Opencast 2013 Unconference


Project Director Jon Dunn (Indiana University) and Programmer/Analyst Adam Hallett (Northwestern University) attended the Opencast Unconference held at the University of California-San Diego from January 30-February 1. Opencast is the creator of Matterhorn and one of the Avalon Media System's technology partners. While at the Unconference, Jon and Adam gave a presentation on Avalon (embedded below--for a larger version click here). 



When they returned to the Midwest, I asked Jon a few questions about the Unconference and Opencast Matterhorn. 


How does Avalon use Matterhorn?


Avalon uses Matterhorn in two main ways: Matterhorn’s media processing workflow capabilities are used to transcode master audio and video files into streaming deliverables, and Avalon’s web audio/video player is based on Matterhorn’s Engage player.


What was the goal of the Unconference? 


The goal of the Unconference was to bring together people involved in the development, operation, and use of Opencast Matterhorn to share information about their projects and experiences and to discuss future plans for Matterhorn and the broader Opencast community. In addition, several vendors were present to discuss their Matterhorn-related products and services. A web site was set up through which attendees could propose and vote on presentation ideas, and an initial agenda was constructed based on this voting. However, the schedule was flexible enough to be adjusted “on the fly” during the Unconference, in order to make sure enough time was allotted to important topics.


What sort of feedback did you get about Avalon?


There was a great deal of positive feedback on our presentation and a lot of interest in Avalon, both from potential implementers as well as from Matterhorn developers, who encouraged us to continue to work with the community to enhance Matterhorn to better serve needs beyond lecture capture.


Did you leave with any insights or ideas?


I came away from the Unconference with a new appreciation for the power of the combination of Avalon and Opencast Matterhorn to support a wide range of video content management needs across research, teaching, and learning.


What was your favorite part of the trip?


Beyond the conference presentation and discussions, my favorite part of the trip was just being able to enjoy the UCSD campus and sunny San Diego!


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