Posts Tagged ‘music for multimedia’

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.



Johnny Cash’s simple life

November 1, 2010

This to-do list written by Johnny Cash is currently being auctioned, along with many of Cash’s personal items. At the moment, bidding is only at $600. What an item! It speaks volumes about the man.

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!

iPhone recording app

August 2, 2010

Here’s a nice look at one of a number of iPhone recording apps now available. This one is called NanoStudio.

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!

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!

“Scary Mary Poppins” shows how music can change meaning

April 2, 2010

Ok, many of you have probably seen this, but I hadn’t until Brian Storm pointed this out on the Mediastorm blog. It’s a hilarious but telling example of how music (along with some creative visual editing) can totally change the meaning of a piece of work.

This should serve as a humorous warning to those of us who advocate the use of music in nonfiction multimedia: Use with care.

The 10 most addictive sounds in the world

March 3, 2010

Image courtesy Fast Company

Fast Company has a fascinating article up about the most recognizable sounds known to man.

Among many interesting points, the article, by Martin Lindstrom, notes the decline in memorable jingles and other marketing music in the last 10 years. Still, the second most addictive sound is that brief sonic signature of Intel (you know the one – dah-dah-du-DAH).

Lindstrom also notes that when someone made a soundless slot machine, revenue fell by 24 percent.

Thanks to colleague David Sheets for pointing out this article.

The Sandpit: awesome images, captivating music

February 26, 2010

A day in the life of New York City, in miniature.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Sandpit“, posted with vodpod

This incredible film by director Sam O’Hare was done with 35,000 still photos – that’s right, 35,000 images. I was particularly impressed by the music, written by Rosi Golan and Alex Wong of the music design firm Human. The piece was composed and produced specifically for this project. Note its changes in texture, reflecting perfectly the rhythms of New York City.

Here’s what O’Hare had to say about the music:

“Towards the end of the process I approached Human to provide music for the piece, and they very generously donated their time to produce a beautiful sound track for the film. It captures the feel of the film beautifully. I wanted the track to speak to what it is like to experience the many rhythms, pulses and moods of the city and the composition, especially the peak, does this beautifully. The vocals add narrative and pacing to the piece, and really help draw you through it.”

There’s lots more info about how O’Hare created this project here.

Thanks Desiree Perry for pointing this out. Enjoy!