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.


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.


New Media News Update - Podcast.com, 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 Podcast.com.
  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.


PNME 2007 - Audacity Presentation In QuickTime Format

Thanks to fellow Friends In Tech member Kevin Devin I have posted my Getting Started With Audacity Presentation in QuickTime format (126-MBs) from the Podcast and New Media Expo (PNME) 2007. This is the output form Apple's Keynote with the embedded screencasts that I presented during the session. 

There is no audio yet of the actual session so you will not get to hear in the movie what I said during the screencasts or slides right now.  If you are a conference attendee you should have gotten an email with details on how to get the audio.  If you weren't a conference attendee then my recommendation is that you subscribe to the Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.  It should be released over the next 6-8 months.  I will link to it when it does come out. 

More information in general (including PDF slides) about the presenation has been posted here.


PNME 2007 - Getting Started With Audacity Slides

The Podcast & New Media Expo (PNME) 2007 slides from the "Getting Started With Audacity" session have been posted. 

Some notes:

  • These slides are a PDF output from Apple's Keynote. 
  • There is a QuickTime movie version of the presentation that will be posted soon but it will not have the audio recorded during the presentation sync'd in.  The movie version has all the screen casts used during the presentation.
  • The audio for the presentation is still under the control of PNME. If you were a conference attendee then you should get a link to the audio as part of your conference fee. Ultimately the audio for all the sessions will get posted over the next 8-9 months to Gigavox Media's Podcast Academy channel.
  • Sometime in the future, complete screen casts of each topic will be produced and posted.
  • More information on the PNME Forums and previous AztecMedia.net post.

Feedback, comments, suggestions, etc. appreciated: sholden@aztecmedia.net.


WSJ.com - Lego Brick Films

It is probably a good sign that you are on to something when the Wall Street Journal has a front page article published on Oct. 6, 2007 examining short Lego animation "brick films" being created and posted to sites like YouTube.

The first one they highlighted was called "Cognizance" and it is a short 3 minute story of a hit man making a key decision as a song from Coldplay plays in the background.

If you check out the link above you'll find more Lego movies on YouTube.  I also found several Star Wars ones over at Blip.TV.


NME 2007 Pointers: Technorama, Podcasting for Dummies, GeekCred, Flickr, FIT Roundtable

Here is a first round of post New Media Expo (NME) 2007 pointers:


Some Interesting Podcast Advertising News

According to Future Tense Podcast there are now two organizations that have recently started up to help define how future advertising should be integrated into downloaded media like audio and video podcasts.

The groups are:

There are some interesting related comments from Eric Rice and Podcast Brothers.  I think the concept is good and something that should be monitored for those interested in taking advertising for their new media content.

There is also a very interesting thread related to this topic called "How To For New Media Makers" that has some interesting ideas worth digging into.


Great Media Conversion Tool Gets Upgrade - Sound Grinder 3.0.1

If you use a Macintosh for your audio and video production work flow, and need a straight forward tool to do file conversions, then I suggest checking out Monkey-Tools Sound Grinder 3.0.1.

The new version has some pretty compelling features, and it is a very inexpensive tool ($39) for converting WAV or AIFF files to MP3s with RMS leveling.