Posts Tagged ‘multimedia music’

Photo slideshows drive page-views

November 19, 2010

Here is a fascinating article in Columbia Journalism Review about how photo slideshows drive traffic to news websites.

Not mentioned in the article is the key role that appropriate music can play in a successful slideshow. When a slideshow can be “auto-played,” making the changes congruent with the rhythm of the music is an important technique that can enhance story-telling.

And according to the article, the quality of the slideshow will only grow in importance:

But when even bad slideshows succeed economically, where’s the incentive to make them good? That incentive, eventually, will have to come from advertisers, as they tire of the tricks that their editorial friends are playing on them. Earlier, I noted that advertisers don’t care if dozens of page views are coming from the same user, because their ads are still getting shown. But eventually this will reach a point of diminishing returns. Telling the same person about a new movie a dozen times is not as effective of telling a half-dozen people twice.

Advertisers have an easy way to hold sites accountable: rely on unique visitor, rather than page-view, counts. The page-view metric has become diluted by editorial and business tricks like recirculation tools, landing pages, and slideshows. As Gawker Media owner Nick Denton puts it, “Some page views are worth more than others.” That’s why he now judges his staff and sites’ success on a less-manipulated number: how many people come to visit, not how many pages they visit once they’re there. Denton’s reason for the switch is editorial—he wants more exclusives, and he thinks uniques are a good way to incentivize them. Advertisers should follow suit. Their ads will have greater reach if sites know that it’s unique visitors, not page views, that matter most.

And with that change of mentality will come a switch of strategy. No longer will the worst slideshows be as economically viable. Slideshow quality will rise as sites try to create iconic slideshows that bring in new visitors interested in hearing a story told as only the Internet can. Slideshows will no longer have to be a savior in scourge’s clothing.

 

Confirmed: Beatles on iTunes today!

November 16, 2010

It’s true - the Beatles are now on iTunes.

Of course, those of us with the entire catalog on CD – whether it’s the original pressings or the wonderful remastered versions – may never need to purchase them yet again.

But there’s something significant in the Beatles union with iTunes. Nearly 40 years after their breakup, the Beatles still sell more CDs than almost any other band. So fixing iTunes’ biggest gap is a positive move for Apple. And though the Beatles hardly need digital sales to boost their bottom line, the result will be even more Beatles music, all across the universe. And that, my friends, is something to celebrate.

Here’s EMI’s press release:

LONDON and CUPERTINO, California – November 16, 2010 – Apple Corps, EMI and Apple® today announced that the Beatles, the most influential and beloved rock band in music history, are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store® (www.itunes.com). Starting today, the group’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes® worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.

“We’re really excited to bring the Beatles’ music to iTunes,” said Sir Paul McCartney. “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”

“I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,” said Ringo Starr. “At last, if you want it-you can get it now-The Beatles from Liverpool to now! Peace and Love, Ringo.”

“We love the Beatles and are honored and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we’ve had since we launched iTunes ten years ago.”

“In the joyful spirit of Give Peace A Chance, I think it is so appropriate that we are doing this on John’s 70th birthday year,” said Yoko Ono Lennon.

“The Beatles on iTunes-Bravo!” said Olivia Harrison.

“The Beatles and iTunes have both been true innovators in their fields,” said EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon. “It’s a privilege for everybody at EMI to work with Steve Jobs and with Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones and their teams in marking a great milestone in the development of digital music.”

Each of the Beatles’ 13 legendary remastered studio albums, including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Revolver,” “The Beatles [The White Album]” and “Abbey Road” include iTunes LPs, which create an immersive album experience with a beautiful design and expanded visual features including a unique mini-documentary about the creation of each album. The two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are also available.

Single albums are available for purchase and download for $12.99 each, double albums for $19.99 each and individual songs for $1.29 each.

The special digital “Beatles Box Set” ($149) contains the 13 remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs and all mini-documentaries, “Past Masters,” and the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert in its entirety. In addition, Beatles fans can stream and view the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964″ concert film from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year.

Apple Corps Ltd. was founded by The Beatles in 1968 to look after the group’s own affairs. The London-based company has administered the catalogue of The Beatles releases of the 1960s that have sold to date more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs. Since the 1990s, Apple has piloted new Beatles projects that have become benchmarks for pioneering accomplishment and which have included The Beatles Anthology projects, the 29-million selling album The Beatles 1, The Beatles LOVE show and CD and the 09/09/09 release of The Beatles Remastered catalogue and The Beatles Rock Band game. Further information on The Beatles’ projects can be found at http://www.thebeatles.com.

 

Here’s the text of the Apple press release:

We are proud to announce that The Beatles are now available for the first time on the iTunes Store.

Starting today, the band’s 13 legendary remastered studio albums with iTunes LPs, the two-volume “Past Masters” compilation and the classic “Red” and “Blue” collections are available for purchase and download on iTunes worldwide as either albums or individual songs. Fans can also get a special digital “Beatles Box Set” featuring the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film, a worldwide iTunes exclusive which captures the Beatles’ very first US concert.

Beatles fans can stream and view the “Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964” concert film from iTunes for free for the remainder of this calendar year.

Finally, a cool new video plus some quick commercials can be found here.

A cool video for “Tatooine”

October 7, 2010

Classic, simple animation and a cool song, Tatooine, by Jeremy Messersmith. Thanks to Desiree Perry for passing this along…

SND video uses “Mad Designers” as music theme

September 24, 2010

Here’s a promotional video done in 60’s-era animation style by Brian Williamson to promote the Society of News Design’s 2011 conference in St. Louis. Brian asked me to produce a piece of music for the video, and I tried to come up with a Mad Men-esque sound to suit the visual style. (Which was a treat for me, as Mad Men is my personal favorite show).

For you musicians, I used Cakewalk’s Sonar, synths from Dimension Pro, a Hofner-style bass, a Strat with Line 6 amp and effect sounds and drum samples from Smart Loops.

Let me know what you think!

Using rhythm in pairing music with images

September 23, 2010

http://vimeo.com/15211951

Jon Patrick Fobes, a photo editor with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and an excellent musician, stresses using the rhythm of music to guide your placement of photos in audio/video slideshows. The above project, where Jon created the music and edited the slideshow, is an excellent example of what Jon is talking about. And click here to read a previous Q and A with Jon.

Three ways to capture, edit audio on the go

September 10, 2010

Here’s a post from the excellent blog 10,000 Words on new tools to help you use your smartphone to capture, edit and share audio. Check it out!

How to add multimedia to your blog

July 29, 2010

Here’s a concise overview from Mashable about how to quickly add multimedia to your blog. I think it’s useful for novices, but I would add one strong warning: Make sure you have the right to use the music, photos and videos you find online. Generally “fair use” covers you if you are using samples in a journalistic context. But be cautious – and please don’t steal someone’s creative property!

New song: “Deadline.”

July 26, 2010

Click here for my latest song, “Deadline.” It’s a song about anticipation, about wanting something RIGHTNOW.  As was the case with “Copy Editor’s Lament (The Layoff Song),”I was inspired by my experiences as a newspaper editor — this time, I was thinking of the times I’ve spent waiting for a story to be turned in. Musically, I was going for a later-period George Harrison sound.

UPDATE: If you like what you hear, you can buy the song at Amazon.com here and at iTunes right here.

(For fellow music-production nerds, I used Cakewalk’s Sonar, with plugs by IK Multimedia among others. I recorded background vocals with a TNC (Chinese import) ribbon mic into a TNC preamp, and the lead vocal was recorded with a Audio Technica 4047 into a Groove Tubes Brick preamp. I used my Line 6 Variax electric guitar along with a $30 Craigslist find, a 60’s-era Teisco for the slide guitar parts).

Here are the lyrics:

Here I sit, I’m waiting again
I can’t quit until you hit “send”
Taking your time to polish all your phrases
Never you mind if I make some changes

(chorus:) I will live a life sublime
Told in tales of endless rhyme
If only you reply in time
For my deadline

All the pieces will fall into place
All my questions will vanish into space
Biding my time till night turns into day
Walking the line until you come my way

(Chorus)

All of my passion, all of my pain
Would find compassion
If not for your disdain

(chorus)

MediaStorm’s “Intended Consequences” skillfully uses music

June 16, 2010

Here’s a link to MediaStorm’s moving project on rape victims in Rwanda, “Intended Consequences.” Note how the original music by Pamela Chen and Sherman Jia is used to carefully underscore or highlight the material. Another skillful, and entirely appropriate, use of music in journalistic multimedia.

New multimedia design blog by Desiree Perry

May 11, 2010

My friend, former colleague and sometime collaborator Desiree Perry just launched a new blog on web design, illustration and multimedia. Desiree is a top-notch designer and artist with some great thoughts on where we’re all headed in this crazy multimedia world – and she’s a real music lover too! Check it out, and congrats on the new venture Desiree!


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