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Media Matters: Podcasting, Vidcasting and other Online Media Tools, Tips and Trends » Technology

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Copyright law for online videos: it’s better than you think

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Negotiating the world of copyright is tricky business. But too often people assume copyright is black-and-white, that one can’t use ANYTHING in an online video, podcast or blog without getting permission. The fact is, copyright is a palette of greys. Often, its a matter of assigning the item in question with a risk factor- how likely is this person/organization to sue me? Are they likely to be looking, or does the original record label/film company/etc. even exist anymore? And is my use covered as an educational or not-for-profit use?

Which is why it was refreshing to find a new Code of Practices in Fair Use for Online Video from the Center for Social Media at the School of Communication at American University. The report takes into account “current acceptable practices” rather than the letter of the law, ranging from remixes and mashups to social commentary and parody. This document is an excellent resource for anyone working with video in this new age of social media.

New Media drives 78% rise in NPR listenership

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

NPR logo

Interesting report from Marketing Vox that NPR reports a 78% increase in site traffic this year since adding new media to the site, including podcasting and social networking. Their podcast listenership has tripled over the past two years. See the full report.

Our Kindle Prediction, Revisited

Monday, April 6th, 2009

The e-book market is growing fast, according to the New York Times. The news comes on the heels of an announcement whereby Google gains (well, buys) permission from the world to scan and sell out-of-print titles online. While physical book sales continue to fall, e-books for the Kindle and Sony Reader grew 55% in 2008. And a new app for the iPhone that allows users to read e-books on that device was downloaded almost half a million times so far.

What does that mean for the publishing industry? Much the same as it does for the fading newspaper industry- it’s time to innovate, and quick. Combining media into new, exciting packages is the way to keep readers interested and engaged. Kindles can download and play mp3s- why not include an interview with the author with our e-novel? Or how about a cookbook author talking you through their favorite recipe? Your audience is consuming media in a variety of formats, and it is time to create your content in a variety of interesting ways to meet them.

McDonald’s free wifi

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

McDonald’s wifi symbol

In the category of random advice, we want to applaud McDonald’s move toward offering free wireless at all of their locations. (It goes nicely with their shift to high-end coffee drinks.) Not only because road warriors everywhere can enjoy a dollar meal while they hop online, but because this is a step toward bridging the digital divide. The democratization of digital access is good for everyone - free high-speed wireless access allows more people to get online in more places to access more content of their own choosing. Now if only their podcasts were a little more interesting…

Wi-fi enabled iPods?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Wifi iPods

Their announcement about a new pink Nano didn’t really set off any sparks for us, but comments about the future of Wi-fi enabled iPods continues to intrigue. In Apple’s earnings call today, they reported that the company is looking forward to future developments that allow wireless iPod communication. What does that mean? Well, we can tell you what we and alot of other people hope it means. We want wireless content syching. Right now, you want iTunes content, you have to connect to iTunes with a wire. But the pressure is on to allow users to download wireless content direct to the iPhone and other similar devices. If Apple doesn’t do it, someone else (Zune) will.

What excites us is the likely prospect that one day you’ll be able to walk into, say, your neighborhood bookstore and call up a vidcast featuring author interviews. Or visit a museum and pick up an interview with an artist whose work is currently on view. Microsoft (Zune), Amazon (The Kindle) and Google are all working in the same direction. There’s a lot yet to be sorted out, including pesky digital rights management issues, but the future of location-specific content delivered direct to a personal device like an iPod is drawing ever-closer.

When it happens, getting the content right will be key - nobody wants a world where our cell phones and media players are barraged by ads being beamed at us as we walk down the street. But that’s a topic for another post…

Decoding the Kindle

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Amazon’s Kindle

When a new device like Amazon’s Kindle book reader comes out, we can’t help but turn over the possibilities. The device follows a long line of attempts to replace books with digital documents and a screen interface, but there’s a significant difference- the Kindle uses a cell phone-like connection to connect to the Kindle Store from anywhere and deliver instant downloads of thousands of books, magazines, blogs and mp3s.

Those last two are where this gets intriguing. Blogs, digital documents and mp3s can be featured in the Kindle Store just like content on iTunes- for free. This opens the door for all kinds of combinations of media (audio and video) to be delivered with digital “print” books and articles. An environmental non-profit, for example, could feature a report on sustainable farming as a free download on the Kindle, and include mp3s of candid interviews with organic farmers on the benefits of sustainability. A publisher of children’s books could package an theatrical audio version along with the text.

Of course, as with any new media, the Kindle could fail to (pardon the pun) catch fire. But the combination of print and media delivered instantaneously through a searchable interface is cause for excitement. We plan to experiment with this platform in the coming months- we’ll keep you posted.