Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Google's Voice-to-Text Gadget Makes "Barack Roll" Possible

By now, nearly a million people have seen “Barack Roll,” a clever music-video mash-up that combines presidential politics with the art of “Rick Rolling”.

But did you know that the video wouldn’t have been possible without Google’s Election Video Search Gadget? Released in July to great reviews, the gadget allows you to type any word into a search engine and not just get a list of all of the political speeches that contain that word, but within each video, yellow markers allow you to jump to the relevant part of the speech where the word comes up.

“I'd had the idea for the video for a few months before [the gadget was released], but had no real way of tracking down all of the right words,” Hugh Atkins, the creator of “Barack Roll,” recently told Citizentube. “Being able to search for particular words and know when they appeared in a given clip made the whole project feasible.”

Atkins, who lives in Sydney, Australia, has made several other popular political videos, including one video that, for propriety sake, we can’t mention by name. And when he’s not making videos? The irreverent Mr. Atkins works at a law firm—proving that anybody, no matter their occupation or time-constraints, can become a video pioneer on YouTube.


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