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Time-Compression: Systems Concerns, Usage, and Benefits

Jonathan Grudin, Anoop Gupta, Liwei He, Nosa Omoigui, and Elizabeth Sanocki


With the proliferation of online multimedia content and the popularity of multimedia streaming systems, it is increasingly useful to be able to quickly skim and browse multimedia. A key technique that enables quick browsing of multimedia is time-compression . Prior research has described how speech can be time-compressed (shortened in duration) while preserving the pitch of the audio. However, client-server systems providing this functionality have not been available. In this paper, we first describe the key tradeoffs faced by designers of streaming multimedia systems deploying time-compression. The implementation tradeoffs primarily impact the granularity of time-compression supported (discrete vs. continuous) and the latency (wait-time) experienced by users after adjusting degree of time-compression. We report results of user studies showing impact of these factors on the average-compression-rate achieved. We also present data on the usage patterns and benefits of time compression. Overall, we show significant time-savings for users and that considerable flexibility is available to the designers of client-server streaming systems with time compression.


Publication typeTechReport
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
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