[languse] A New Tool for Transcription and Analysis

Chris Fassnacht languse@sprog.auc.dk, "Chris Fassnacht" <chrisf@wcer.wisc.edu>
Thu, 11 Apr 2002 17:31:33 -0500

<x-charset iso-8859-1>Languse Folks, 

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research would 
like to make available a free software tool that could 
be useful for Languse researchers.  I and a 
colleague, David Woods, have been developing a 
program to assist in the transcription and analysis 
of video data.

It's called "Transana," and it is freely available at 
www.transana.org.  It's an 80 MB download, mostly 
because it includes sample video data and transcripts 
to use in the accompanying tutorial.  It's available 
as both a single-user application and a multi-user 
version which allows a local workgroup to share access 
to a single dataset.  The website also contains a 
discussion board for support issues, as well as problem 
report/feature request tracking.

Transana is designed to facilitate the transcription 
and analysis of video data. It provides a way to view 
video, create a transcript, and link places in the 
transcript to frames in the video. It provides tools 
for identifying and organizing analytically interesting 
portions of videos, as well as for attaching keywords 
to those video clips. It also features database and 
file manipulation tools that facilitate the organization 
and storage of large collections of digitized video. 

More specifically, it allows users to: 

- Import and view MPEG-1 videos. 

- Easily create transcripts of the videos. Special symbols 
for Jeffersonian ranscription are readily accessible, 
but are not required. 

- Navigate through videos using several different mechanisms 
including a precise Waveform image. 

- Link frames in the video to positions in a transcript by 
embedding video time codes in the transcript. 

- Automatically highlight the relevant portion of the 
transcript while the video plays. 

- Select analytically interesting portions of the video, 
which can be organized into meaningful groups. 

- Define keywords and apply them to portions of video. 

- Search for instances of keywords and see the video clips 
to which they have been applied. 

- Transfer video files to and from a Storage Resource Broker 
(SRB), a computer system with massive storage capacity 

While Transana was created specifically with conversation 
analysts in mind, it also has features that make it 
useful for other forms of qualitative interactional and 
language-based analysis.

Currently, Transana only runs on the Windows operating 
system, but as time and resources allow, we plan to make 
it cross-platform (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux) and 
open-source, so that it will be not only free (as it 
is now) but also freely available as source code.

(Transana is a deliverable of the Digital Insight 
Project (www.wcer.wisc.edu/digitalinsight), and it 
is being developed with funding from the National 
Science Foundation through the National Partnership 
for Computational Infrastructure at the San Diego 
Supercomputer Center and the TalkBank Project at 
Carnegie Mellon University.  Development is 
headquartered at the Wisconsin Center for Education 
Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

Thank you for your consideration.


Chris Fassnacht
Associate Researcher/Director of eServices
Wisconsin Center for Education Research
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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