Below are notes from the COVE Roll-Out Webinar held on September 22nd, 2009. The second bi-weekly webinar being held for stations who have signed up to implement COVE Is being held this afternoon at 3:00pm ET, and will feature Rich Baniewicz from pilot station WHYY talking a bit about their local video content strategy. If you have not already done so, you may register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/344995210.
COVE Webinar Notes 9.22.09
- Purpose/Format of these webinars :
- Share information about the COVE Products, and tips for preparing for, and managing your local implementation of COVE.
- Some weeks we'll have special topics and draw from the expertise of our COVE Pilot stations that have been in the COVE system for a while now.
- Other weeks we'll reserve the time for open Q&A forums.
- If there are special topics you'd like us to cover, let us know
- On today's Webinar: SP&S Staff, Jasmin Bulin(PBS, General Audience team), Angee Simmons, Executive Producer, Promotions, KCPT
II. Roll Out Update
- We're almost done talking to all 117 stations that signed up - LAST CALL - if your consultation is not scheduled yet, contact us ASAP! (Deadline was 9.30.09)
- Welcome packets - we will begin sending packets out to stations next week. For stations slated to begin account set-up after October, we'll send out a preliminary timeline now. A couple weeks before your start date, we'll send a firmer timeline and any updated documentation.
III. COVE Products Update
- Wrapping up completion of COVE Lite which will be available in Station Remote Control by the end of September.
Update: During some final QA being conducted on 9.23.09, we encountered a bug that may push the release date into the first half of October.
IV. Special Topic: Metadata
- Angee Simmons, KCPT - shared tips on managing metadata:
- KCPT makes heavy use of the metadata worksheet doc provided by PBS. Producers are responsible for entering relevant info on their programs and passing back to Angee for inclusion in COVE. [Available in the Cove Resource Center in SRC: http://www.pbs.org/remote.control/toolsindex/services/COVE/index.html - Look under "Additional Resources" at the bottom of the page]
- The spreadsheet makes management fairly simple. Not all the fields are required, and some tend to be the same for all the programs they produce.
- Angee copies and pastes from the spreadsheet to the relevant fields in the COVE admin tool.
- She has worked with her producers to ensure the descriptions are concise and worded to serve a Web audience. For example, while their restaurant review show, "Check Please!" could be simply described as a "restaurant review" program, she has worked with the producers to make sure that things like the name of the restaurants reviewed, and the type of cuisine covered are included in the description. This provides key-words that reflect what users may actually be searching for rather than a generic description of the program.
Q: Does COVE Pro support captioning? If so, what captioning format does it use?
A: Yes. You would need to upload the captioning info into the COVE Admin Tool as a SAMI file.
Q: What about descriptive video
A: Not right now. However, NCAM (the National Center for Accessible Media) just reviewed COVE and offered us some recommendations on making the experience more accessible. We're working on reviewing those suggestions and will be making incremental improvements to the product.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for tools to use to create caption files? Subtitle Workshop, perhaps? (For those stations which need to create these files from scratch.)
A: Right now no. We're reviewing possible solutions, but are not aware of any we would necessarily recommend at this time.
Update: After the Webinar, Josh Winterrowd, Information Systems Manager for KUSM followed up with this note:
Just as a follow up to the webinar questions about closed captioning, I have used this tool and had great success with it. It accepts MPEG2 files, among others, and extracts caption data into a number of different formats including .smi. I was pulling files straight off of our broadcast server and extracting the caption data to timed text files. That is what our current online video player uses. We only ended up using it on one show due to the player not having a button to turn off captions when they were not wanted. It isn't a perfect solution but if stations need to get caption data from old shows and don't have the budget to send it off, this may be an option.
I did find some online tools to adjust time codes for the entire file if there was, for some reason, a problem with the synchronization being way, way off. The one I ended up using was at http://subtitle-horse.org/index.php .
Hope some of this is useful.
Q: How are you storing your data?
A: Data is stored on internal servers. KCPT also keeps copies of their spreadsheets for future use/reference and have discovered that they come in handy for other purposes such as grabbing text to use to promote the program online or in their e-newsletter.
Q: Are there any tools out there to help teach our folks how to gather metadata from old shows as opposed to creating it from scratch for new productions?
A: No. Metadata must be created for all productions. The old shows can be trickier, as the producers may be long gone. For archived content, it may take longer to track down and gather this information.
Q: Are you tying the metadata worksheet into your traffics system?
A: Yes. The traffic system can be a good place to start for a lot of the information needed, although it may need to be tweaked to be optimized for display online (ie, short, concise descriptions, including keywords users are likely to be searching for, etc.)
Q: How do you choose which programs to highlight from the COVE main page? Is 10 the max?
A: KCPT features local programming together, so when one is highlighted in the carousel, the others are visible. They'll change up what is featured in the carousel based on that night's programming to make sure people can easily find what they're looking for. They don't necessarily change the order every day.
10 is the maximum number of programs that can be searched in the carousel, but all available programs can be accessed through the programs drop-down menu.
Q: How is Angee tracking where people are coming from? PBS hosts this, correct? Is their Google Analytics account included in setup?
A: There is a field within the COVE Admin Tool where you can insert Google Analytics code to track traffic to the pages on your implementation of the COVE video portal.
Q: Does the COVE portal have an import feature to import the metadata from the worksheet?
A: No, not currently. This is a feature that is being widely requested, and is near the top of our list for desired enhancements to the COVE system.
Q: Does the COVE Admin Tool have the capability of exporting the data that stations have entered into it?
A: No. There is currently no export functionality in the admin tool. However, the COVE infrastructure does support the export of content feeds that contain much of the metadata.
Q: Do the front-end RSS feeds that Max mentioned include all of the data fields which are included in the spreadsheet? In particular, is the "External ID" field included in the RSS feed?
A: We're not positive that field would be included. Will have to check back to confirm.
Q: How many fields do you require---and what kind of compliance do you get with your staff?
A: Nine or ten fields are required. More fields are required if you are breaking your program up into chapters, for example. Staff compliance is not an issue for KCPT.
Q: What about chapters in programs. How are you creating them (i.e. when they are produced out of the studio and do not come from an editor in an edit bay). Is there a particular software program?
A: Chapters are created using time stamps. Within the COVE Admin Tool, you simply enter the start and end times for each chapter. Whether or not you are breaking a program into chapters, each program only needs a single video file created. There is no need for additional software.
Q: Is the membership button on the site something stations can control?
A: Those links are controlled by PBS, but are populated by your membership link as entered in Station Remote Control so that users will be directed to your membership area. We are working on the use of the black space around the video, and balancing the need for things like funder credits and calls to membership. Right now, we changed the membership text link to a donate button to support the current experimentation around National Parks. The button may switch back to a text link in the future, but there will always be a membership link in this space that links to your membership page.
Q: Should we have already received our introductory COVE kits?
A: No. They'll be coming out in the next few weeks.
Q: Can we get an archive of this?
A: No. We did not record this webinar due to technical difficulties, but plan to record future sessions.