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Dear Variations on Video Community:

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Variations on Video "Release Zero" (R0) system. The main objective for R0 was to demonstrate a working system based on the Hydra, Blacklight, and Matterhorn technologies we've selected for use, and we’d like to thank the project team at Indiana and Northwestern for their hard work on getting us to this important milestone.

We would like to invite you to try out the system and send us your feedback. Information on how to access the R0 test instance hosted at Indiana, along with a description of what's working in R0, is available on the Variations on Video wiki at

The short summary of R0 (code name: “Hydrant”) is that it allows users to search, browse, and view video and audio media, and (with a login) a user can upload media to be transcoded and made publicly available. The code is available in GitHub (, but since R0 is a proof-of-concept system rather than something ready for use in a pilot, we have not developed installation or formal testing documentation and do not recommend trying to install it in your own local environment at this time.

The R1 release in December 2012 is targeted to support pilots at partner institutions. Among other features, R1 will add:

  • Mobile device support
  • Scalability
  • Authentication and group-based authorization for access control
  • Support for more comprehensive descriptive and structural metadata
  • Batch import of media and metadata

New Name!

One other important piece of news is that we have decided on a new name for the software that we are developing, in order to better distinguish it from the existing Variations digital music library system ( The new name is Avalon Media System, and we will be transitioning from Variations on Video to the Avalon name over the coming months, particularly with the expected launch of a new project website in the near future.

In the meantime, the VoV team welcomes questions and input from community members. Feel free to reply to this email on the list or to contact one or both of us directly. For more information, including recent presentations on the project and to discover other ways of connecting, visit


Jon Dunn
Project Director, Variations on Video
Interim Assistant Dean for Library Technologies and Digital Libraries
Indiana University Bloomington Libraries

Stu Baker
Co-Project Director, Variations on Video
Associate University Librarian for Library Technology
Northwestern University Library


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