Don’t call me DOM

13 February 2009

The beauty of HTMLMediaElement

So, while exploring the world of Web video, after having successfully transcribed a one hour long video of one my presentations, and turned that transcription into an HTML 5 video with subtitles, I started to look in more details as to what HTML 5 brought to the table that made this synchronization possible.

The rather obvious change that HTML 5 brings to the table is the HTMLMediaElement DOM Interface, and in particular the currentTime property, which at any time reflects the part of the media content that is played.

Synchronizing text and video

After having visited the land of transcription as my first stop in the world of Web video, the next logical step was to look into how this wonderful transcription of my video could be actually shown along with the video.

Transcriber, the tool I used to generate the captions of the video, saves the transcription into its own XML format:

12 February 2009

Diving in transcription

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So, my exploration in world of Web video started in the land of transcription.

As I mentioned previously, one of the requirements for us on the W3C Staff to be allowed to publishing media content is to make sure it meets some minimal level of accessibility, and in the current (draft) state of affairs, this means providing a transcription of its content. (Oct 8 2009: that policy is now publicly available)

My first reaction to that policy was slightly annoyed: I was afraid this would create too high a barrier on us from publishing multimedia content, which in this age and days seems to be a fairly important expression mechanism.

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Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.