Films on Demand Releases New Enhancements

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Films On Demand, the streaming-video documentary web site, has been redesigned. The platform is now simpler to navigate and use and easier to find the videos you need.

Films on Demand offers over 6,000 free streaming documentary videos available to all UMass Lowell students, faculty, and staff, with unlimited simultaneous viewing available everywhere 24/7 on campus and off campus over the web. And now with its new enhanced features it should be more functional and user friendly than ever.

Redesigned Interface

The new streamlined interface includes a revised home page that features a drop-down dynamic list of all of the individual subjects to which UMass Lowell subscribes, showcasing recently added videos for each. In addition, each subject now has a unique landing page with an authenticated page link. To access a subject page, you can click on the new “Subjects” drop-down menu at the top of any page. To view a complete index of all of the subjects in your institution’s collection, click on the new “Index” link at the bottom of any page.

New Video Player

Also featured is a new video player that provides dynamic bit-rate switching for the optimum viewing experience, automatically adjusting within a 200K-through-1.5mb-bit-rate range depending on the type of device being used and your available bandwidth; users no longer need to select their target bandwidth themselves from a drop-down menu. As a result of this new player, the Windows Media format is no longer available. Any users with Windows Media as their default setting will be automatically converted to the new embedded player.

Now iPad Friendly

All of the Films On Demand videos have been re-encoded in H.264 format to allow playback on any iOS device. With the new video player, users can now watch any titles in the UMass Lowell 6,000+ Films On Demand collection on an iPad, iTouch, or iPhone. The new design is optimized to allow easy navigation of the Films On Demand platform from either a computer or an iPad with an Internet connection.

New Special Collections from Key Producers

Another new feature is an additional way to easily browse titles from some of the most popular producers of videos in Films On Demand. The “Special Collections” tab at the top of every screen lists these producers; just click on any producer’s logo to access a list of all their titles in the collection, organized by subject category.

Improved Search Options

The basic search has been enhanced with a new Search Assist autocomplete feature: when users type a keyword in the search box, suggested full titles or segment titles that contain that keyword appear. Users can now also cross-search multiple subjects and Special Collections using the Advanced Search options.

Access Films On Demand now and begin enjoying it’s superb educational offerings!

European Film Gateway (EFG) now available online

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The European Film Gateway (EFG) is now publicly available online in beta release. It offers free access to about 400,000 digital videos, photos, film posters and text materials. By its completion the archive will contain 600,000 items from 16 film archives from 15 European countries.

Included will be material from film archives that have been hidden in obscurity. These include unique magic lantern slide collections from France, erotic films made in Austria in the early 20th century, advertising films from Norway, newsreels from Lithuania and a comprehensive film poster collection from Denmark. In addition, Cinecittá Luce from Rome has included a famous Italian newsreel collection along with a collection of early films by great masters like Rossellini, Antonioni, Comencini, and other famous names of Italian filmmaking. An extensive collection of set photos to films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder contributed by the Deutsches Filminstitut will also be available for the first time online from August on.

The EFG was developed by the Deutsches Filminstitut together with the European Association of Cinémathèques (ACE – Association des Européennes Cinémathèques) and its members. It started in September 2008 and is expected to be complete by September 2011.

HW Wilson Cinema Image Gallery trial

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H.W. Wilson is providing extended trial access to their Cinema Image Gallery database.

The Cinema Image Gallery is one of the most comprehensive online collections of still images from movies, television and the entertainment industry. It presents the history of movie-making, still images of films in production, directors working on-set with the stars, set, costume and production design, as well as, hair and make-up shots and rare behind-the-scenes material. Cinema Image Gallery also offers an extensive TV stills archive, covering comedies, dramas, series, TV movies, game shows and thousands of pictures of the stars in this medium.

Cinema Image Gallery features:

  • More than 217,000 superior-quality images – with substantial quarterly additions, all rights-cleared for use in educational settings, with substantial additions on a regular basis.
  • A treasure trove of more than 6,200 posters and lobby cards used to promote the movies.
  • New! Seamless links to your library’s video holdings.
  • Links to more than 500 full movies, as well as links to reviews and other articles about the titles, and to biographical materials about notable figures in the industry.
  • Portrait photography and biographies of the stars of film and television.
  • Database-specific search parameters developed specifically for this resource—Title, Director, Actor Names, Genre, Awards (Academy Award, Cannes Film Festival, Screen Actors Guild)—to ensure accuracy and speed in locating relevant material.
  • My WilsonWeb functionality: save searches or specific images; print images; email images; receive email alerts when new results matching a specific query are added to the database.

For information about more trials and new online resources, please visit the library’s Database Trials & New Resources page.

Please leave comments. They assist greatly in our decision-making process.

Films on Demand adds Archival Newsreels

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This month, Films on Demand  has added over 250 historic newsreels from United News to its Digital Library. Focusing on World War II, these films offer an intriguing glimpse into American life during turbulent times. Useful as a primary source for historical and cultural research, each newsreel is segmented by subject for convenient searching and viewing.

Titles are available immediately: in the “View By Subject” bar, click on the link “Archival Films & Newsreels” to browse over 1,200 newsreel segments, or use Advanced Search for keyword searches by selecting “Archival Films & Newsreels” in the “Subject” drop-down menu.

More archival film footage and newsreels will be available to subscribers soon.

Films on Demand unavailable Saturday, Jan. 30

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The Films On Demand streaming video platform will be down for approximately seven hours on Saturday, January 30th from 12:00 AM to 7:00 AM (EST). This continued maintenance is necessary to perform hardware updates to meet the traffic demands of our Films On Demand users.

Streaming video collection now available

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Now available for online viewing, Films On Demand offers over 5,200 streaming documentary videos. These films are available to all UML users through any web browser connection at any time.

Films On Demand offers high-quality digital videos by top producers from around the world, such as PBS and the BBC. Subject areas range from the Social Sciences to Career and Technical Education.

Special features allow users to create a personal account that enables them to organize favorite videos in folders, create and share playlists, and manage their own settings.

Films On Demand one-month trial

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A month-long full access trial is now available for the entire content of Films on Demanduntil December 12. A link to the trial is available on the UML Libraries’ Database Trials and New Resources page.

Films On Demand allows you to view streaming videos from the Films Media Group anytime, anywhere, 24/7! Choose from more than 6,000 educational titles in dozens of subject areas. Special features allow users the ability to organize and bookmark clips, share playlists, personalize folders and manage their entire collection through an administrative reporting system.

Access is available to the two master collections, Master Academic Collection and the Career and Technical Master Collection, from on campus and remotely. Videos are provided as Flash Video streams with Windows Media and QuickTime also available for most titles. Flash Videos can be streamed at 400k, 700k, or 1500k bitrates. Windows Media and QuickTime streams are 300k.

If you have an opinion about this trial, please leave a comment.

HW Wilson Cinema Image database trial

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H.W. Wilson has provided UML with trial access for the month of October to Cinema Image Gallery. For a link to the trial, go the UML Library Database Trial and New Resources  page.

With over 150,000 images including a treasure-trove of over 4,000 poster art and lobby cards used to promote the movies, Cinema Image Gallery is one of the world’s most comprehensive online collections of still images from movies, television and the entertainment industry.

Cinema Image Gallery presents the history of movie-making through a wide range of high-quality images of films in production: directors working on-set with the stars, set, costume and production design as well as hair and make-up shots and rare behind-the scenes material. Cinema Image Gallery also offers an extensive TV stills archive featuring classic and modern TV: comedies, dramas, series, TV movies, game shows and thousands of pictures of the stars of this medium.

In addition, Cinama Image Gallery offers these special features:

  • All images rights cleared for education use.
  • Links to reviews and other articles about the titles.
  • Links to full video, free online, for almost 100 films. Examples: A Farewell to Arms (1932), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1945), Cyrano De Bergerac (1950), Our Town (1940), and Birth of a Nation (1915).
  • Portrait photography and biographies of the stars of film and TV.
  • Links to biographies.
  • Search by Title, Director, Actor Names, Genre, Country of Production, Subject of Film, Screenwriter, Awards (Academy Award, Best Costume Design, Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival, Screen Actors Guild)