Tag Archives: Video

Please Call It the iPod Touch

Look, I’m a tolerant man. When Pixie wakes me up and asks for a trip to the little doggy’s room at 3am, I don’t yell at her. If Wicket throws up on my MacBook Pro, I forgive him. Eventually.

But seriously, I am out of forgiveness for people who can’t figure out the name of Apple’s iPod Touch.

According to the Apple press event yesterday, it’s the most popular iPod and the #1 game player in the world. It’s been used for over 1.5 billion game and entertainment downloads. It’s cute. It’s thin. It even has an HD video camera and video editing now.

Yet people still get its name wrong. So let me explain it for you in a nice, simple way. There are even pictures to help you out.

iPod TouchiPod Touch

This is a cool Apple device that you can use to play games, listen to music, and watch videos.

You can even use it with FaceTime and Game Center to connect to friends who have iPods or iPhones.

What you can’t do is call it the iTouch. That is not its name. Please call it the iPod Touch.

I touch.

This is a simple sentence. It’s made up of the pronoun I and the verb touch.

You can also use those words in more complex sentences like "I touch the base whenever I hit a home run," or "When I think about you, I touch myself."

Although on second thought, if you’re touching yourself, just keep that between you and your naughty little hands. The rest of us really don’t need to know.

Eye Touch

Stop that. What the heck is wrong with you? Why would you stick your finger in my eye?

Jeepers. You do have naughty hands, don’t you?

Seriously, dude, eye touching is completely inappropriate.

Now, enough of that. Don’t make me call Wicket. He’ll throw up on your computer.

Are we clear now? The little music/video device is an iPod Touch, not an iTouch.

I won’t be responsible for my actions if you call it an iTouch one more time. In fact, I’ll take suggestions. How should I punish people who call it the iTouch?

PopScreen Helps You Discover Headline-Making Videos

PopScreen is a whole new way to discover new videos – and to learn the stories behind them. Its mission is to bring you viral videos before they go viral. You don’t want to be the last person in your social circle linking to the newest must-watch clip, do you? Use PopScreen to help you discover what’s hot before anyone else in the group lays eyes on it. The video prediction engine is capable of figuring out which videos will become an online hit before they actually do.

PopScreen looks at videos from more than 10,000 sources, and it’s always looking for more. If you know of a great video resource, you can submit it on its homepage. The service indexes more than fifteen thousand videos every day. They’re then analyzed to collect data points. The data points are processed through a proprietary algorithm in an effort to accurately predict how likely each video is to go viral – and to identify which clips may be newsworthy.

One of the coolest features of this service is its bookmarklet. Drag it into your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. While you’re busy surfing the Web, you can add videos to your personal library on the site (once you’ve signed up for a free account).

You can filter the videos you are shown by checking (or unchecking) categories on the home page. You can choose from Design and Inspiration, Humor and Odd, Movies, Music, News and Politics, Sports, Tech and Science and TV, and Celebrities. Heck, choose them all if you’re feeling froggy! There’s a search bar where you can enter keywords to help narrow down the type of video you’re looking to watch.

Are you using PopScreen yet? What are your thoughts on the service and its ability to magically figure out what you want to watch?

How To Create a Unique Music Video

This official music video for She Runs was taken from Tim Halperin’s latest album Make or Break. It was directed by Jonathan Combs and my friend Joe Childress. Not only is this a cool song, the video for it is seriously unique. It was shot as a “continuous shot” music video.

This is a single continuous dolly shot. There were no edits, despite what you may think when watching it. It only cost about $500.00 to shoot the entire film using a Canon 5D Mark II. It was meant to look stripped down like an elementary school play, and I think that they completely nailed that aspect of it.

The video received over 16,000 views in the first twenty-four hours, and has been featured on NYMag and DailyWhat. The sets were designed by Sarah Rogers and Brent Richardson. The song itself was produced and mixed by Brian Kieta.

Fantastic job, you guys! Keep up the great – and unique – work.

Seeking Home Theater Advice

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Kevin called in the other night and wanted advice on setting up a home theater. The friend of his who is trying to set things up is wondering if an Xbox 360 is sufficient as a starting point. He also already owns a 1080p television. Have you ever set up a home theater? What was your experience like?

As far as Blu-Ray players out on the marketplace, for my money it was the PS3. It has fantastic quality. Of all the players out there, I realized I wanted it to be able to do more than one thing. That’s why the PS3 made a fantastic option for me. I don’t own many games for it, but at least I have the ability to use it in that capacity at any point in time.

You could get a regular old component and perhaps spend less money. I think that overall, though, you would be happier using something like the PS3.

One place where people tend to skimp when setting up a home theater is with audio. Amazing video doesn’t do you much good if you have crap sound coming out of cheap speakers. Do your research and save money – but you also will need to spend money to have something good. You want to have crisp, clear sound.

Find the balance within your budget for good audio and good video. Together, these will make for a good experience.

I know that everyone out there has one thing they feel you need to have in that environment. Everyone has their own tips and ideas. Hopefully, the community will chip in and give their best advice.

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How to Deal With YouTube Haters

Jon has some excellent advice for those of you just getting started on YouTube. Too often, people give up before they even really get started producing content due to the haters and idiots you’ll find running amok in the comment threads. You have to remember that no matter what you do or how good you are, there are going to be negative – and even hurtful – comments. The complete anonymity that YouTube commenters have leads itself to them posting things they would likely never say to someone’s face.

You’ll get rude comments, racial slurs, and sometimes even threats to your safety and well-being. You have to develop a thick skin if you’re going to read your comments, and realize that they mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Negative feedback on YouTube videos has nothing to do with who you are as a person and what you’re doing with your life. Don’t let them wear you down.

There are several tools at your disposal. You can delete comments you find offensive or undesirable. You can vote them down so that they eventually disappear on their own. You can even block the worst offenders completely, disallowing any future comments from them. You’ll find that as you start blocking these people that the overall comments in your future videos will start to improve.

You will also get some positive stuff, of course, and even serious feedback. You’ll want to take the constructive criticism and ask yourself how you can use it to make what you’re trying to do even better. Don’t expect everything to be positive and that everyone will love you. It’s never going to happen.

Take in what people say, discard that which does not help you, and learn from the rest. You can also check out my Top YouTube Tips eBook for more information to help you be successful on the popular video site.

How to Buy a Digital Camera

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Mark called in the other night with questions about cameras. He’s looking for a digital camera that will record in 720p. I tend to do a lot of reviews on different cameras and camcorders. Mark knows there are several I have recommended in the past, but is still unsure which he should buy.

I jokingly told him to wait for the next iPhone because it will allegedly record in 720p. More than just features, you need to look at output with camera purchases. When you see a beautiful photo, find out what kind of camera was used to take it. You can get anything from a pocket camera to an SLR. It’s the quality of what comes out of the camera that you need to be on the watch for.

Sure, you need to decide what features are important to you. If you consistently shoot in one type of setting more than others, make sure you look for something that works well in those conditions. The camera I use to record the HD videos with was chosen because it has extremely sharp, crisp and clear output. However, it sometimes has problems focusing on a specific item. Every once in awhile, you’ll see it go in and out of focus in the middle of the video. That’s because it just doesn’t like to stay focused.

It all comes down to research – just like I’ve said in the past. Decide what things are the most important to you. Read reviews online that other people have done. Don’t just read marketing hype… all companies will claim their product is the best! It’s the people just like you who are going to tell the truth about the purchases they have made.

It seems as though every six months a whole new set of digital cameras comes out. Don’t fall for megapixels or zoom. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the lens, processor and everything inside the camera that will mean the most to you.

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YouTube Adds Colored Tags in Comments

Check out this screen shot taken from my action figure review video a few minutes ago (clicking will take you to the original video page):

YouTube Adds Colored Tags in Comments.png

Do you see small orange blocks in the comments area?

I simply entered   #OMG     #LOL     #FAIL   into the comment submission field.

After posting the comment with these hashtags, each one of them showed up as a separate orange block of text. Clicking any one of these orange tags will take you to a global, aggregated thread for the designated tag. They appear to be working throughout YouTube now.

If you want to try it for yourself, you’ll need to place a hash symbol directly before the known acronyms in CAPS; the feature doesn’t seem to apply with lowercase characters. Apparently,  #FTW  works, too.

Kinda neat, eh? I have no idea if they’re going to be expanding this to support every popular keyword, but ATM, it seems to be for these popular acronyms. I don’t know WTF they were thinking, but I (for one) appreciate the feature!

If you discover any other orange’d tag there, let me know!

YouTube Unlisted Videos Work Well for Teachers

Melinda is a teacher in the Bay Area whose class created videos as part of a project. She and her students wanted to be able to share their media with friends and family, but no one wanted the videos to be made public. Melinda decided to reach out to YouTube to ask for a solution. The folks behind the scenes waved a magic wand, and introduced us to the “Unlisted” option today.

When you upload a video to YouTube, you can now choose from three options, instead of the usual two. In the past, you could make your video public, or share it with only twenty five people. However, even with the limited number of views the content would still show up on search engines and in the user’s home page. With the Unlisted feature, everything has changed.

When you choose the Unlisted option, you will be given a direct link to the video. It will not appear in any of the public pages, in search results or on your personal page. It’s essentially a private video – only accessible to people who possess that direct link. Keep in mind that everyone who has the link can watch whatever content you have uploaded, so only give it out to people you trust.

There are no view limits with the Unlisted option, and having an actual YouTube account isn’t required. YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale says: “Unlisted videos are treated just like any other YouTube video on YouTube and are subject to the same Community Guidelines and DMCA complaint procedures. Users can flag videos that they believe violate our Community Guidelines. The YouTube team reviews flagged videos 24 hours a day 7 days a week and removes those videos which violate our Guidelines. Users can also file DMCA complaints against unlisted videos that they believe violate their copyrights. We do not allow users with any Community Guidelines or copyright strikes against their accounts to upload unlisted videos.”

The new unlisted option will not change how YouTube will be scanning uploaded videos for terms of service violations. The new option has no real impact on what’s going on behind the scenes. This option is absolutely perfect for situations like Melinda had with her class. You could also use it to share recordings from family events with those who couldn’t join you… or record yourself singing a sappy love song and share it with your significant other.

DRM and You: How to Break the Cycle

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One person who called in to the live show the other night had some pretty tough questions for me about DRM. He asked my thoughts on the direction of DRM technologies and the perceived war on consumers by media giants… mostly the methods the companies are using to interfere with the fair uses that we enjoy.

It all boils down to a matter of control. A lot of the media produced by the larger companies are what is consumer unfriendly. When you buy an audio file that is licensed for playback only on a certain system, that’s where it’s unfriendly. It tends to happen when a particular service is pulled or cancelled and your music (or video) becomes completely inaccessible… even if you paid for it.

It’s not that I have an issue with something being tied to a certain platform. I don’t mind that. I don’t appreciate DRM in any capacity. It feels too much like being locked in to a particular vendor.

Piracy is going to happen whether or not there is DRM on our media. DRM isn’t deterring anything… it’s making the thieves work harder to find ways around it. DRM is hurting those of us who are honest, and pay for our music, games and movies. Thankfully, I don’t see DRM in its current form being around forever.

If there’s any company out there who is going to destroy DRM, it will be Apple. They’re already well on their way with their iTunes Plus program: pay a fee every month and have the DRM removed from the content. You can play it anywhere you like from then on, without any hassles.

I understand why companies are doing what they’re doing, but I disagree with the way they’re going about it. It’s just not working the way they intended it. Digital reproduction is not going away. The companies either need to get with the program or go away.

If you’re against DRM, then don’t support it. Pay for services that have DRM-free files, such as eMule. I happen to have a coupon for that particular website. Email me for more information if you’re interested.

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Add Video Into Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Roxanne Darling lives up to her name. She’s a darling woman – one who knows her business well. She spoke with Believe and Succeed after the Next Level Hawaii event last weekend. She is one of the top women in social media, and you can learn an awful lot just by talking to her.

Video is the fastest growing communication medium online. When you watch a video, you get a 3D experience with the music, the message, the visuals, the emotion, and the body language. You don’t get that with text-only communications. Plain-text isn’t bad, but it is limited. Video is alive and dynamic.

With our connection speeds getting larger and faster, online video will grow quickly. Those of you who are already in the video business will have the advantage whether you’re live streaming or recording conversations to share with the world. You can even create episodic tv shows or screencasts.

Sharing your message through video can change how a person is thinking and feeling. It’s extremely powerful. You need to get over your fear of cameras. Don’t think you’re going to be perfect. You just need to be you, and be real.

According to Roxanne, you need to remember the words to a song: “Come join with me.” She invites you to join her in the social media space. Be your own marketer. Get yourself out there. Use the immediate and real-time tools to connect.

I have to thank Bruce and his team at Hawaii Aloha for helping me once again make the trip down to paradise.