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Mozilla boosts web video with Popcorn.js

Version 1.0 of Mozilla's Popcorn.js, which it likens to jQuery for video, has been released. The open source project offers the potential to greatly enhance interactive video online. We spoke to Mozilla's Brett Gaylor, project lead of Web Made Movies and Popcorn.js, about the project and how it might affect the future of video.

"Mozilla's goal is to make video work more like the web and to have the ability to integrate other web content into video productions. Rather than video on the web being a 'black box' of television embedded online, video is going to become far more dynamic, real time and social," said Gaylor. Popcorn can help you achieve such goals by giving you the ability to link specific times within a video to related content out on the web, which, according to Gaylor "enables users to design and create with some really inventive features".

As an example, Gaylor told us that during a sporting event you could pull a player's real-time stats and Twitter updates into the browser where you're watching the game. Or you could display a politician or pundit's 'truth score', history or voting record into an online interview and annotate and share thoughts on speeches as they happen. Photos can be dynamically injected from Flickr, as B-roll or context for video or audio stories, and Popcorn enables data from documentaries to be compared by those viewing it via their own social network.

Aside from needing a modern browser to work best, since it's designed as an HTML5 framework, Popcorn doesn't have major restrictions regarding compatibility, Gaylor told us. And development is ongoing: "Our next goal is to continue to develop our Popcorn Maker app, so that those who don't write code are able to easily create Popcorn-powered web experiences."