Semantics in Multimedia

Liner Notes for YouTube – Seevl Plugin

Seevl.netSeevl, the music discovery service built on Semantic Technology that I wrote about a few months ago, has released a significant update to their plugin for YouTube. The plugin is still only available for the Google Chrome browser, but other browser plugins are in the works. You can grab the Chrome plugin here.

Once the plugin is installed, the user has new options available when visiting YouTube. First, there’s a new search option next to the standard YouTube search bar.

Image of Seevl search Link on YouTube site

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Highlights from the Semantic Web Media Summit

The Semantic Web Media Summit on September 14 in New York was a great success, a recent article reports. This review of the event covers several sessions including Michael Dunn’s keynote and Mike Petit’s “call to action.” According to the article, Petit noted that “(1) The Semantic Web and its associated technology have become tangible and effective tools for publishers, and (2) Social media have complicated the publishing model and have become indispensable.” Read more Gives a Semantic Platform to Social Documentaries

A new article reports on the development of, “an online portal built on the foundation of semantic Web technology that connects documentary stories to news and social actions in global poverty. In other words, in one place, people can watch character-driven stories, read the latest news about issues covered in the films, and then connect directly to action campaigns around each social issue. It’s a site and tool that’s primed for grassroots awareness and action.” Read more

Semantic Technology’s Role in Leanback TV

A recent article discusses the growing trend of semantically powered “leanback” video players. The article begins, “When you are sat on the sofa at the end of the day relaxing and watching TV, maybe eating food and not in the mood to have to keep constantly making decisions about what to watch you might not think that you are in a situation where Linked Data and SPARQL queries could be useful. Yet the flexibility of the data that can be obtained from data sources supporting these technologies makes them ideal candidates to power a Leanback TV experience. With the right query it is possible to curate a collection of video podcasts that can be played one after each other to keep the TV viewer happy. They still have control, they can still go to any podcast in the collection, but they are not faced with a decision every ten minutes about what to watch, allowing them to relax and discover new content.” Read more

Seevl: Part II – An interview with Alexandre Passant

Alexandre Passant

Yesterday, I wrote about how I’ve been using Seevl as a music discovery service. Today, I catch up with Dr. Alexandre Passant, CEO and Founder of, for a deeper look at the music discovery service.

Q: How would you describe Seevl?

A: We initially defined ourselves solely as a music discovery website, and we’re now developing several products around the data we gathered for building it. Our main focus is to bring context to music, and we want to help people to know more about the cultural and musical universe of the bands they like, to discover new ones and most importantly, to understand the connections between all.

Q: Where does the name “Seevl” come from?

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Seevl – Part I: What Spotify is Missing

Vinyl“Hello my name is Eric and I am addicted to music.” Needless to say, I was thrilled when I received one of the early invitations to join Spotify ( when it launched recently in the US (if you’re not familiar with Spotify, here’s a good introduction). The service offers a catalog of +15,000,000 tracks, and the audio quality has been consistently excellent.

However, there is one area where I find Spotify severely lacking – discovery.  Fortunately, I work in the Semantic Web world, and I recently had the opportunity to play around with, a music discovery service that leverages semantic technology.  It’s impressive, and I often find myself using to augment Spotify.

So what is Seevl?
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School Starts in September – Plan to Get Educated!

September 2011I hate to even mention how quickly Summer is passing, but as we head into August, it’s time to start making plans for the busy Fall event season. September is particularly full of Semantic Tech events.

September 14, in New York City, the Semantic Web Media Summit will take place. A half-day meeting focused on uses of Semantic Web in media, advertising, and publishing, the event is produced by, and our parent company, MediaBistro. With a keynote by Mike Dunn, CTO of Hearst Interactive, and contributions from a stellar group of presenters, the program promises to be a must-attend event for anyone in the New York area interested in how Semantic Technology is changing the media world.  OpenAmplify is sponsoring the conference.

September 21-23, DC-2011, the eleventh International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, will take place at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague.

Also on Sept. 21, the folks at are planning a workshop in Silicon Valley. There are still few details available about this event.

September 26-27, The London Semantic Technology and Business Conference (#SemTechBiz) takes place at the Hotel Russell. This two-day executive conference is designed for business and technology executives who need to learn what semantic technologies are and how to take advantage of semantics in their enterprise and web-based systems. Attendees will further their technical understanding in introductory sessions and learn from the Keynote speakers John O’Donovan (Press Association), Martin Hepp (Hepp Research), Steve Harris (Garlik), and Dennis E. Wisnosky, U.S. Department of Defense.

#SemTech Spotlight on IBM Watson

At the 2011 SemTech San Francisco, there was a special presentation by Aditya Kalyanpur, of IBM Research. Kalyanpur was part of the algorithm team on the Watson project. You remember Watson, right? The computer who won Jeopardy earlier this year?  We covered the story, if you need a reminder of what happened.

Here is the full presentation by Kalyanpur. (Slides were not made available to the general public):

Following this presentation, our own Jennifer Zaino caught up with Kalyanpur for this interview.

The Future of Video on the Web: A Discussion with Googler Thomas Steiner About the “Semantic Web Video (SemWebVid)” Project

During the recent SemTech SF event I met with Thomas Steiner of Google Italy to discuss a recent project entitled “SemWebVid.” In addition to working for Google, Steiner is working on his Ph.D. at in Barcelona, Spain. I found Steiner’s project fascinating because it provides a glimpse at how semantic technology will change the way we view, find, and interact with online video in future.

The SemWebVid project is part of a European Union research project entitled “I-SEARCH.”  Google, in addition to other companies, is one of the industry sponsors of this project. All of the research from this project is being done “in the open” and the findings are available to the public via published papers.

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