Sometimes, the best and most relevant part of a video is three minutes and forty two seconds in and it only lasts for 33 seconds - how do you convey that to your friends when you share it on Facebook? How about if you want to share it with your classmates or coworkers?
Interactive video transcription and captioning service 3Play Media has an answer with a video clipping feature it announced today that "allows users to quickly create and share specific portions of a video simply by highlighting the spoken words in the transcript."
Rather than introducing a video by asking your friends to use somewhat inaccurate controls to skip ahead, the service helps take them directly to the part of the video you intend, right down to the specific word. The service creates a link that includes start- and stop-time information. When you click on the link, you're taken to a page that shows not only the video, but a word for word transcription alongside it.
Take a look at a demo of the service using a ReadWriteWeb interview video on YouTube.
"We expect video clipping to be a huge asset for online video publishers. Instead of having to wade through an entire clip, users can now share a specific section of a video, which makes the experience more concentrated and easier to share," said CJ Johnson, director of product and technology at 3Play Media, in the company's release.
Of course, sharing like this relies on the video's publisher using the company's transcription service, which comes in at $150 per hour of video. So while we truly enjoy the feature, we don't see it going widespread across the Web. More likely, we'll begin seeing this service take off for professional and educational videos. As the company's release notes, its customers include "universities, major corporations and web companies" and these are the sorts of publishers we expect we may see using this service.
This is the most prohibitive factor, as far as we see it - you can't go find a Bill Maher video and decide to share 20 seconds with a friend unless HBO already uses 3Play Media's transcription services. However, in specific use cases, such as making video more accessible, this feature looks like a great addition and for providers of educational videos, the feature could be indispensable.