BBC R&D

What we're doing

Within the BBC content like news stories are often needed at different durations for use in different programmes. These edits will be made manually, and can be time consuming. Similar re-editing takes place across other parts of the BBC - Radio 4 create omnibuses from daily programmes which fit a shorter slot than the combined original running time, and BBC Worldwide re-edit programmes for use on advertising-supported channels.

Squeezebox aims to assist in situations where you might need to rapidly re-edit your content to run to a shorter or longer duration, or need to target multiple durations from a single edit.

Currently, Squeezebox is addressing the production of captioned montages of news stories. It allows users to specify how many news stories they’d like, caption and order those stories, add ident and transition graphics, and then instantly produce edits of the montage to any possible duration.

How it works

Footage that’s uploaded to Squeezebox is automatically analysed and segmented into individual shots. Then, rather than manually editing the footage to create different shots, the user marks up the most relevant and important portions of each shot, indicating that the rest is a candidate for being cut. The user also marks up the priority of each shot, determining how the footage behaves as the duration is reduced - which shots will hit the cutting room floor first, and which ones will be preserved.

Using this metadata, Squeezebox enables users to adjust the duration of the story using a simple slider control. The purpose built algorithm establishes new in and out points per shot, and in some cases drops shots entirely.

Here you can see some of the output that Squeezebox has produced, and this video goes into a little more detail on the markup needed to allow Squeezebox to edit your footage and create montages:

How to use Squeezebox

Outcomes

Squeezebox’s ultimate goal is to make certain types of edit tasks quicker and easier, saving time and effort. For it to work, extra investment needs to be made to mark up the content. Through user research, we hope to show that there’s a tipping point where if a package are going to be re-edited a number of times, investing time in authoring Squeezebox mark-up may become more efficient than making a number of slightly different edits by hand.

This project is part of the UX work stream

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