Indexing Audio and Video Recordings

Catching up on blogs posts after my week off and came across this posting from Brett Roberts entitled “Searching audio with MAVIS”MAVIS (Microsoft Audio Video Indexing System) is from Microsoft Research and allows SharePoint and SQL search functions to index audio and video content so that it can be returned in a set of search results. 


It is live on the Washington State Digital Archives website, and there are more details in the press release here.

The Washington Digital Archives is the first government program in the country to offer Microsoft Research’s Audio Search technology, which takes record keeping to the next level: it doesn’t just preserve audio recordings – it gives people an innovative way to search through them.

The partnership grew from an ambitious project undertaken three years ago by the Washington State House of Representatives and the Washington State Archives to save over 30,000 cassette tapes of committee hearings.

You can try it out by selecting the Search Option, in the Record Series dropdown choose ‘Audio Recordings’ and type in your search phrase.  I searched for “Oxford” and it returned a set of results dating back to 1979.  The search engine returns the complete audio recording and then links you to the place within the audio stream that your search term is spoken.

What I find so great about this is that it opens up a whole new set of possibilities.  Using computers it is easy for us to give people access to meeting agendas and meeting minutes, but unless people transcribe entire meetings the conversation and discussion is often lost.  Technologies like this help make Government transparent to the Citizens and Businesses that are affected by their decisions. 

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