New Media Interchange

News: Google releases new YouTube Capture app for iOS/iPhone/iPad

Just saw a Google+ post linking to the announcement of this new YouTube Capture app for iOS. (Film and share videos instantly with YouTube Capture for iPhone and iPod touch) It is designed to allow you to quickly capture videos, add stabilization and color correction and then upload it to YouTube. Additionally, it also can send links to Google+, Facebook and Twitter announcing your upload. 

I just did this quick test of the app. The lighting was a little low, but it is a Real World Example of how the app would work in general use.

Can’t see the video above? Watch “YouTube Capture Test Video” on YouTube

Download the YouTube Capture from the iTunes app store

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Filed under: Blogging, New Media, News, podcasting, Real World Example, Software, Technology, YouTube

Real World Example: Lorilyn Salamanca hosts “Foundations for Healthy Generations” on Hawaii Public Access

Lorilyn salamanca

Lorilyn Salamanca has been a close friend of ours since she was completing her Master’s Degree at nearby Cal State Northridge (CSUN). She was originally the student and friend of our friends, Helen and Enrique, but quickly became a close friend in her own right.

Lorilyn has heard me preaching the New Media gospel for years now, and I have been coaching, consulting and cajoling her to use her own talents to get the word out about those issues which most concern her. Since moving to Hawaii over 8 years ago, she has worked for the WIC program, helping underprivileged families raise healthy kids.

Just today Lorilyn let me know that she had stepped up her New Media “visibility” — as I have been pushing her for years — and is now the host of “Foundations for Healthy Generations” on the Hawaii Public Access channel, ‘Olelo. Like all good Public Access programs, ‘Olelo also makes all their shows available, on demand, from their web site. They can also be easily shared and embedded in blogs and other web sites.

It is so great seeing Lorilyn extend her influence using a combination of traditional media and new media on the island. I wish her great success! This is exactly the type of Real World Example I would love to see other’s pursuing.

Foundations for Healthy Generations – Episode 4

Can’t see the video above? Watch it here!

Watch more episodes of “Foundations for Healthy Generations” with Lorilyn Salamanca

Filed under: Elsewhere, New Media, News, Real World Example, Show, Video

Real World Example: Moving to a new podcasting web host and why

This post originally appeared in Careers in New Media with Douglas E. Welch…

As you may have read a few weeks ago, when Apple released its new Podcasts app for iOS devices, I discovered that my long running podcast, Career Opportunities, had disappeared from the iTunes Podcast Directory. When I looked at the listings for my other podcasts, I noticed that they seemed to be having issues updating their information and logo graphics. When I tried to re-submit Career Opportunities to the iTunes Podcast Directory, I also found that my GoDaddy Shared Hosting did not provide the byte-range request feature that iTunes now required to register a podcast. This set in process a whole series of actions which have now all been completed. This post is an attempt to catalog what I needed to do to repair the situation and put my web site and podcasts on good footing for the future.

Career op itunes

Career Opportunities in iTunes Podcast Directory

New Web Hosting

Dreamhost

First, I needed to find a new web host that could support podcasting, hosting my own media files and also 5 WordPress blogs. Based on the recommendation of (fellow Friends in Tech member)  Steve over at the GeekCred podcast, I decided to move to Dreamhost. I contacted Dreamhost with a few questions and they confirmed they did indeed support byte-range requests on their server and could also deal with the more the 20GB of data that make up my web site.

One Dreamhost feature that made my web site move easier than ever before is that they support shell access for their web hosting accounts. This means I am able to login to a command line on my web host and use that command line for various functions. In my case, this meant I could use the WGET command to mirror my entire web site directly from my GoDaddy server to the new server. The reason for doing this, of course, is speed. To upload just one podcast, A Gardener’s Notebook, from my home computer to the new web host was estimated to take almost 7 hours at the full speed of my cable Internet connection. Because the web servers are on higher speed connections, though, I was able to move the files directly between the web hosts at 3MB/sec and accomplish the entire move in about 1.5 hours. This dramatic difference made me realize how critical shell access is to anyone is who moving their web site to a new host. I understand from others that Dreamhost is one of the few web hosting companies that provides shell access, but I would find this to be a critical need for any podcaster who hosts their own media files. We simply have too much data to be troubled by uploading our entire library from a standard Internet connection.

WordPress Database Move

Since I have 5 WordPress blogs on my site, after all the static files had been moved to the new web host, it was time to consider moving all the databases that hold the content for these blogs. This is not something I am experienced with, so I called on another Friends in Tech member, Kreg from the Technorama podcast, to help me move those files. Kreg wasn’t available immediately, so I began to poke around in the process and see if I might be able to do it myself. As it turned out I was able to export all the data from the old system and import it into the new. A few quick changes to each wp-config.php file on the blogs and I found that everything was working on the new site. It was a great learning exercise and also means I won’t be so leery of moving databases in the future. Once again, Dreamhost’s Control Panel and help files made it a straightforward and easy process.

Re-submitting to the iTunes Podcast Directory

First, as a word of warning, if your podcast is dropped from the iTunes Podcast Directory, you will be able to re-submit it, but all your ratings and reviews will be lost. Your podcast will also receive a new, different, ID number and link in the iTunes Podcast Directory. This could be quite damaging for a particularly popular podcast, so do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Mainly, make sure that iTunes can easily and regular access your RSS feed. In my case, it appears that GoDaddy is doing such aggressive traffic management that external services like iTunes, Feedburner and others are refused connection to your web host on a regular basis. I found this to be especially true when trying to re-submit my podcast. I would get 10-12 error messages of Connection Reset before iTunes was able to access my RSS feed. Conversely, when re-submitting from Dreamhost I received no Connection Reset errors. iTunes immediately recognized my feed.

One big issue when re-submitting your podcast is that you cannot submit the RSS URL that you are currently using for your podcast. If you do, iTunes will tell you that it is a duplicate podcast. Instead, I took my existing RSS feed, saved it to a static file (in my case, I named it index-fix.xml) and then stripped out all by a few podcast entries. Then I used this URL to re-submit the show to iTunes. Since my feed already contained all the appropriate iTunes XML entries (since I use Blubrry Powerpress to generate the feed) iTunes recognized all the settings and re-addded the podcast. Career Opportunities then reappeared in the iTunes Podcast Directory in about 1 day.

Of course, you want iTunes to use your old RSS feed as the main feed for its listings, so you need to re-point  iTunes back to your original feed. Once the podcast had reappeared in the iTunes Podcast Directory I was ready to take the next step. iTunes provides an XML tag that allows you re-point iTunes to a new, different RSS feed. This tag  is

 <itunes:new-feed-url>http://welchwrite.com/career/feed/</itunes:new-feed-url&gt;

Of course, you should use your own RSS URL in place of mine above. You place this tag immediately after the <CHANNEL> tag in the RSS file. I edited the index-fix.XML file and added this tag using a text editor. Within an hour or so, iTunes had seen this change and re-pointed the iTunes Podcast Directory listing back to its original feed.

Don’t forget email accounts and subdomains

On my web site I had quite a few email aliases and 2 subdomains on my old web host. Remember that these will need to be set up fresh on your new web host. I prefer to set all of this up before pointing my domain name at the new site. Every web host will provide you a temporary domain name for your new site so that you can test out nearly all functions before “throwing the switch” to send everyone over to the new web host. In my case, everything seemed to be working well at this point, so it was time to reset the DNS servers to point to the new web host.

Switching your domain

In my case, my domains will remain hosted at GoDaddy for the time being, although I will probably move them in the future. I prefer to take one step at a time so I don’t create multiple problems for myself. The process of moving is complicated enough without adding additional, simultaneous issues on top of it. Dreamhost provided me with the IP addresses for their Domain Name Servers so I only had to visit GoDaddy and enter those numbers for each domain to point it away from GoDaddy’s web servers and off to Dreamhost’s. 

It can be a bit difficult to tell when the switch over has occurred as, ideally, the sites should function in exactly the same way. In my case, I added a small notice to my home page telling visitors that I was moving web sites. I only added this note to the front page of the new web host. Every so often I would reload my main page in my web browser. When I saw that the page included the web move notice, I knew I was looking at the new web host and not the old one. Within about an hour I noticed that visits to http://welchwrite.com were already pointing over to the new web host.

Complete

I has now been about 3 days since I made the move and I am quite happy with how it worked out. The new web host at Dreamhost seems a bit faster and, more importantly, it doesn’t seem to throw up the Connection Reset errors I was seeing with GoDaddy. I have also noticed that the listings for my other podcasts now have been updated and include the appropriate logos and a current list of episodes available. I am fairly confident now that I shouldn’t have any on-going issues with my podcast listings down the road.

If you have any questions or comments about my experience, please add your comments below. I would love to hear them!

Filed under: New Media, Opinion, podcasting, Real World Example

Video: Crazy Downhill Urban Bike Race Caught On Helmet Cam

Are your sharing your most exciting moments on video? They don’t have to be as exciting as this crazy run in a Chilean bike race, but they should be exciting to you. Are you capturing video at your event, no matter how large are small? Are you sharing what it feels like to be at your event for those who can’t be there in person? Don’t underestimate the power of video to move people to excitement, action or even disgust, when needed.

Sharing video, no matter how basic, creates and bond and starts a conversation. This video gave me a feeling of what it is like to careen down that course. I even shouted out a few times as the rider left a ramp without being able to see the landing. Sure, it would have been really cool to be there, but this video gave me a chance to experience something I will probably never do in person. How cool is that?

Filed under: Elsewhere, In The Field, New Media, Real World Example, Video

Question: How do I make automatic backups of my WordPress blog database?

This post originally appeared in Careers in New Media

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NMI Founder, Douglas E. Welch gets lots of New Media questions every day and here is a one from today…

  • Q: How do I easily backup my WordPress database (the file that holds all your posts, comments, etc). Why should you backup your WordPress Database? If not, am I in danger of losing all my blog posts due to hacking, upgrade issues or other technical mistakes?.
  • A: Yes, failing to backup your WordPress database could lead to the loss of all your blog content if there is an issue. There are a variety of ways to backup your WordPress database. The usual method is to use the database manager page at your web host’s site to manually run a backup to a text file and then download the text file. Doesn’t sound very easy or fun, does it. When I switched over to WordPress a few years ago I was determined to find an easier, and more automatic way, to do backups.

    Enter WordPress Database Backup, a free WordPress plugin available from austinmatzko.com.

    On each of your self-hosted WordPress blogs, download and install this plugin and then activate it via the WordPress Dashboard. Once installed, you can force an immediate backup that can be downloaded to your local computer or, and I prefer this method, an automatic backup which wakes up and then emails the backup file. I keep a separate Gmail account just for this purpose.

    Now, whenever there is a WordPress upgrade, I check to make sure there was a recent automatic backup and then proceed with the upgrade, secure in the knowledge that all my content is safe.


Do you have a question? Why not drop Douglas a line? Use the Comments link above, send email to me@douglasewelch.com or call the voice mail line at 818-804-5049.

Filed under: Elsewhere, Member, New Media, Question and Answer, Real World Example, Wordpress

Video: Empty School – Music Video

Very cool video I came across in my reading. Nothing here that can’t be accomplished using your computer, video editing tools and time.

Filed under: New Media, Real World Example, Video

Elsewhere Online: How Adam Carolla Became a Podcast Superstar from Fast Company

Fast Company has an interesting story on Adam Corolla and his turn to podcasting after the ending of his traditional radio show. This is an interesting look inside the world of entertainment-oriented podcasting — podcasts that seek to make money as entertainment in their own right, as opposed to shows used to support a company, product or service.

How Adam Carolla Became a Podcast Superstar
BY: ELLEN MCGIRTApril 1, 2010

Adam Carolla is a master builder who created this glass office. His next project? Building his podcast network to profitability. | Photographs by Jeff Minton
Radio-and-TV personality Adam Carolla stumbled into podcasting and immediately became its No. 1 star. Now he’s launching his own broadcasting network. Inside the messy birth of a new medium.

Read the entire article

Filed under: Elsewhere, New Media, Real World Example

A Singer/Songwriter makes good use of New Media

Singer/Songwriter Matthew Moran has figured out that New Media can bring him some big benefits. He has a full featured web site at http://www.matthewmoranonline.com/ and has recently started streaming most of his live shows.

Matthew understands that one of the most important things he can do for his music and his career is allow people to hear it, like it, buy it. It doesn’t matter if they join him live at a venue or watch remotely over the Internet, it only matters that they are exposed to his music.

I am often fond of saying that “music/books/scripts don’t sell themselves in a drawer!” People have to see/read/hear your product in order to decide whether it is something they might buy. Your job is to offer this exposure in as many was as possible. You need to provide people a way to stumble upon your work — whatever form it might take.

Check out Matthew’s site for links to his live streams, recorded video, music samples and more. Even better, buy his CD or attend a live performance and show him you appreciate his work.

Filed under: Case Study, Community, Events, Live, New Media, News, Real World Example

Real World Example: Coffee Shop Video

My favorite coffee place, M Street Coffee, (where I am sitting as I write) is starting to use New Media to raise their visibility. This video went live on their site last night and was also placed on their Facebook page. It is well-produced and really helps to give a feeling for the shop and the folks that work there. Check it out as a Real World Example for how to use New Media in your business.

M Street Coffee users video to raise their visibility

M Street Coffee users video to raise their visibility

Click the image to visit the web site and view the video.

Filed under: Real World Example, Tips, Video

Real World Example: What Would Lloyd Say?

Recently I had the (on-going) opportunity to work with Lloyd Garver. Lloyd has been writing for decades for traditional media shows like Home Improvement and has also been writing a column for the CBSNews.com web site. Lloyd had been recording audio versions of his columns and placing them on his web site, but after talking with a mutual friend, he wanted to step up to full podcasting of his pieces.

Listen: What Would Lloyd Say?: Don’t Read This While You Drive

Each time I start a project like this, I am reminded of everything I had to learn over the course of my own podcasting career. In Lloyd’s case, he was already about 90% of the way towards podcasting. He had a web site, a blog and audio content already in the blog. Our focus was on setting up RSS feeds, registering the show in iTunes and statistics.

First, I turned to my old favorite, Feedburner, to set up his podcast-ready feed. I started using Feedburner the minute it was announced as previously I was handwriting my RSS feed each time I released a show. Feedburner allows you to easily add all the specific tags for iTunes as well as tweak your feed and provide additional features.

Once the feed was set up, we registered his show with the iTunes Podcast Directory. This should be the first stop in your podcast marketing, too. iTunes makes it easy to find and subscribe to podcasts, so this is always my first recommendation to anyone who wants to listen to podcasts or produce them. What Would Lloyd Say? was available in the iTunes Podcast Directory in about 48 hours. I find this fairly typical, although some people still report long lag times or never getting their show listed. Typically, this has to do with some issue in their RSS feed or the graphic used for the show artwork. Apple seems to want a 300x300x72dpi image for the artwork and tends to hiccup if it doesn’t meet those dimensions.

Once a podcast is running, of course, you want to get some statistics to see how many listeners you have. Feedburner provides a “subscribers” number each day and a combination of Google Analytics and web hosting company stats give us page views, but getting a simple count of the number of downloads can be tricky.

The only true way to know how many downloads you have is to use the raw log files from your web hosting company or stats provided from a podcasting service like Libsyn.com. In many cases these days though, raw log files are either not available or costs extra each month. Hosting with GoDaddy.com as I am, Lloyd had to subscribe to the extra TrafficFacts service in order to get his raw log files. I am not happy about this, but it is one of the limitations of GoDaddy.com hosting.

Once TrafficFacts was enabled, we were able to download the daily log files. Of course, you still need to process those logs in some way to pull out and count the MP3 downloads. On my Mac, I have a small shell script which does this for me, but Lloyd is using Windows. As he is new to this type of reporting, I fell back on a command-line based tool called podstats. This program was created by Kevin Devin, the founder of Friends in Tech of which I am a member. At the time, we needed a robust tool to report our downloads so that we could participate in a podcast advertising network.

Unfortunately, the command line nature of the tool is not really the drag-and-drop simplicity we expect from Windows or Mac. That said, I was able to create a small batch file that allows Lloyd to drop a log file onto the program and get a nicely formatted report. This information can then be entered into an Excel spreadsheet to tracking, manipulation (averages, max, min, etc) and charting.

So, that is my “real world example” of setting up a podcast. If you have questions about podcasting, whether recording, web sites, blogs or RSS feeds, leave a comment below and I (and other NMI members) are sure to chime in.

Filed under: Audio, New Media, Real World Example

Real World Example: New Media Animation Project

(This is the first in an on-going series detailing the inner workings of new media projects — Douglas)

This is Michael Lawshé , an old and new media person.

I was recently approached by an old media producer to work on a new media project.
Sound for a flash animation web animation series project. They were going to write, direct and produce 4 short – [3-5 minute] pieces to be released on the web at a later date. I’ve done many cartoons and animated movies – I said I’d help. I got the script. I was asked for advice. I described the pyramid.

OK, so they wanted to cast and record the actors FAST.
They wanted it to be GOOD.
They needed it to be CHEAP.

I suggested either:
1: Record each actor separately – direct them individually, record on a computer, maybe?
– cheap not very good and not fast.
2: Book a sound stage with a microphone on each actor so all could read and react to each other – multitrack record it [each character on own track] and hand over an editable session.
– very good and very fast not cheap.
3: Record as best you can maintaining equivalent distances from the microphones with each character – AT LEAST IN SEPARATED TRACKS FOR EACH MIC!
– not very good and not very fast but pretty cheap. {UP FRONT!}

Well – they chose the latter – this has meant a TON of post editing and audio noise reduction, and leveling and overlaps in their takes. One Mic has a 60 cycle ground loop buzz on it – and much of the audio is a bit off mic and fairly low level. {sigh}.

I used my editing system, imported the tracks in and cut the pieces, exported them to the desktop as .wav 48khz 16 bit files. Then used itunes to convert them to .aiff 44.1khz files for a cd then high quality .mp3 files {with trepidation} for the animator. {MP3 files can run at a different speed and the quality is much lower.}

The animator and I should have talked early on, but we didn’t have a chance.

1. Get a checklist to talk to the animator first!
2. Check on the specs for final delivery and for prep of the project.
3. Get the movie files all the same rate/ codec/ file type / aspect size
4. Have the animator/ editor keep a list of audio track moves and edits – an editorial edit decision list if possible [edl]

I was delivered 4 quicktime movies of differing, sometimes unknown size, screen ratio and encoding codec. Each would preview play on the computer, and had audio on it. When I used apple’s QT inspector it said “unknown codec”. 12 frames per second. Never saw that one before!

OK. Called the animator and he says “Oh, I did it in “flash”” Um, yeah.. 12 fps!”
“OK, is it NTSC?”
“It’s flash”
“{sigh}“

OK I had to purchase QT Pro and up converted them to H264 and .mov files but THEY ARE STILL ALL DIFFERENT FRAME SIZES!!

Then and only then I could extract the audio to use it as a guide track – pull up and “Phase” up – pull into synch – the dozens of audio moves that were done in each episode.

Now, I’m in the process of removing hums, adding reverb, and placing and editing music {it’s here!} and sound effects into each piece.

Initial recording in a music studio – 2 mics – 4 – 6 hours
CHEAP – not too good not fast
Pick ups re recording a different character professional stage – 1 hour
GOOD – FAST – not cheap
Editing original dialog tracks – 12-15 hours
RE-Editing original dialog tracks to animation without notes – 6 hours
Cleaning up tracks each episode – 2 hours
Editing music tracks – 2 hours
Sound effects placement choice editing mix – So far 4-6 hours per show

I’m working CHEAP
– and it IS GOOD.
– But, boy, oh boy…. it’s NOT FAST!!

Filed under: News, Real World Example

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