A team of researchers at the University of Oxford is developing a software system that should make digital-video editing almost as simple as using a word processor.
The Isis Innovation team, led by David Shotton, believes that the rapid growth of DV distribution by a wide range of government, education, business and home users has created a demand for simple editing tools with robust distribution facilities. The Vidos project addresses these issues and seeks to provide a methodology that allows DV files to be fully referenced. Development of a free academic Vidos service is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee in collaboration with Internet2 in the United States.
Dr Shotton said Vidos was a Java-based software system that allowed users to edit and customise a DV over the internet or local intranets, adapting its content, size, format and compression quality to suit its intended use.
By utilising the computing power on a Vidos server, the user could gain sophisticated DV editing capabilities while using an under-powered PC without the need to purchase expensive editing software. By reducing the size of digital video files, Vidos could speed up network transfers and cut disc storage requirements.
Danny Torbica, development manager, and John Pybus, development programmer, are working to roll out a Vidos service to the academic community later this year.
The team is collaborating with Ted Hanss, director of applications development of Internet2, and Egon Verharen, innovation manager of the Dutch academic network SURFnet, to develop a transatlantic and pan-European service.
Mr Torbica said the team was also involved in develo-ping a way to allow users to find and access the content of different videos in subject-specific areas. "For example, how do you find, within a huge video, a clip of a cancer cell being eaten by another cell?" he said.
Researchers will be able to analyse videos and share such content information with other scientists, quickly and easily.