The Avalon Media System: A Next Generation Hydra Head For Audio and Video Delivery

Slide presentation

  • Michael Klein, Senior Software Developer, Northwestern University LIbrary, michael.klein AT northwestern DOT edu
  • Nathan Rogers, Programmer/Analyst, Indiana University, rogersna AT indiana DOT edu

Based on the success of the Variations digital music platform, Indiana University and Northwestern University have developed a next generation educational tool for delivering multimedia resources to the classroom. The Avalon Media System (formerly Variations on Video) supports the ingest, media processing, management, and access-controlled delivery of library-managed video and audio collections. To do so, the system draws on several existing, mature, open source technologies:

  • The ingest, search, and discovery functionality of the Hydra framework
  • The powerful multimedia workflow management features of Opencast Matterhorn
  • The flexible Engage audio/video player
  • The streaming capabilities of both Red5 Media Server (open source) and Adobe Flash Media Server (proprietary)

Extensive customization options are built into the framework for tailoring the application to the needs of a specific institution.

Our goal is to create an open platform that can be used by other institutions to serve the needs of the academic community. Release 1 is planned for a late February launch with future versions released every couple of months following. For more information visit and