Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Can You Hear Me Now?

Posted on March 1, 2012

Audio is vital to a successful video production.  Typically, it's so well done that we take it for granted, because well produced audio is perfectly in sync and our mind easily marries the video with the sound in perfect harmony.

Clean audio means ensuring that your talent and the footage you're trying to capture are properly recorded; this ensures that you have the right sound to reinforce the visual picture and allows your audience to easily follow along and focus on your message.  While this seems obvious, there are a number of issues that can arise with poorly recorded audio, including:

  • Difficulty hearing the presentation

  • Muffled or distant audio

  • No natural sound, feedback or other noise can be distracting

  • Audio that is out of sync with the video

To avoid these issues for your video production, you will want to evaluate what you're shooting, how your telling the story, and what the best approach is to capture the audio.  This will ensure that you take the right steps to record clean, crisp, quality audio during your video shoot, and successfully tell your story while enhancing the quality of your production.

Reading Between the Lines; Movie Rentals Come to Facebook ** Updated **

Posted on March 10, 2011

After thinking about the news that movies are going to be available for sale and rent on Facebook, I think there's a new battle brewing in the content distribution business.  Sure this is just one announcement by one studio, but rest assured Facebook is seeking to identify and develop similar relationships with other movie studios and music labels. 

For Facebook, this is a natural fit, because so many of today's social interactions about pop culture are held on the social networking site.  So, why not establish relationships with the content owners, and monetize those discussions.  The relationship between Warner Brothers and Facebook does just that, it places movies in close proximity to the dialogue by Facebook's users about them.  For example, a user can comment that they saw a movie and loved it; while another can disagree, but in-line with that discussion and available for all users can be a simple one-click option to purchase the content.  Gone are the barriers of now heading to a brick & mortar location, or searching for the content on another site.  This relationship provides for a simple integrated experience.  Further, Facebook can foster those conversations and extend it's relationship with it's users while keeping them on the site longer.

In a sense, with this news Facebook is reverse engineering the immensely popular iTunes store…where Apple is trying to build-out a social network with it's Ping offering, instead Facebook is bringing the content purchasing experience right into their site.  In an age old chicken or the egg type of debate, we're left to wonder which will prove to be the winning strategy: first establishing the leading social network website, or first building the number one online destination for audio and video content? 

It would only seem natural that Facebook will look to build on this news, in which case this could be the sign of an interesting paradigm shift.  In time, will a Facebook partnered with other studios and music labels give iTunes a run for it's money (or should we say your  money!)

Finally, regardless of the long-term outcome, what I like most about Warner Brothers bringing their films to this new platform reflects something I often share with clients: it's best to extend your message beyond any particular platform.  In order to meet the needs of today's segmented audiences, it is important to offer multiple opportunities & distribution avenues with your message.  In that regard, whether iTunes or Facebook battle it out, this is a brilliant move for the studio in adopting a strategy that makes the purchasing of their content platform agnostic.

Update 3/11/11:

Fresh on the heels of Warner Brother's announcement earlier this week, it looks like other industry heavyweights are also realizing the potential of Facebook as a media distribution mechanism.  Specifically, according to AllFacebook.com, Sony Music is also considering distribution on Facebook.  The site spoke with Sony's John Calkins, at the 2011 Digital Hollywood Media Summit in New York, who said the organization is looking into platforms like Facebook, since they could potentially be a powerful distribution option.  Check the link below for the full story on AllFacebook.com.

On the Web:
Warner Bros to offer movies through Facebook

Sony Mulls Video Distribution On Facebook

Which Came First the Apple or the App?

Posted on January 11, 2011

With today's pending launch of the iPhone on Verizon, beyond the hardware windfall for Apple, there is a little golden nugget that comes with each phone sold: the App store.  As the iPhone continues to land in more hands both in the US and around the world, the software sales generated by the App store will mean big bucks both for Apple's bottom-line as well as the developers who have applications in the store.

As a matter of fact, just last week Apple took the App store concept to the desktop, and launched the App store for Mac. It's a brilliant concept – a curated centralized destination for the purchase and download of virtually any kind of software a user can imagine.  On the mobile devices this made the concept and practice of downloading programs both streamlined and reliable.  Prior to the App store concept installing software on a mobile device was a fragmented and disconnected space.  On older devices before the iPhone essentially everyone lost; for consumers it was hard to know what would work on what device and platform, while developers were tasked with the challenge of selling their software as there was no easy promotion and distribution network.

However, with the release of the iPhone, it's advanced capabilities, and ease of use there was a new-found opportunity and a natural desire by both users and developers to tap into the power of the iPhone platform. Yet, upon it's initial release Apple did not offer any type of access to the operating system for developers, at first only offering the ability to make icon-styled bookmarks that could live on the home screen.  These web apps, as Apple branded them, offered limited functionality in that they could only live in the browser, which left many asking for more.  It wasn't until Apple offered the second iteration of their software did the company comply with those requests and offer developers the ability to create native apps.

Now, in retrospect the App store has been genius, and we have all benefited; whether it be as end-users from a usability standpoint, as developers selling Apps, or as Apple providing the infrastructure.  That said, the question that I pose is did Apple see this golden opportunity a long time ago and hatch this strategy on a white board in Cupertino, or did Apple simply stumble upon this pot of gold in responding to external pressures after the iPhone launched?