The State Capitol's Digital Video Upgrade
Louisiana has a long spring and summer ahead of it; our senators, representatives, and governor are in the process of making very difficult budgeting decisions about what grows, what shrinks, and what disappears altogether in the interests of returning the state to a place of financial integrity.
It's fitting, then, that the archived and streaming digital video available at the State Legislature home page is taking some steps toward catching up with the 21st century. New video streams and is archived at 480p resolution in MPEG format, rather than as Windows Media. This means video is now possible to view easily from Macs and mobile devices as well as PCs, it's no longer postage stamp-sized, and skipping backward and forward arbitrarily to find particular information is as simple as clicking on the video timeline.
Video from the 2015 legislative session appears to have been retroactively upgraded as well.
These changes also mean it's easier than ever to archive your own copy of important committee meetings or floor votes. With just a few clicks, you can download an archived video directly, saving time and energy for research or production that you might otherwise spend filing public records requests.
Here's an example: I was able to quickly download the full archived video of Governor Edwards' address to the legislature and upload it to YouTube.
I will have a tutorial for this available soon. Of course, I'd recommend using it sparingly, because we're paying for that bandwidth after all.
As well as a welcome technological improvement that will benefit all future sessions, this is a subtle but very significant step toward the accessibility, accountability, and transparency Governor John Bel Edwards promised would be a hallmark of his administration.