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Revision as of 22:20, 21 January 2006 by Mary Hodder (talk | contribs) (added examples of rich media, descriptions of elements commonly found, and number estimates to examples)
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Media Info Examples



Examples of what people actually publish on the Web when discussing, linking to, referring to media. This is focused predominantly on time based media such as audio and video, but may consider aspects of static media as well such as still images.

Emphasis on Practical, Simple, and Minimal

Since all previous known attempts at this problem area have ended up quite complex and over-designed, this attempt will place simplicity and minimalism first and foremost.

Thus for now, this document is deliberately restricted to examples that are:

  • Actual examples in practice on the Web with URLs to the originals (note, all *-examples pages should be like this, but previous attempts at documenting media info examples have mostly ignored this requirement, and thus it is necessary to be explicit).
  • Representative of very common publishing behavior on the Web. This focus on common, representative examples is essential. If possible, include an estimate of the number of similar examples. E.g. ~10k.
  • Simple and minimalist. As simple as possible. Go read the microformats principles right now before proceeding any further.

Any examples added which do not conform to these requirements will be deleted.

Any generic analysis will also be deleted. Analysis before examples is premature. Once there are sufficient media-info-examples, and hopefully a simple/clean listing of media-info-formats, we'll hopefully start a media-info-brainstorming page to do aggregate analysis of the examples.

Table of Contents


Examples Used in Media Published by Users

Individual Publishing of Media

(Note: the numbers after each description are based on numbers found pulling in media records at Dabble. Others may have higher numbers and would be encouraged to restate them if that's true.)

Service publishing of media

  • specific media published on a service (flickr photo)
    • This example has a Title, Html URL, media URL, description or summary, quotes URLs and descriptions, licence, tags, upload time, playlist (set), license, creator, and other capture data.+millions across all hosters. +millions of records.
  • A service publishing media: Blip.TV (video)
    • This example has a Title, Html URL, media URL, thumbnail URL, description or summary, license, creator, tags and upload time. +1m across all hosters. +10k records.
  • A service publishing media: You Tube (video)
    • This example has a Title, Html URL, thumbnail URL, description or summary, license, creator, tags and upload time. +1m across all hosters. +15k records.

Other indicators of data needs

  • Published usability study with bloggers regarding tags Bloggers asked for better tagging options and more licensing options.
  • We are finding as we look at thousands of user generated media records, that all have titles, creator, at least a default licensing, most have tags whose functionality is made available through the hosting service (the richer the media, the more likely tagging goes toward 100%), Html and media URLs, thumbnail URLs, publishing date, and about 25% have quoting information of some sort (quotes of video or audio, and region quotes of photos).
  • Tags appears at the upload point on 61% of photos in Flickr, and within a short period, 80+% have tags. 12% of users in Flickr apparently tag photos other than their own.



Publication of audio speeches on blogs is often called "podcasting". In essence though, it is simply audio speech publishing. Quotes of audio files are beginning to appear, and publishers are putting up files with links to other audio files they've quoted from. Most audio has the same base elements as video and photos, with the exception of quotes.

  • Microformats: Web Essentials Audio
    • Appears to be composed of:
      • title/summary of the recording
      • clickable hyperlink to the recording (MP3)
    • Contextual:
      • (primary) speaker is indicated in nearby text


  • ...


Publication of video on blogs often goes by "videoblogging", "vlogging", "VODcasting", or "video podcasting". The typical process involves publishing a direct link to the video file within the blog entry. The blog entry can, but does not have to, include an embedded video player. Many videos include a thumbnail jpg which is clickable to the media object and player. Some video includes links to those other source videos, photos and audio that have been quoted. Most videos have the same base elements as photos and audio, with the exception of quotes.

  • FreeVlog: the most popular tutorial on the web describing the videoblogging process by combining free tools and services (Blogger, OurMedia/Internet Archive, FeedBurner).
    • According to this process, a videoblog entry contains:
      • Direct link to the video file
      • Clickable thumbnail image/screen capture of the video
      • Contextual information about the video (title, description, etc) is usually contained in the surrounding blog entry
  • Video Pop Up Maker
    • This example based on the process taught at FreeVlog generates code to create a dynamic pop up window with embedded video player. The reasons for this are enumerated here


  • A few photos online have region annotation and quoting. But as tools are developed that are usable for mass publishers, this will likely increase.
  • Many videos have thumbnails that are jpgs.
  • Many videos use pictures and therefore the pictures themselves are quotes from the video.
  • Most photos have the same elements as videos and audio, with the exception of quotes.

Next Steps

  1. Add more real-world, simple, minimal examples.
  2. Research and organize existing/previous media-info-formats, with a focus on formats for publishing common, user-visible media information.
  3. Start media-info-brainstorming based on examples.

See Also

  • media-metadata-examples - previous attempt to catalog and organize top down metadata systems generated by engineers and committees, as examples of elements, and includes formats which should be in a separate page. Useful as both a source of research but this microformat needs to embrace the bottomup ways users are publishing photos, video and audio online.