Different Distributions

The long tail takes many forms. The patron saints of videoblogging have now hatched an ingenious model. Simply choosing to sup

That Moment Might Do

This long post refers to a draft experimental interactive text movie, 40MB at moment to download and play locally (url will be

Parody

Someone who could write once mentioned something about sarcasm and wit. Missleblast is more parody than sarcasm (rocketboom is its object of affection). There is something unhealthy about work that approaches its desired other by feigning to mock it. Possibly even more so when imitation of the same becomes confused with the invention of the new.

LSP and QuickStart

LiveStage Pro has a nice set of what look like scripts/files that you can burn to CD (QuickStart) to accompany your QT project. If QT isn’t available it will launch an installer. This makes distributing work by CD much easier.

Mark Hancock’s new Blog

Mark has moved his blog to a shiny new WordPress installation. Mark is one of the small group of very good writers and thinker

ZoomCloud

Have just added a zoomcloud tag cloud to my sidebar, but it is reading each entry as a linebreak. Can’t yet figure out how to fix that… Apparently I can ban some tags, ensure others appear, and it does clever things in terms of working out what the tags ought to be using content analysis tools with some history.

iVlog Tool

Now, it isn’t an announcement to release a beta of the ivlog tool. I had hoped it would be but between a new release of QuickTime and a system update of OS X, the applescript gizmo is producing problems. Frustrating, and now way behind schedule. In the meantime I am completing the documentation – hoping that we can sort out the bugs – and letting it loose. It will be released under a GNU Public Licence, which means others can improve it (don’t worry, there’s a ton of scope for that!).

One feature it has is that it autogenerates poster movies from the compressed content. But not any old poster movie. No sirree. It generates poster movies that I am uselessly calling thumpovs (a name that no doubt will not survive). They are thumbnail poster movies. So, what’s a thumpov? Well, instead of a poster movie being a single frame of video (that is clicked on to then retrieve the actual video), it is a movie made up of several frames (images) from the compressed video. In the iVlog tool this is partly user selectable, so you can choose to have a poster movie, sorry, thumpov, that consists of 5, 10, or 20 frames (shots), running for 1, 2 or 4 seconds each. The program then divides your completed video time by number of shots, and displays each one for the duration you’ve nominated.

An example: you’re video blog entry runs for 20 seconds. In iVlog you will have chosen your thumpov settings, let’s say 10 frames of 1 second each. iVlog will compress your 20 seconds of DV, and then automatically take a frame every 2 seconds (total duration / number of frames you want in your thumpov) and place that into a brand new movie, which each frame (chosen from each 2 seconds in your finished work) lasting for 1 second. This is then also exported, and becomes the poster movie. The advantage and difference? The poster movie is now a micro-movie of your content, so rather than being a single frame (which often might not give a decent indication of the content) it is a minimovie, it can be played all by itself to give you a preview of what is in the actual movie. Click on the video and it loads the actual video.

The aim is to have a very bandwidth friendly ‘micro-preview’ of the content available, which will provide more context for the video post, and then if your reader wants the lot, they can still get it.

The Tipping Point

Kath notes (in a required blog entry) what her blog has become. This is a wonderful description of what a blog can be, and a good example of what happens when a good writer is able to use a blog in an appropriately supported context. (Which means providing incentive and support so that students get past that tipping point when the blog shifts from being an online courseware journal and shifts into becoming a public-personal writing environment.

More Mau

Well, I guess I’m taking manifesto point number 21 pretty literally, as I find myself again giving Mau’s manifesto for incomplete growth as a document for students to read. This time it is Integrated Media where everyone is to read it and to identify three points that will help them in their research projects. These are students who come from what remains a very traditional humanities tradition, where research is writing and essays, and knowledge (even though few venture further than doubleudoubleudoubleu land) is in books. So a manifesto like this is liberating as it gives them permission to do differently. For example this student can use the points to contextualise their own practice, this one to try to rethink some of their reasons for why they want to do something. Everyone seems to have found something productive out of the task and the general sentiment appears to have given them resources by which to approach making something ‘knowledgeable’ that is not print.

Its My Blog

Luke has made a video blog post that has humour and also does a pretty good job of describing his relationship to his blog. If nothing else, would a student make such a work about their neglected essays?

In Case

Anyone was wondering. This is good. Let it out so you can see the damn thing, if you don’t let it out, then how will you ever know what is in there? For the unitiated, Dewani has to make an interactive QuickTime essay that uses Barthes “From Work to Text” to think about video and/or audio online. Everyone in Integrated Media is doing the same project, so we’ll have 60 mixed media, interactive QuickTime riffs on Roland.

Good Enough

Well, the semester is drawing to a close, only another fortnight or so to go. And as usual I feel like what we are covering in Integrated Media is being compressed into the closing fortnight. Things we didn’t look at, didn’t explore, didn’t make. This year I think we’ve covered a bit less material than in 2005, but it also feels a bit more thorough, a bit more solid. I always move slowly through material, preferring having some important ideas slowly sink in than some sort of whistlestop tour through modern networked media. Better that everyone can compress and embed video, and wonder intelligently about what TV or radio might be in 5 years, than being able to toss around some cool words but not actually understanding what’s behind them.

Which brings me to something else. One of the things we explore in semester one is the move from professional to personal media publishing. What happens when phones, small cameras and QuickTime with a big of iMovie are used to make media content? When blogs are the publication and distribution format. In classes this is realised in the tension between ‘professional’ standards and everyday media. For students it is in having to get work made and published, and having to trade off what they think of as ‘quality’ to get it done on time. The art of doing good enough in time enough. Why? Because there are times and places for spending all the time you have in achieving excellence, and there are times (like in your job) where if the boss says “cut this to 32 seconds by 4pm” she really means 32 seconds, and 4pm. You can’t make it 35 seconds because it works better, and you can’t deliver it at 4.30pm because it will be better work.

It is also to introduce ideas of just what ‘professional’ standards might mean. Personally I think they’re odd. TV is more than happy to have any footage, of any quality, if the event is important enough (satellite phones from Baghdad, hand held grainy domestic footage of any suitable accident as it happens) – the desire to see or hear over rides pretty much everything else. There is a fetish, which students fully subscribe to, about these ‘standards’ (biggest camera, systems must be industry ‘standard’, and so on). If you can’t tell a decent story using a domestic camera and two minutes, then 3 chips and betacam is not going to rescue you.