Video Note Taking Utility

This is the VideoNoteTakerUtility project ("videonotetaker").  You can download it here.  It runs on Mac and Windows.

The basic function is to allow the user to take notes while watching a computer media file. The program combines a media playback window and a very simple text editor. Keyboard shortcuts can control playback, e.g. pause/resume, skip back, etc. Note that this program can be used for audio or video files, so it's great for transcribing audio recordings. Sample screenshots for Mac and Windows are shown below, with me watching a movie and taking some notes in the text editor. 

Why is this useful?  I wrote this to help myself when analyzing hours of field study video.  I found myself spending lots of time going back and forth between a text editor and video player, pausing, restarting, going back a few seconds, etc.  I realized that most video players don't have all the buttons I needed, like "go back 10 seconds and keep playing" or "play 30 seconds, and stop."  I further enhanced this with a built-in text editor, with keyboard shortcuts to play/pause the video, insert a timestamp from the video into the text, speed up or slow down playback, and skip ahead or back a few seconds.

This software has one other interesting feature: if two people at remote locations are watching the same video file, it can synchronize their players, so that if one person pauses the video, it pauses the other, and if one person skips ahead, the other player shows the same thing.  This can be handy for going over a video with some one remote.  Both people need to have a copy of the file on their own machine, though, I haven't figured out how to get this to work with streaming video.

My employer realized that, while useful, they aren't going to make any money off this tool, so they are letting me make it available as open source to the world.  I hope you find it useful.

We are now investigating performance improvements using the YourKit profiler, thanks to them for a copy!

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