As we’re enmeshed in focusing some of the last year’s work with popcorn.js into services for clients as well as rounding out and releasing our proprietary work, part of the long-term value of working with Mozilla’s Popcorn suite of tools (Butter, popcorn.js, Popcornmaker, etc.) is that it is HTML.5 based – for both audio and video.
That said, the platform has shown limitations in terms of it’s “mobile friendliness,” but those are known issues as it is restricted to only working with certain Browsers (primarily desktop versions). But, it is constantly improving.
It was a bit surprising last week to see a newly launched interactive video platform from General Mills - build entirely in Flash. It’s interface and UX are seamless – PLUS, the focus is on the content itself, not the buttons or design — goes to the heart of “why” an End User would like to play with an interactive video authoring experience – Because the media assets rock.
It’s an impressive effort.
It’s over here, under Buzz’s Movie Maker from Honeynut Cheerios: http://honeydefender.com/MovieMaker/
Also, featured on GOOGLE’S Home Page, is a release of an HTML.5 interactive video authoring tool: https://www.peanutgalleryfilms.com/ (must access via CHROME).
It is using a speech-to-text engine to create text based interstitials in a silent movie. That’s an extremely clever approach, especially in the HTML.5 universe, since it doesn’t require transcoding audio to HTML.5 formats, but, uses Google’s existing speech-to-text engine and then generates a text-based output. It was great to see something entirely different in this space, and this qualifies.
Noting, Google’s efforts also rely heavily on a great selection of underlying media assets that are perfectly suited to the interactive format That complementary fit is what makes it all work.
Now, Buzz’s Movie Maker doesn’t really allow someone to do much more than sequence media clips and choose an audio file. Interstitial graphics can be dropped in; it’s hard to even know whether it’s nonsense based or there’s a method to create a cohesive story? But, you know what? It’s kind of fun to play with. While the UI is simple, what makes it work is that (it seems) 80% of the effort was directed at the content and media assets Users can manipulate. Creating text-based interstitials via “voice” is certainly an enhanced feature that Google have integrated, allowing Users more personalization of the experience.
The question we had posed to us was, “which is better, Flash or Popcorn?”
Well, there’s no right answer at this point in time. Both have limitations when it comes to mobile and (some) tablets. Both have other upsides and downsides. Certainly, Flash is easier to manipulate with regard to how traditional Designers think. But, for the long term? That’s where we’re putting our efforts into development with Popcorn’s suite of tools.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a pure Flash-based interactive video tool – In some ways, it was nice to know that somewhere, someone, is still approving Flash development to progress interactive video…there are still things to be learned from those development cycles as we all work on how to make interactive video about story-making, not just about clicking buttons.