Making Money video

Tim Street on The Kevin Pollak Chat Show

Great interview with Tim Street on The Kevin Pollak Chat Show. He talks about his history in production and how he got started on the internet. I first heard about Tim on This Week in Media and came across one of his first online video projects, FrenchMaidTV. The two talk about the future of podcasting and revenue models. Worth the time for any content producer.

Podcast Spotlight video

Podcast Spotlight: Put This On

The second episode of the excellent video podcast “Put This On” came out this week. This episode the focus is on shoes, be sure to go back and watch the first episode on jeans too. I wanted to highlight Put This On because of the level of quality and caring that the creators Jesse Thorn and Adam Lisagor put into the show. The production value in the show is well above what most people expect from content that is made for the web. For me it stands as a bar for myself to reach for in my own productions, yet I find myself thinking that bar is out of reach.


gear Live Streaming SXSW

SXSW 2010: What Technologies Will Blow Up This Year?

Each year nerds from all the world flock to Austin for five days and nights of panels, parties and puking also known a South by Southwest Interactive.  It seems each year there is at least one application or technology thing that everyone is using at SXSW. Last year the big thing was geolocation apps mainly Foursquare that had a big swell in users at SXSW last year as all the cool people were trying to find out where all the rest of the cool people are at and which party is the one to be at for the night.  In previous years twitter really started to take off and gained size-able adoption and proof of that is in the almost constant chatter about SXSW which is especially annoying to people like me who aren’t lucky enough to be going this year.

So what will be the “it” things at this year’s SXSW? I have two things that come to mind, QR Codes and Live streaming. I think we are going to see QR codes all over the place as people are trying to network and QR codes are a great way to exchange the information that would normally be on your business cards.  If you don’t know anything about QR Codes click here for the wikipedia article.  I think the band, movie posters and leaflets that are plastered all over the convention center will have the new addition of a QR Code that sends the user to a site with more information about their show or movie. Be prepared to see a throng of nerds in shirts with huge QR Codes silk-screened on them, hawking their blog or whatever.

In the year since the last SXSW, Apple released the iPhone 3GS, the version of the iPhone yet that best suited for live streaming video, and apps like Ustream broadcaster and Qik that allowing people to do live streaming video over Wi-Fi or 3G has become possible. I think live streaming services like Ustream are going to see a lot of use from people at SXSW streaming events going on in Austin.  One man who will be doing this for sure is Leo Laporte. Ustream has lent Leo one of their streaming backpacks from LiveU a company that builds this portable computer designed for streaming.  The backpack has enough juice for about 6 hours of use. The secret sauce that makes this all work is 8 separate 3G modems, 2 each from the 4 major players, that work in concert to provide a solid connection and sufficient upload bandwidth that produces some pretty good looking video. I think we’re going to see a lot of live streams coming from Austin next week as many of the big podcasts like TWIT, TWiST, Buzz out Loud, NSFW, Diggnation all converge in Austin. At&t epically failed last year, greatly underestimating the strain that the more than 13,000 attendees would put on their network and they say they have been working since then to make sure that this year isn’t a repeat. They beefed up the cell towers downtown with more fiber, installed hardware in the Austin convention center and are bringing a convoy’s worth of cell tower trucks to cover Austin in a rich and creamy layer of 3G. We’ll see if this will be enough to handle the demands of bandwidth heavy apps and thousands of people constantly refreshing twitter every minute.

Live Streaming Oddball video

The Reason You Probably Shouldn’t Play Chatroulette on Your Video Podcast sprouted up a couple of weeks ago and has taken the Internet by storm.  If you don’t know about Chatroulette already than it is easily explained that it’s Skype video chat except you don’t know who is gonna show up on the other end. Most of the time it’s guys like the Jonas brothers that keep hitting next until they find a pretty lady to chat up, but there is a sizable portion of the users that are guys that to put delicately are very visibly excited to be on chatroulette.

On Sunday’s episode of TWIT number 237, Leo Laporte, regretfully for people like me who were watching the live stream, tried his luck at chatroulette. The short excerpt is below.

Here’s the longer version, about 7 minutes.

I also came across this great short documentary about Chatroulette

chat roulette from Casey Neistat on Vimeo.

Video Production

Happy Birthday YouTube

Yesterday marked the five year anniversary for YouTube.  It was on February 14 2005 when the domain was registered. It wasn’t until April 23rd 2005 when the first video was uploaded to YouTube and the landscape of online video would be forever changed.

The First video Uploaded to YouTube

Blog post from one of YouTube’s founders, Chad Hurley, commemorating the 5 year anniversary.

When we registered the YouTube domain on February 14, 2005, we set out to create a place where anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection could share a story with the world. Five years into it, we’re as committed as ever to the core beliefs and principles that guided YouTube’s creation:

Video gives people a voice – From classrooms to war-torn countries, the Queen of England to the King of Pop, the Pope to the President of the United States, and the hillsides of Port au Prince to the streets of Tehran, video has the power to give rise to the most diverse set of faces and voices ever seen or heard in human history.

We succeed when our partners succeed – Our content partners run the gamut, from major Hollywood studios to aspiring filmmakers and vloggers who can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary on the turn of a dime. Content creation isn’t our business; it’s theirs. But breaking open access to media and distribution means delivering the world’s largest global audience and the revenue models they need to succeed, as well as the tools they need to control their content.

Video evolves fast, YouTube must evolve faster – The Internet evolves at break-neck speed. We launch products quickly and constantly iterate to stay one step ahead of it. Our goal? To set the standard in online video delivery. Fast loading, high quality videos need to be able to play on any device, anywhere, anytime. And whether we’re supporting 1080p, 3D, or deploying auto-speech recognition technology, we innovate with an eye toward providing the best possible experience for all of you.

Thanks for being part of the YouTube community and for shaping what the site is today. We’re looking forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary throughout the year and hope you’ll keep watching, keep uploading, keep sharing, keep informing, keep entertaining, and keep discovering the world through video.

Chad Hurley, Co-Founder & CEO, YouTube

Home Studios Live Streaming Video Production

Thoughts on the Ustream Producer App

Ustream has released two new desktop applications for broadcasting to Ustream. There is a free version and a pay version for $199 that allows multiple cameras and add a couple other features. The apps are available for either Mac or Windows.  When you download the free version, there is an option to out the pro version with a really annoying watermark, but I suggest trying it before you shell out the two hundred bucks for the pro version.  The producer app gives broadcasters the same controls as using the web based broadcaster but adds some functionality of a video switcher and access to Ustream’s social networking functions.

The free version supports one live camera and allows you to capture video from your desktop as well, great if you’re doing a show with you on one camera and the other host in on Skype or if you are doing a PowerPoint presentation. The app allows you to switch between the live video, screen-cast, recorded video, and images and music. The switcher has 3 transitions, which to me seems like just one because I don’t call a cut a transition and I can’t tell the difference between “Smooth” and “Cross-dissolve”.

The pro version adds support for unlimited cameras, transitions, adds HD support and allows title and overlay functionality.  The pro version is pretty much a branded version of Wirecast and has most of the functinality of Wirecast but only works with Ustream and is cheaper at $199 versus the $449 for Wirecast. Trying to add titles is harder than it should be, but is doable and you can save the presets so you don’t have to change the settings for each show.

Final Verdict:

If you use Ustream, then definatly try the free version of the App and check out the pro features too. If you are leaning to the pro version and you’re on a Mac, then the Pro version is a good option for the money. If you want the pro features and are on Windows than I would suggest trying out Vidblaster before you buy. Vidblaster’s home version is $195 and I think is easier and more powerful than the Ustream App. A downfall for Vidblaster though is that you need a pretty recent and powerful computer to take full use of all it’s features.


Ustream Producer App