The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for June 15th, 2010

Jun/10

15

Journalism monopoly was also a market failure.

Journalism monopoly was also a market failure http://bit.ly/cAaY3t

From the article, which says it all:

For everyone but the monopolists and oligopolists, the market was grossly inefficient and nearly impossible to change.

Impossible, that is, until the barriers to entry dropped. In print, desktop publishing was the first crack in the dam, but it didn’t fully open the market. That only happened when the Internet came along — when eBay and Craigslist and Monster and Google and a host of other nimble companies created Internet advertising alternatives that monopolists couldn’t begin to match; and when a zillion content-based start-ups started finding better ways to tell people the things they needed or wanted to know.

The FTC is the principal federal government agency charged with promoting competition in American commerce. I don’t recall that it paid much attention to the inefficient, uncompetitive markets we had during the dominant days of newspaper monopolies and cozy, government-protected broadcasting.

So why, when the market finally opens up to competition at a variety of levels, is it suddenly time to fret so urgently about a market failure in journalism?

Jun/10

15

Consumers Put 3D TV to the Test

I’m somewhat of a 3D skeptic, particularly when it comes to 3D Television in the home.  I’m fairly comfortable with the cinema experience (although the darker images, awareness of the glasses framing the screen and directors throwing things at me all the time are negatives in my opinion), but I just don’t see how the 3D experience will work with the way we view Television.

In the current issue of DV Magazine, editor David Williams asks why anyone wouldn’t want 3D in the home. My response is that, with glasses, it fundamentally does not fit with the way we watch TV. We don’t just watch TV silently. If I wanted that I’d watch on my laptop, and work on email or Twitter or curating my photo library or something else.

In both cases, glasses would get in the way. It can take us 3 hours to watch a 1 hour (44 min) TV show because we’ll stop and discuss something that the show triggered or we remembered. Glass off, back to TV, glasses on. Or Greg will be cooking while watching TV. Again glasses are incompatible.
The same limitations do not apply to color, stereo sound or HD.
It basically comes down to: TV watching is not a monotasking activity. It’s not sufficiently compelling to do that, so we multi-task with conversations, or while working on another screen.
And I see 3D being incredibly difficult in that situation, even without glasses.
OTOH, I see it working for those who are dedicated sports folk who don’t interact much with other people while watching sports (there goes the Superbowl party).
3D gaming, definitely killer. 3D cinema, bound to be good when done well, but 3D TV in the home. I remain skeptical.
Similarly the folk who viewed 3D for the Technologizer article seems interested but not enough to want to spend money:

Glasses, in fact, were the biggest obstacle. “You’re going to ask friends and family to spend $150-$200 on a pair of glasses?” Tom asked. The cost would be prohibitive if he wanted to invite friends over for a football game or a movie. The group was simply incredulous when I explained that glasses from one manufacturer wouldn’t work with TVs from another. Third-party universal models are coming out, however; and Samsung has vaguely promised future interoperable models.

Reactions were the same at the World Cup screening. While I was watching, a family came up to look at the TV. I offered the boy, about 4, my pair of glasses. He tried them for about a second, then pulled them off. His dad, probably in his 40s, was about as enthusiastic. “I like the TV, but will probably never buy the glasses,” he said, adding, “Only one percent of the programming is in 3D. And then you gotta buy the $500 player.” (Samsung’s BD-C6900 actually lists for $400.)

My new German friends felt the same. “We would pay a little more,” said Astrid, “because we’re technology freaks.” But she felt the premium was too much today. “We just bought our first flat screen in the fall,” she added,” saying it would be a while before they got another TV.

Tom, from the first group, may have summed up everyone’s opinion when he said “I could see buying this in maybe five years, when there’s more content and cheaper glasses”

 

Jun/10

15

How is Apple using metadata in iMovie for iPhone?

I was finally watching the Steve Jobs Keynote from WWDC on June 7. (I know, but this was our second try – we get talking about stuff, what can I say?) I got to the iMovie for iPhone 4 demo and was blown away by the creative use of source metadata.

At 58 minutes into the keynote, Randy Ubillos is demonstrating adding a title to the video he’s editing in iMovie and iMovie automatically ads the location into the title. Not magic, but it’s simply reading the location metadata stored with images and videos shot with an iPhone and using that to generate part of the title. This is exactly how metadata should be used: to make life easier and to automate as much of the process as possible.

Likewise the same metadata draws a location pin on the map in one of the different themes. Exactly like the same metadata does in iPhoto.

In a professional application, that GPS data – which is coming to more and more professional and consumer video camcorders – could not only be used to add locations, but also to read what businesses are at the address. From that source and derived metadata (address and business derived from location information) we can infer a lot.

Check out my original article on metadata use in post production and for a more detailed version, with some pie-in-the-sky predictions of where this is going to lead us, download the free Supermeet Magazine number 4 and look for the article (featured on the cover) The Mundane and Magic future of Metadata.

Jun/10

15

I uploaded some Assisted Editing Videos to YouTube

Two more videos in our Assisted Editing channel on YouTube.

A demo of Assisted Editing’s Finisher Software http://youtu.be/YzQAoaRICqA?a and

A demo of First Cuts – Fast automated First Cuts for Docume… http://youtu.be/Gz0LM5Rpheg?a

If you haven’t seen these in action (and work with any type of documentary or trade-show type video) then you should definitely check them out. I’ll be uploading some of the actual edits from First Cuts shortly.

Jun/10

15

Content Is No Longer King: Curation is King

Content Is No Longer King: Curation Is King http://bit.ly/bEExRk Parallels some of my own long term thinking.

I’ve long thought that curation is becoming at least as important as the content. If content that’s perfect for my interests exists but I can’t find it that’s no help to me, or the creator. How we

Then, the web came along and blew that up. Kaboom! Now content has gone from being scarce to being ubiquitous. Bloggers make content. Flickr photographers make content. Facebook posts are content. Tumblr publishers make content. Content isn’t King because it isn’t scarce. It’s everywhere, it’s overwhelming, and it’s gone from quality to noise.

Boxee Looking to Get Hollywood Content With RoxioNow Deal http://bit.ly/amE5ZA Boxee’s on a roll even though the hardware is delayed.

Important step for Boxee: having that direct access to premium movie content will make the service that much more valuable. Boxee already does a good job of indexing and making available web video. Hulu keeps blocking them, though.

Boxee is looking to expand the amount of premium content it has available with a deal that could soon enable its users to purchase feature films. Boxee is integrating Sonic Solutions’ RoxioNow video platform into its software as a way to gain access to a wider range of film titles — including new releases and major Hollywood hits — from content providers like Blockbuster and Best Buy.

Jun/10

15

Adobe drops 64bit Flash for Linux

Adoibe drops 64bit Flash for Linux http://bit.ly/acbHEM I thought they liked open standards (like Linux) 🙂 Flash is 32 bit currently although browsers are heading for 64bit. Plug-ins and host have to be in the same architecture so Flash will have to be a 64 bit plug-in for 64bit browsers.

ArsTechnica comments:

It’s likely that the push for 64-bit compatibility took a back seat while the company focused on improving support for mobile computing products. Flash’s notoriously poor performance and excessive energy consumption have kept it from making inroads on handheld devices. Adobe claims that the new 10.1 version, which was released last week, will address these long-standing problems

Jun/10

15

HTML Gaming Engine

HTML Gaming Engine http://bit.ly/aZ61ut Another way HTML5 can compete with Flash.

If you’re upset with Apple for not letting Flash games (in a browser) on the iDevices; then do it in HTML5:

Do you remember being really impressed by the initial Aves game engine that uses Canvas and HTML5 technology to deliver a compelling social gaming platform on Web technology? Well, now the Dextrose crew are back in action having released their second prototype of their upcoming browser-game middleware at E3 2010 in Los Angeles:

Jun/10

15

iAds get 6x the click-through of ordinary ads

iAds get 6x the click-through of ordinary ads? http://bit.ly/crIncN All the way up to 1.5%! Annoy 98.5 people for every one interested!

I generally dislike ads that are irrelevant to my interests, which is 99.99999999% of all ads, so I don’t really like them. Fortunately I can tune them out on the web with ad blocker and Click to Flash, but ads in applications worry me.

Fortunately the iAd format doesn’t appear too intrusive when you want to ignore them in an iApp and seem nicely done, but let me tell you any developer that puts ads in a paid app is not getting my business. I pay with attention (ads) or with money, but I won’t pay with both. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of Cable TV.

Anyway, it seems the early testers are clicking through at up to 6x the normal rate: between .9% and 1.5%. That means, for every 100 viewers of the iAds only 1 will click through. And that’s considered a good result? By extrapolation, that means that normal ads get one click for every 600 people that are subjected to the ad.

No wonder 70% of Americans want to pay to avoid advertising, and yet we don’t get appropriately priced options to do that.

June 2010
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