LongoMatch is a sports video analysis tool for coaches and sports scientists, to assist them on making games video analysis. It simplifies video analysis by providing a set of intuitive tools to tag, review and edit the most important plays of the game. It allows to group plays by categories and adjust their the boundaries (lead and lag time) through a timeline.
It also has support for playlists, an easy way to create presentations with plays from different games and provides a video editor to render new videos with your favourite ones. Even if it is primary focused to sports, LongoMatch can be used for any task that requires tagging and reviewing segments of a video file, and can be applied to fields like cinema, medics or conferences.
LongoMatch is free software. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.
The program is developed in C# using Mono platform and other support libraries that make it cross-platform so it’s available for Linux and Windows.
LongoMatch depends in the following packages:
- Mono >= 2.4
- GTK# >= 2.12
- GStreamer >= 0.10.30
- GNonlin >= 0.10.13
- db4o 7.4
The package it’s available in Ubuntu repository from the release 9.10, and at the moment it’s available the release 0.16.5 (latest release is the 0.16.8).Or if you want the latest release you can add his specific PPA with the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ylatuya/ppa
The site also recommend to use the latest GStreamer binaries using the following repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gstreamer-developers/ppa
LongoMatch is available for Debian in ‘sid’ and ‘testing’
LongoMatch has been packaged for fedora by Thomas Vander Stichele. You can find instructions on how to set up the RPM’s repository here
You can check your local repository to see if the software it’s available, otherwise just download it from ftp site and compile it.
The program’s creator is the Spanish Andoni Morales that, as well as being a free software developer at Flumotion (a company expert in the development of streaming systems) has a history of playing professional field hockey (third with the Spanish national at the World Under 21).
Combining the two passions in the academic year 2007/2008 (Faculty of Engineering University at “La Sapienza” of Rome), Morales graduated with a thesis entitled “LongoMatch: a sports video analysis tool based on Free Software” .
The world of the field hockey immediately became the “test lab” as it has been adopted by teams of Roma and Lazio in the first italian series of this sport and some Spanish teams (often as an alternative to proprietary products such as http://www.nacsport.com/ ).
The interest has since expanded elsewhere, thus stimulating Andoni to take forward the development.
Anyone who finds errors or want to suggest new features can do it via the forum http://longomatch.ylatuya.es/forum/index.php.
How to use it
The use of LongoMatch is very simple: when viewing a video source (live or recorded video), the user does not have to do is press the buttons present on the screen (or use a combination of keys) to catalog pieces of film.
Let’s say for example the case of a volleyball game. The interest is to be able to extract, from the video, all the sequences in which a player has performed a service or a reception, or a lift, or an attack, or a wall or a defense, etc. … or to identify particular situations on schemes applied in certain moments of the race (eg position of the setter in the situation of reception … p1, p2, … p6).
What the User of LongoMatch does it’s upload the video, create these types of actions that he want to annotate and start the vision of the video. Now, every time that he will see the actions of interest, he will just press the corresponding button or key combination.
In this way the selected video segments (clips) will end up under the proper category.
The user can then, at any time, select the category and look at the various clips in it and add some notes.
In the “revision” of the clips you can then bind the players presents in the images to the video .
Using this function you will then be able to view clips “Browsing” them for the players.
You can then also add additional tags (such as “parallel”, “mistake” …).
Using the function playlist you can also export a sequence of actions into a single video.
In addition, at any time, you can stop the video and on the image you want, use a drawing function,which can highlight problems through technical and tactical arrows, circles, lines, dashes and crosses with different colors.
The image created in this way can then be exported to a file or inserted into the video clips (the effect you get when viewing the video will be a pause until you press a key).
This function is useful not only for the tactics but also in teaching techniques: the coach may propose a series of exercises to practice, to be analyzed at a later time and return to individual athletes with the necessary details to make people understand how to do better movements and what and how to correct.
For lovers of statistics, the software is also able to export the project (= what has been recorded so far) in CSV (comma separated value).
Importing this file in a spreadsheet (eg Microsoft Excel or OpenCalc) will get a table full of data collected with acquisition times and duration, from there you can start to work with some calculations (eg, points/errors, percentages positive … etc.) is a short step.
If you must adjust the length of each video clip, just switch mode to analysis and from there access to a grid from which you can change the length of display time of each video.
The management system of the categories of events to be recorded is very simple and functional.
Through its manager, you can: define the name of the class, associate a color, decide the duration in seconds before and after using the command (eg, two seconds and two seconds after the action of attack, resulting in producing a video of 4 seconds) and define a key combination.
The key combination (hot key) is made by pressing a special key between ALT or SHIFT followed by a second key (eg “ALT a” to associare the pressure of this combination to the category “attack”), if we use instead the CTRL key, you will have only to press the next key.
Example: If you create the hot key “Ctrl b” to define the category “service”, while watching the video will be sufficient to press the “b” to extract the video.
The manager of players allows to enter personal details, height, weight, number, role and photography, with the result that in the area dedicated to the teams on each video can appear the player’s name and photo.
The project (and also the list of players and categories) is exportable, so you can exchange your study (with video, however, distributed separately) to others.
There are also ways to increase/decrease the speed of the video and watch it in the opposite direction.
The final tip is to use this software, publicize and contribute to the development simply pointing out problems or ideas for its evolution.
This is free software, so a common good that will improve only if you create a community concerned.
The History and How to use it section come from the excellent article by Maurizio Napolitano (in Italian)
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