Announcing UC Berkeley on Google Video

UC Berkeley on Google Video launched this morning. Finally I can talk about it!

We’re the first university to have a Google Video page. We’ve been working hard on this all Summer. Six entire courses, numerous special events, even some Cal Football highlights. 230 videos at launch, over 250 hours of content. All of it branded, titled, and encoded as hi-rez MPG-4.

To date we have over 100,000 page views (Flash streams) and over 16,000 downloads. This should go up significantly now that we have a portal page and PR around this.

Go ahead and check out the site, download the videos to your desktop or iPod/PSP, or easily embed them in your blog or website. Along the way be sure to rate the videos and add a comment.

This is the next chapter in our open access lecture video journey. From webcast.berkeley to Berkeley on iTunes U to this, we are finding new ways to share the vibrant voices of Cal to the world.

Google Video enhances our online video program. Obviously it brings our videos to more people who already use Google on a regular basis. The Flash player is ubiquitous and provides immediate playback. There are video downloads for a mobile audience. Community features such as ratings and comments helps us gauge what people think of the work. The ability to share and embed videos will only bring more discussion. New features such as close captioning and “deep linking” are in line with things we like to do with webcast.berkeley.

This project really pushed our post-production services forward. New ingest/edit/encode stations were put through their paces, pre- and post-roll branding developed, and software/hardware configured for optimal encoding output. Video asset coordination was key from acquisition through delivery. Students were employed and trained to keep things moving, timed so each night the computers would chew on the files.

Hats off to the post-production crew. They really invented a whole new workflow and did all of the heavy lifting.

All of this was done without our SAN-based system, adding many hours to the process and probably weeks to the project. Most of the video was brought in from DVCam tapes, currently being weaned to harddrives. Needless to say, the addition of these tools will greatly improve our turnaround time.

Participating faculty helped secure permissions for copyrighted material, or we worked with them to edit this material from lectures while maintaining the integrity of the teaching. This type of work stands to be the least scalable so we must develop a program to work with faculty toward copyright alternative materials.

As with iTunes U, it was challenging organizing the content into categories for the homepage. We had to strike a balance that at once showcases content but is also flexible for whatever comes down the pike. It was interesting to not link to files or directories, but rather to content grouped together by specific search terms.

Now that we’ve official launched I feel a bit more exhausted than exhilirated. I’m proud that we have furthered what’s possible with open lecture video, and believe that we’ve made Google Video a better site as well.

UC Berkeley on Google Video

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