Olympic Figure Skating

Kwan skatingWatching the ladies’ figure skating competition from the olympics, I am amazed by the total lack of connection between gestures and music. To start off with, I am not very impressed by the music accompanying the programmes, most being massively layered, romantic orchestral music, but the fact that it is also recorded by a microphone in front of a moderate PA system in the skating hall does not call for a good listening experience.

It is clear that there is some kind of relationship between the programmes and the music, since most skaters finish more or less at the same time as the music stops playing, but I have still to see any close relationship between the movements they are doing and the qualities of the music.

My biggest question is perhaps why noone is using new music? Why don’t they work with a composer to create a tight programme with a good connection between movements and music? As it is now, I get more out of the performances when turning off the music.

Metadata Hootenanny

Timeline functionMetadata Hootenanny is a tool for easy adding metadata (annotations and chapters) to QuickTime files. It also has a nice timeline function, showing the frames (or only keyframes) of the movie file, where it is possible to easy navigate and add chapter information. Seems like an easy way of adding information quickly to movie files, although it does not have any more advanced features as found in real annotation software.

Video Annotation Software

A short overview of various video annotation software:

Anvil by Michael Kipp is a java-based program for storing several layers of annotations, like a text sequencer. Can only use avi files. Intended for gesture research (understood as gestures used when talking).

Transana from University of Wisconsin, Madison, is developed mainly as a tool for transcribing and describing video and audio content. Seems like it is mainly intended for behavioural studies. It is based on writing rtf-files (with optional manual time coding), so not much possibilities for multiple streams etc.

IBM Research – VideoAnnEx Annotation Tool is an advanced annotation tool using MPEG-7 descriptors.

Noldus Observer is a commercial software package for Windows which seems to be very extensive. Allows for multiple camera recording and synchronization as well as data from DAQs.