Adobe and Microsoft each announced new technology for playing back video on your computers, setting up yet another format war. As always there are appealing features promised in the technology, but make no mistake: the goal, the only goal, is to seduce us into watching online videos for the purpose of exposing us to advertising.
Adobe’s Flash technology dominates the Web, powering YouTube and MySpace videos and most other video sharing sites. Adobe plans to introduce the Adobe Media Player, which will be able to play downloaded Flash videos separately from Internet Explorer. Perhaps it’s just the way this news article is written that makes this sound like something that benefits Adobe way more than anything it does for us:
“The Adobe Media Player will support two kinds of security: One will allow a downloaded, shareable video file to be bundled with advertising that can’t be separated.
Here’s an article that describes the struggle to involve a computer in the living room, delivering photos, music and movies. The struggle is not going well. Hewlett Packard just announced that it is ending development of its Digital Entertainment Center line of PCs – the ones designed to look like living room A/V components, plugging directly into the TV and controlling all TV and media functions, using Windows Media Center Edition. I have one of the HP units; it’s a little finicky but far better than the pile of components it replaced. The HP DEC was the best of the A/V computers introduced a few years ago, and one of the last ones still standing; the big manufacturers have largely backed away from living room computers for the moment. […] continued
Ze Frank has just finished a year of producing The Show, three-minute video monologues that appeared online five days a week. Slate, the Los Angeles Times, and others are writing paeans to a project that blossomed into something unique and special. The audience turned into a community making creative contributions and The Show became a conversation – consistently interesting and frequently hilarious.
The Show has ended but the episodes are archived – dive in anywhere. The Slate article has a good overview and lots of links to memorable episodes to get started. Personally I’m a big fan of the Scrabble episode, and Fingers In Food makes me laugh out loud every time. […] continued
The IT Crowd is my new favorite TV show. The first season’s six episodes can be downloaded pretty freely – here’s one collection of links to downloadable files, for example. Much of it is available on YouTube if you don’t mind low resolution video – here’s the first part of episode 1.
It’s a British series about two IT geeks in the basement of a large, abusive corporation who get a new boss, a woman who lied about her IT experience on her resume. It’s hysterical, as funny as anything I’ve seen on television for years. Here’s Cory Doctorow’s description of it on Boing Boing. […] continued
The post-holiday lull has ended, Vista is out the door, so we’re back to a nonstop barrage of new products and services. Here’s what stood out in the last week.
High definition DVDs have always had two, and only two, purposes: to impose significant new barriers to your free use of the content on them by adding new layers of DRM; and to try to create an incentive for you to replace your DVDs.
The entertainment industry absolutely adored selling us the same content a second time as we converted our collections from LPs to CDs, and from videotapes to DVDs. We’re not likely to do that again: Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs offer relatively trivial improvements in video quality, and most people think conventional DVDs look pretty darned good, even on HD TVs. […] continued
Google is running more than 450,000 servers around the world. It’s building “Project 02,” which will be one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, to be housed at a data center in Oregon the size of two football fields, with four-story high cooling towers. As the owner of YouTube, Google is in a good position to evaluate the burden that video places on the infrastructure of the Internet.
So when Google executives say that Internet video services may bring the entire global network to its knees, lots of people are listening. YouTube delivers very low quality video in a highly compressed Flash format, but its astronomical growth is already using up vast amounts of bandwidth. […] continued
WalMart announced a movie download service with the obligatory noncritical media coverage, focused on how darned exciting it is that all of the major studios have signed up to supply a few titles. The details were glossed over – namely that the downloads are DRM-laden Windows Media files that won’t play on iPods, PSPs, Zunes, or computers running Mac or Linux. Not to mention that twenty bucks buys a movie at 240×320 resolution, which will look like crap on a small screen and will be unwatchable on a large screen.
Many people are staring at their digital camcorders, wondering how to get video off the camera for a DVD or some other project.
Adobe Premiere Elements is the software of choice for the long run. It’s the best designed software on the market, relatively easy to get started but capable of complex tasks as you grow into it. Here’s my thoughts on the new release of Adobe Premiere Elements 3.
Tracking Shot is a free online service that deserves a look. There’s no easier way to build videos and slideshows from your photos, movies and music. Here’s a glowing review of Tracking Shot from CNet.
There’s no shortage of sites for sharing photos, with interfaces that are frequently cumbersome even for the simple tasks of uploading photos and sharing them with friends and family. I praise Adobe Premiere Elements below, which can build movies from photos, but it’s serious, heavyweight software; the last thing you would do is pull it out to send mom a quick slideshow of the weekend recital. […] continued