Poetry Video Jukebox

The Poetry Video Jukebox was a project that came out of ‘Poems for Doctors‘ a collaboration between Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) and the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews. For that project over about three years, I’ve made a collection of 28 video readings of poems from an anthology about experiences in healthcare. The readings are mostly not given by their authors, but by medical professionals working in the NHS, who also explain why they chose the particular poem that they are reading. All of this has gone online via a blog, and various social media postings.

We had also already made two kiosks for showing a video with two or three readings playing in a short loop. The Poetry Video Jukebox was an idea to extend these exhibits by making them into interactive devices where visitors could choose to listen to any of the collection of video readings we had built up.

To make the jukebox, I developed custom html and javascript code to read from a local video catalogue and produce an interactive jukebox. In fact, although the goal was a ‘Poems for Doctors’ interactive, the software was developed to deliver any collection of short videos in a clean, low fuss interface. In addition it can show an ‘attractor’ video when the unit is unused for an optional period.

Finally this needed a PC and a touchscreen to provide a method for users to select videos. I was lucky in being able to obtain a couple of older PCs and recycle these, we had to buy the touch screens, but I was able to source quite an affordable model. The rest of the ‘kiosks’ we had already (already recycled) and I was able to re-purpose these to make two devices.  One is currently at the University of St Andrews, and the other (pictured above and below) is at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.

One thought on “Poetry Video Jukebox

  1. Brilliant, Steve…can’t wait to play the jukebox.
    It’s so good to see Tools of the Trade growing arms and (musical?) legs.
    What imagination..thanks


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