How can I log viewer clicks on internet-hosted video?
May 13, 2008 4:47 PM   Subscribe

I want to put a bunch of short videos on a website, and set it up in such a way that I can get a log of when viewers click the keyboard or mouse in response to what they see on the video. In other words, I want to tell the viewer, "Watch video A and click every time you see a cat." "Now, watch video B and click every time you see a dog." How might I accomplish this?

This is for art, not science, so accuracy only needs to be within 1-5 seconds.

On my end, the data I want would be a log of the click points for each video, marked as to which viewer was associated with which clicks. I want to later enter the data in a spreadsheet in a few different ways (e.g. to discover that 62% of all viewers clicked video A at point X; or that 90% of Russian-speaking viewers clicked video B at point Y).
posted by xo to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That sounds like it would be easiest to modify an existing Flash video player. Maybe start with this one: Flowplayer, an open-source FLV player, and add buttons to do various things. (In addition to the usual play/pause/volume etc buttons.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:55 PM on May 13, 2008

Since you need to get the time signatures of the clicks from the video, you definitely need some framework that encapsulates the video and the interface/counting code at the same time. You can't have buttons/controls underneath a simply-embedded video, for example, because you'll never get them accurately in sync: the control code won't know the video's position or state.

A Flash player like aeschenkarnos suggests is a good option if you don't mind Flash requirements/overhead. You can also embed clicks and code in QuickTime movies (there's an entire SDK for it, in fact) but it's not done often and I don't know any good examples offhand. I'd love some good textbook examples myself, as I've wanted to do some 'fun' projects that way in the past.
posted by rokusan at 5:40 PM on May 13, 2008

Note that if you use Flash or Quicktime (or any other method of embedding a video in a web page, AFAIK), it will only register if the user clicks on the video, not elsewhere on the web page
posted by winston at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2008

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