I was in Toronto a week or so ago, talking to some of our new media consultants. I had some time to explore a little, and here’s what I saw:
I’d been in Toronto previously, but never really had the time or opportunity to explore the downtown core or check out the CN Tower. This trip I finally got the opportunity … and had a nice steak dinner with a former colleague and current friend at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant.
… streaming video comes with a much lower delivery cost than shipping discs. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at NewTeeVee Live, the company spends about $600 million a year on postage for its mail-order business, but the cost of streaming a video title is much cheaper than delivering a DVD by mail — about 5 cents a gig for bandwidth — or about a nickel per movie.
We’re currently on BC’s Sunshine Coast taking a week’s holiday. A couple of days ago we took a two-hour hike to Skookumchuck Narrows, which is where the tidal flow into a huge basin is constricted through a narrow passage and can exceed 30 km/hr.
Really cool rapids and standing waves … which the kayakers enjoy:
I’ve been searching for a long, long time for a way to save screencasts made on a Mac to Flash. Snapz Pro is an excellent screencast-creating tool, but saves to a QuickTime movie. Flash is more widely available and least likely to have compatability problems.
I’ve downloaded it, and will try it out, then update this post with my thoughts. Something I’m thinking already: wouldn’t it be cool it if did annotated screencasts!
One interesting thing: screen captures and screencasts are automatically uploaded to screencasts.com, where you can share it with anyone you wish. I don’t know much about it yet, but you can imagine the possibilities of a social network built up around screencasts – sort of like Flickr and photos, YouTube and videos, and so on. Intriguing!
Camcorder compatibility is a major problem for iMovie users these days. If you haven’t heard or seen that, check out the comments on this post.
Many, many, many camcorders available right now, especially the new hard drive-based versions, will not work with iMovie. They record in low-quality MPEG-2, which combines the audio and video into one datastream. iMovie only works with DV camcorders or hard disk camcorders that record to MPEG-4, a higher-quality format that keeps the audio and video separate – enabling future editing.
There are workarounds (see above link) but they are time-consuming, costly, and not foolproof.
There are rumors that iLife is ready for an upgrade soon, perhaps even before the next version of Mac OS X comes out. It had better include an updated iMovie with built-in capability to handle MPEG-2, because it’s getting hard to find camcorders that are Mac-compatible.
Frankly, it’s hard to believe this is a problem that Apple has not yet addressed: imagine if iPhoto only worked with 5-6 cameras.
Apple needs to fix this quickly … or at the very least, provide an actual, specific list – with model numbers – of camcorders that work with Mac OS X and iMovie, instead of this no-help help page.
The demo of making your own widgets with Webclip is amazing – I can only imagine what the possibilities are going to be. This is RSS-like but with formatting like the original website … and very fine-grained.