Catch & Track New Media Ads - #adwatch on Twitter

1089869_empty_billboard I started a new media/advertising tracking side project over on Twitter with a new account called adwatch.

I'm going to tweet references to content providers and their advertisements that I find interesting from the media that gets into my attention stream. 

If you want to participate you can send me a link @adwatch, RT a post you find interesting, or you can just add your own by tagging #adwatch in your related tweets.  The search stream for  #adwatch is the feed I'm going to be interested in.

I've had this idea for a while to see where and how advertisers and new media content creators are coming together, and this seemed like the easiest way to get started.  Plus, it is as open as possible and not something that is closed like other services.

If you have any other thoughts or ideas, please either add a comment to this post or drop me a message via adwatch @ Twitter.

Good Update On Zune, Microsft Plans, & New Media Opportunities

Zune.small Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott have a great Windows Weekly interview with Rob Greenlee from Microsoft. 

They cover the latest in Microsoft Zune news, update folks on the state of podcasting, and outline a lot of opportunities in new media like download, streaming, live video, etc.

If you have a Windows PC you should take a moment and download the latest Zune client.  I have it running on all my PCs (XP, Vista, Win7beta) and I find it to be a great content player.

New Version of Audacity and Pointer For Conference Recording

Audacity_IconThere is a new version of Audacity v1.3.7 (beta) and I've loaded it up on my Mac Book Pro. I used it to mix down the Jersey Boys Podcast #66 without any issues.  I've been using the previous version - v1.3.6 (beta) - without any major problems, and I consider this release to be production quality.

Some of what I think are the most important fixes and updates include:

  • Fixed periodic exported stereo files issues
  • Fixes for Nyquist effects, Compressor and Noise Removal
  • Fixed WAV corrupted issue related toi overwriting the same file
  • MP3 and WMA now export correctly with all supported metadata
  • Platform-specific bugs for: Vista, Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Improved F11 Full Screen mode
  • Improved Windows DirectSound API support
  • Improved latency correction using fixed correction value

Another Audacity related item of potential interest, is that the audio for my presentation at the New Media Expo 2007 has been posted to the Podcast Academy site.  Here is a link to the PDF slides and a screencast QuickTime movie of the slides.

You might have a pretty good online training experience listening to the audio from the Podcast Academy site and watching the QuickTime Movie at the same time.

Tri-Network Rumbles About To Start?!?

The recent This Week In Tech (TWIT) #126 podcast with Leo Laporte had an interesting snide comment at around 18 minutes in by Podshow's John C. Dvorak about Revision3's long list of new talent (including the recent Rodger Chang), and how quickly the are now going to run through their venture capital (VC) money. 

The same could be said about Podshow's spending rate, business plans, or financial status which little is known publicly.  One good thing is that they appear to still be hiring.  And they continue to have the annoying pre-roll advertisements on many podcasts on their network.

Given the apparent implosion at there is a lot of uncertainty in the technology new media arena as we close out 2007.

It will be interesting to watch how TWIT, Podshow, and Revision3 play out their relationships in 2008.

Mobile Streaming Media Player Coming Soon - Slacker Digital Player

There is a new mobile device coming out that lets users listen to streaming media while not connected to a network.  The device is called the Slacker Digital Player and Walt Mossberg @ recently did a review.  There are also some recent pictures posted to Gizmodo.

I think the device would be ideal for distributing traditional podcast material using a 'station' format based on topics or music.  An indie music channel seems like a natural.  Maybe a technology talk & news channel would be another logical topic cluster.

Two Examples Of Using New Media To Your Strengths

The first example is Minyannville Publishing & Multimedia which provides small animated clips of business and other headline news to major sites like Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, AOL Money, and Fox Business News.  The main reason is their ability to offer fresh content that brings something new and different to these big sites so that their readership remains loyal. Independent content providers have a growing amount of leverage and opportunity to let their creative talents shine in front of many with those that focus on niches becoming hot commodities. More information for those that get the WSJ via an article entitled "Portals Think Small For The Latest News: Niche Sites Offer Access To Content As Gateways Battle Traffic Slippage."

The second, is from another newspaper article, this time from the Union-Tribune with an article entitled "Background-music provider puts shoppers in the mood."  What I liked about this article was that PlayNetwork leveraged the basics of what they know with audio as a purchasing tool into a bigger business that also enables their customers to tie into new media outlets like web video, podcasts, and other multimedia services.

FIT Halloween Special - Some Thoughts On The Audio Editing Experience

The's TechNewsRadio show is part of the great FriendsInTech (FIT) group.  We have been doing special Christmas and Halloween productions since 2005.

The latest one is called "It's the Great Server Chuck and Kreg" and it was posted on 10/24/07.  It is family safe and only about 12 minutes long.

This year I volunteered to be part of the post production and helped with the mix down of scenes into the final version with Kevin Devin.

I learned some great lessons:

  1. Work with the best people possible. The FIT team is giving, helpful, encouraging, insightful, and very talented. It makes the project very enjoyable and you'll have fun doing it.
  2. I did all my editing of my parts (the outside scenes) in Audacity.  I didn't have any major problems or issues other than at times the scenes mix downs were very complicated with 24+ individual segments.  I ended up in situations like this to do 3 intermediate mixes with each one having ~8 individual segments.
  3. Having a vast special effects (SFX) library of audio is very helpful. Using sites like freesound is good, but some of the royalty free material other FIT members had was very impressive.
  4. When recording lines in a remote situation take at least three takes for each line.
  5. It really helps if you can do your remote lines recording with another person saying the other lines around your lines.
  6. Use a wiki to develop the first drafts of the script, but then migrate to a script writing tool for final production.
  7. Scripts file names and titles within the document should have version numbers or clear dates on them so you know what you have is the most current one.
  8. Tools like BIAS SoundSoap2 for cleaning up audio are pretty important if someone makes their recordings in a noisy environment.
  9. All the spoken word parts of a production should be processed with the same RMS settings.  We also ended up running them in bulk through The Conversations Network's Levelator.
  10. Using MP2 files for distribution during post production is very efficient and doesn't diminish quality.

New Media News Update -, Elgato, Amazon MP3, Gmail, Bias, Sound Ideas, Magazine

There seems to be a lot of stuff going on, so I thought I'd do a quick list of things I'm tracking:

  1. Treedia Labs has started a beta of
  2. Quick review at Gizmodo on the Elgato Turbo.264 Hardware H.264 Encoder.
  3. Amazon MP3 has DRM free music for purchase.
  4. Lifehacker on Gmail Mobile 1.5.
  5. Bias has released Peak Pro XT audio production suite which includes SoundSoap Pro and Master Perfection Suite.
  6. Sound Ideas has released a new version of their Podcasting Production Toolkit 2 with over 500 audio elements, music, and sound effects.
  7. The October 2007 edition of Blogger & Podcaster magazine is out.

I think #1 is important because if the domain becomes a popular user site then it will be a great site to promote material.

I am interested in #2 because it could save time in post production for any video podcasts.

#3 is cool because I hate DRM solutions for most of new media.

I think #4 should be tracked to see what effect the new version has on consumption of new media products as they move from the web to email.  What does your content look like from RSS reader to a forwarded email that ends up on Gmail mobile?  Could you make it better?

I added #5 because not everyone is happy with Audacity.  Here is an option that might fit your style better.

The pointer to #6 is because you might want some new sounds in your library.

And you should check out #7 because it is full of great information.