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:


New Blog & Podcast Magazine Published

The latest digital online version of Blogger And Podcaster magazine has been released. There is a lot of good articles, opinion pieces, and reviews worth checking out.

They have an interesting ad on page 6 for USA Today's "Introducing Blogger & Podcaster Guide".  Getting listed will cost $295 per week in the print addition and $195 per week for the online addition.  If you order before 9/30/07 there is a combo deal of $195 per week.


New Apple iPods = Lower MP3 Player Costs

The new recently announced Apple iPods have apparently caused some pretty standard price reductions on a variety of MP3 players from several vendors.

For instance, the advertised price at many stores in the US for the 30-GB Microsoft Zune Digital Media Player is now $199.99.  And the San Disk 8-GB Sansa e280R MP3 player is now coming in as low as $129.99.

The new iPods are definitely pretty feature rich and will have a premium price for a while.

The marketplace continues to be dominated by Apple, and that will probably not change anytime in the near future even with the price drop/rebate that Apple is doing with the iPhone.


New Lower Price Changes For MP3 Players

I continue to monitor the price changes in mainstream consumer advertisements for MP3 players. 

They haven't changed much in recent months until this week.

Some things I noticed:

  • Office Depot: SanDisk 2-GB c250 for $50 plus Archos 4-GB 104 for $100.
  • Circuit City: Creative Zen V Plus 4-GB for $100 plus Zune 30-GB for $230
  • Fry's: San Disk 2-GB C150 for $40 (after rebate) and RCA Lyra 5-GB for $50

It is my prediction that as per GB costs for Flash MP3 players gets below $25, and per GB costs for hard drive players get near $7 that more people currently not on the mobile digital media band wagon will have less of a financial reason to stay out of the game.

This should help generate more people looking for podcast content. What do you think?


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.


Update on Audacity Session @ Podcast Expo 2007

I will be presenting a 'Getting Started with Audacity' session at the 2007 Podcast & New Media Expo on Saturday, September 29 from 3:15-4:15 p.m.

This session will be very hands-on with the expectation that participants come prepared to follow along with their own laptops. 

If you have questions or comments about this session, then please check out the Forum @ Podcast & New Media Expo.


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.


RSS Troubleshooting - Feedburner, TypePad, Libysn

Since Monday (6/11) I have been troubleshooting an issue with the Jersey Boys Podcast RSS feed.  After posting the latest podcast I notice that iTunes was not picking up the file for download.  I use TypePad to host the blog/website, Feedburner to host the public RSS feed, and Libysn for the MP3s.  This is really the first major issue I've had with any of these services.

After doing some troubleshooting on Feedburner per suggestion from their help desk, I ran into a situation where now all the iTune tags went missing from all the podcasts in the feed.  This was causing players from Podtrac and Odeo to have issues also.  So, effectively I had no iTunes or podcast enclosure tags in my RSS feed.

At first it looked like there might be an issue with Libysn not returning the audio/mpeg tag to Feedburner in a timely manner, but I moved some files off Libsyn to make sure that wasn't the issue.  Neither Feedburner nor Libsyn could identify an issue on their end, and they were responsive and as helpful as possible.

So, I then did some digging on Typepad troubleshooting site, and noticed that they recommended that the feed you give out to podcast listeners be the website/rss.xml instead of website/atom.xml.  So I went into Feedburner and changed the URL, and things went back to they way you'd expect it.  The RSS feed now had iTunes and podcast enclosure tags!

So the Jersey Boys Podcast is now completely back online ... but it was a complicated troubleshooting experience that required a high level of expertise and flexibility.