Wednesday 7 December 2005

Getting from hypertext to hypermedia

I haven't visited Jon Udell's blog for a while, so it was a happy chance that his most recent post deals with an issue I've been waiting for someone to tackle - how to hyperlink multimedia like we already do with hypertext. What's the point you might ask? Well, to quote Udell:

"In my earlier experiments with MP3 sound bites I showed how seemingly-opaque and statically-served audio files can be made link-addressable, and can therefore be quoted from in situ. Composing on-the-fly remixes is one of the nice benefits that fall out of this approach, but the larger goal is to bring the social effects we see at work in the textual blogosophere into the realm of audio. Linking and quotation drive discovery and shared discourse, but media formats, players, and hosting environments are notoriously hostile to linking and quotation, and I'd really like to see that change."

Udell takes advantage of Google Video's switch from VLC to Flash a couple of months ago to experiment with arbitrary clipping. However, I think concept rather than the technique is important - particularly his idea that:

  • Every media player should also be, at least potentially, an authoring tool as well.
  • Every piece of published media content should afford, at least potentially, a canonical address - indeed, a whole family of them.

Yes, yes, yes I say!

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