Nigel Dick about Music Videos

April 28th, 2007

Nigel Dick wrote in 2004 about Music Videos. It’s an interesting read. He does write in the present tense. Although it feels very much that he describes the scene of the 80s and 90s.

hd tv on the cheap

April 28th, 2007

I don’t watch TV. Don’t have a set. Scott had pointed me to the ‘eyeTV hybrid’ USB adapter from Elgato. Finally I got around to get one for around 150 US$. Recently I also had extended the screen real estate of the MacBook Pro via an Acer AL2216W. Not an amazing monitory, but 1680×1050 for 250 US$ is a great value. So for 400 US$ and change I have now the ability to watch TV. HD or SD, analog or digital.Which is not bad at all. In this configuration NTSC resolution commercials fall on their nose inside of a HD broadcast: I am watching Red Sox vs. Yankees in 720p right now. I will never understand Baseball. But the picture looks great. An alternative would be some icehockey game in 1080i. Which does not fit the screen. And with interlacing that is kind of a problem. I don’t understand how anybody could consider an interlaced format: It was made for Glas Tubes, and glas tubes for TV are on their way out. And especially for HD there haven’t been many around in consumers homes. There are ways to deinterlace etc, but that’s a hack. Any hack will degrade the image. More or less.

where the money goes

April 17th, 2007

The LA Time has a simple yet interesting breakdown of the costs and revnues of Sahara. I must have lived under a rock when it came out, since I had not heard of it. Sounds like I didn’t miss much.
Looking at those number I wonder how ‘revolutionary’ the Red camera actually is. Or rather isn’t. The Jackson scoop is of course yet another move of brilliant PR. And the tech world would definitely less interesting without the red-bubble-cam-project.

Apple NAB 2007 Final Cut Server, Final Cut Studio2, Color

April 15th, 2007

Mike Curtis did a great job in writing a point by point list of todays announcement

Here my comments to these Announcements from Apple:
It is nice that all that has been shown is actual product. I am sure that Discreet will tease us this afternoon with ‘technology demos’ that actually look exciting. But their track record of making products out these bits is mixed, to say the least.

Apple did go close to the line -if not over it- in a couple of ways themselves: The new multi resolution / multi frame rate timeline in FCP is amazing. Nothing short of that. It needs computing and gfx power. It would have been nice to mention how much of it you actually use.

The Soundtrack pro demo used Zodiac footage. Which is nice. What was not nice was that they converted the footage all wrong. I never saw the pictures of that movie being that ugly. It’s a soundtrack, not a color or fcp demo, but still. Apple can not use their own tools it seems.

Motion 3 looks amazing. It has tracking and a 3D environment. Bullet point featurewise Final Cut Studio2 is up to par with Flame in the year 2000 it seems. Not bad. Motion did always demo extremely sexy, but it’s uptake in the real world has been limited. Maybe Motion 3 can change that. Apple did a typical Apple by claiming that they now have solved 3D tracking and made it easy to use and just work. That remains to be seen. The demo track was actually kind of pointless. Some Text hovering around in space, nicely far way from the object to be tracked. This would have been a good day for Apple with the real product they had to show for, I do not understand why they had to exaggerate certain things so needlessly.

The quality of the content usedof the demos was actually, well, dismal. On Zodiac they did the dpx conversions wrong, and the other material was really really bad.

I think that Apple should detach their applications from the content section. Have one DVD for all applications!
Then if people like to have demo presets, footage etc, they can
go into the ‘content manager’ (I dreamt that up, it does not exist). Ideally this one would be able to load and manage all those sound loops (god! they even were proud of those free 150 tracks that you get with Soundtrack Pro) Motion Presets (those are as hiddeous as you average default gif collection on the web) etc etc. Either from 27 Data DVDs that apple can provide or that people can / will copy. Or content from a website. Were people can share their loops, clips, fx you name it.

The upside would be that the application install would go fast (like it does for shake) and would not put all that bloat on the disk. And the people that like to have these collections they
can get even more by subscribing to those for instance. Everybody would be much happier.

Compressor 3 looks interesting. It can do lots of nice things by now. Final Cut Server is a product where there is huge need.
Now you would think that they interact with each other. Actually
Compressor3 should be just a function of the media management tool. You would think. Well, apple thinks differently right now. The Compressor3 demo did not mention Final Cut Server3 once. Apple might need to do a bit more integration there. I am not holding my breath in term of “Server”. But then again the Red camera might as well exist tomorrow, and a year ago I said that there would be no way that it would.

bad sci fi

April 13th, 2007

Intel showing us some bad sci-fi:

The problem with bad sci-fi is the same problem that most bad things have: Lack of originality, inspiration and flawless execution. A year ago Intel, Microsoft and Samsung got very excited about UMPC. While the rest of world simple uttered ‘umpc!’ So it didn’t go anywhere. Nor will it ever. Intels new ultra mobile vision is as inspiring as Ariel


April 12th, 2007

variety on actors on digital, not film not that much substance in that article.

More interesting was Robert Rodriquez on Elvis Mitchell’s KCRW show “The Treatment”.

One of the podcasts that I follow. Others are:

NPR: Movies
The VFX Show
Avid Podcast
KCRW The Business
KCRW Film Reviews

Sometimes I can’t even spend enough time in the car. :-)

mailto no more!

April 8th, 2007

It has been a long time since I wanted use Apples But it still opened whenever I clicked on one of these mailto: links in a webpage. I googled and found that there is gmailto, which should do the trick, but is broken it seems. I could install it, gmail would open, but not understand the email address I wanted to send to.

Then I found Webmailer. This one works like a charm. It together with the gmail option to send email as make gmail pretty much complete. I am sure it breaks in about 7 minutes, when I rave about it like this.

ak 47 vs iPod

April 7th, 2007

it used to be the bible that saved peoples lives.

sorenson sqeeze Version 4.3 ftp uploads and watchfolder

April 4th, 2007

Interdubs has a ftp gateway. If the quicktime creating program supports uploads after compression then you can have a pretty nice workflow. Even better: having a watchfolder and posting things to interdubs would be one drop.

Of course it was not that easy: It turns out that Sorenson Squeeze Version 4.3 can either do a watchfolder or an upload to ftp. But not both. If you try it, then it will log in to the ftp site, and just sit there, not uploading anything.

Luckily Sorenson Version 4.5 works as advertised. Posting is a one stop thing.

one gig is not enough

April 4th, 2007

Thirteen years ago I worked for the first time on a SGI computer. “Super Computer” as it’s owners liked to call it whenever they could. They spent more than you would pay for mid sized house on it’s memory alone. It had 1GB RAM. Telling people casually about this machine back in the day I had to emphasize: No, not the hard drive, the RAM is one Gigabyte. There were a handful of computers of this size in Germany back in the day.

Yesterday I saw somebody beach-ball on a MacBook. She just uses it for the normal communication things you do these days, no ‘heavy’ applications. This computer had the same memory size: one Gigabyte. And it is not enough. The machine was swapping. Horribly slow.

Something is a bit odd here: Using one gigabyte you could store one million pages of text. Or one thousand books with a thousand pages each. Or you could fill the screen of the laptop with 350 layers of images. 349 of them being invisible.

Memory is cheap these days. But wasting a whole GB is something that might
lead to the wasting a whole 16GB in a few years. That memory one could use probably for real useful things as well.