IEEE TCDL Bulletin
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TCDL Bulletin
Volume 3   Issue 2
Summer 2007



A Superimposed Multimedia Presentation Editor and Player

Uma Murthy, Kapil Ahuja, Edward Fox
Digital Library Research Laboratory
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia USA 24061
{umurthy, kahuja, fox}
Sudarshan Murthy
Department of Computer Science
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon USA 97207

In a variety of applications such as learning, we need to integrate multimedia information into convenient packages (like presentations). The challenges involved in this process are: Selecting or working with information elements at sub-document level while retaining the original context; describing the integration or packaging of such elements; and making use of minimal storage during this activity.

Current multimedia authoring software, like RealProducer [], tend to repeatedly copy information, or to limit granularity of information referenced. Although editors for the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language [], such as GRiNS [], address some of the aforementioned challenges, they are difficult to use and require considerable training effort before a user can work with them.

We developed the Superimposed Multimedia Presentation Editor and Player (SIMPEL), a tool to address these challenges. SIMPEL allows a user to compose synchronized multimedia presentations from references to selections of multimedia information, at varying document granularity. For example, for a specific topic a user can select an audio clip, some images, and some text. He can then play (render in specific panes of a window) this information-set in some order. Finally, a user may package a SIMPEL presentation to include all information references and later share those packages.

Figure 1 shows the creation and "playing" of a SIMPEL presentation. In the example shown, the user selects some HTML content and an audio clip. She then re-arranges these bits of information on a timeline, to create a synchronized multimedia presentation. Figure 2 shows another SIMPEL presentation created using some video clips and HTML content.

SIMPEL is in a genre of applications called superimposed applications (SAs), which allow users to superimpose new interpretations over existing or base information []. SAs employ marks, references to selected regions within base information. SIMPEL uses the Superimposed Pluggable Architecture for Contexts and Excerpts (SPARCE), middleware that provides mark management and other services for SAs []. SIMPEL has been implemented for Windows in Visual Basic.NET and uses XML for storing presentation data.

Future work on SIMPEL will include support for pre-fetching media files (for better performance). We also plan to index marks and make them searchable, thus facilitating further reuse. For more information, please see the detailed report [] on SIMPEL.

Thumbnail image of poster

For a larger view of Figure 1, click here.
Thumbnail image of poster

For a larger view of Figure 2, click here.

© Copyright 2007 Uma Murthy, Kapil Ahuja, Edward Fox and Sudarshan Murthy
Some or all of these materials were previously published in the Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital libraries, ACM 1-59593-354-9.

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