Monday, 26 September 2011

Europeana Remix launches

From Europeana (

Europeana trials new software in Remix launch

Europeana, the digital library, museum and archive, has opened a new interactive video space, Europeana Remix, which enriches a short film on a First World War friendship using the latest HTML5 and Popcorn.js technology.

Europeana Remix plays the video in HTML5, and uses the Popcorn.js framework to let users call up resources that are related to the story, from Europeana, Flickr, Wikipedia, Oxford University, Google maps and other web services. Users can leave comments at any point and share their stories or URLs. “Europeana Remix gives users a new experience of inter-relating cultural content without leaving the video space,” says Harry Verwayen, Europeana’s Business Development Director. “It will be exciting to see how this new technology affects the way that people get involved with stories on the web.”

Europeana is experimenting with HTML5 to create new interactive cultural experiences, and because HTML5 is fast, seamless and unobtrusive. HTML5 is set to become a standard way to play video online. Popcorn.js, a new Javascript framework, is used because it utilises the great new features of HTML5 and combines web resources seamlessly to the movie player to give the user greater choice and interactivity.

Using leading new technologies to engage users with cultural heritage is central to Europeana’s mission and puts the Commission-Funded project ahead of the curve. "Europeana Remix ‘ use of HTML5 web video and the Popcorn.js framework is both a technical and aesthetic leap for web video,” says Brian Chirls, the code-developer behind the project, and a leader in interactive video.

Indeed, Remix is so advanced that it plays only on the latest version of web browsers -
Firefox 4.0+ Chrome4.0+ Safari 4.0+, IE 9+, Opera 10.5+

In order to allow others to make free use of this ground-breaking development as the basis for new applications, the Remix source code has been made available on GitHub, the collaborative code repository for programmers. The film itself and all user contributions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Brett Gaylor, of Mozilla Foundation, the Open Source web innovation driver, says, "It's exciting to see Mozilla's Popcorn technology used in such a creative way. The developers of the Europeana Remix project have pushed video to the cutting edge - it is a fantastic use of archives, web services and user generated content."


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