Monday, November 30, 2009

Jennie Bourne and her Book Web Video: Making It Great

I'm on the prowl for all kinds of resources and not just the usual sources. I stumbled into Peachpit Press and found Jennie Bourne's book Web Video: Making It Great and Getting It Noticed.

I can't review the book because I haven't seen it or purchased the book. So I'm poking around the site and find two pages about buying a basic digital camcorder and buying a prosumer camcorder.





Groovy. But I kept on the prowl because where there is an author there should be an author's website or one to support the book. I found it. It is WebVideoBook.tv

Where there is a book about web video there should be a video.So like, here is the video.

Other Posts of Interest

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Does Streaming Video Mean?

If you get mixed up with this video jive you have to be aware of certain terminology. The word for today is Streaming. There are two ways (so far) that you can view a video from the Internet. You can download a video on you computer hard drive or you can view a video that is streamed to your computer, media device or cell phone.

The user clicks a link to watch a video. If the video is available, the first section of the video is delivered for viewing and the rest follow behind in successive chunks of data until the entire video is ready for viewing.

Slide show animation link to Learn the InternetThis is one case where watching a visual helps. Learn The Internet has an old school way of explaining streaming video. Sometimes a low tech visual beats 100 fuzzy words. Don't forget to come back.

Why Is This Important?

If you watch online videos 9.5 times out of 10 you have been watching streaming videos. If you watch videos from Hulu and have had to wait for the buffer then you have been watching a streamed video presentation.

YouTube? Streamed. Good Morning America video clips online? Yes streamed, A live event on CNN? Streamed and multicasting to boot.

As a creator of video you want to be aware of how your videos are going to be distributed. For the most part they will be streamed. The video quality might suffer a bit but that is part of uploading video for public distribution.

Visitors to your video web host might have the option of downloading the original video. Or not. Many times it is your choice if you want users to download an original copy or not.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dummies.com Video Resources

I don't know everything. What I can do is locate resources that supplement and add to my knowledge base. This is look at the For Dummies series of online resources about video.

Dummies website tutorial resources
I understand conceptually why the For Dummies books are popular. I just really hate the name. And for the record, not all For Dummies books are all that easy to understand; it depends on the topic and the author.

Anyway, to the matter at hand. I'm looking at the content on the website that support various For Dummies publications.

There is a Digital Video Book For Dummies that was published in 2006. The core facts are the same but the technology has moved on quite a bit. Memory card camcorders were in their infancy, Firewire connections vs. USB 2.0, how to connect an analog camcorder and computer technology? Well, let's not even go there.

You can visit the page that has .pdfs of the table of contents and read an excerpt. I'm not making a judgment about the book. It might be the only resource you see in a brick and mortar bookstore. Just keep in mind that with any technology book there is a built in obsolescence factor.

These are some of the resources that are on the website:
A minor quibble is that there is video on some of the For Dummies online web pages but it is for viewing on the website only. Understandable, they want to keep you inside of the website. If you have video why not share it and have folks come to your site to see what else you have?

It is a thought. So dive in and if you like what you see peruse some of the other For Dummies video line of books.

Just keep in mind that many technology books published before 2009 are out of date. That does not mean that the information isn't valid. The technology, equipment and resources mentioned may have changed or the technology mention is no longer necessary.  

Other Posts of Interest

Friday, November 27, 2009

Documentally's First Impressions on the Zoom Q3

A few days ago I wrote a bit about the Zoom Q3 Video Camcorder. It seems a tasty bit of kit, as my friends across the creek would say. Good audio can carry a fair video forward. Documentally took the Zoom Q3 Video Camcorder and his dog out for a walk.

This is a video shake out from the UK:

Zoom Q3 - First Impressions from Documentally on Vimeo.



For more information about Doc check out http://ourmaninside.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kathy Sierra on Feeling Better is Better

Kathy Sierra had a blog that tried to expand the conversation beyond consumers and vendor. It is no longer updated but there is valuable information about how to converse and share information in this multimedia time. It is a vision that conversation, innovation and shared support for user success can profit both parties.



Kathy participated in an Ignite event. Five minutes and 20 slides maximum to get your point across. This is an opportunity to hear ideas you probably will not see expressed too often in traditional business media.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heather Gold and How to Tummel: Conversational Mechanics

So how do you get the conversation, the buzz and the connectivity started? Heather Gold is another one of those hyphenated people who has been figuring this out for a long time.

This is Heather's description of herself:
Heather Gold is the turkey baster love child of Sarah Silverman and Rachel Maddow and tours North America as a comedian, speaker, interactive solo performer and social artist.



Heather also at the Web 2.0 NY Expo and her topic about Tummel - Making Connections, understanding communities, and how to develop beyond a conflict model of attention.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Baratunde Thurston on the Power of the Hashtag

Baratunde Thurston is a man of many talents. One of them is the use of social media. You can scope out his website for more info on who he is and what he does.



From the Web 2.0 NY Expo 2009 this is a 15 minute talk about how you can use the Twitter's hashtag as a means of creating comedy, mischief and under the surface how to communicate a message.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Flip4Mac - Helping Mac Users Play WMV videos

It is good to reduce, re-use and recycle. This video was recorded in 2006 on my old DXG at the Digital Video Expo. The product is Telestream's Flip4Mac. It is designed to help Mac users view Windows Media videos on Mac computers.



Things have changed for the better. Microsoft and Telestream got together and the basic version now free as a plug in. You can visit the Microsoft website to get more info on the free player.

If you need to import or edit WMV videos on your Mac then you want to visit Telestream and glance over the choices for video editing, playback and high definition videos.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SimpleMovieX for Mac Video Editing

Forgive me, I have been Windows OS platform centric. I could make the excuse that Mac users have iMovie and Final Cut Pro so their needs are met right?

Er, no. There are other software editing packages for Mac Users. There is Adobe Premier, Avid and others high tone software.

SimpleMovieX editing mode
This is an affordable video editing option called SimpleMovie X. for Macs running 10.4 OS or higher.

Features

  • Users can work in AVI and MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 video formats
  • Simple audio editing
  • Support of large video files i.e. 4GB for MPEG and AVI)
This program seems to be an alternative to QuickTime Pro version 7. SimpleMovieX seems to have an easier editing interface and accessible features.

You can download a trial version at their CNet's Download.com page or visit the website for more information.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Isabella Rossellini Talks About Her Sundance Videos

How do you you design a video that can be viewed on iPods, cell phones and personal media devices? How do you get folks to watch?

Isabella Rossellini's Sundance Channel Green Porno project is figuring that out.



This is a clip of Isabella explaining the process and her long term desire to create short films or videos. You also get a glimpse of how Green Porno videos, which are a series of short videos explaining how insects and marine life mate, are created.

This is the Spider episode:



The videos were designed so that they would look good on multiple screens, including small media devices. Isabella is still working in a traditional filmmaking structure.

It is interesting to me that she is now able to move past prior gatekeepers who probably would not have supported her desire for short form video production. There is no one path and one is not necessarily better than the other.

I love it when education and awareness are embedded with humor and a touch of fun.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Miro Video Player - Create Your Own Internet TV

For those of us that create and make use of web video it is a challenge to keep up with the variety of ways your can view the ever growing amount of content. The thing is, you constantly have to remember to go to a specific destination like Hulu or YouTube or a videoblog.


Or do you? Me thinks not. You can use the Miro Media Player to view videos from multiple sources. You can subscribe to a particular video online and have new episodes delivered to your media player using an RSS feed.

You can run Miro on Linux, Macintosh or Windows XP and above computers.

What Is In It For You?
  • You can view videos in a variety of formats such as MPEG, MP4, MOV, H264, Flash, Xvid, AVI, depending on the version of your operating system.
  • It is free/open source specifically designed for users to decide what they want to view.
  • You can construct your own Internet television play lists from a variety of sources.
  • You can view high definition content in Miro.
If you are curious check out the using Miro page to get a better understanding of what Miro can do you for. You can also watch or download a demonstration video or just try it out. There are download options for Linux Ubuntu and other distributions, MacOS X and Windows XP and above.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Consumer Video Editing Software

This is my take on the consumer level of video editing programs. Having looked at the prosumer level and the novice level of video editing software might make understanding the middle ground a little easier. I hope.

That middle ground includes videobloggers. Folks that have side businesses with video. Citizen and accidental journalists. Family historians and those people that use video to record or promote their other interests. The term web video has a lot of different folks under the tent. These are just an example of some of the video editing software options.

Camcorders Range:

From web camcorders starting from $50 (you'll be sorry) to $120.
Standard DV tape and tapeless camcorders kicks in at the $250 to $699 mark.
High end consumer camcorders start the next level from $800 to $1,000.

Video Recording Formats

Entry level camcorder users should expect to find in inexpensive camcorders:
  • AVI
  • MPEG-2
  • MPEG-4 (.mp4)
Standard consumer camcorder formats
  • AVI
  • AVCHD and variations
  • MPEG-2
  • MPEG-4 (.mp4)
  • MOV (standard QuickTime)
Wants and Needs

In a general purpose video editing software you want the ability to import video from your camcorder, from external storage or from your computer.

The software should help you make decisions about selecting the scenes that you want to use, the order that you want to use them in and give you a rough idea of what the video will look like.

Better editing software programs have the ability to do this non-destructively, meaning that it will create a proxy version and leave the original video source untouched. You'll need RAM and a good size hard drive not to lock up the system. This is especially true with the HD and AVCHD video formats.

You should be able to add photos, music, narration and special effects. For videos on the Internet at this time go easy on the special effects. They don't necessarily look good online.

The video editing software should capable of rendering the video in a variety of formats, even if you don't currently use them. You want the ability. There are other video distribution sites than YouTube. They have their own requirements on file formats and sizes for uploading video. Don't forget that there are device specific video formats such as the iPod, PSP, and other types of media players.

There are some good software packages that might meet most of your needs.

Adobe Premier Elements 8
is the most current version as of November 2009. You'll need a modern computer running XP, Vista or Windows 7. $80 for the stand alone version and if you buy the bundled Adobe Photoshop Elements/Premier Elements you can save cash if you don't have an imaging program already for $100 retail.

Adobe Premier Elements needs at least 2GB of RAM. The box says you can get away with 1GB. Don't believe it.

According to the website, Premier Elements can import the more common and uncommon video recording formats such as AVI, AVCHD (import only) DV, H.264, HDV, JPEG, MOD and TOD (JVC Everio, import only), MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Windows Media, and 3GP.

You should know that you will need to install on your system the free Apple QuickTime player. In addition, you will have to download certain patches for AVCHD, DVD, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264. It is free, but you do have to remember to download before you can use the features of the program.

You certainly want to check out the Premier Elements Support area to see if there are good plain English explanations to questions users are asking. There are also video tutorials you can view to get a sense of the program.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 Windows XP SP2 Home Edition/Professional, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Vista $99 but check for special pricing.


I've use this software for a few years now. It has quirks but for general users it has benefits. It is drag and drop video selection, you can add titles, narration and other items and visually adjust them. Corel VideoStudio Pro X2 comes with a music package so that you can add instrumental music to your videos. I would recommend that you purchase the box version.

Serif MoviePlus X3 Windows XP and Vista $80


MoviePlus X3 is another video editing program that I use. It is underrated. It is a good balance of features for price; it has a tutorial mode that will help you use the program but doesn't necessarily take over. There is a time line and storyboard mode. Current updates include handling of HD and AVCHD video formats. This is a good transition/step-up program from Windows Movie Maker2.

I like it because it is quick and responsive. I can mixing video while leaving the audio track alone or separate the audio track from the video (this does depend on the video format.) I can add as many video or audio tracks as I need. The Gallery is a holding area that contains video and audio that I'll use again such as theme music or opening/closing titles. The boxed version has manuals, and additional resources to help you compose your videos.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio Microsoft® Windows XP SP 2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
800 MHz processor (2.8 GHz recommended for HDV and AVCHD) $59 to $89 and up depending on version purchased.

Sony Vegas Movie StudioDon't let the screen shot intimidate you. I've used an earlier version of Vegas and it really is more visual than the above screen shot indicates. It is powerful program but once you get the hang of it you'll be slicing and dicing video.

There are couple of versions of the program so you want to look at the comparison chart to make sure that you purchase the one best suited to your needs. For example, if you know that you want to export to Apple's iPod video format then purchase the Platinum version of the program.

The advantage of a program like Sony Vegas Movie Studio is that you do see all of your video and audio material right in front of your face. This is more for the computer comfortable or a person who has some video experience. If you know what a "bin" is you will be happy in Vegas.

Conclusion

There are other good video editing software available. I wanted to do this to help make the connection between getting video out of your camcorder and into a visible form. The right editing program can make that process easier.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lee Keller and Kim Cavanaugh Overview of Video Editing

Busy, busy busy and meeping my heart out too. I'm still re-writing the next post on video editors but I found video from PalmBreezeCAFE is a good simple overview of the computer video editing process.



They talk about the basic things folks want to do with video editing software. They are using Premier Elements as an example but the concepts are common to all decent video editing software.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Documentation Camcorder Video Editing Software

There is no such thing as a typical consumer using a camcorder. I'm sure there are marketing people who are willing to educate me about demographics of users. Those of us who pick up cameras and camcorders have our own individual reasons that don't always fit into categories.

Family Documentation/History Video Recording.

That said, you can make a case for a certain type of user. So it is not that hard to imagine that there are people who are taking videos of family events and family members who would like to make their videos better but who are time pressed and not that tech savvy.

Those of you that are hip enough to record great-grandma, grandpop and Uncle Billy I salute you. Special shout out to the parents of performers and athletes. These are the people that need a good solid camcorder that is easy to use but and has true optical zoom 10x or more.

Camcorders

Camcorders for family documentation start decently at $299 up to about $699. Most everything is automatic but the more you pay the more options you get. You want to look for optical zoom 10x or more. Not digital, optical. If you are in the 15th row of your child's recital you want to see a face, not an outline.

Recording Formats

At this level camcorders record in MPEG-2 (or a proprietary variant format like .MOD) MPEG 4 (.mp4), .MOV or maybe a version of AVCHD. If your camcorder records in AVCHD format you have to pay attention to the video editing software to make sure that it can handle that video format.

Video Editing Needs and Options


You want to put a title and cut out the bad parts. Maybe adding some music. Mixing video and photos would be good. Perhaps create a DVD for the relatives. But you don't want it to take up a lot of time and you are not a high tech cadet.

You don't want to pay more than $50 to $100 for software. And it should be easy to figure out right? Still you want something that has the ability to create something nice.

Lemme think. OK, at this price point you do have options and trade-offs. There are a number of editing programs specifically designed for novice or no experience users.

Corel Ulead Video Studio Express 2010 Windows 7, Windows XP SP3 Home Edition/Professional, Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows Vista $49.99

This product is designed for novice users who want to edit videos, upload to sharing sites and create DVDs. Check out the demo video from Corel:




The software is very visual. You have the ability to drag and drop videos and make edits quickly. In the features section it does state that it has the ability to handle AVCHD videos so that is good news. Not all editors can import that video format.

Magix Video Easy Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 $39.99
Another plug and play software with a simple interface.

This is as simple as it gets, one video and audio track to drag and drop or the program help you do it for you.

In order to edit video in the MPEG-2, MPEG-4 format you will need to activate those features before using the software.

That seems silly to me but that is what is on the specification page. This means that you will have to download the software patches needed if your camcorder records in the above mentioned formats in order to bring them into the software.

Sony Vegas Studio HD Microsoft Windows XP SP 2, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 $39.95


This is another editing program for entry level users. It has the ability to add special effects, narration, has built in music tracks and wizards to guide you through the program.

It can handle most video formats, has help embedded into the program to assist you in editing.

There is another version of the Sony software that does not handle high definition video but has a similar name.

It cost $69.95 and it has a few more gizmos. If your camcorder is a high definition camcorder make sure you obtain that version of the software. There is a requirement that you register the program within 30 days of purchase/installation.

Simple Is Not Always Easy


There are some things you should know. These and other video editing programs require a modern computer. If you have an old faithful that you bought four years ago there is is gonna be trouble. If you purchased your computer 2 years ago, you should be OK if it is a dual core or quad core system.
  • You should consider downloading the trial version before purchase to see if the software and your computer get along. Only download directly from the vendor's web site.
  • Before you download software your should back up your system.
  • Do not listen to your helpful teenager who knows how to find a cracked version.
  • If the word torrent comes up politely decline. And run a spy/malware check on your computer. Which you should do anyway once a week.
These entry level video editing programs are specifically targeted to entry level users. There will be cuts, transitions and wizards to help you work with your video. There are going to be limitations in how many elements you can add to a video, the size of the video or other restrictions.

On the other hand, it does not get easier than this to make a video. If you can live with those limitations, these are good options from known vendors.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Prosumer Camcorders Video Editing Software

Typically, prosumer camcorders are used in wedding and event videography, real estate, business/industrial videos, vertical markets or independent producers who can and do sell their content. You have to be bone serious to even think about purchasing these camcorders.

Prosumer camcorders are designed for people that fully intend to have a certain level of quality in their videos. There is also an expectation of a return on the investment of purchasing these camcorders.

You will need a grip, as in a grip of Benjamins before you can enter the land of the prosumer camcorders. This level of camcorder is not inexpensive. Neither is the software. You also have to be skilled in setting manual controls, white balancing, understanding light temperature, audio concerns and more.

I repeat, this is not an impulse or vanity purchase. The low end of prosumer camcorders kicks in around $1,800 but the upper range can hit $6,000 easy and that is not factoring in any additional purchases such as recording media, microphones, lights and software.

These are a few examples of camcorders that require are certain level of software performance and power:
Recording Formats

At this level expect that you will encounter AVCHD Lite, AVCHD, H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (.mp4), MPEG4-AVC/H.264, DVCAM, DV SP, XDCAM and XDCAM EX and more.

Some of the above camcorders include simple editing software for the AVCHD format. It will do the job but for true video editing you'll have to look at commercial software.

Video Editing Software Options

These are very sophisticated software programs. If you have prior experience with video editing that will help but there is a learning curve. You might need a real world class, video/DVD tutorials or participation in the many professional video editing forums.

My software budget constraints and skill level only allow me to list these programs and point you to the technical specification pages of the various vendors.

Adobe Premier Pro Macintosh OS X 10.4.11, Macintosh Snow Leopard, Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 Operating Systems $799.

Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP) Macintosh operating system only $999.

Avid Media Composer Macintosh Snow Leopard and higher, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Ultimate $2,295.

Sony Vega Pro 9 Windows XP 32-bit SP2 (SP3 recommended), Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit (SP1 recommended), or Windows 7 $679.95 Boxed $599.95 Download.

Prosumer Video Editing Resources

Before you even think about downloading a trial version there is an abundance of resources. This is just a small sample.

Lynda.com - Online video tutorials. You can watch a preview of setting up a project or a look at the user interface. If you like what you see you can subscribe and view the entire lesson package.
Creative Cow.net has a tremendous amount of information for the prosumer and professional video creator. One of the best resources is the forums. Read. Lurk. Search the answer first. If you can't find it then ask a question. Also check out the Creative Cow video tutorials.

On the professional tip, you want to visit the Digital Video Information Network aka DVInfo.net. Certainly you would want to check out the forums that not only focus on hardware, software but the business of digital video.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Video Editing Software Pre-Ramble

I want to try something a little different from the usually software reviews. And since I haven't quite finish composing there is a short delay on the first post. Bummer, but life is like that sometimes. So let me tell you a little about my video editing history.

I stared back in the day with the ENG (electronic news gathering) videotape machines. I took the class because I was interested in news reporting. If I had known about assemble editing I might have dropped out before the cut off date.

Assemble editing is when you have to log all of your shots on paper, in time code then find the first image you want, copy it to the other tape deck and then go back and get another. You had to be accurate or bad things would happen or for me not happen to your video.

I cried. I cussed. I learned I did not like assemble editing.

No computer was involved. It was like copying a song from one cassette player to another cassette player. It took almost 25 years before I could use what is now called non linear editing.

It was on a Grass Valley machine at college. It was at the time a professional set up. But the equipment was expensive and you had to be super rich to have one of those systems in your home.

Waited a few more years...time marches on and I'm hanging out at Public Access television. Learned a lot but them dang video tapes still stuck it to me every once in a while.

Finally everybody and his cousin had a computer. No video editing software. Tick, tick, and more ticks. Then it seemed as though video editing software packages were being created every day. And here we are - these are the good old days.

It is much easier than it use to be but it isn't perfect. It is a skill. The software is catching up with users needs and wants.

Software Experience

I have purchased or used a bunch of video editing software. I can't exactly afford to load each and every one on my computer. I don't mean cost. I don't mean stealing either. I mean it does take time, methodology and writing up the findings.

That would leave me from 3:14 am to 4:03am for sleep. That is so not going to happen. What I can do is give you is an idea of who the software is targeted to, the video formats that seem to be compatible and, if I have used a current version of the program, my honest opinion.

I will tell you if I have purchased a product or downloaded a trial version. Not likely to load a trial version unless there is a feature I really want to try. The truth is I'm a software junkie and I have to keep it in check.

Know the computer magazines from the UK that have DVDs with thousands of software titles for $16.95? Yes, I have software. I don't do bootleg. Not safe, not ethical and begging for trouble. You shouldn't either.

Oh, and don't load more than 200 software programs on your computer. I am the sadder but wiser girl. 50 is more than enough.

Let's see, what else? I practice good download habits. I go directly to the vendor site or places that I implicitly trust.

I back up my system every night so if a stinker program does damage I can deal with it. I don't load software that requires more power than my system currently has. I know people who do that and then cuss the bejebus out of the program when it locks up their system. Crazy but true.

Ok, end of pre-ramble.

Q3 Handy Video Recorder for Journalists and Musicians

The Q3 Handy Video Recorder, is a good example of a niche camcorder. The vendor is actually in the sound business producing microphones for musicians and recording professionals.

What sets this a part from the other web camcorders is the sound. There are two condenser microphones in the unit. The are placed above the lens and the working mechanics of the camcorder.

Q3 Handy Video Recorder
This is their entry into the web camcorder marketplace. This is an video of a recording made from the camcorder. The guitar playing is great but the richness of the sound is where the money is on this camcorder.



It is not just the two microphones in the unit. You can make audio adjustments to the sound and see the sound levels on the LCD. For audio people such as radio journalists, independent reporters and those that want to interview this is very interesting device indeed.

Q3 Rear View with Audio Levels
Video is standard definition 640x480 in .mp4 format. Runs on AA batteries and priced retail at $250. It is a niche product. You can get camcorders with more features for that price but quality audio in a compact video recorder?

Generally no, not until the Q3 but I could be wrong. In my experience, the audio in many web camcorders is crummy to slightly above adequate. I don't want to fall in love with it just yet. I'd have to see and hear more voice based video recordings from the device.

I hope this is the first wave of audio controls and quality sound on web camcorders.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Video Editing Software - Quick Introduction

This week among other things I want to write about video editing software. Now, there is nothing wrong with recording and uploading video straight from the camcorder. Millions do it. It is just that most of those folks could stand a bit of editing.

Part of the reason I want you to know and understand what kind of camcorder to buy is that hopefully your video editing software should be in alignment with the video format produced by your camcorder. If it is not, you might need third party software to be able to edit your video.

This is an extra step that you might not want to include.

Matching Your Needs

  • Skill level - You might not have any experience editing video. There are some of us that come from the old school of assemble editing. Other don't have a clue as to what NLE means (non-linear editing) and don't want to know. My point is that you can find video editing software that closely matches your needs.
  • Video format of your camcorder - Does it record in .mov, .avi, .mod, or .mp4? There are dozens of video formats. Not all video editing software support every video format. There are some camcorder manufactures like JVC that uses a proprietary format such as the .mod when it is really a .mpeg2 video file. At the time my video editing software did not support that file format. I have to search for a workaround.
  • Features - this depends on what you want to do with the video. How many video and audio tracks do you need? Can you import and animate photos? Is there good tutorials available or are you totally on your own? Are you only going to upload to the Internet? Will you make a DVD copy? Are you planning to sell the video to other markets? Is it going to be posted on iTunes?
  • Price - From free to thousands of dollars. Free sometimes is not free but it can be good enough to get you started. There are editing programs that are worth the money and others I would not touch with a pole if you paid me.
  • Support - is there a support from the vendor website or is there a community of users that are willing to help newbies and others with questions. Some vendors have videos, easy to search help files and welcome questions. Others vendors rely on volunteers on forums but provide limited support. Those volunteers become burnt out and cranky.
Before you start your search for video editing software check your computer. You might have what you need to get started. Both Mac and PC computer systems have an entry level video editing program.

Operational System Provided Video Editing Software

You might not have to purchase video editing software. If you are a Mac user you have iMovie. Don't underestimate it. There have been award winning films editing on iMovie. I'm not a Mac user but I have been suffering in envy for years.

If you are a Windows XP or Vista User you have Windows Movie Maker 2. It is designed to help you create simple videos. but there are a lot of features such as a narration mode, transitions and help with creating titles. Those of you that are on XP cannot run the new version of Windows Live Movie Maker.

If you are a Windows Vista user or are going to be moving to Windows 7 you have the ability to install Windows Live Movie Maker or Windows Live Movie Maker HD. It is a stripped down mash-up of Microsoft Photo Story and some elements of Windows Movie Maker 2. Windows Live Movie Maker HD can edit MPEG2 and video from high definition camcorders.

This software is really designed for novice users that want to combine photos and simple video.

Those of use that had experience with Movie Maker2 will be shocked at the reduction of functions. That doesn't mean this is a bad program. It just means that it has be re-focused to entry level video creators. Drag and drop video making. Bare bones.

Ok, there you have it. This is just to get you to peculate on what you might want, need or already have. Coming up, One size does not fit all and I am not talking about pantyhose.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Resources For iPhone Video Creators

One place to visit is the The Daily Apps Show on applications for the iPhone and iTouch. There are posts on video applications and I just happened to find a review on the Zacuto ZGrip for the iPhone:



If you are interested in easy editing on the iPhone then seek out posts on iPhone video apps. You will find ReelDirector mentioned. I read about it at Inside the Hive and The Apple Blog.

Yes, for $7.99 you can use video editing software on the iPhone. This is a demo by the creator of the software Nexvio.



Which got me to thinking. What does iPhone video look like if you don't have an iPhone and want to view it?
BJSR music video Play on an iPhone and The Behind The Scenes version of making the BJSR video.

Chris Pirillo's Review of the iPhone 3GS using the device.

It almost makes me want to take the plunge. But not really. It is enticing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yahoo Creative Commons Music Search

June 2012 Update: the Yahoo Creative Commons search page is gone, the link defaults to a basic search page. Fear not, if you want to find Creative Common musicians visit the Creative Commons Legal Music page.This post remains as a historical reference post.

The right bit of music can add a sweet accent to your video. However, it seems to me that the music industry has limited interest in developing or finding new talent that does not fit inside a demographic cash cow.

We can change that. We really don't need them anymore. We can get music for our videos, discover new talent and move forward in creativity.

Yahoo Creative Commons Music Search

There are musicians who want you to use their music. Conversely, how are we gonna find new music if we do not go looking for it? One of the ways to find permissible music is via Yahoo Creative Commons Search.

Plunk in you search term, click a check box if you want to use creative common music for commercial use or if you have permission to adapt and re-mix music.

You will get a results page with your keyword results. I found I had to fiddle to find the right keywords. I also experienced a lot of crud coming up that had nothing to do with music.

It does work.

I found a new source called ArtistServer that has Creative Commons licenses and Public Domain performers. There was a variety of music genres as well.

Well, give it a shake down and share what you think.


Other Posts of Interest

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What Is A Creative Commons License?

A Creative Commons license is a set of permissions you can give to another person to use your content. That content can be a photo, music, video or any other copyrightable material.



The Creative Commons license doesn't remove your copyright or rights to protect or profit from your content.

It allows you or a creator to tell other people, "Hey, you can use my content under these specific conditions:"
  • Attribution,
  • Non-Commercial,
  • No Derivatives or
  • Share and Share Alike.
Creative Commons is very cool. The Internet community can help expose an artist's work to more people. It can help web video creators that need music they can use in their videos. It expands the opportunity for creative exchanges and blast pass industry gatekeepers that pump out drek being passed off as commercial music.

Collectively, we have the power to create and do good at the same time.

So, if you need music for your web video or podcast you should check out the Search page for finding Creative Commons content. Not all the content that appears in the search result is CC friendly (search engine crud happens) so be sure to check out your selection to make sure you can or can't use it in your video.

Other Posts of Interest

A Quick Look - What Is Royalty Free Music?

Originally royalty free music was designed for business, educational media productions and radio/television. It was music for video producers that could not afford to license music from the commercial license companies. Today stock music companies have expanded to new media distribution options.

Think of royalty free music like a music rental store with a long term lease. You find a ditty that you would like to use in your video. You pay a one time price and you can use that song as much as you want.

Well, almost. There are some royalty free music companies that have a time limit on how long you can use the music. Others sources allow forever and a day except that you can't necessarily use it how you want.

Restrictions

You might be restricted by staying in a specific distribution channel. You have to read the terms of service. (You always have to read the terms of service.)

Some royalty companies have a pay scale for business/industrial use only, educational use or if you use it for a broadcast television production you might pay a lot more. But not as much as and ASCAP or BMI music licenses.

For example, if you pay for a business/industrial use license that doesn't necessarily mean that you can use it on the corporate blog. Or you can use the song on your website but not in a podcast.

The music? Well again that depended on your needs. The music often is formatted for short intros, loops, bumpers or full songs. Or not. The quality would be based on the age of the music and the quality level accepted by the music stock house.

If you are looking for Acid Pop or Techno Punk type tunes you'd have to search for those vendors that provide that type of music. Not all do. It really depends on the vendor's catalog of music.

For most web video users I think using podsafe music, Creative Commons music and public domain music is the way to go. But if you are interesting in professional productions or a certain level of quality in your video this is a great option.

Other Royalty Free Music Resources

The Beat Suite has a good information page about what royalty free music is and is not. You can also look at the sidebar to see the range of music types. You also want to glance at their license and cost page to find out using their music is affordable for your production.

Fresh Music's FAQ is lean but you do learn quickly what you are purchasing, the formats available and the music file type provided.

Videomaker Magazine has an article, Buyout Music For Video about royalty free music. The article includes a list of vendors that sell CD/downloadable stock music. The article is from 2002 but there is an updated list from 2007 of the various royalty free music vendors that you can view as an Adobe file.

Other Posts of Interest

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Music for Your Videos - Free and Legal at Incompetech

You need a theme song, bumper or music loop. Perhaps you are searching for a song that will help to communicate the message in your video.

And you have limited funds.


List of music types

The music industry is determine to lock down un-authorized use of commercial music. Web video creators must look to alternative sources. One of the sources is Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech.com.

Here is the deal. You can use music provided on the web site for commercial and non-commercial purposes. There is one requirement. You must attribute Kevin MacLeod as the source and a link back to his web site. That is it.

Attribution is the right thing to do for any independent musician's music used in web videos.

Kevin allows the use of his music under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. This means he is given you permission to use his musical work under the condition that you let folks know who created the music and where you found it.

I encourage you to read his excellent and most generous FAQ about using his music. If you can, plunk him $5 for his time and effort, especially if you become a double dipper.

Other Posts Of Interest




  • The Levalator for Balancing Audio for Interview Videos
  • Extract Audio Using MPEG Streamclip
  • Dan O Songs Free Music for Videos and Blogs
  • Monday, November 2, 2009

    VloMo09 - Day Two with 28 Days Remaining

    It is day two of the (Inter)National Videoblogging Posting Month and the Yahoo Group Chain Vlog Challenge.

    The 30 day folks are coming on strong. This is Soul4Real at Coop's Place with her first entry:



    Videos posted for the challenge don't have to be fancy, profound or whatever, you just have to post them. I say this and then people like Soul4Real prove me wrong.

    Next up from the UK, Sizemore:

    VloMo09: Katamariphoto Damacy from Mike Atherton on Vimeo.


    Yes, you can animate still photos, add music and engage in serendipity. It is about what you bring to the party.

    Other folks to check out are:
    • Benny Crime representing for the time honored tradition of cat vlogging
    • Chad Boeninger doing a bit of documentation at the Flu Shot Clinic
    • Cheryl at Hummingcrow on her first day of November
    • Heath Parks visiting New York. I think he liked it.
    Anyway gotta go. If you want to find more Videoblogging 30 day or Yahoo Group videos try the following Twitter tags #vlomo, #vlomo09 and #navlopomo

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    NaVloPoMo November 2009 is Videoblogging Month

    Like our cousins at National Novel Writing Month videobloggers attempt to scale the mountain and produce 30 videos in 30 days. You can see a collection of some of the 2008 participants at Mefeedia channel for VlogMe08.

    There are going to be vloggers that are taking up the 30 day challenge. When I find them I'll certainly post or provide a link. This is the first one out of the gate, Danlight from the UK with Are We Nearly There Yet?

    Are We Nearly There Yet? from danlight on Vimeo.

    This year the Yahoo Videoblogging group, in recognition that burnout is not pretty on an international scale, have decided to attempt something different.

    30 people will produce a video, one each day and the next person is to pick up a theme or element of the prior day and create a video. Or not. The video should be 90 seconds or less. Or not. The Videoblogging group is kinda fluid that way.

    Michael Verdi has created a Miro page that will list the participants videos and links to the blogs/websites where they can be viewed.

    Lemme see, anything else? Oh yeah, using Twitter you can track posts that may or many not lead to finding videos produced this month. Try #NaVloPoMo and see what goodies you find.

    Update: I told you folks were fluid. You can use #vlomo09 as well.