Archive for the ‘Rich Media’ Category


Why Physical Media Is Archaic

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Most people consume media in a disposable method, despite the fact they want to own it.

Interesting conversation on Twitter this weekend with my new friend HarryAllen, as I’m discussing how I consume my media, in this particular case I’m watching the final season of Battlestar Galactica, season 4.  Some in Twitter say they’d prefer to buy the DVD set, where I prefer to have it on demand, and not own or have to manage any plastic.  

A few reasons why I think owning physical media (DVDs, CDs) is antiquated:  

  • 1) I’m impatient, I want it, when I want it.  
  • 2) Owning media takes up space 
  • 3) It reminds me of the 80s and 90s when my friends would buy shelves and shelves of VHS tapes –DVDs will be antiquated, as new formats are already coming around beyond Blu-Ray.  
  • 4) Owning media is a liability: It depreciates over time, can be a challenge and a headache to sell 
  • 5) It’s bad for the environment: If there’s anything the world needs less of it’s forged plastic disks and equally bad for the environment containers. 

Friends and family of mine like to own media libraries, but I question exactly how many times they watch it after buying it.  Perhaps it’s a Western mentality, the desire to ‘own’ and have collections of content.  

So what’s the future?  I prefer to buy via iTunes, or Amazon music (DRM free), or stream the shows live from the web, even Netflix offers on demand via the web –you don’t have to open the mailbox.  Once I buy it, I can always download it again in the future, and at some point, most media becomes free in order to give it a second life.

This isn’t just about TV or movies, but applies to my CD collection too –I will never willingfuly buy a CD again if I can get it on demand.  Could this apply to books with the new Amazon Kindle?  Maybe, yet I think it’s one of the few types of media that will still retain it’s original form –sometimes it’s nice to unplug.

Take my kid sister, who’s visiting at my house for our Mother’s day dinner, she streams content online, downloads it from the internet, and has an iPod.  I think looking at Generation Y is a clue to what is to come, media will represent the culture it’s providing for:  portable, mobile, interconnected, interactive and on-demand.

To me, owning physical is the old way, the new way is relying on the network.  

Would love to hear what you think.

Pandora to share among the ‘Community’

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Just last week I wrote why I use Pandora.  I often listen to Pandora at home and at work, and it has significantly reduced the amount of money spent on music media down 90%.  Yes, Pandora and Last FM and other internet radio stations are disruptive to companies like Tower Records (who recently went bankrupt).  The Web continues to change the world.

This websites called Pandora Stations has some ‘preset’ stations that let you have a jump start rather than creating your own.

Pandora will be offering ‘social’ features that let the community share amongst themselves tonight.  Likely it will pair up users with similar interests for recommendations, that’s been done in Amazon for years and most recently with Stumbleupon.  Thanks Michael Arrington for the story.

Great news to hear when websites develop a Community Strategy to improve their service.

Why I use Pandora

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Recently, I canceled XM Radio in my car, the sound quality was so low and the music selection was repetitive. I listen to Pandora at home and at work, it’s really great. They get the concept that the user is in charge. Here’s a few things I like about them:

  • Streaming video
  • Music the way I like it
  • Simple, smooth interface that is easy to use
  • Advanced features just one click deeper (but not cluttering the main player)
  • High quality sound
  • No ads in the play list
  • A pretty deep play list, and
  • You can customize your channels, vote for songs, and build the radio YOU want.
  • No login to sample (I believe LastFM requires this)
  • I can share my playlists
  • It’s free!

Recently, Pandora started to apply branded skins on the webpage home, this is part of their advertising model. I really respect Pandora and their sponsors.

Because Pandora respects me as a user, I respect them and their sponsors. I’m much more inclined to purchase products from their vendors such as Nike, Apple iPods, Chase Freedom, Comcast, and Palm.

My wish list is that I want the channels for my mobile consumption, in the car, on my iPod. I wish they could easily (legally) export that content to me. Next is to add more community features so I can communicate with others and find others that share my similar interests.  Also, I just took a look at StumbleUpon, this model could also be applied to Pandora, perhaps rather than having Pandora classified content.
Although I know some of the good folks over at Pandora, I’m not obligated by any way for this review, these are my personal recommendations as a consumer.

Oh, and case you’re wondering what do I listen to? Chill, Lounge, Bluenote Era Jazz, Acid Jazz, Trip Hop, Progressive House, and Salsa. I own albums such as Coltrane, Miles Davis, JJ Johnson, Bill Evans, Crystal Method, Tiesto, BT, Oakenfold, Zero 7, Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, DJ Shadow, Tito Puente, and Pancho Sanchez.

I’ve no relationship with Pandora, this is just my personal review.

Need a Vacation? Just visit Ahmed’s Photo Paradise

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If you haven’t had a vacation in a while, I suggest you take a virtual visit to paradise with Ahmed Zahid’s amazing photography.

Check out Ahmed’s Pictures of Paradise
He’s travelling through the Maldives, writing to this photoblog, and publishing his photos to his growing flickr collection.
It’s interesting how social media empowers everyone to upload photos and professional photographers can easily publish their work without a middleman. (Such as Shutterpoint, and ImageDisplayworks). Now that I think about it, that would be a great feature for Flickr/Zooomr to add on.

The blue colors in Ahmed’s photos really relax me, learn more about him in this interview with him. Ahmed, thanks for helping us escape into your paradise.

Revver Redesigns

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Left: Image of Micki taken by KK+ at Webvisions.

Micki the community manager at Revver recently alerted me to some changes that have happened, they just launched their version 1.0. If you’ve never played around with their video site (yes, I know another video site) they have a pretty fast interface with quite a few tools for social sharing and voting.

Revver Shares the revenue with the uploader. (I was talking about this already happening, the future will be point 24) read their FAQ to learn more.

It’s really simple: you upload a video to Revver, and we attach a brief, unobtrusive ad and our unique tracking technology to “Revverize” the video. Every time that ad gets clicked, we share the revenue with you 50/50. You can then track your video’s performance through your Revver account – which tells you exactly how many times your video is watched, and how much money you’re earning.

About Micki
Micki, her famous pictures here, or her video blog and I met at Webvisions a few months ago in Portland. She’s also known as one of the famous Valleywag hotties.

Animation: Life Without the Hard Drive

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My colleagues at our sister corporation HGST (They make hard drives, HDS sells Storage Solutions) have published this cute animation of what it would be like without the Hardrive.

See the lower right image on this page to watch the animation, or access the video directly here. (No, I did NOT do the voice over for the little kid)

I first saw this video live at the Golden Celebration at the computer History museum with Hu Yoshida. The crowd had a good chuckle with this animation. See all my pics from the party here.

IBM had a clever video one too called the “Rebels with a cause“.

Update: I just submitted this story to Digg. There are other animations such as “Perpendicular Recording” on Digg.