Research material inside Scrivener

I can obviously store a PDF for viewing inside Scrivener and use the arrows at the top to go back and forth with the material I am writing. This part works great and importantly holds position.

The problem though with video on sites like YouTube is that it tends to start again at the beginning every time I click back. Is there a way around this? URLs also tend to scroll back to the top of the page as well, so on a long page with lots of text it can take a while to find the relevant area again. Basically I think we need a way to make sure it goes back to the previously viewed position somehow.

There’s no way Scrivener could remember where a video on YouTube was last played; it doesn’t have access to that sort of information. When viewing a web page in Scrivener, you are essentially just viewing a portal into Safari, in a way. To watch video, the best thing to do is to find a way of importing it properly (I believe you can find ways of downloading YouTube videos online) - that way, Scrivener has access to the video information and can remember where it was last played. Nor can Scrivener remember where web pages were last viewed (just as, when you return to a web page in Safari, it has no memory of such things). Scrivener will remember the page you were scrolled to in PDF files, the place you were last viewing in video files, and the cursor position in text files, though.

All the best,

I wouldn’t know what to do with YouTube, but my approach with web pages is never to use them except as a pdf. In my case I need to be able to refer to the web page in the state I first found it, not as it might end up some time later when it may have changed (and the information that first took me there may have been deleted or replaced). So whenever I come across a web page that I want to extract information from, I invariably save it as a pdf (usually in Devonthink Pro Office). And it means you don’t have to be connected to the net when you want to look at it. If you only need the text, and not the pretty pictures, you can even use the “Reader” function on Safari to get the bare bones of the page and save that.

Cheers, Martin.

Thanks Keith, I wondered if this could have been done with some kind of tab system inside Scrivener where you pause a video from YouTube inside one tab and then click to the other tab with your written work. The same idea should work in theory with any web page.

I have just imported a video right now from YouTube which is around 20 minutes long and weighs in at almost 220MB. This works fine and I have a pretty powerful Mac Pro so I am not expecting any major problem but I just wondered if there is any kind of practical limit to the size of a Scrivener file, especially since I seem to remember it is a 32-Bit application.

You make a good point Martin about storing research files as PDFs rather than URLs.

This is actually my favorite way to save pages, and if the pictures are in-line with the text, it usually picks up the relevant ones, discarding the side-bars and banner ads. I always try the Reader option first, since it will also load the part 2, part 3… pages that some sites split articles into. Only if it fails to render the information in a useful way do I resort to a full-on web page import.

Or maybe a “view scrivenings” for research materials? I think that could be a potentially massive resource hog (think of 20 YouTube videos all loaded up and ready to play in one long, scrolling window), but maybe there’s a way to do that?

As a self-appointed “Not Kevin” myself, I’m going to repeat what I’ve seen from the hands of Keith and Ioa on this subject: Research files can be of any size that your computer can handle; text files that are really huge (50,000+ words) may be slow to load, but then you can edit them without a lot of slow-down (autosave intervals may need to be increased a bit). But read-only stuff is mostly limited to your patience. How long it takes Scrivener to load it up for playback is likely the only practical limit.

As for project size, the biggest concern is how long automatic backups will take to be generated, and if you store those backups on DropBox, how long it takes for DB to upload to their servers and to other computers can be significantly impacted. You can mitigate that a bit by storing the really big files outside of scrivener and then creating links to them via the File->Import->Research Files as Aliases menu command. I don’t know if storing things this way will re-introduce your issue with it not saving your place in the video, but you might experiment with that if your backups become unwieldy.