Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jan Ozer's Streaming Learning Center, An Online Resource for Streaming Media Production

I'm pleased to present a new online resource called the Streaming Learning Center, a web site that collects articles, tutorials and resources written by streaming media expert Jan Ozer. It contains original content, as well as content Jan has written for magazines like Streaming Media magazine, EventDV, Digital Content Producer and PC Magazine. According to Jan, "Basically, I put the site together to provide a forum for thoughts independent about what I write about elsewhere and to collect relevant articles that I've written in the streaming arena. For readers, it's a place to get a very techie streaming centric view of the world."

A few of the articles available on the site include Streaming Basics, Know Your Digital Video Formats, Marketing with Video, Are you using the best streaming encoding tool? and many more. You can also download a free primer on streaming media from the site. The primer is an amalgam of materials already available on, along with new content, in a compact, more convenient form freely downloadable and fully printable.

"The ability to produce streaming media has suddenly become a critical skill set for many producers. However, though many of us use streaming-related terms like data rate and bandwidth everyday, there may be some residual lack of certainty as to what they precisely mean and why they are important," he says in the introduction. "Hopefully, this primer, written for beginners, will help fill these gaps for many readers."

It starts by defining commonly used streaming terms like bandwidth, streaming and data rate, and then explains universal encoding parameters like VBR and I, B and P-frames. Then it introduces readers to the big three codecs, H.264, VP6 and VC-1, and briefly compares and contrasts Flash and Silverlight. The primer finishes with a section on how to choose common encoding parameters like data rate and resolution and can be downloaded here.

Jan Ozer has worked in digital video since 1990, and is the author of 13 books related to video and streaming technology. He currently writes for, Digital Content Producer and EventDV. In addition to producing seminars and for and the MCA-I, Jan instructs two and three day video production seminars for the Digital Media Academy. He recently authored Critical Skills for Streaming Producers, a mixed media tutorial on DVD published by and has spoke at numerous Streaming Media East and West panel sessions and workshops and many of the video archives are available here.

Jan will be presenting two sessions at Streaming Media East as it kicks off tomorrow in New York City with a Pre-Conference seminar on Encoding H.264 Video for Streaming and Progressive Download and another session on Streaming Production: Improving Your Video Quality.

This summer, he will teach two courses for Digital Media Academy, Producing Video for the Web (3 days) and Web Video Compression & Delivery (2 days). The two hands-on courses, to be held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA (July 20-24) and Harvard in Boston, MA (July 27-31), will cover streaming production from set design to encoding using equipment from vendors like Sony, Bogen and Photoflex, and production software from Adobe and Apple. Check for more details.