Digital Toolbox

Project Pad

Project URL

Site screenshot
Cost and Development Philosophy

Free, open source

Local Installation or Hosted Solution

Local installation


“Project Pad is a project to build a web-based system for media annotation and collaboration for teaching and learning and scholarly applications. The system offers an easy to use “direct manipulation” user interface.” (source)



Use on SpokenWeb Project

So far we haven’t used Project Pad on the SpokenWeb project but both projects have very similar goals (see Project Pad goals here and SpokenWeb goals here).


Project Pad is a suite of tools. The Audio Annotation Tool and the Transcript Tool are the most relevant tools to the SpokenWeb project:


  • “The Audio Annotation Tool lets you add notes to time segments on an audio timeline. You can listen to the audio clip, mark a time segment, play back the segment, or attach your written notes to the segment.” (source)
  • “The transcript annotation tool is a web-based tool for annotating a transcript synchronized with an audio stream. It is especially useful for working with spoken word materials such as speeches, debates, and court proceedings.” (source)

On the positive side, Project Pad is web-based (unlike, for example, the Variations Audio Timeliner). It also provides multi-user support, so that, for example, several students could mark up an audio file of a poem. The Variations Audio Timeliner which supports only one user’s markup, on the other hand, is more of a tool for instructors to share their audio mark-up with students.


“Like all Project Pad annotation tools, if several users are viewing the same document and one makes a change, everyone will see the change without re-loading the page. This can be used to let several students or a student and instructor work together online.” (source)


On the negative side, Project Pad doesn’t display audio waveforms but rather just a basic player control with a simple linear timeline display.


We are not aware of any poetry projects that use Project Pad.


Future Directions

Project Pad was never completed. The last version of the tool was released in 2006.


A Flash based and proprietary tool that came out of the project can be seen at:


The tool features 2-way tethering between the audio and the transcript, full-text searching, as well as colour-coded browsing by speaker. Apparently they are moving from Flash to an HTML-5 based version of the tool.