Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Critical Skills for Streaming Producers by Jan Ozer

Jan Ozer has just authored a new publication titled, "Critical Skills for Streaming Producers" which calls, "a mixed media resource" in the form of, "340-page PDF file in book form, complete with extensive bookmarks that allow readers to quickly find the desired material."

It includes an extensive amount of supplemental material in the form of screencam software tutorials on the standard video editing and encoding tools for Windows and Mac like Adobe Premiere Pro and Media Encoder and Apple Final Cut Pro and Compressor, along with multi-format video tutorials on "Creating a Compressible Background for On-Location Shoots" or "Setting Up Three Point lighting", videos detailing quality differences in compression and deinterlacing settings in Compressor, and illustrated software checklists.

Additionally, "The content also includes extensive market research detailing information like the video resolutions and data rates utilized by major broadcast and corporate sites, or whether these producers are publishing at 15 or 30 fps."

Here's a sample of the chapter list (click chapter title for details):

Chapter 1:
The Streaming Landscape
Chapter 2:
Designing Your Set
Chapter 3:
Lighting the Set
Chapter 4:
Streaming Related Shooting Skills
Chapter 5:
Correcting Audio and Video Problems
Chapter 6:
Choosing a Codec
Chapter 7:
Choosing Output Parameters
Chapter 8:
Production Work Flows
Chapter 9:
Encoding Basics
Chapter 10:
Encoding with the Adobe Media Encoder
Chapter 11:
Encoding with Apple Compressor

Jan Ozer is well known in the streaming media community as a respected expert on video compression, an instructor, author and frequent contributor to Streaming Media Magazine, EventDV and Digital Content Producer. He founded Doceo Publishing Inc. in 1993 and offers advise and consultation to the streaming media community via his web site.

I've attended several of his lectures and read some of his numerous articles and I've found his information invaluable to my professional and video personal work. I've listed the resources he's made available from previous Streaming Media conference workshops which are also PDF files that you can download.

More from Jan Ozer:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Beginner's Guide to Internet Video Publishing

If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to online video publishing, then look no further, because Michael Pick wrote this new guide for Master New Media titled:

Internet Video Publishing: A Beginner's Guide

He did an incredible job of collecting countless resources to help you get started creating, authoring, publishing and monetizing your video content online.

He writes, "In this beginner's guide to Internet video publishing I take you through everything you need to know to get up and running. I take a look at:
  • Creating your video - whether you want to make a video blog, live webcast, split screen interview, mashup or screencast
  • Editing, adding effects and exporting your video using both desktop and online applications
  • Where to publish your video and the differences between the services available
  • Monetizing your video - how to turn your efforts to profit
  • Licensing your video - the benefits of making it easy for people to share your content
  • Promoting your video - what to do when once your video is online if you want people to watch it
  • Additional resources you can use to find out more about publishing video to the web"
I found this guide to be extremely helpful with its numerous collection up-to-date tools and techniques. I highly recommend it to anyone involved in producing or publishing internet video.

Related article:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Livecastr Debuts at Davos

A new live streaming mobile phone service was unveiled yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In this TechCrunch post Michael Arrington reported that, "Amsterdam based LiveCastr, a service that lets users live stream video from their mobile phone... joins a parade of competitors that have launched over the last couple of years, including Mogulus (not mobile), Qik, and Flixwagon among others."

Qik has gained a fair amount of attention lately through Robert Scoble's jubilant endorsement. He's also in Davos and you can see his Davos video clips on his Qik page,

Arrington pointed out that, "The main difference between LiveCastr and Qik is that Qik requires a software download to the phone - meaning that only a handful of handsets can currently be used with the service... but it (Lifecastr) works with virtually all European 3G mobile phones and many U.S. ones as well, without the need to install any additional software."

I watched some of the videos on the LiveCastr web site and although the quality is very low resolution, much like its competitors, it is new technology that will improve over time. Live video streaming from your mobile phone is just one area where mobile is heating up.

Clearly, this is the year that mobile really starts taking off.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Macintosh!

Wired reported that the Macintosh computer celebrates its 24th birthday today. It was first introduced on January 24, 1984 two days after the now-legendary commercial aired during Super Bowl XVII.

How many of you out there remember this cutting-edge technology?

How many of you actually bought it or used one at work?

I didn't buy one myself, and it would a few more years before I used one of its successors, the Macintosh Plus. I remember using one for many long hours at a local Kinko's copy store when I wrote my graduate thesis back in 1990.

"The Macintosh was the original Apple Macintosh personal computer. Introduced in January 1984 at the price of $2,495 US, it had a beige case containing a 9-inch monitor, and came with a keyboard and mouse. An indentation in the top of the case allowed the computer to be lifted and carried. After its successor was introduced, it was rebadged as the Macintosh 128K to differentiate it." - courtesy of Wikipedia.

If you're interested in seeing the evolution of the Mac, here's a list of Macintosh models by case type

Here's that 1984 commercial introducing the first Macintosh computer...

Whether you love it or hate it, the Mac has definitely come a long way.

Happy birthday Mac!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Have You Met Henry?

This post is a break from all the new technology and gadget blogging I've been doing lately. I saw this slide show a few weeks ago and was impressed by its simplicity and design. "Meet Henry" is a nice break from the usual boring, bullet pointed, crazy animation, text heavy, tiny font sized Powerpoint slides I see on a daily basis. This is real story telling. It was produced by Ethos3 and was a winner in Slideshare's World's Best Presentation Contest that ran last year. The contest was judged by top presentation gurus, Guy Kawasaki, Bert Decker, Garr Reynolds and Jerry Weissman. You can see the other winners and honorable mentions here.

Slideshare's Co-Founder Jonathan Boutelle noted on his blog, "The interesting thing is that the presentation seems to have spawned it's own genre. Soon after that presentation was uploaded to slideshare, Scott Gavin uploaded "Meet Charlie". Meet Charlie is a nice introduction to Enterprise Web 2.0, told in the same style as Meet Henry. In fact, Scott credited "Meet Henry" in the description."

If you're looking to improve your Powerpoint chops, Meryl Evans posted a long list of 70+ PowerPoint and Presentation Resources and Great Examples

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Downfall of HD DVD: The Movie

My friend Juan sent me this one (soon to be a classic) courtesy of Rob Beschizza at Wired's Gadget Lab, "Perhaps the best remix of the infamous Downfall scene yet: "Cancel our CES Press Conference."

This mashup video was created by sacolton.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apple unveils Macbook Air... and More!

I was stuck in traffic on my way to work this morning when Steve Jobs started his keynote at the Macworld Expo. I quickly logged onto and Techcrunch at 9:15 AM Pacific Time right before his announcement on the Airport Extreme wireless base station called Time Capsule.

MacRumorsLive had a great live update and Techcrunch had great live pictures so I toggled between the two (since Twitter and Crunchgear were down) and watched as Steve Jobs put all the rumors to rest one by one, such as a iPhone SDK, iPhone Software Update, iTunes 7.6 Movie Rentals, Apple TV Take 2, and last but not least, the Macbook Air.

You can read all about it and watch the full keynote on the Apple web site or view the short video below courtesy of and also check out ZDNet and Engadget's coverage. 

Although their stock dipped during the keynote and Devin Coldewey thinks the Macbook Air is basically useless calling it "a sexy lemon" it certainly was a big day for Apple. 


Move Over Rover, Let Apple Take Over

With only about 7 hours left before Steve Jobs takes the stage at the Macworld Expo... what will he announce?

Last year was the long anticipated and popular iPhone and now that Apple announces new products all year round, what is saving for his keynote?

What's the big news?

What's in the air?

Wired and both seem to think it's going to be a new ultra-thin cable-free laptop called the Macbook Air.

Here's a few artist renderings created by the Gadget Lab at

The Wired post says, "An Apple insider told Wired today that the company's new ultraportable, expected to be seen in public for the first time tomorrow, has an extremely thin profile and is shaped like a teardrop when closed — thicker at the top behind the screen, tapering at the bottom behind the keyboard... Sadly, we don’t have details on pricing, specs or availability. Expect reality to disagree with our photoshops."

There's also been talk of a Mac tablet, a newer iPhone and iPod with Slingplayer, an iPhone SDK, Blu-Ray support in new Apple machines, and of course a big iTunes announcement. But we'll have to wait to hear it from the real Steve Jobs.

Monday, January 14, 2008

CES Hangover

CES has come and gone for another year and amid the Gizmodo controversy, Panasonic's 150" Plasma TV, the death of HD DVD, Apple's new MacPro and Xserve product announcements, Bill Gates last Microsoft CES keynote and hours of live coverage and blog reviews - I've assembled a few more bits and bytes of information before Apple steals the spotlight tomorrow at the Macworld Expo.

This is a great review of everything you need to see - by Ryan Block of Engadget

CES 2008: everything you need to see

Bug Labs is still Scoble's favorite thing and here's his CNBC appearance on The Big Idea

Finally, CES 2008 also marked the end of an era, as Bill Gates delivered his final Microsoft CES Keynote, this video is courtesy of G4:

Here's the full video clip that played as part of Bill's last CES Keynote:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

CES Got Game: Frag Dolls @ Bloghaus

More from Bloghaus, "Come walk the floor at CES and check out the sleek TV you can wear on your head, green screen thrills from Intel, Belkin's new game pad, a glimpse of the back of Fata1ity's head, and the Frag Dolls appearance at Bloghaus."

Courtesy of PodTech, thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bloghaus and Showstoppers Day 2 at CES 2008

Courtesy of PodTech "On Day 2 of CES 2008, we visit ShowStoppers at the Wynn, and then back to Bloghaus with Robert Scoble, and Seagate CEO, Bill Watkins."

Monday, January 7, 2008

CES 2008 Live!

You can catch up on what's going on at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas through PodTech's live reporting powered by Mogulus (note their feed has been intermittent due to the Wi-Fi connection at the show):

You can also check out the updates on

And at PodTech's CES BlogHaus

DRM is Dead!

The final nail in the coffin for DRM (Digital Rights Management) came last Friday when Sony BMG announced it was moving to DRM-free music downloads. Sony BMG was the last of "Big 4" studios to defect and joins Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI Music in offering unrestricted copyright-free digital music downloads. The news came just days after Warner Music Group announced that they are adding their DRM-free catalog of music to the Amazon MP3 store. This move will allow consumers to play their music on any portable music device without the restrictions of Apple's FairPlay DRM used for iTunes downloads.

Sorry for the pun, but this is a big bite out of Apple and as David Kravets of Wired writes, it will weaken Apple's hold on it's 80% market share of music downloads. To date Apple has sold an estimated 1 billion music downloads from it's iTunes music store. Back in April 2007, Apple announced that the entire EMI Music digital catalog would be available as higher quality DRM-free music downloads for $1.29/ea. I remember getting an email from the iTunes store asking if I wanted to pay the extra 30 cents per download to upgrade my music purchases to higher quality DRM-free. I just deleted the email. 

Now with Sony BMG defection, it's clear that the music studios want their piece of the pie and all four will now participate in Amazon and Pepsi's 1 billion song giveaway scheduled to launch Superbowl Sunday, February 3rd.

Read these stories for more information:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

War is Over... and the Winner is Blu-Ray

By now, you may have hard that the ongoing battle between the two competing High Definition DVD formats is over as of yesterday, following Warner Brothers announcement that they will have chosen Sony's Blu-Ray Disc as the exclusive format for Hi-Def DVD distribution.

This is not only significant, but historic, coming on the eve of CES and it effectively delivers a one-two punch to the rival competition Toshiba's HD DVD.

Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, explained that the move to Blu-Ray is a "strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want," and that "the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger." (source EngadgetHD)

The war had been raging for the last two years and heated up as studios aligned behind the competing formats. Check out the post by Christopher Null who spoke with Warner Home Entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara why WB made the decision it did.

Why We Did It: Warner Explains Its Move to Blu-ray (Interview)

Tsujihara explained that they made the decision to help eliminate the confusion and ambivalence consumers had about choosing between the two formats. Most consumers were waiting it out, myself included, and that ultimately affects the overall adoption rate of the Hi-Def DVD format.

In light of the announcement, Toshiba canceled it's CES HD DVD press conference.

More reading:

Friday, January 4, 2008

VentureBeat - 14 Ways to Broadcast Yourself… Live

This recent article on VentureBeat is a great round up of current live video streaming and lifecasting services by David Adewumi on:

14 ways to broadcast yourself…live

In this excerpt, he writes, "Live TV is just starting to take off, and below I present a select list of competitors, and why I love ‘em, hate ‘em and sometimes both. I prefer Kyte and Mogulus for being able to create and broadcast an innovative show, while UStream.TV has aligned with big-name personalities like The Plain White T’s that are fun to take a look at. In the Mobile sphere, Qik seems to be the dominant force, allowing users to stream mobile to internet with only a 5-second delay, but FlixWagon will be hot on its tails when it releases a public alpha in January."

Others on the list include , , , , , , , and .

Dan Taylor posted a similar round up on his Fabric of Folly blog in August 2007 with many of the same companies at:

Round-up of DIY live video streaming services

Dan's list also included Veodia, YouCams, and

Create and share your Slideshows on

I produced this slideshow using, another great Web 2.0 tool by one the leading application and widget developers on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites.

It was pretty simple to use and I easily uploaded the images from my Flickr account and created this simple slideshow. The slide widget creator offers a number of choices on template styles, skins, transitions, backgrounds and even music and videos from their extensive library. Once I created the slideshow I was able to pick Blogger from the many choices available to post it here directly.

The gallery view is really cool too and has a similarity to Flickr's "View as Slideshow" feature and as you can see it has all the tagging capability to comment, subscribe to or embed the slideshow. Overall, I really like Slide and I've added it to my Web 2.0 toolkit.

You can view the gallery view here:

Or view the original Flickr photo set here:

These are photos from the Streaming Media West Conference that took place November 2007 in San Jose, California. This set covers the exhibit hall and a few of the conference sessions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008