The TIB AV-Portal (av.tib.eu) is the video portal of the German National Library of Science and Technology. It has a stock of almost 35,000 individual media and over 1,000 series (as of November 2021). The portal collects scientific videos with a focus on technology and natural sciences. However, many other disciplines are also covered. Videos include recordings of conferences and lectures, experiments, online tutorials, simulations, animations, video abstracts, and videos as accompanying materials. The services of the AV-Portal, including long-term archiving, DOI allocation, hosting and video analysis, are free of charge (see the AV-Portal FAQ for further questions).
The portal went live in spring 2014 and has been further developed internally at TIB by a Scrum team since 2018. The Scrum team implements requirements from internal stakeholders and external users incrementally and in cycles. The blog post More user-friendly – more functional – more dynamic. About the continuous and agile development of the TIB AV-Portal presented the features that had been implemented in 2020. In this follow-up, the new features of 2021 will be presented.
More attractive: detail page for publishers and media partners
Publishers and media partners have been given their own section in the AV-Portal where they can publish their video collections and present themselves (cf. Scifox, Lower Saxony State Office for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and IWF Wissen und Medien). They can include their logo on the page and add a description of their organization and a link to the website. The editorial staff of the AV-Portal can compile individual collections of the publisher as desired. Statistical information about the publisher’s media stock is automatically determined – such as number of videos and series, publication period, views and duration of all videos in the collection. Additionally, the publisher can be shared via social media and permalink.
If you want to publish your scientific videos curated in one place and present yourself as an institution, please contact Matti Stöhr, the community builder of the AV-Portal.
More individual: series and My Media
In 2021, we delved into the AV-Portal’s series in detail, which previously could not be searched for specifically. The series have now been included in the search index and can be searched as well as filtered using the media type facet. They have been given their own detail page where statistical information is presented. Users can add a description of the series when uploading. Finally, series can be shared and saved in My Media just like videos.
My Media now shows saved series in addition to watch lists. A side navigation has been added for better overview and navigation. Users can add a personal note for their watch lists. The watch lists can be published to third parties and can now be played as playlists, cf. the publicly shared playlist Women in Science (and Tech).
More overview: media player and video previews
Segment bar and play bar have been merged into one bar to improve the overview – especially on smaller mobile devices. In addition, significantly more segment images are now displayed when hovering over the bar. The highlighting of video segments is much more distinct from the play bar than before. In the mobile view, touch-sensitive areas have been expanded and the segment bar has been hidden to make navigation easier.
The video preview that is played when you hover over a thumbnail now uses fast-loading, pre-processed images to render a real animation. Each preview sequence shows frames from the entire video. The video preview can be examined on the start page or in the search results.
More inspiration: separate page for editorial recommendations
The editorial recommendations page provides an overview of selected, event- and topic-related recommendations from the AV-Portal editorial team. The recommendations, which are usually temporarily integrated on the start page, have a permanent place there and invite you to discover interesting content that you might otherwise never have looked for and found.
More uniqueness: metadata
The IWF classification codes of the former IWF Wissen und Medien gGmbH have been included in the metadata of the IWF stock and can be searched by click – just like the keywords. Cross-linking between videos with multiple language versions has been implemented, cf. the two versions A Century in Flight and Ein Jahrhundert im Flug. Furthermore, in addition to authors, Name IDs – e.g. GND, ISNI or ROR – can now also be displayed for publishers, cf. the Name IDs of TIB.
More robust: technical implementations
Scalability of the frontend
The operation of the AV-Portal frontend – or more precisely, of the graphical user interface – was migrated from one to three instances to reduce failover and enable uninterrupted updates. All HTTP requests are randomly answered by one of the three servers.
Migration of the frontend to Kubernetes.
In 2020, the backend of the AV-portal, which includes the numerous video analyses of speech, text and images, was migrated to a Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes is an open source system for automating the deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. The cluster simplifies installation and operation and reduces numerous internal dependencies. This year, the various components of the AV-Portal front end, including search and graphical user interface, were migrated to Kubernetes.
Replacing Wicket with vue.js and REST-API
The frontend of the AV-Portal was originally implemented in the framework Wicket, which caused various problems that increasingly hampered further development and operation. In 2021, the Scrum Team started to replace Wicket page by page with the frontend framework vue.js and a REST-API.
The Scrum Team is working on various new strategic topics. For example, an instance of the AV-Portal has been set up for the specialised information service BAUdigital, on which videos from the fields of civil engineering, architecture and urbanism can be made available. The release of this platform is planned in 2022. The team also plans to generate the video derivatives needed for analysis and playout in the AV-portal on TIB servers in the future.