Posted by Jiri Jerabek on , last updated

These are weekly notes from the Internet Research & Future Services team in BBC R&D where we share what we do. We work in the open, using technology and design to make new things on the internet. You can follow us on Twitter at @bbcirfs.

The relationships between the various IRFS projects over last 3 years, as captured by Barbara, Libby and Tristan.


Processing of US English from the Pop Up Archive within COMMA helped Yves and Matt Haynes to uncover a few bugs in the process. COMMA can now process both UK and US English now.

James continued development of the new COMMA content resolver, content cache and result store to create cloud-agnostic components which will allow a full COMMA to be run locally.

The World Service Radio Archive

Yves, Tristan and Michael were collating the results of World Service Archive project for a journal paper. Here are some impressive stats about the engagement of project participants: the WSA attracted 82.000 tag contributions and 1600 speaker namings. 1300 synopsis were edited, 15.000 (41%) programmes have been listened to, 8500 (24%) programmes have been tagged and 1500 of The World Service Radio Archive users have listened to at least one programme..


The Data team successfully moved our development instance of Snippets to use the new Nitro client. The Nitro client is still in development but becoming much more complete everyday.


Andrew N. met with product designers who will be helping with a design of the Radiodan cases.

Highlights (formerly Interesting Bits)

The Content team started working on visualising the authoring tool concept with sketches and rough wireframes. After reviewing proposals from user testing companies, the Content team was able to shortlist the best proposals and to choose the winner candidate.


Chris Needham, Sean and Michael visited VRT in Brussels for the latest meeting of the EBU Cross Platform Authentication working group. They were able to resolve many of the open issues with the specification, and also planned the next stages of development of the protocol and specification.

Barbara and Libby were planning and managing their collaborative projects mainly. Together with Tristan they also reviewed and documented the fundamental relationships between the various IRFS projects over last 3 years.

Zillah wrote a short presentation about Speakerthon for Radio 4 Digital Forum. Zillah also focused on planning the rather complex process of restoration of the lost recordings of Letter from America from the 1970s. Sophie has deconstructed two weeks of the drama Cazalets, and put them in the prototype drama continuity database.

Jana used the MPEG7 video fingerprint to re-create an episode of 'Africa' from matching rushes, and also spent some more time looking at audio fingerprinting together with Mark Flashman and Jana's current UCL student Luke Richardson.

Finally, Olivier gave support to the new Timed Text Working Group, which will be working on a new version of TTML and a first standard for WebVTT.

Interesting links submitted by the team