Plugging Words into Online Video

Want to make comments within an online video? Point to objects of interest? Insert snarky remarks? Simply explain what’s going on? A number of companies offer tools that will help you time words to specific moments within an online video. It’d be hard to prove such a simple tool merits a company…but who says these little videos need to stand the test of time?

We’ve spent some time recently talking to Mojiti, a Beijing-based company which launched in September. Mojiti assists users in grabbing videos from 15 of the most popular video sharing sites and adding captions and highlights to them. Check out this video we snagged from YouTube and added notes to on Mojiti:

Mojiti is self-funded and has a team of eight, all based in Beijing, though the company is incorporated in the United States. It recently added a plug-in for the Windows Media Center PC.

Competitors to Mojiti include Veotag and BubblePLY, which was mentioned on Techcrunch today. Veotag is a more complex offering, with tools for creating menus and chapters as well as comments. BubblePLY is a bit more fun, with its default note coming in the form of a speech bubble. It’s Pop-Up Video for the common man.

All the services appear to require making their own copy of the video. Veotag has its own uploader, but Mojiti and BubblePLY piggyback on hosting sites. We’re not so sure video services will be thrilled about this aspect, especially those that license their own content.

We’ve seen a somewhat intensive alternative to this dilemma from another startup, San Francisco-based Cuts. Cuts saves your changes and annotations to a video as a separate file. Another viewer can then see this version of the video by if they cue up your file of markups as well as the original video in Cuts’ player software.

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