Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Way to Get Your Old Home Movies Digitized for Only $15 a Tape!

Featured in the NYTimes today is a company called Pixorial that will take your VHS tapes (or several other sorts of analog video media) and digitize them for $15 each.

Then Pixorial will put them on a password-protected part of the company’s Web site.

You can use Pixorial’s simple editing tools to cut the master tape down.

Read more at the NYTimes

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New iMovie Features from Apple Announced at MacWorld Today

Apple announced lots of new features for all the content creation tools in iLife today, but the most exciting for personal movie making may be the new Travel Maps.

Learn more here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

FInally: A Terrific How-To Site for Lighting

One of the questions I am asked most frequently is how to light. Since I'm not an expert on lighting, I usually try to duck the question and refer people to a better resource.

Now the perfect resource is here. It's, where you will find lots of fantastic diagrams and resources to help you situation by situation find out how to do professional quality lighting. Of course, it's from a manufacturer of lighting equipment, but...I think the company should be applauded (and patronized) for its fabulous how to light site.

The site includes really useful extras, like an interactive feature that shows you exactly what effect certain lighting positions have on your subject. It's like being given the key to the secret language of light that cinematographers know.

You may not need to really know how to light this well, but I find it very exciting that I have a place to refer to should I need to know this skill. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

StoryTlr: The All in One Place Place

Do you have a twitter comment, a few photos, and a video about the same day or event or topic? And yet all these pieces are in separate places on the web...unless you have, a nice place to pull them altogether. See here:

Or just go to Kinda nifty.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vuclip - Send ANY video to ANY cell phone

Could VuClip be the next YouTube?

Read about them in ReadWriteWeb or just to their web site and see what it's all about.

The only thing I don't like (and it's small) is that they don't have a viral video I could post here for you to learn more right here.

They Shoot Home Movies, Don't They?

You gotta read David Pogue's column today about Why We Shoot Home Movies.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Do you remember Polaroids? Well a new software application, Poladroid, lets you take your digital photos and turn them into Polaroid-like images.

It simulates the old Polaroid experience by making the photos like this:

Might be fun to pop a few of these into some video.

Poladroid is free at

YouTube101.TV Blog

I spoke yesterday at a conference in San Francisco called BizTechDay and that sparked a new blog where I've been posting information specifically focused on the needs of small businessese who need to use web video. If that sounds interesting to you, check it out at

Thursday, October 02, 2008

YouTube: Video Interactivity (Just Like The Old Days, Only Better)

In the olden times of CD-ROMs, people were pretty excited about video interactivity and by this I mean being able to let people make selections on screen while a video is playing.

Thanks to Google's acquisition of Omnisio this summer, you can now do easy video interactivity using these features on YouTube.

Because they call it video annotations, a lot of people might miss out on how exciting this feature can be. (Annotations makes it sound like a homework assignment footnote or something.) But it's way cool, as you can see in this here video:

Want to know how to use it yourself? Get started here:

For more specific instructions, see the YouTube Help page for Video Annotations. I wish they had their own how-to video about using these features, but...for better or for worse, the way of YouTube HQ is to let users make the how to videos about their features. Viva la community.

Do It Yourself News Coverage: AmTrekker

Sometimes people think making videos requires a boatload of gear and a crew of people. Not so, of course, and no one could better illustrate the simple rig you need these days to make videos than this remarkable fellow. See the video and be sure to visit his site at

I like his lifetime list - and how he's acting on it! Talk about self actualization.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Live Streaming Video from Your Cell Phone: Wow

Right now it only works with Nokia, and with specific Nokia phones, but it's really amazing. Got some real eyebrow-raising attention at Streaming Media conference. For good reason.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's About Time: YouTube Goes to a Gig

YouTube just upped the size of video files users cab upload from 100 meg to 1 gig. Which puts it more in line with competitors.

Streaming Media Conference Product Pick #1: Caption Sync

Just back from KM World/Streaming Media conference, where hundreds of people gathered to see the latest and greatest.

One product worth mentioning is CaptionSync, automated captioning for your videos.

They can also provide transcription services.

UC Berkeley is one of their clients.

Many government agencies are required to put captions on video, and have been unable to comply with that requirement when it comes to web video.

Captioning also increases search retrievability of video content.

There's a good list of client samples of using their service here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google Video Unveils New Video Hosting Feature in Google Apps

Google announced a new video hosting feature this week as part of the Google Apps Premier Edition suite of services, which sells for $50 per year per user. The service is targeted at businesses.

This is the very topic - using business internal videos - I will be talking about at KM World, so I'm happy to be able to show you even more support for video distribution. In the past Google Video would host your video for free and make it unsearchable. However, that isn't the same as private and secure.

The new service lets you:
• Upload videos for viewing securely and privately
• Search the video library
• Permission videos for individuals to view (if you want to)
• Rate videos
• View highest rated and most popular videos in the library
• Move from scene to scene, using thumbnails below the video to navigate directly to specific segments or images

Where the new service really shines, and sets itself apart from the crowd, and really provides value worth paying for are in collaboration features.

The collaboration features include:
• Enables users to make comments or add feedback on specific scenes (i.e. the information here isn't correct or needs to be modified or is super helpful)
• Ability to embed (while still maintaining permission rights - that's a biggie) in web pages

On the other hand, YouTube still offers plain vanilla FREE video hosting service, with private video sharing for up to 25 users invited by you. But it doesn't offer the added features for collaboration nor the cachet or team-building fun of having your own group video area.

Watch this video to how some business and government users describe the benefits of the new Google video hosting service and what's included:

This should be a total win for businesses, who were so often overly challenged by trying to get a broadband video hosting solution. It was complicated, horrible, and unpredictable in the past trying to purchase a solution. (Been there, done that, have the teeshirt, etc.) The Google solution will work for a number of companies who thought that getting a video hosting contract was too complicated, time consuming and expensive. And IT may be relieved that it doesn't have to be involved, except to vet security.

For all the details on the Google Video for Business service, click here.

(To repeat, the $50 a year licensing fee (per user) includes a large number of features, of which the video hosting is just one of the components.)

This is a great solution for groups who want to have their own video nest for a low cost.

Educational groups will be able to use a special version for education which will be free through March and will then cost $10 per user after the initial period.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More FLIP Love: Put It Anywhere

Because it's so light and so basic, the Flip camcorder allows you to mount the camera in many places you'd never think of putting a more expensive or larger unit.

Here's a great example, "Rollerblading with Smalley the Jack Russell Terrier":



Anyone who's read my book (Create Your Own Digital Movies) knows just how big a fan of the Flip I am. (In this photo, taken a year ago, my godson Henry (age 5) is holding his Flip, which he uses to make movies.)

With the new Mino, there's even more to get excited about.

I upgraded to a Mino this week and should tell you some details about using the new phone.

First, read the review from the Wall Street Journal. I don't think you have to be cool-set oriented to want a Mino, so just ignore the headline.

The only thing FLIP does poorly is show you how to use it. Of course, it's pretty easy to figure out just by noodling around, which is its strength, but I only discovered how it zooms by reading the All Things Digital review (link above).

The most important thing to know is that if you use a Mac (and I always recommend that you do, if you can), you will need to get Quicktime Pro ($30) to edit your FLIP video files. No biggie. (Unless you don't know.)

I was wandering around on Flickr and came across this video of a dyed in the wool skeptic who starts to use the FLIP (found on Flickr), lists all of her reservations (which are many) and finally, at the end, says the Flip is great!

To read comments about the video, visit it on Flickr.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Classes Starting In Sept. in Fairfax

I'll be teaching two new classes in Sept. in Fairfax.

Sept. 20, Saturday, 10 am - 1 pm, $30, The Natural Space (near Frog's)

Curious about using YouTube? Come find out how to make and post videos on YouTube. You'll learn about how to make videos using a video camcorder or no camera at all, what web video camera to get (the Flip from PureDigital) and more!

Future classes during the fall will feature other aspects of making personal videos.

I will also be teaching a class on making green videos Sept. 27 from 10-1 at the same location.

YouTube - The Documentary

Finally someone has gone where no man dared to go before...and that is straight to the anthropological heart of YouTube.

The acclaimed YouTube anthropologist Michael Wesch - who's first YouTube video (The Machine Is Us/Ing Us) got more than 7 million hits and explained to most of us what Web 2.0 is - had his moment of glory in front of the Library of Congress in July.

Even though this video is 55 minutes, you won't want to miss a single minute once you start watching. Catch it here!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - Video Collaboration Site

Have you ever tried to share videos with friends and family? Or pool yours together? It's an awkward frustrating process on Flickr (which only covers photos) and you'll get more than a few frantic emails from friends who just can't fathom the site's convoluted signup, cumbersome registration process, and confusing UI.

Enter Shwup.

Shwup let's you share privately online. And collaborate. I upload, you upload and we can jointly edit our stuff together. which launched in June brings us all closer to video collaboration. Read more about it in this review.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Radiohead - They're Just So Darned Digital

I don't go to the home page of YouTube very often, but today I did, in search of something else. That's where I saw that Radiohead's newest music video was out - and it uses no cameras or lights to make these images. Very interesting. Have a look.

Now see the making of...