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Transana - Transcription and Qualitative Analysis of video

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Joined: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:15 am    Post subject: Transana - Transcription and Qualitative Analysis of video Reply with quote

First off, I love PyMedia. It's reasonably easy to use, which I can't say for any other system I've tried to use. Thanks very much for this great bit of work.

Now, more than you'd care to know about my project and how it uses PyMedia.

Transana is software for the transcription and qualitative analysis of video and audio data. We've got users in the thousands, but not 10s of thousands, world wide, mostly academics using video as primary research data. My particular interest is education and the analysis of classroom video, but people use the program for all kinds of things I'd never imagined. Transana is currently available on Windows and (almost) Mac OS X, and we're contemplating a Linux version if we can solve some media player issues. Transana is free, is written in Python using wxPython for the GUI, and is open source.

We extract the audio layer from the video, convert it to a WAV file, and reduce it in size (and resolution) by a factor of 16 to 64, then use this to produce a Waveform diagram. Visual representation of the audio is important in a variety of tasks during transcription and in analysis of the video content.

I had a graduate student a couple of years ago who created C-based DLLs on Windows and Dylib files on the Mac to handle the audio extraction. It took him a long time, and his code has always eluded me, as I'm a psychologist by training and don't speak C. His code is now rusty, doesn't support enough formats, and doesn't work on either platform for any video produced on a Mac computer, regardless of format. I'm not able to work with it, and to add insult to injury, our funding situation can no longer support a graduate student for the project. Essentially, our waveform extraction system needs a complete overhaul, and it's pretty much up to me to do it.

Within a day of discovering PyMedia, I had the bare bones of an audio extraction system up and running, even though I haven't had a ton of experience working with video on a low level. I can now do audio extraction from all the formats the old system supported and a few more, and a nasty problem we were having with AVI files created on Macs is resolved. At least on Windows. I'm currently in the process of final integration of PyMedia with Transana, and it should be completed in time for our next release on Windows.

However, I still need to overhaul the audio extraction code for the Mac version of Transana. Is there any hope that PyMedia 1.4 will work on Mac OS X? Is there any chance it would allow me to extract the audio from QuickTime's MOV format videos on Windows and Mac? That would be a dream come true, and would really save me a lot of painful work in creating a different system to accomplish these tasks. Any idea when PyMedia 1.4 might be available? (And by the way, what happened to PyMedia 1.3? Just curious.)

Thanks for making this great product available.

David Woods, Ph.D.
Wisconsin Center for Education Research
University of Wisconsin, Madison
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Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Posts: 1675

PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very serious project I would say. I'll post it on the pymedia web page shortly.
I'm ready to release 1.3.5 without some features from 1.4 and some bugs related to encoding and pts handling.
I'm looking for a person who can port PyMedi onto OsX, which is the area where I'm not an expert Sad
Hopefully it'll happen one day.
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