Developed by the University of Southampton, Synote is a web-based multimedia annotation tool that makes multimedia web resources easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for students, teachers and other users.  This application allows professors and scholars to upload transcribed lectures and presentations to the web. This information is synchronized with video and/or audio and presented in a single web page that can be easily accessed on multiple browsers.

Having synchronized multimedia provides a rich learning environment for students. The diverse media types provide many ways to access the information, making this a very practical application for students with various learning styles.

Synote can automatically create synchronised and searchable transcripts from audio and video recordings using IBM Speech Recognition technology.

Synote allows learners to create synchronised bookmarks (called Synmarks) that help users find relevant information quickly and navigate lengthy media files with ease. Live notes created using Twitter can be uploaded and synchronised with the recording after the event or users can create notes using Synote.

Synote provides a shared learning environment in which peers and mentors can contribute to increasingly comprehensive media presentations. As a user it is possible to view Synmarks created by others while adding your own. Comprehensive search features mean it is easy to locate Synmarks that correspond to a particular user or piece of information.

With the right permissions, users can adjust and enhance the multimedia content presented on the page. A user is able to to input plain text files and manually synchronize it with other media using tools provided within Synote. Users also have the option of using “srt” files, the result of using standard captioning software. Synote also provides a download tool that allows a user to convert narrated PowerPoint files into an XML file, also creating an associated WAV file and slide images. This can then be uploaded to Synote. Slide notes can also be used to create synchronized transcripts, with Synmarks being created for each slide. All slides, text and timings can be printed. These features provide a level of flexibility that revolutionizes the way in which multimedia can be used in educational settings, making information even more accessible.

Further innovation and development by the Southampton team continue to push the boundaries in advancing the quality of multimedia in education, allowing what was once cumbersome data to be streamlined within educational institutions.

Synote is developed under MACFoB (Multimedia Annotation and Community Folksonomy Building), a JISC funded project carried out at Learning Societies Lab, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. For more information about Synote, contact:  Dr. Mike Wald

View Synote Demonstration – from IBM Speech Recognition in Education Symposium, November 9, 2009  (video automatically transcribed using Hosted Transcription Technology)