Archive for the ‘digital content creation’ Category

Comments Off on Premiere Pro and H.265 / HEVC
H.265 HEVC in Adobe Premiere Pro

H.265 HEVC encoding option in Adobe Premiere Pro

With Adobe’s latest release of Premiere Pro they quietly added the ability to encode your videos in the promising H.265 format, also known as HEVC. While the Interwebs pretty much runs on H.264, as 4K and 5K video is becoming more prevalent a more efficient codec is needed. HEVC touts to be able to encode video at twice the efficiency than H.264 and get equivalent visual quality. Is it true? Initial tests look very promising. What’s your experience with H.265? How long until all platforms support this codec?

Comments Off on H.264 License Free? Not really

Maybe you’ve missed MPEG LA‘s announcement to keep the license for H.264 free. This has been a worry to everyone in the industry who has been offering H.264-encoded videos to consumers. Supposedly, MPEG LA, the licensing body for a number of highly popular video codecs and formats, was to start collecting licensing fees in 2016 (was set to be sooner, then got pushed back).

Today MPEG-LA stated it will keep licensing free – IF the video is free to end-users. So this means your members area videos in H.264 are possibly still subject to licensing fees. So keep this in mind when you think about offering new formats in the future…

Comments Off on Flip4Mac and Quicktime X Error on Snow Leopard – Solution

If you’re on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and have Quicktime X as well as the regular free edition of Flip4Mac you might get the error “QuickTime Player Must Be Installed to run this application“.

If so, download and install the free beta version of Flip4Mac for Snow Leopard. That should fix the issue.

Download the Flip4Mac beta for Snow Leopard here: http://dynamic.telestream.net/downloads/download-flip4macwmv-beta.asp

NOTE: I’ve decided: I seriously dislike Telestream and its Flip4Mac, and Episode Encoder applications. The latter simply wouldn’t even install properly and just threw up user authentication errors when I tried to make it work on Leopard a few months ago. Their “service” was non-existent. Costly piece of junk. And Flip4Mac Pro HD created horribly choppy, out of sync WMVs, while cheaper solutions such as DV Kitchen worked perfectly using the same source files and settings. I actually tried it on two different Macs, just to make sure I’m not crazy. For $179 you’d expect software (sorry…”app”) to at least work. And now Telestream can’t even get a fully working version of Flip4Mac out to Snow Leopard users. It’s the only way to play WMVs on a Mac so it’s a pretty important piece of software. You’d think making it work with Snow Leopard would have priority, and the free version (the one EVERYONE downloads) would have been fixed by launch date. No, you have to figure this shit out for yourself. Like Snow Leopard’s release just snuck up on Telestream. Incompetent and overpriced. I’m done with ’em.

Comments Off on Optimizing Windows 7 for Content Creation

Win 7 optimizationAs I keep installing Windows 7 RC on several systems I remember that I wanted to quickly point out a few things you should do if you plan on using Windows 7 on your editing / content production systems.

1) After installing Windows 7 go ahead and disable automatic defragmentation, automatic download and installation of updates, search indexing, and tone down some of the visual stuff like fading in and out of boxes, animated windows and all that. By default scheduled defragmentation is on and you do not want this stuff to start up right when you’re in the middle of editing or exporting your movies.

Don’t animate / rotate your wallpapers. Choose one and stick to it.

Disable any services you don’t need. I usually get rid of any printing and spooling services, touchscreen features, games, and XPS services. Windows 7 makes this very easy: Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off

Automatic updates sometimes force an automatic reboot – you don’t want that either. Search indexing can slow things down. And removing some of the visual stuff will help with performance as well.

2) Right after installing Windows 7, run Windows Update and install any drivers and updates that are suggested to you. Restart when you’re prompted to, then keep coming back to Windows Update until there’s nothing more you need to install (language packs and other non-essentials can be skipped). AFTER you’ve installed all important updates and drivers disable the automatic downloading and installing of any updates (see above as to why).

3) Before you install any of your programs (Premiere, Avid, Photoshop, whatever) download and install any and all drivers you might need. Windows 7 is very good at detecting and, if necessary, offering you to get the latest drivers for your graphics cards, monitors and so forth but it could miss it. Also download drivers for your audio cards, and any other peripherals you might have attached.

4) This is one hard pill to swallow for many of you but do not install any anti-virus software on your production system. That stuff just causes more problems than they’re worth. I have not used any anti-virus software in four years on my editing systems and never had a problem. I do scan every few weeks, just to be safe. Never once did I get hit with a virus or spyware. Just don’t go online unless you really have to, and only go to reputable sites. Not having anti-virus junk hog your computer’s resources will make a huge difference.

5) Do not install iTunes, Roxio, Nero, or any other application you don’t absolutely need. No email programs either. A surprisingly large number of programs hog resources and run unneeded stuff in the background. The more junk runs in the background the more problems you will have.

I’ll write a more in-depth guide on optimizing Windows 7 for Content Creation soon.

Comments Off on Protect your Audio Content with Inaudible Watermarking

DOMAIN - successfully defending their music with digital watermarksYou may not have heard of German Melodic Metal outfit DOMAIN but you’re about to. DOMAIN just announced that they were successful in defending their music content from illegal downloading networks by placing inaudible digital watermarks in their songs.

The watermarks identified the songs and pinpointed them to an illegal file sharer who distributed their work over 35 000 times in four weeks. He got sued, the band won.

This may be the first time a band has successfully prosecuted illegal download of their music based on inaudible digital watermarks as evidence.

I for one say: kudos!

While I understand the argument about the music industry changing and the claims that musicians just need to adjust to this new way I also know how costly, in financial and emotional terms, and time spent, music production is. Not everyone has Radiohead’s budget, matter of fact hardly any musicians do.

So taking away the few opportunities for them to earn a living by stealing their music is simply not okay. The same holds true for movies and software. Filesharing is stealing.

If you participate in this currently, ask yourself how you would like it if you spent a year recording your music (or shooting your movie or coding software or whatever) and then somebody just takes it and gives it away for free?

Anyhow, inaudible digital watermarking isn’t totally new but it seems to be gaining momentum now. DOMAIN’s success certainly helps.

Digital Audio Watermarking

Microsoft got their version patented and call it Stealthy Audio Watermarking. There are other ways of doing this. Sometimes this is also referred to as forensic watermarking. Don’t confuse this with traditional DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Forensic watermarking cannot easily be stripped out by thieves. You can’t just convert the watermarked file to another format and be done with it. That’s great news for those wanting to protect their audio content from theft. It won’t stop everyone but it helps.

And before you ask – YES, you can also watermark your visual (video) content and make the watermark imperceptible to the human eye. Video watermarking isn’t quite perfect but it’s getting there. Some content watermarked may look a bit different from the non-watermarked version because the way the digital watermark is embedded in the picture. Think of very slight grain.

In any event, one of the pioneers of digital watermarking is Digimarc. Check them out to learn how you can protect your content. (I’m not paid by or endorsing Digimarc in any way, I provide this link for your informational purposes only. Your mileage with this, or any other technology, may vary.)

Comments Off on Air Force One New York Flyover – Incompetence At Work

Air Force One flyover New York City - Could have been done in PhotoshopSo this is the result of forcing an entire city into a panic – a shitty photo of Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty behind it. This picture is so bad, anyone with Photoshop and a little bit of patience can do this.

I mean it – instead of scaring New York City residents, and costing US tax payers over $300K, any reasonable decision maker involved in this would have commissioned a artist to whip something up in Photoshop.

In less than an hour and costing just a few dollars this could have been recreated. Hell, I’ll do it for free – so White House people you just hit me up next time, okay?

INCOMPETENCEAnd Your Business

Good thing the douche in charge approving this mission, Louis Caldera, resigned over the issue.

And here is how this all relates to your business – incompetence and lack of communication.

I truly believe that a big part of this country’s (the world’s) problem is due to incompetent people in positions that can (and often do) affect large groups of people negatively. One person has so much decision power and so little competence that the fact of this person being in the position practically begs for problems.

Louis Caldera was a White House military aide. Not a cabinet member, not a high ranking military official. A person like this should never even have the authority to authorize such an important mission.

Who is the person in your organization who has more decision making power than he/she should? Is it you?

Who is the person in your organization who should have more power but doesn’t?

Comments Off on Video Collaboration by Market7 – Review

Market7 Review

Remember I told you about a tool for video editors, production teams, and clients that got me quite excited? Today I am happy to share with you my thoughts on Market7, a production collaboration service that works entirely online. Nothing to install and it works regardless if you or anyone you work with are on a Mac or PC.

Market7 Review

Comments Off on New Super Secret Revolutionary Video Production Tool

What is it?

Watch this space folks! I’ve been approached by a company that has a new tool for my fellow video and production folks that’ll downright revolutionize your workflow. I’ve had a mind blowing introduction to it from its creators and I’ve come away quite impressed.

This is a wonderful new tool for: video editors, production teams, animators, producers, and shooters.

More details to follow soon so stay tuned!

Comments Off on Free Video Converter SUPER now does WMV9

SUPER converts to WMVWell, kind of. I was all jazzed up when I downloaded my (not so secret ) weapon for some of my video and audio conversion jobs – SUPER – and saw that it now converts any video file into WMV9.

I’ve been using SUPER for years because it can do some amazing things and astoundingly it’s free. The limitations of SUPER however were severe: you couldn’t convert your stuff into WMV9 (VC1), or On2 VP6 based Flash, only Sorenson.

That’s unfortunate because WMV9 is the standard for web bound WMVs, and if you’re watching Flash videos chances are those were encoded with the On2 VP6 codec which is far superior to Sorenson.

SUPER is basically a graphical user interface (GUI) program that uses encoding tools like FFmpeg, MEncoder, theora/vorbis, x264, and others to convert nearly any video or audio file to any other video or audio file.

It can even do some stuff that those expensive encoders can’t, like integrating the AAC audio codec with the H.264 video codec, and letting advanced users use AviSynth to add even more capabilities.

And now SUPER can convert your stuff into WMV9 and WVC1.

Or at least it’s supposed to because SUPER kept crashing >>> Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Tests and Benchmarks for new Dell XPS 730x with Core i7

Dell XPS 730 with Core i7 REVIEW

The folks over at HotHardware.com did a thorough write-up on Dell’s new XPS 730 series with Core i7 equipped machines. Very thorough.

We don’t care about gaming at all but for digital content creation (DCC) the XPS 730 seems a great fit.

Personally I don’t like the chassis look of this thing at all, but we’ll need to look beyond the appearance part and see what this thing can do for us in terms of high definition video editing, large scale photo manipulation, and graphics/Flash creation.

Not surprisingly, the Core i7 chip makes all the difference in the world, even compared to any of the “newer” Core 2 Duo/ Core 2 Quad processors. Read more about the XPS 730

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