Goodbye Hummedia! …Hello Y-video!

For almost a decade, the video-streaming services Hummedia and Ayamel have faithfully served instructors and students in the College of Humanities, but the time has come to put these old draft horses out to pasture. The server-side code for both servers uses deprecated programming languages and frameworks that are no longer receiving updates, leaving a large number of potential security vulnerabilities. Also, as the Library of Congress has periodically shifted its interpretations of Fair Use, our video delivery system needs to keep pace. So, over the last few years, in consultation with the Copyright Office, I have been supervising a small team of student web developers to make a replacement, and we are happy to announce that the successor is finally ready for widespread adoption. Ladies and gentlemen, give a warm welcome to Y-video!

Migrating collections from Hummedia

We are currently planning to shut down Hummedia at the end of the summer, and there are a few simple steps required of you to have your collections ready on Y-video for Fall semester (or earlier, if you like). Russell Hansen and his capable team of student lab attendants will help you migrate existing Hummedia collections to Y-video. If you have any questions about this process, please send us an email!

Step 1 – Request that your collection(s) be moved to Y-video

First open your collection on Hummedia and copy the URL of that page. The URL should contain your collection’s hexadecimal ID (both letters and numbers). Send an email to both and and copy/paste the URL of the hummedia collection into the body of the email. I will run a script to automatically move your collection to Y-video.

Step 2 – Respond to requested information

Although most collections can be migrated without any manual corrections, some information that Y-video needs is not available from Hummedia. In these cases, we will communicate to you what information is still needed. Please read these emails carefully and respond accordingly.

Step 3 – Confirm that everything is functioning properly

Go through everything in your collection and make sure that it is doing what you expect, especially if you have subtitles or annotations/filters. If anything is amiss, please contact us and we will help get it fixed.

Get to know Y-video

For many users, the Y-video experience will be very similar to using Hummedia (other than the beautiful minimalist design created by one of our students, Jae Yu). However, there are some important new features that will make things a little nicer for some users. These include…

  • Students
    • The player is designed to be mobile-friendly, so films can easily be viewed from a mobile device.
    • If subtitles are added to a film by the instructor, students can view the transcript in a sidebar, and click on text to jump to that part of the film. (Not available if the subtitles are “burned in” to the video itself.)
    • Videos can be sped up or slowed down at more fine-grained rates. This can be especially helpful for language learners trying to understand rapid speech.
  • Instructors
    • Upload and edit subtitles in the Subtitle Editor.
    • Clip lists are collection-specific, so different collections can have different clip lists for the same film.
    • Instructors can request that a collection be converted to a public collection that anyone can access without logging in to BYU (Russell and I will confirm that the content can be shared legally before approving such requests.)
    • In addition to mutes, skips, and blanks, you can blur specific parts of the screen to mask content that you deem inappropriate for your audience.

Learn as you go

We will announce training sessions for Y-video in the College Newsletter, so please keep an eye out for those announcements. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to send us an email or fill out the feedback form.

Happy viewing!

Rob Reynolds
Assistant Research Professor
Office of Digital Humanities