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Top Features to Look for in a Video Annotation Tool

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Top Features to Look for in a Video Annotation Tool

Video annotation tools are becoming increasingly popular as more and more industries rely on video content for training, research, and analysis. These tools allow users to add labels or metadata to a video, making it easier to train computer vision models (AI/ML). However, with so many video annotation tools available in the market, choosing the one that best fits your needs and budget can be challenging.

This blog post will guide you through some of the best features to look for in a video annotation tool. Additionally, it lists down the top video annotation tools in 2023 to help narrow down your search and also discusses how video annotation services can assist you in the process.

What is Video Annotation?

Video annotation is the process of adding labels or annotations to a video to describe its content. These labels or annotations can be in the form of tags, texts, or even bounding boxes around objects or regions of interest in the video.

Video annotation is frequently used in the field of computer vision and machine learning. By annotating a video with information about the objects and actions contained in it, researchers can create a dataset to train machine learning algorithms and create systems that can automatically identify and track objects in a video.

Features to Look for in a Video Annotation Tool

Video annotation tools are software programs designed to assist in the process of labeling videos. These tools typically include a user interface that allows annotators to navigate through the videos easily, add labels or markers and view annotations. By using video annotation tools, annotators can efficiently label videos which can be further used for training machine learning models for tasks such as object detection or activity recognition. In recent years, more and more businesses have been turning to video annotation tools to improve the accuracy and consistency of the annotations and improve the performance of their AI/ML models. According to a recent study, the global data annotation tools market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.6% from 2022 to 2030 and there’s no stopping thereafter.

Moving on, here are some must-have features you should look for in a video annotation tool:

  • User-friendly interface

A user-friendly interface makes it easier for the users to understand and navigate through an annotation tool. Hence, ensure that the tool you use has a clear layout with buttons and menus that are easy to understand and access.

Additionally, it can also include features such as drag-and-drop functionality, keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to switch between different annotation tools easily. This will help you create, edit and view annotations without having to spend a lot of time learning how to use a tool.

  • Real-time feedback and issue tracking

Video annotation tools with real-time feedback and issue tracking allow users to collaborate and share real-time feedback on annotations. This can be done through various means, such as notifications, pop-up messages, or visual cues.

This feature allows users to quickly identify and resolve problems as they occur, ensuring that the annotation process is efficient and accurate. Additionally, this feature can help track the progress of the video annotation process and ensure that all annotations are completed in a timely manner.

  • Collaboration features for better team management

    If you’re working with a team of annotators for a video annotation project, then this is an important feature to look for in a tool. It enables real-time collaboration and communication between different users.

    For instance, one team member may be responsible for transcribing the audio, while another may be responsible for adding visual annotations to the video content. With the collaboration feature, team members can work simultaneously on the same project, making the annotation process more efficient and streamlined. 

    • Video import/export capabilities

    A video annotation tool with import/export capabilities allows users to easily import videos from a variety of sources, such as PCs, a cloud-storage device, or a video hosting platform. This feature is particularly useful for teams working with multiple video formats and sources, as it allows for seamless integration of all videos in the annotation tools.

    • Data Security

    Data is one of the most important assets of any business and also one most prone to risks. According to McAfee, around 780,000 records are lost because of security breaches, every day. Hence, while picking a video annotation tool, make sure that it is packed with robust data security features to protect all the data entered into it. This includes measures such as encryption, access controls, secure data storage, and backup & recovery options to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.

    • Action/object-based classification

    Action/object-based classification feature allows users to classify different objects or actions that appear in a video. This is typically done by providing a set of predefined classes, such as ‘walking’, ‘jumping’, or ‘car,’ and allowing users to assign one or more of these classes to specific regions of the video.

    The classification process typically involves drawing bounding boxes around regions of the video that contain the objects or actions of interest and then assigning the appropriate class labels to those regions. Some video annotation tools also allow users to assign class labels to the entire video frame rather than just specific regions. Hence, make sure to choose a tool that meets your specific requirements.

    Top 3 Video Annotation Tools in 2023

    Video annotation tools have become increasingly popular as a way to provide feedback, markup footage, and make notes on videos. Here are some of the most widely used video annotation tools that you can choose for your business:

    1.  Annotate

    Annotate is a simple, easy-to-use video annotation tool that allows users to create and add comments and notes to specific parts of a video. It supports multiple video formats, including MP4, MOV, and WebM. With Annotate, users can also collaborate in real time, allowing multiple users to add comments and feedback to the same video simultaneously. One of the primary benefits of Annotate is its ability to integrate with a wide range of other tools and services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

    2.  Prodigy

    Prodigy allows users to mark up videos with detailed labels, comments, and tags. It offers a wide range of annotation options, including bounding boxes, points, lines, and polygons as well as the ability to add custom attributes and tags. Prodigy’s user interface is simple and intuitive, making it easy for users to navigate and understand.

    One of the standout features of Prodigy is its ability to perform active learning, which allows users to select the most informative samples for annotation and speeds up the annotation process. This allows users to work on annotations in real-time with multiple users, making it a great tool for teams working on a project together. 

    3.  Drawboard

    Drawboard is a digital annotation and collaboration platform. It’s primarily designed for creating, editing, and commenting on PDFs. Drawboard’s video annotation feature allows users to upload videos and add comments, notes, and labels directly to the video.

    Video Annotation Services – A Cost-Effective Solution for Video Annotation

    Video annotation typically involves self-service software that often requires users to have a certain level of technical expertise in order to use them effectively. More so, they can be an expensive option for businesses with limited budgets and resources. Herein, turning to video annotation services can turn out to be a cost-effective solution for all kinds of businesses.

    An experienced data annotation company is managed by a team of experts who are well-versed in the latest annotation techniques and technologies. This means they can handle the entire annotation process from start to finish, including preparing and organizing the video content, creating and implementing annotation guidelines, and ensuring that the final results meet all quality standards.


    Video annotation tools can be beneficial for any business dealing with video content. It can help streamline the entire annotation process, make teams collaborate, and generate accurate and consistent annotations. However, when choosing a video annotation tool, make sure to consider the specific requirements of your team and the type of videos you’ll be working on. More so, note that working with video annotation tools can get tricky, especially if you are not well-versed with the latest techniques and technologies. Herein, hiring an experienced data annotation company can be your best bet for speeding up the annotation process and achieving quality results.

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