Thursday, July 19, 2007

Transana for analyzing digital video or audio data

Many organizations are working with audio and video, trying to make them more accessible for their users. Some organizations are using Transana to help with this effort. According to the web site:

"Transana is software for professional researchers who want to analyze digital video or audio data. Transana lets you analyze and manage your data in very sophisticated ways. Transcribe it, identify analytically interesting clips, assign keywords to clips, arrange and rearrange clips, create complex collections of interrelated clips, explore relationships between applied keywords, and share your analysis with colleagues. The result is a new way to focus on your data, and a new way to manage large collections of video and audio files and clips."

To use Transana, your audio or video must already be in a digital format. What formats does Transana support?

Transana 1.0 through 2.12 work with MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and most AVI video, as well as MP3 and WAV audio. Starting with Transana 2.20, QuickTime MOV and MP4 formats are supported on both Windows and OS X, and Windows Media Video, WMV, and Windows Media Audio, WMA, formats are supported on Windows only.
Transana does not work automatically, though. A person must sit and listen/watch the audio/video and make notes in Transana. The end result could be specific clips created from this digital content that is made available to end-users. To see a sample of the entire process, you can watch screencasts on the Transana web site.

Transana has been downloaded more than 40,000 times (and those are unique downloads) and it is used by organizations around the world. It seems to be well-known within specific groups of people (i.e., those dealing with audio and video).

Development of Transana, an open source product, has been funded primarily by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. The product was available for free, but starting this year, it is being sold (rather than being given away) in order to help continued development. The single-user version of Transana costs $50. The multi-user version of Transana costs $500.

I've not tried Transana, but have communicated with one group that has. I'd be interested in hearing from others who are using this. I'd especially like to hear what you're doing with the files you create with Tranana.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill. Thanks for writing about Transana. WCER is proud to be the home of this technology that is helping people analyze classroom interactions, train preservice teachers, and provide professional development for inservice teachers.
Paul Baker
Wisconsin Center for Education Research