This article examines the actual and potential use of software tools in research in the arts and humanities focusing on audiovisual (AV) materials such as recorded speech, music, video and film. The quantity of such materials available to researchers is massive and rapidly expanding. Researchers need to locate the material of interest in the vast quantity available, and to organize and process the material once collected. Locating and organizing often depend on metadata and tags to describe the actual content, but standards for metadata for AV materials are not widely adopted. Content-based search is becoming possible for speech, but is still beyond the horizon for music, and even more distant for video. Copyright protection hampers research with AV materials, and Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems threaten to prevent research altogether. Once material has been located and accessed, much research proceeds by annotation, for which many tools exist. Many researchers make some kind of transcription of materials, and would value tools to automate this process. Such tools exist for speech, though with important limits to their accuracy and applicability. For music and video, researchers can make use of visualizations. A better understanding (in general terms) by researchers of the processes carried out by computer software and of the limitations of its results would lead to more effective use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Literary and Linguistic Computing following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Tools for Searching, Annotation and Analysis of Speech, Music, Film and Video—A Survey
Alan Marsden, Adrian Mackenzie and Adam Lindsay Harriet Nock, John Coleman and Greg Kochanski is available online at: http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/4/469.full
This article is an abbreviation of the full report of an AHRC ICT-Strategy project about ICT tools for research with audiovisual materials, the full report for which is available online. Marsden was responsible for most of the sections concerning music, jointly responsible with Mackenzie and Lindsay for the compilation of the full report, and entirely responsible for the compilation of this article. In accordance with the objectives of the AHRC ICT Strategy, the article examines (a) what the state of the art in ICT tools makes possible for humanities researchers, (b) the use humanities researchers make or might make of ICT with audiovisual materials, and (c) the prospects for ICT-based research with audiovisual materials in the near future. The two reviewers comments were as follows: 'I found this to be an articulate, systematic and comprehensive synthesis of the current state of research and practice, punctuated by all the useful references I'd hope to have seen. It offers an incisive snapshot of, and insight into, both current and developing models of scholarly practice vis. the proliferation of AV content in the humanities. This sort of research affords a very helpful perspective for those involved in the creation and/or evaluation of projects with an audio-visual component in the digital hum[anitie]s.' 'Immediately publishable. An excellent, superb review of the state of the art in this regard. It is much-needed and will be a very useful item to publish.' RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : LICA