by Aarthy Somasundaram

Toward the end of last year a new version of ELAN has been released, containing lots of new features and improved functionalities, a new media player solution for Windows and fixes for a number of issues and bugs in previous versions.

A first implementation of interaction with LEXUS, the MPI developed web-based lexicon tool for creating and editing lexical databases, has been added. A new lexicon viewer allows the user to perform a look up for values in an online lexicon and to apply a value to the selected annotation.

ELAN has been facing many codec related problems, especially with mpeg-1 and mpeg-2 files. With the intention to eliminate a few of them, a new player, for Windows has been developed based on DirectShow (JDS, Java-Direct Show).
To use this player, it is necessary to select it first in the Platform/OS tab in the “Edit Preferences” window.

This version extends its support for controlled vocabularies with externally defined closed controlled vocabularies (located e.g. on the web). The list of supported file formats for importing controlled vocabularies has been extended with .txt and .csv. The file format of externally defined closed controlled vocabularies files is .ecv, which is close to eaf.

To make life easier and to increase the work speed of ELAN users, several improvements have been made to get things done with fewer steps and clicks.  A few tier-based operations, like removing multiple annotations or annotation values from selected tiers or creating depending annotations recursively on all depending tiers, can be performed much faster and with more ease of use. Now it is also possible to automatically create depending annotations, when an annotation is created on a tier with dependent tiers. The merge transcriptions function is extended with options for appending one file to the other, making the merging process more versatile.

Further support for audio and video recognizers, as developed in e.g. the AVATecH Project, has been implemented. To learn more about this project, visit the AVATecH website.

You can download the new version at the ELAN web site where you will also find the updated manual detailing how to use the new functionalities.