Audiovisual Analysis

Thursday, June 11, 10:00am-12:30pm

This workshop will focus on tools that allow for close and distant reading of time-based media, including videos and audio. We will look at Mediate, a tool developed by the Digital Scholarship Lab in collaboration with Joel Burges, a film and media studies professor, to help students collectively–both synchronously and asynchronously–engage with audiovisual media.


  • Faculty Introductions (15 min)
  • Introduction to Audiovisual Analysis (10 min)
  • Faculty Showcase (30 min)
  • Hands-on Exploration of Mediate (40 min)
  • Break (15 min)
  • How Did They Make That? (20 min: 10 min exploration + 10 min debrief )
  • Other Resources and Next Steps (20 min)

Workshop Documents

Instructors & Moderators

  • Stephanie Barrett, Outreach Librarian, Social Sciences (Interdisciplinary),
  • Joshua Romphf, Digital Scholarship Programmer,
  • Emily Sherwood, Director, Digital Scholarship Lab,
  • Lisa Wright, Digitization Specialist,

Showcase Presenters

  • Joel Burges, Associate Professor, Department of English, Film and Media Studies, Digital Media Studies, Director, Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies
  • Solveiga Armoskaite, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program

Introduction and Faculty Showcase

Working with Mediate

Until we release the beta version of Mediate, the simplest way to create schema and upload files is to work directly with the Digital Scholarship Lab. Depending on the size of the course, these steps do take some preparation, so please contact us well in advance if you wish to use Mediate in the classroom.

Copyright and Fair Use Disclaimer

When working with media, you need to consider the owner of the material and adhering to the rules of copyright. Copyright law varies by country, but as a general rule in the U.S., copyright currently lasts the life of the creator plus an additional 70 years.

Fair use is a doctrine in US Copyright Law that allows for some limited use of a copyright work for transformative purposes in a context such as teaching, scholarly research, or review.

Fair use is subject to four factors:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether or not the work will be used for commercial or educational purposes
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of copyrighted work

If considering publishing, it is necessary to seek written consent of copyright permission.

For more information, please visit the River Campus Libraries Copyright Policy website and the Copyright & Fair Use Guide.

Note: This information is designed to provide basic information regarding copyright and fair use and does not constitute legal advice.

Supported Media Formats


  • MOV
  • MP4
  • M4V
  • AVI
  • WMV
  • FLV
  • WebM
  • YouTube URL


  • MP3
  • WAV
  • FLAC
  • M4A
  • AIFF
  • WMA


Currently only Supports One per Media File

  • SRT
  • WebVTT

NOTE: The current version of Mediate has an upload size limit of 800MB. If you need to work with larger files, please contact us.

Preparing Media

In most cases, you will be responsible for providing your own media files or YouTube URLs. We may be able to help with some forms of challenging physical media (VHS, Region 2 DVD, audio cassette). We cannot edit your files or produce clips for you, but can help provide guidance in this area. HandBrake is a strong tool for ripping content from DVDs, and you can consult our HandBrake guide for assistance. Please be aware of the ramifications of disseminating copyrighted material before publicly sharing it.

Creating Schema

Prior to the beta release of Mediate, schema can be provided to us via e-mail, Word document, or spreadsheet with the following information:

  • Schema name
  • List of markers, each with a name and a description

Refer to the case studies for example schema.

Common Issues

Some users occasionally have issues logging into Mediate and viewing data. Mediate has been tested across browsers, but we recommend using Google Chrome. If you are unable to log into Mediate via Chrome, check to see if any ad blocking add-ons are running. You may need to disable the ad blocker while using Mediate, or ideally add Mediate to the ad blocker’s list of allowed URLs. You can also try running Mediate in an Incognito Window by selecting File / New Incognito Window.

In extreme cases the cookies may need to be cleared. This can be done by clearing the browsing data in your browser. If you wish to only clear the cookies generated by Mediate, follow the instructions for clearing Mediate’s cookies.

Note: When you clear all browsing data in your browser this will also delete any shortcuts that you’ve created for your schema.

Sample Use Cases


Introduction to Media Studies
Joel Burges


Poetics of

Joel Burges


Language and Advertising
Solveiga Armoskaite


Music and Digital Culture
Darren Mueller

Resources for Instruction

Need a refresher on the annotation interface or how to place markers in Mediate? See the below documents and videos.

Instructional Documents

Designed and Created by Undergraduate Research Assistant Tiamat Fox ’20


Reporting Bugs

Unless the issue is debilitating (a user cannot access the site, a user cannot add annotations, etc) please refrain from contacting us about smaller bugs until the beta version of Mediate is released. Many of the issues present in the alpha version are known and have been addressed in beta. In the event you do need to report an issue, you can contact the Digital Scholarship Lab with the following information:

  • The web browser in which the bug is occurring, as well as the version of the browser (if possible).
  • The operating system
  • The username(s) of the user(s) effected, if applicable
  • A brief description of the problem

Introducing Mediate in a Class

  • Provide a definition list for schema markers
  • Add sample markers so students can see the potential impact and understand how you’re using the markers
  • Have students mark one file together in-class
  • Show portions of marked video, discuss what they discovered, and tease out any questions re: marker definitions
  • Have them work in groups
    • Suggest that they split-up the work by marker
    • If you assign a significant amount of media, be sure to provide interim deadlines (ex., 50% of marking due)
  • If relevant, allow a group or the class to add other markers or other media

Other Media Annotation Platforms

If Mediate does not meet the needs of your course or research, the following is a short list of other media annotation platforms:

Need Help?

This is just a start. We’re happy to help you discuss how you might incorporate Mediate in your course, find resources, and facilitate training. Feel free to reach out to the Digital Scholarship Lab or contact your Outreach Librarian.