or software, pre-broadcast

– media analysis of what is broadcast

– user annotation

Focusing on user annotation, which is the Annotatable Audio project. Aim is to get listeners to divide programmes into segments and to annotate and tag each bit. Demonstrated a pilot internally, and preparing for a live deployment.

Can annotate the audio by selecting segments (like ‘notes’ in Flickr) and add factual notes. Are thinking about adding comments about whether or not people like stuff. Wiki-like.

Intending to launch around a low-profile programme, probably factual so they promote the annotation angle, not the discussion angle. Users will need to log in to annotate, but any user can see the canonical version.

Will be able to then search within the programme, to generate chapterised podcasts, and also want to support chapterised MP3s.

Looking at using it as an internal tool for production staff, e.g. tracklisting for specialist music shows or live sessions where the tracklisting can’t be pulled off of a CD.

Can add in tags and then pull out related Flickr photos, which can work nicely but sometimes doesn’t.

Could be used for syndication, so people could more easily use a section or segment of a programme using a ‘blog this’ button on the interface which creates a Flash interface you can put on your site. Problems with editorial policy on that, but it’s an aspiration for their department.

Regarding licensing, will initially be doing it with audio that there are not licensing issues for, which is either rights-free or for which the BBC has the rights.