How do you organise your videos and transcriptions?
Author: Alan Richardson
Organising files and videos is less important when working on your own, provided you just want to keep creating new content. If you want to work in a team, or revisit videos and edit them or transcribe them, then you need to organise.
My video work has been very adhoc.
This lets me create content fast, but when I want to revisit the content this is painful.
Why would I want to revisit my content?
- edit a video and add pre-roll, or post-roll call to actions for public viewing Youtube, but not have them when the video is embedded on my web site
- upload the video file for transcriptions
- edit the video later because some technical content has changed and I want to refresh the content
In the past I haven’t always kept the uploaded video file, I’ve just kept the original video tool version. But when I want to go back and edit it, the video tool has moved on and the file formats are no longer compatible.
Also now that I want a better re-use strategy, I need the ability to share work across a team.
How to organise video?
I am now taking the view that Hard Drive space is cheap. Previously I thought hard drives were expensive and I have avoided storing videos in multiple locations. But the time it takes to find the videos outweighs any consideration for Hard Drive space.
- creating special Google and Microsoft accounts to use free cloud storage for uploading videos
- not having an offline backup and relying on the online storage from Vimeo and YouTube, which is fine but takes time to download the video files each time.
- adhoc storage of files on hard drive and searching for filenames each time
I think the offline storage is a good idea, but can be painful.
I am organising the videos into folders
- vimeo - date - vimeo id - name-of-file.mp4 - youtube - date - youtube id - name-of-file.mp4 - video-editing-tool - date - youtube id - name-of-file.mp4
Because I have not been disciplined, this is an ongoing process to migrate existing content to this folder structure, which will happen when I revisit the files.
Video files are binary, so should not be tracked on version control. But I will add them to a NAS which allows the whole team to access them.
Exceptions to this will be for online training courses where the folder structure will mirror the structure of the course.
Use Version Control for MetaData
Blog Posts under version control
I want to have a content strategy such that:
- every video on youtube has an associated blog post
This means that blog posts will have some meta-data for the video that they are associated with.
Blog posts are kept under version control using Git
Captions and Transcriptions under version control
“.srt” files and “transcription” files will also be stored under meta data
- transcriptions - date - video title - captions.srt - transcriptions.txt - formatted.md - links.txt
- ’links.txt’ will have the meta data that allows me to know what files are related e.g.
youtube_url: youtube_upload_file: vimeo_url: vimeo_upload_file: video_editing_tool_file: etc.
Exceptions to this will be for online courses where the folder structure will mirror the online course.
Why keep MetaData in text files?
- are easy to version control
- are easy to search
- are easy to generate and parse with automated tools
With ‘standard’ folders it should be easy to write tools which parse the contents to identify:
- blog posts without videos
- videos without transcriptions
- videos with captions but no transcription
If you can create a system at the start then it can avoid waste later on. But sometimes you develop systems at the point that you need them.
If you are working in a team and identify that you are working more slowly because:
- you can’t find the information you need
- you can’t find the files you need
- some actions take longer than you would like
These are triggers to examine your process in more detail and put systems in place to help you work more efficiently.
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