Adventures of a Multimedia Pioneer in the Making


PostVlog: Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen)
April 18, 2007, 1:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s another Postcard Vlog from Copenhagen. 

This one features a theme park called Tivoli Gardens. It’s kind of like the Danish version of Canada’s Wonderland complete with thrill rides, midway games, food, carnival sounds etc. The evening is highlighted by a full size reverse marionette puppet show featuring the fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson. Fun for the whole family. Man I sound like a commercial. Anyhow….without further ado…
http://www.zenmix.com/mix.php?ianbuzon/tivolicopenhagen



PostVlog: A Copenhagen Moment
April 18, 2007, 12:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a Postcard Vlog from Copenhagen Denmark. We were standing in the town square waiting for our walking tour to start. The tour was to be lead by a man dressed as Hans Christian Andersen, one of the most writers to come out of Denmark. The man is known for fairy tale classics such as Little Mermaid, Ugly Duckling, Princess and the Pea, Emperor’s New Clothes and much more.  

Take a minute and live a Copenhagen moment:
http://www.zenmix.com/mix.php?ianbuzon/copenhagensq



Postvlog: World Youth Day, Cologne, Germany 05
April 18, 2007, 12:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s my second postcard vlog from Cologne, Germany.

So we waited 3 hours on a hot sunny day to catch a glimpse of the Pope coming through in the Popemobile. We had a pretty good position to get a good snapshot and video.   My camera was pretty good–Pentax Optio s4. Small and portable yet provides for decent image quality.   I had this brilliant idea that I would capture a long shot, a medium shot and close shot of the pope coming down the street and passing through. I was right up on the barrier leaning out to get a good shot. He rounds the bend and I can see the Popemobile coming down so I take my first long shot.   A few seconds later I get in position and snap my medium shot, as the pope moves closer and closer towards us. I could hear the crowd around me get louder and louder and I could actually make out his face and figure as he was moving relatively fast down the street. As I lined up the camera for my close up shot, I notice my camera is still on its 5 second preview of the last shot I took. There he is right in front of me (“Come on! Hurry up and get out of preview mode!” I’m thinking to myself). It finally got into shooting mode…but a split second too late…all I could get was the back of the popemobile.  Great!  Waited 2 hours to get that shot. You can even here me complain for a split second before the video cuts out. Good thing my friend had her video cam rolling. 

http://www.zenmix.com/mix.php?ianbuzon/WYD2005Cologne



POSTVLOG: “Didgeridoo”
April 18, 2007, 12:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Okay, here’s my first vlog postcard from Cologne, Germany.

A friend and I had actually gone backpacking across Europe during the summer 2005, to coincide with World Youth Day, being held in Cologne, Germany that year.

It was an amazing event with over a million youths from all over the world coming together in fellowship along the shores of the Rhine River. We met a lot of people from all over the world. I remember during lunch one time coming across this guy walking around with a strange looking pipe instrument. It’s called a didgeridoo and it originates from the native tribes in Australia. Daniel gave us a sample of his didgeridoo playing skills. It’s such a fun word to say…and it sounds even cooler when you hear it play. Check it out!

http://www.zenmix.com/mix.php?ianbuzon/didgeridoo



FileMobile
April 9, 2007, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Interactive Multimedia

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of having Greg Prince speak to our IMM class, about Filemobile (www.filemobile.com). The site is a great tool for sharing all kinds of multimedia, from Photos and Videos, to Audio Files. The site helps to resolve some common problems with disorganized media files. This is accomplished mainly through the use of FileMobile’s MediaStudio–a tool that allows user to   search, sort, view, edit and record their User-Generated Content (UGC).

FM also provides an easier way to add multimedia content to existing blogs.  This feature will help bring otherwise, text-heavy blogs to life with more rich media content. Users can easily record and upload video to vlogs for example and the site automatically converts most video formats to the FLV format for optimal storage and sharing.

The site also makes it easier for users to capture and post their video/audio/photos on the FM accounts, directly from their mobile phones. That’s a great feature since more and more people are using such devices and FM is making it that much easier to share content while on-the-go. Users can even upload content directly from a mobile device to their blog–a term Greg refered to as “MOBLOGGING”or MOBile WeBLOGging. See Wikipedia Definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moblog . It probably still hasn’t caught on full force just yet, but it will only be a matter of time before this becomes a mainstream practice. I found another site that offers similar features: http://www.textamerica.com/. This growing Moblog phenomenon has also has become the subject of an online art exhibition at http://www.mobilelog.ca/main.shtml. Here is an excerpt of the insightful and academic perspective about moblogs given by the Curator Susan Douglas: “Like diaries, moblogs connote raw emotionalism, sincerity, and truthfulness; these are values associated with notions of authenticity that are interesting to us in the context of this exhibition. ” This partly explains our fascination with reality TV! I digress…

FileMobile also makes it easier organize audio files and mp3s for sharing and podcasting. Not only does the site make it easier to manage these various media but it also acts as a networking and social media tool.

FileMobile has partnered with various companies looking to  add further value by implementing social media/networking into their mix. MuchMusic has even tied FM into some of their events and concerts allowing fans and event-goers to capture and post their content on a live big-screen display during the event. Much also uses FM tools as part of their SHOW ME YOURS feature, on their website http://www.muchmusic.com/tv/mod/
 
While companies like FM are giving us the tools to make it easier for us to generate content, we as budding multimedia pioneers and developers have a responsibility to go out there and create new content. According to Greg, a lot of people are uploading pre-existing content (videos/photos/audios) or content that already exists on other file sharing sites (such as YouTube).   So that being said…time to go tackle my Vlog and AV assignments now!



The Future of Mobile Technologies
February 9, 2007, 4:54 am
Filed under: Interactive Multimedia

 

 

We had the pleasure of having James Eberhardt come in to talk to our class about the future of Mobile Technologies.

James Eberhardt (http://www.eberhardt.ca/) is Director of Technology at Marblemedia (http://www.marblemedia.com ), a new media content creation company that spans across various mediums such as TV, internet, and mobile. He is also a Flash Lite 2.0 instructor at George Brown.

He started with a great overview of the current mobile landscape and its various technologies such as SMS (short messaging service) and MMS (multimedia message service). SMS has reached widespread acceptance with 85 million text messaging subscribers globally. I personally am just getting into the habit of using SMS to communicate with friends—I am one one slooow text-typist. I’ll save myself a few minutes by simply calling and avoid the back and forth that usually comes from ambiguous text messages, written in short form. But that’s just me…I digress.

You’ve all probably seen countless ads by now from companies asking you to send a text to XYZ company to try and win some contest, or to vote for your favourite American Idol or what not. I personally haven’t done that yet…but millions of people are. They’re shelling out their dime too to lock in their text votes; an additional alternative to simply dialing in your votes.

This day and age is all about information on demand…and its extending itself into mobile technologies a frenzied pace. I can now check the weather for free by texting TOR to 93284 (WEATH). Cool…and after seeing that we have frigid below 0 temperatures, at the bottom of my weather text, I am invited to “FIND RELIEF—TYLENOL COLD”. Free weather information, sponsored by advertisers.

James briefly discussed WML (Wireless Markup Language), the markup language used by WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)-enabled browsers. WMLScript is pretty similar to JavaScript and is quite strict. Most WAP browsers can read WML; while some are capable of reading HTML. For more info on WML, please see this link: (http://www.wirelessdevnet.com/channels/wap/training/wml.html)

Java Apps
The majority of wireless applications are written in Java. While these apps are widely distributed across cell phone networks, multiple apps are required for each target device. The model does provide some good potential for companies and developers to capitalize on this trend.

GPS
It is possible to get a GPS to talk to a java app on GPS device (such as a cellphone or PDA). This would allow you to do such things as have Google maps displaying your current location on your wireless device without doing any typing. It could also potentially lead to commercial exploitation. Imagine walking down the street and your GPS-enabled phone receives an SMS ad as you pass by a particular store. That’s just what we need…more SPAM. And what’s worse…it’s SPAM-To-Go.

Flash Lite (http://www.adobe.com/products/flashlite/)

One of the key areas James touched on was regarding Flash/Flash Lite—where it has been and where it is expected to be in the future.

He gave us a rundown on the evolution of FlashLite along with the improvements and limitations of each release. The more current release 2.x feature the ability to implement video playback, shared objects, XML, ActionScript 2.0 and is built on the Flash 7 codebase. On the downside, this version still does not support Flash components, FLV, it runs at 56kbps bandwidth, is limited to 176 x 208 pixels and only support 25 keys of input—as a result of the smaller size of wireless devices. Version 2.1 is still limited in availability at the moment however this newest release can be installed over-the-air, allowing people to view Flash content on their mobile devices such as Playstation Portables (http://www.pspflashgaming.com/) , PDAs, MP3 players, Jaguar Dashboard Interfaces (http://www.248am.com/mark/technology/jaguar-xk-uses-macromedia-flash/) and Chumbies (http://www.chumby.com/corporate ) .

James predicts Flash will overtake Java eventually as the development platform of choice for Mobile Content Developers. He cites the fact that the tool is a killer app that makes creation of interfaces so easy that people want to use it. There are also a lot of existing and budding flash designers in the market. He also cited the historical comparison of market usage/penetration of Java vs. Flash. Mobile processor speeds will eventually go up and prices will eventually fall, and Flash will be the frontrunner in the hands of millions of mobile users. James also says we should expect to see Opera Browser emerge as the mobile browser of choice as they are making a major play into the mobile arena, providing browsing capabilities for phones, PDAs, mp3 players, PSPs, Wii’s and even on Internet enabled in-flight entertainment systems.

James threw out some stats regarding the size of the mobile content market. Verizon alone is raking in about $10,000 a month in ring tones, games etc. I must have taken for granted how huge the market potential is for developing Flash apps for the mobile market. I was further reassured that I made the right choice to go back to school to expand my multimedia knowledge, particularly in the areas of Flash Development. Look for my hot Flash applications to hit your mobile devices in the near future!



Web 2.0
January 25, 2007, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Interactive Multimedia

We had the pleasure of listening to another guest speaker–Wayne McPhail, president of W8NC (http://www.w8nc.com), a Canadian marketing and communications company specializing in emerging technology. The discussion was centered around “Web 2.0”.

Web 1.0 was a transitional medium that dealt with static, brochureware, that provided little in terms of collaboration. Content providers were typically dumping content from one medium to another.

What is Web 2.0? Its actually a marketing term that refers to a recent trend in internet technologies that is characterized by:

-Encouraging communication and collaboration
-Shared content creation
-Clear interface
-Moving data and applications from the desktop to the Web

As great as these outcomes are, there is also a downside to Web 2.0. These include:

-cute applications with little depth/functionality
-new flavor of the month sites springing up all the time
-just plain stupid sites

Tagging is a method used by several websites  to help track content that might be of use to other people in an online community. Users can attach keywords to help index content and facilitate easier access to content by other users.  The ultimate outcome of social tagging is in the fact that one’s knowledge becomes part of a “shared-mind higher concept”.

Tagging can been seen in various sites such as:
Flickr (http://www.flickr.com): a site that allows users to share, sort, store their photos online

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking also contributes to the ‘shared mind’ concept by allowing individuals to contribute personal bookmarks to the public’s collective knowledge base. If one sees a topic that may be of interest to other people, they can simply add keyword tags along with the bookmarks and allow other users to access the potentially useful information. Collective editing takes place.   You can announce to others “Hey, here’s what I’m paying attention to. This might be of interest to you”.

Del.icio.us: (http://del.icio.us) is a social bookmarking website that allows you to store your bookmarks online. Not only can you grab your bookmarks from any computer, but you can also share your bookmarks with other people using tags to help organize them into categories.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_(file_format))

This hot 2.0 technology brings the news you want, right to your desktop. Using a feed reader, users can subscribe to various feeds. The reader will then check to see if any new content has been added to the users’ subscribed feeds and the headers of the new content will be delivered directly to the user.

In summary, the above technologies: tags, social bookmarking, RSS Feeds all equate to creating collaborative content.

 

Here are a few more Web 2.0 sites:

YouTube (http://www.youtube.com) : Allows users to upload their own videos and share them with the rest of the world. Uses tagging to help organize videos.

MySpace (http://www.myspace.com): Social networking site  that allows users to blog, upload photos, music, videos and network with other users

Vox  (http://www.vox.com): Blog site that ties in with MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Amazon  to make it easier to tie in photos, videos, etc.

Twitter (http://www.twitter.com): A global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?

Second Life (http://www.secondlife.com): A 3d virtual world where users can interact with other users, purchase property, create objects, create a new world togther.  Wayne McPhail and others are predicting this could be the next world wide web.