Archive | January, 2013

Who Needs Skype?

26 Jan

Perhaps, Skype is known all over the world as an app, where one can make a call from iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad/Android/WindowsPhone8.
Skype has Skype To Skype Free Calling, but after that, calling someone’s landline or mobile phone may cost you quite a bit. That in itself can suck. One can call the US & Canada for US$28.80, with Extra for overseas calls unlimited minutes per month(10,000 Maximum). One way texting is included. There are plans for North America, Europe & Asia altogether, but unless you have business on all 6 Continents, I think that you can Fuggedibowdit. The most one may do is call a few friends & maybe the country next door, which in this case is Canada.
Pinger, formerly TextFree, allows one to earn minutes for free by downloading apps or watching a video. One starts out with 60 Free Minutes. Texting is unlimited. Pinger is Ad Supported. 100 Minutes is US$1.99. 1000 Minutes is US$14.99. Calls can be made to any phone in the US or Canada. One can watch a Video and earn 2 minutes per view. One also gets voice mail with this app. Great Bargain!
There is an App which is the #1 Social App in Canada & should be popular in the US, called NetTalk. All calls are free & there is text. This is also ad supported. They also have a phone setup with a phone system on VoIP, and it is low cost.
BobsledTalking is free, ad supported & is from T-Mobile, with free overseas calls. There is limited texting on the iOS version of the app.
Phone Bargains to be had & for iPod Touch/iPad users, you have it made in a Wi Fi Zone. What many people don’t realize is one’s iPod Touch & iPad is a computer & with iOS 6, an independent mobile computer at that. One need not worry about data rates, the ones which iPhone Users worry about
The best things in this mobile world are free. Why pay extra for Skype? Not if you’re only calling a few friends across town.
You don’t need Skype.

With Wi Fi The iPod Touch

26 Jan

Well, with a great Wireless Fidelity Signal, an iPod Touch & iPad, can become a nice little inexpensive mobile phone.
There are two apps which I recommend for that. Pinger, formerly called TextFree, has Voice, VoiceMail & Text. When you download the app & sign up for service, you get 60 Minutes of Voice Service for free to start. You can build up minutes for free by playing a video ad as many times as you want, to earn 2 minutes. You can also ad apps which give you extra time. Or you can buy Minutes. US$1.99 buys 100 voice minutes. US$14.99 buys 1000 Minutes, so it is a bargain, as is the practice, one usually texts a lot with this device. You can also get a Metro Area Phone # with this service.
Another service has totally few, ad supported service & is called Bobsled. It is a service of T-Mobile, giving T-Mobile an entrance into Apple’s World in the USA. You may not get a local #(Mine is a 617 #, for Boston), but voice service is excellent.
For Text Only Service, there is HeyWire, which also gives you the opportunity to Tweet on Twitter. One can freely text to anyone in the world if they have HeyWire.
These are my recommendations. You don’t need Skype to communicate. You can text & talk to the world on the cheap.
But do it on Wi Fi, so if you don’t have Sprint & their Prepay Service, Virgin Mobile, where data are unlimited, or else on AT&T & Verizon Wireless, you may get throttled by extra data charges. That’s expensive & not much fun.

Production On Micro-Budget

24 Jan

If anybody has been to a video, movie or television production set, often one is asked to sign a release form. Well, c/o the iPhone, one can create a release form on the cheap for $.99. If one is looking for a good Photo & Video Camera App, it’ll set you back by $1.99, both being from the US Apple iTunes App Store.
Model Release+ is US$.99 & can be used for Models/Performers to sign for your various Productions. It is a bargain, especially on a Micro Budget.
Kit Cam is known for shooting Video & Photo on iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad. It has filters so if you’re making that little “Film Noir”, then that US$1.99 is another great bargain.
If one is on a Really Tight Budget & you need a Video Editor App, Splice Video Editor has a free, ad supported app which does the same thing as the US$3.99 app. The paid app comes without ads. If you have a few extra $$$, then also spring for the iMovie App. Both of them work fine together.
You can run a production group with quality on a shoestring. If anything should be known, the 2011 Academy Award Winning Best Foreign Language Film, from Iran, was produced entirely on an iPhone, by a Director under House Arrest. That iPhone was wrapped up and smuggled out in a cake to someone using a Mac, where the DVD was made.
A Micro Budget Film winning the Oscar, being shot on an iPhone, shows just how far Film Production has come. Somewhere, “iSteve” must be smiling.
Splice Video Editor(Path36 LLC) actually made the production of 2011 Coverage of the Knights Of Columbus Int’l Free Throw Basketball Championship, look professional. That was shot on this iPod Touch 4G. I cut my teeth as a Producer during that coverage. Splice Video Editor helped to make that all quite possible.

When Experience Gives You Lemons

24 Jan

Write a sketch based on the actual event & try it from the reverse.
This sketch, “Hipster Child At The Foul Line”, based on the Producer of The 2011 Knights Of Columbus International Free Throw Basketball Championship & his assorted headaches, does just that.
While the Hipster Child & Hipster Mommy are demanding coverage on “The V”, the Mariners Of Fraternal Charity are planning to upload this coverage video to “YT”, which is considered to be artistically & intellectually BENEATH a Hipster.
“The V” is believed to be Vimeo, while “YT” is believed to be You Tube.
During the actual production experience, I actually endured the phenomena of the “Gossipy, Whiny Washwomen From Queens”, often called “Soccer Moms”, who THINK that they’re “New Media Experts”, by reading the latest Gossip in the NY Daily News or the NY Post. There, they often read about some “Child Prodigy”(Often With A Good Agent), who received 14.5M Hits on You Tube & think that their child will get the same thing on You Tube. If you get one of these “For Dummies” or “For Complete Idiots” Books, You Tube is WHERE all the views are.
It’s one thing to think that uploading a video to Quality Services like Vimeo & DailyMotion are the same thing as uploading a video to You Tube are one & the same thing, but, outside of the knowledgeable people who produce video in the Entertainment Profession, the average adult in their late 30s & above, along with their “Little Darlings”, tend toward You Tube. A younger generation of professionals won’t hesitate to go with Vimeo, DailyMotion &, perhaps, for their productions. And that I happen to like You Tube as much as I like North Korea(NOT), played a part in 2011 K of C Free Throw Coverage being uploaded to Blip, Vimeo, Viddler, & DailyMotion, as well as You Tube.
How would you like it, than when you want to get the best possible viewing experience by utilizing these services, while these “New Media Experts” are up in your face, wailing like Banshees, about how traumatized their children will be if your coverage is NOT on You Tube? I think that you get the idea that it is NOT in the least bit, pleasant. The Hipster Child & Hipster Mommy, both represent all those Darlings & Mommies, in reality & in reverse. I know of no single contestant at this point who wants to be on Vimeo & DailyMotion Coverage. Despite the far better content on these two Video Sharing Networks, You Tube, despite motherlodes of crap, in the form of partygoers puking or Cats Playing Pianos, is where the Soccer Mommies & their Little Charges want to be seen, even though they may garner scant attention. One went as far to shriek with disgust when her performance in a County Championship, was carried exclusively on DailyMotion, which was utilized when I discovered that DailyMotion, running Head To Head with You Tube, won the viewing race by a 3 to 1 Margin. Vimeo, with Bonus Coverage, also outdrew You Tube by a 5 to 3 Ratio.
There was another reason for testing this coverage on Vimeo, DailyMotion, Blip & Viddler:
It was to see if people would watch the coverage on something other than You Tube. What is interesting is that Viddler, which started out with 5 Views, now has 125 Views. While still small, view #s increased 25 Times over the Initial Carriage. Vimeo is supposed to be for artistic video sharing, but, lately, many Catholic & Protestant Groups are now utilizing Vimeo, which was NOT the case only two years ago. Vimeo is now these Faiths Alternative. Besides, the video quality, as well as the literacy level is higher than on You Tube.
What is You Tube today? It is, what AOL as an Internet Service was in the late 1990s & Early 21st Century, was with users, despite the crappy service which often was not delivered. AOL peaked, then fell off. The same can be said about You Tube. Not too far down the road, You Tube will decline like AOL. Advertising People are looking out for the next hot venture.
The 2011 Coverage drew quite well & You Tube was not as big a draw as Vimeo or DailyMotion. It was then that I realized that You Tube isn’t everything it is cracked up to be. Maybe, I’ll be lucky enough to meet that Hipster Child & Hipster Mommy. At least they took a stand for something of quality. I appreciate that fact that, in a sense, I was THAT Hipster, who dared the Status Quo, with moves I made. They were quite uncomfortable, to say the least.

XXI-Knights Of Columbus Free Throw In HD720p & Black & White

20 Jan

The K of C Free Throw-A Tiring You Tube Epic

19 Jan

It happens from Early January until Late March. It is THAT Time when the Annual Knights Of Columbus Int’l Free Throw Basketball Championship comes to Councils, 4th Degree Assemblies, Districts & States/Provinces, in The USA & Canada.
It is also the annual upload of various of these competitions to that Pile Of Steaming Goat Manure, passing for a Video Sharing Service, That Censorious Trap called You Tube, where creative expression is encouraged, the way Freedom of Expression is practiced in that Garden Spot called North Korea(NOT).
It is a case of “AOL-itis”. One remembers AOL as the place to be online, if you were able to get online, after several frustrating attempts in the Days of Dialup Service. Well, You Tube is just like that feeling. You upload a video to that service & hope that someone notices your work.
But there are ALTERNATIVES. The Alternatives are rather well thought out ones. Video Sharing has changed in the Past Few Years. One can thank “iSteve” for that, with the coming of the iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad & Android & Windows Phone 8. Particularly on Apple’s “iDevices”, one could share one’s Knights Of Columbus International Free Throw Basketball Championships with the World. You Tube is NOT the Only Game in town. Far from it & your video will be seen.
Thwapr is one where your Free Throw Video will get views. VideoBam is another service. Both are free to join. One K of C Free Throw Video was seen on VideoBam & received 500 Views.
If you are a touch Mainstream, DailyMotion is a great site, as it is the World’s 2nd Largest Video Sharing Site. You will get views+not have to worry about the usual idiots passing unintelligible comments on You Tube.
If you’re artistic, Vimeo is a great place for your video. The audience there is more filmmaker types. No need to fret about stupid comments at all.
Choice is there. You Tube is greatly overrated. And you will like what you see.

Posterous Spaces My Connection To

19 Jan

Posterous also links to You Tube, and will see if a link to DailyMotion can be done.
Blip Feeds have come via this app. Still a great network link app. Those uploads move quickly from Posterous Spaces.

Tonight’s Special Presentation Of “The Kong Show On Blip”

14 Jan

The Web Only Special, “The Kong Show On Blip Web Only Special-‘The Kong Show On TV’ Preview” will follow a “Retro” Format. In Short, it will be in Black & White.
Why, you ask, is this occurring?
About 40 Years ago, I was involved with the “New Media” of the time, called “Public Access Cable TV” in Manhattan. It was there that I got my feet wet in Production of “Explorer Post 417 Presents” on Cable Channel C on Sterling Manhattan Cable Television & TeLePrompTer Cable(Both are now Time Warner Cable). It was in the days of Reel To Reel Videotape, Lighter Cameras & Heavy Portable Video Machines(My Back Still aches at the mere thought of those days). Everything was in Black & White in those days as well.
Forty Years Later, what required a lot of very heavy lifting, now requires lighter equipment in the form of a “Studio Production Centre” in one’s pockets. An example of this technology is the iPhone. The 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, was shot & Edited by an Iranian Producer, under House Arrest, on his iPhone, smuggled out in a cake. Just recently, someone produced a full length feature film on an iPad 3. So tonight’s special is being shot on an iPod Touch 4G & edited for web broadcast on Blip & Vimeo. There is even an app, called “Video FX+”, where the conversion of a colour video to Black & White will be done.
As Blip & Vimeo are “New Media”, both are the perfectly good places for this “Retro-Cast.” Trying a bit of “Film Noir”, should make for memorable viewing, back to the Days of Three Major Networks & Independent Stations, when much experimentation was done to grab viewers attention, & Colour Television was something of a rarity.
Ahhhh, Memories! It should go well with “The Kong Show”, a Modern Vaudeville Show Gone Digital.
I remember Black & White Television as the Norm. Now, it’s Art. Art should never be lost, as it tells our history, which began with a small screen & now we are returning to that small screen, in the form of Smartphones & Tablets.
What Goes Around, Comes Around!

Production Apps On The iPod Touch

12 Jan

As a Digital Producer, I keep 4 Video Production Apps on my iPod Touch. Two of them are the ones I use the most. One of them was used for the 2011 Production of The Knights Of Columbus Int’l Free Throw Basketball Championships from all over Queens. Digital Remastering was done with the other one. I am starting to learn how to work the other two apps.
The Splice App was used for three of the Free Throw Productions. The Mac Version of iMovie was used for the Preliminary & 1st Round Competitions. What Splice did was make it possible to add titles, slow motion, fast motion, music & transitions to the competition coverage. That app was the workhorse of competition coverage. In the Historic HD 720p Coverage on DailyMotion, Titling was done in both English & French, with a # of coverage segments seen over the website of Europe’s largest privately held broadcaster, RTL, out of Brussels, Belgium. I now realize that this is the reason that K of C Free Throw Coverage on Vimeo, is rather well received in Belgium & The Netherlands. This same coverage was also carried by You Tube with little notice, except in Canada, inspiring a rant by CBC’s Resident Curmudgeon, The Redoubtable Mr. Rex Murphy(“Blasé, Insignificant, Insipid, Trite Tripe” is probably what Rex would call this coverage).
I recently transformed two 2011 Competition Videos, using iMovie for Re-Digitalizing & then laminated the coverage into Black & White, for that “Film Noir” Effect, using the(Now Defunct) Silent Film Director App. Both Videos did nicely on Vimeo. iMovie was used for Fade In/Fade Out Effect.
Now, I currently produce “The Kong Show On Blip”, a NYC Vaudeville Show gone digital, over Blip Networks( The iMovie App is used for Show Theme Music, Titling, Transitions & Fade In/Out Effects. Extra Black Background-White Print Slides come from Splice, making for a nicely done Opening & Closing. In Show, segments are titled, using iMovie.
One App I miss a lot as a production app is the Vimeo App, as it did titling, Sepia, Black & White, Heat Effects & Cool Sounding Indie Music. The Vimeo App is just for uploading now, but videos upload much faster these days.
Now if I can find an app that does Black & White as well as Silent Film Director did, I will have it made.
BTW, VideoKits has been added, as well as a Video FX App. Both are the right price, namely, Free.

Will You Tube Burst Like AOL?

10 Jan

Go bet your bottom dollar(Euro, Pound) on it.
A couple of “Mad Men”, who are rather lovely young women in the Internet Ad Business, advised me of this on December 31st, 2012.
It seems that Google’s You Tube is reportedly charging higher than average ad rates. And the ad sales people are getting cheated out of commissions because of the rates. But the viewing #s are down.
One wonders if on You Tube, there are any real views being registered, or are most of the views like only a few seconds or from Bots. That’s what as people are wondering.
It is on Vimeo, where full & partial views are differentiated. Not so on You Tube. And like the AOL of Old, You Tube is heavily into censorship.
My nickname for You Tube is “North Korea”, for all the censorship that they impose. I wonder if You Tube is just trying to be accepted in the Azerbaijan Video Market. Maybe, Tajikistan? Belarus? Afghanistan? Tunisia? Since Vimeo is Artistically Inclined, it is censored almost nowhere, while You Tube is laced with so much junk, that no one wants to put up with their crappy service.
Vimeo is rapidly becoming Home to Religious Material. Gregorian Chant is quite large. So are Catholic & Protestant Groups. Other Groups are making a presence there.
Freedom of Speech is respected there. You Tube, meanwhile, arbitrarily cuts down videos, claiming it offended someone. No Fun!
They are just planning to become just another in a long line of Reality TV Networks. That Sucks. Who needs THAT. TruTV is like one big bad You Tube Video.
Will the bubble burst for You Tube? It did for AOL & their crappy Internet Service. Looks like History will repeat here, BIG TIME.

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