ELAN stands for EUDICO Linguistic Annotator and it is a tool that helps include text annotations in video and audio files.
Its main purpose is for analyzing languages, sign included, and gestures but it can be expanded to other areas, such as video and audio annotation, analysis and documentation.
The interface may appear a bit complicated at first but once you go through the documentation and learn the ropes it can turn out quite easy to work with.
However, getting familiar with all its functionality does take some time because of the huge amount of data that needs to be processed. Luckily, the developer provides extensive documentation that is easy to go through.
Functions and features
The application includes support for showing audio and video signals accompanied by embedded annotations and it can also display the time corresponding to the added text.
Users can define a limitless number of annotation tiers, which can be assigned to specific time intervals in the media file.
Additional features include support for user definable Controlled Vocabularies as well as for template documents to save some time and for multi-tier regular expression searches, either in a single document or in multiple annotations.
Working with the application
The resources of the application are numerous, especially as far as annotations and tiers are concerned. When a project is loaded or created from a local media file the program displays a timeline in the lower part of the screen, which enables adding text data to a specific location and viewing the result.
Editing of the text can be done at any time and current annotations can be merged with the previous or the next one.
The basic functions are easy to grasp but tapping the more complex part of the application most users definitely need to turn to the documentation.