From time to time I am teaching media students about possibilities and new media. I love the fact that it is now possible to make high quality content without having to invest millions of dollars in equipment.
Cheap possibilities for editing, sound design and motion graphics have been around for a while. With an HDV camera and a high resolution digital SLR you can shoot pretty high quality footage as well.
Still, for years it has been the privilege of big media companies to own distribution. Both newspapers and television channels had this big advantage of being able to distribute.
Now the internet has changed this. There is an estimated 240 million broadband users out there. That’s 240 million potential content producers with a distribution channel. And cheap production equipment. Geeks like me can reach more that 100 000 people with videos like this.
But why the utterly speculative headline for this article?
The Norwegian band Ugress is an example of a couple of guys making high quality music with relatively limited resources. Then they team up with some uttrly creative people making some very cool music videos.
If you look carefully at the videos on their web page, at least two of these videos could have been made with an extremely low budget. No expensive actors. No expensive locations. No expensive props. Of course you have to disregard the insane amount of hours needed to make stuff like this. In a commercial world time is money. As students it is possible to think different. Be creative. Have fun.
You find inspiration over at the web page of Ugress. You’ll find both music and a couple of videos. One video featuring the true story about Makina the rubber duck. One lovely Bollywood inspired show and a fantastic little video inspired by computer games from the eighties featuring sex, drugs and rock & roll…
I know that the traffic charts from Alexa have to be read with caution and a knowledge about the fact that they can be unreliable. But for highly visited sites they are a good indication of usage and traffic.
I am currently working on an article about the long tail of content consumption and how the internet is about to change our habits and the way we spend time on different media.
During my research a friend pointed me to this nice comparsion.
Two very different companies indeed, but an interesting trend…
I will get back to this. For now it is a simple post with a nice photo. Shot from the Hotel Croatia in Cavtat at the 6th of June 2006. Shutter speed was set to 15 seconds. The camera stand was the fence on the balcony outside my hotel room.
With Pyrrha you can now record music from the streaming radio stations that you set up in Pandora.
You can still find the application here. (Thanks, Trevor)
The application gives you a simple interface where you log on to Pandora, select the channel you want to record and how long you want to record.
Pyrrha makes one 128 kbit MP3 of the recording and a playlist-file (PLS) with the correct song and artist names. Simple as that.
Have fun while it last.
Pyrrha used to have a page on their site with an explanation of the fact that it is legal to record your Pandora radio stations for personal use. For some reason this page has been removed. When I tried Pyrrha for the first time it was a trial, and Pyrrha had a page where you could purchase the full version.
Right now the information on the Pyrrha site is very limited and for me it seems like the version 1.0.1 of their application is a fully working free version.
I got this very good answer from Pyrrha:
Unfortunately after pursuing legal council it came to our attention that we could incur legal liability if we charged for this type of application. In light of this information we have decided to release the application for free to the community to enjoy. As a part of this release we also hope to obtain feedback from the Pandora.com user community with their reactions and thoughts on the legality and usefulness of such an application. If the community deems this type of application valuable we would encourage the community to email Pandora.com with their thoughts.
Additionally we are attempting to provide small improvements to the current application and will take into account your suggestions in regard to duration control and login credential saving. We are also looking for feedback from the community and would love submissions for feature enhancements. I must preface this however by the fact the we have chosen to not support the download of single mp3 files and consider this an abuse of the Pandora.com service.
We ultimately hope that our application will bring additional attention to the Pandora.com service and the experience it can provide users outside of the web browser. We will also attempt to reintroduce a legal disclaimer about the use of Pyrrha. One point to note is that we are attempting to distance ourselves from the moniker “podcast” because this could convey the distribution of copyright materials from the Pandora.com service which we obviously discourage.
I just did a presentation for students at the Westerdals School of Communication. Here are a couple of links and resources.
My presentation on the future of the media industry. You find the chapters I have posted so far here:
Predicting the future
The convergence that makes things difficult
Commercials gone wild
The future of TV distribution
Some other related stuff from this site:
Volkswagen and Berlitz commercials
BMW does cool marketing
Everything you would ever want to see
The video of the seasons in Norway
And, some other popular content from this site.
Some places to start if you want to experiment with web publishing:
Register at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. They provide blog hosting for free. My preference would be wordpress.com
Register at flickr.com and publish you pictures there. It is very easy to include pictures you host on flickr in the blog that you host on WordPress or Blogger.
Register at YouTube.com. Here you can upload videos. It is also very easy to include videos from YouTube in your blog at wordpress or blogger.
If you want complete control and want to host everything yourself. Then I can recommend setting up a page based on a full installation of WordPress through hosting at Dreamhost. They provide a one-click-install of WordPress and a full suite of advanced web publishing tools. Hosting everything there will set you back a couple of dollars a month. In other words, not completely free, but full control and a possibility to build a complete web site with blogs, galleries, forums and whatever…
Bits and bytes and RLE and DRM and flickr and blogs and…
And because I just gave you an overload of virtual, digital and technical information you might want to make a coffee, start making your own mustard or simply fly away to an amazing resturant. And, if you want pepper on that food you should know the best pepper as well. Or maybe you want to relax with a picture of some interesting ancient architecture? Who knows…
And of course feel free to contact me.