Qtrax launches free and legal music downloads

January 29, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Online, Podcasts, Technology

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Qtrax logoQtrax, a new online music service, has made 25 million songs available for free and legal download.

Qtrax requires a software download, much like the iTunes store, to browse, play and download the songs. The service is said to be supported by limited advertising around the Qtrax player window.

The Mac version of the Qtrax music player software isn’t due for release until March 18.

via: Download 25 million songs for free – legally | Australian IT

UPDATE: Apparently Qtrax didn’t have the support they thought they did, so in fact have delayed their launch.

The Bulletin Magazine closing down

January 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Print

The Bulletin Magazine logoACP Magazines announced today it was closing down Australia’s longest running magazine, The Bulletin, effective immediately.

Circulation has fallen from a high of 100,000+ in the mid 90s to just 57,000 in the last audit in September 2007.

The press release said the trend was “symptomatic of the impact of the internet on this particular genre”.

Surprisingly, The Bulletin will not remain in online form.

Director of Communications for PBL Media Arabella Gibson said there will be no online presence remaining, and the website would likely be taken down over the coming weekend.

At the end of the release, some information about ACP Magazines boasts that of its stable of 70 international magazines, “integral to its success are vibrant, information-packed reader websites”.

The Bulletin website is certainly information-packed, perhaps it’s just not ‘vibrant’ enough.

Related links:


In a continuing push to break new ground in digital media, ABC (Australia) has released ABC Now, a desktop media player for select ABC digital content.

The potential of this application is huge. When I read the description of what it would do, I couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately the interface isn’t entirely user-friendly at the moment, but it’s in beta, so expect something great to come.

For what is obviously planned for this media player the ABC is again demonstrating why Australians go to them for original online audio and video content – because they try to make it easily accessible.

Often they succeed in the attempt, and that’s why their podcasts and vodcasts have enjoyed such popularity. ABC digital content has succeeded because it is available. If there’s not much to choose from, people move on. The ABC’s integration online of text, audio and video content is impressive, to say the least.

If you haven’t seen it, check out an example of their in-page video player on this story.

Hulu – the News tube

Earlier this year it was announced that News Corporation was developing a YouTube killer.  It was to be their own video serving site that was going to deliver full-length TV shows in a partnership with NBC, rather than the perceived notion (misguided I think) of the worthless fare served up on YouTube.

The News Ltd paper I work for (full disclosure) went so far as to declare in March 2007 that “YouTube’s dominance of online video content is about to end”.

Hulu.com is the outworking of that effort and is now in beta, and it’s looking pretty good.

Something very few news sites are doing today is incorporating social networking opportunities into their structure.  Even less are incorporating social networking into their video content – which remains for the most part clunky and unappealing.

Hopefully Hulu will change that for News Ltd/Corp.  This aspect of the current beta player is promising.

The “embed” function allows you to set in and out points, so you can embed just a selected chunk of a video clip on your blog.

I really hope this technology gets rolled out to all News Ltd/Corp sites, because it will exponentially enhance video content accessibility.

A review of Hulu at LostRemote.

CitizeNews launches – earn money for your video

August 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, News, Online, Videos

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A while ago I mentioned the impending launch of CitizeNews. It is now live.

About CitizeNews

Our mission is to aggregate the work of talented video journalists of great diversity and distinction whose work is characterized by a powerful individual vision. We are constructing a digital platform where video journalists chronicle the world as they work to interpret its peoples, issues, events and personalities.

Online news should be free of charge

August 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Print

David Lazarus in the San Francisco Chronicle argues that, for newspapers to “survive in an age of free online content” they need to start charging for the use of their products online.

The argument is counter-intuitive.  It is an age of free online content.  That is the fact.  

If newspapers start charging for their online products, they won’t survive in this age of free online content.  People will simply go elsewhere.

Should newspapers sue Google or Yahoo for their content appearing on news aggregators?  No, but perhaps in their concern they could collaborate with Google to count online readership.  Surely another way of counting online readership for individual mastheads could be when they are read externally, in the same way RSS readership can be counted even when your site is not visited.

Also stake claim to some of the advertising click, or visit length, revenue being collected, and it becomes desirable to a media outlet that their content is seen freely by as wide an audience as possible.

Whatever else, newspapers must demonstrate that their online content has value.

“The students I teach really do believe that everything on the Internet is theirs for the taking,” Kirtley said. “Young people have been conditioned to believe that they’re entitled to this content.”

It’s time for newspapers to condition them otherwise. 

No, it is time for all media outlets with online interests to demonstrate their content has value, and then to stop harping and work a bit harder at figuring out how they’re going to get advertising to pay for it – in the same way the advertising pays for their print stable.

Internet video usage survey results

The Pew Research Center has released a report about online video usage in the US that shows more than half of all adults have downloaded online video at some point, and 20% regularly watch online video every day.

Pew Research Center: Online Videos Go Mainstream

To make the online video point, Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.com has put together a video entry about the research findings.

From the Pew survey link:

  • Online video now reaches a mainstream audience; 57% of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video
  • Three in four young adult internet users watch or download video online
  • News video is the most popular category for everyone except young adults.
  • More than half of online video viewers share links to the video they find with others.
  • Most online video viewers have watched online with other people.
  • Professional videos are preferred to amateur productions online, but amateur content appeals to coveted segments of the young male audience.
  • Few pay to access online video.

Video Portfolio – ABC TV

July 24, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Portfolio, Videos

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These two videos were done during a two-week internship at ABC TV. Unlike The Courier Mail videos the work here was much more like that of a regular television journalist, simply reporting while the technical aspects of shooting and editing are handled by a camera person and editor.

Title: Innes Follow
Duration: (1:38)
Contribution: Wrote and read script, picked out grab selection and included piece-to-camera

After the disappearance of a Brisbane schoolgirl in Sydney, I went with a camera person and journalist to cover the story locally. At the time of the report ABC was still not naming the girl, and so in this report she is also not named. A piece-to-camera was included for the purposes of a portfolio.

Title: Lions Captains
Duration: (1:30)
Contribution: Wrote and read script, picked out grab selection.

During my time at ABC TV I accompanied the sports reporter on several stories, as well as being the sole reporter on a few occasions. This press conference covered the announcement of five co-captains for the Brisbane Lions AFL team.

Video Portfolio – Courier Mail

July 23, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Portfolio, Videos

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I just rediscovered some of my video portfolio has already been posted at Photobucket.

Here are just a few of the videos I did during my internship at at The Courier-Mail. Apart from these videos I have used Adobe Premier Pro regularly, and Avid occasionally, to edit and produce many studio shoots and several news videos.

Title: Chinese New Year
Duration: (0:58)
Contribution: Camera, editing, production, web posting

Using a small handheld DV camera without external microphone or headphone jacks, I went out on my own to shoot video of Chinese New Year celebrations in the Chinatown mall in Brisbane. This was on a Saturday at the end of my first week of internship. On the same day I edited the video footage using Adobe Premier Pro for the first time, uploaded the final product to the media server and posted to the Roo player video portal.

Title: Lockhart River Art Gang – Our Way
Duration: (0:58)
Contribution: Camera, editing, production, web posting.

Without a tripod available to take with us, I had to shoot this entire video freehand. It is the launching of the Our Way exhibition at the University of Queensland and includes interviews with some of the featured artists.

Title: Logan Truck Fire
Duration: (0:27)
Contribution: Wrote and read voice-over script.

During my first week of internship I accompanied a video journalist, print journalist and photographer from The Courier Mail to a truck fire. On the way back to the office I wrote a voice-over script that was then used

Title: KIA Cars
Duration: (2:20)
Contribution: Editing, production, web posting

The Courier Mail’s motoring editor had returned from a motor show in Germany with still images and video taken on a consumer point-and-shoot digital camera. I edited and produced a video from that provided content. This was only the second time I had used Adobe Premier Pro, and through playing with the program discovered a few simple effects to try and make the still images a little more entertaining.


July 4, 2007 by  
Filed under News

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It’s been a long time since I blogged any international events, but this one was enough to shock me out of my reverie.

Some African Union (AU) member states want to unite the entire continent – a United States of Africa, if you will.


Many Africans regard this as an unrealistic, if noble, dream. Sceptics point to decades of wars, coups and massacres that often sprang from ethnic and religious fault lines on a continent artificially carved up by former colonial rulers.

You could also argue uniting the continent would remove those artificial lines created by arbitrary colonial division, and reduce the chance for ethnic and religious conflict. But only if the united ‘states’ of Africa are not the states as we know them now.

If the same states remained the resulting union would only be as peaceful as the other continental union if it followed their same pattern – radical integration deterring conflict. In the case of the European Union, economic integration has worked. In Africa there’s not a lot of economy to share around and prosper in, so they might have to go with what the EU has shied away from, political integration.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi is one of the main proponents of the idea.

Online video explosion

June 21, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Videos

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A survey just released shows daily online video usage has increased by an amazing 56% in the past year. That’s daily usage, and it’s across the board, 12 to 64-year-olds.

While it’s only a jump from 9 to 14% daily, a huge 52% of people across that age range watch online video at least once a week. That goes up to 80% watching at least once a week when you narrow the range to 18 to 24-year-old males. For females of the same age that figure is 53%.

The good news for media distribution is that they’re not just watching YouTube clips, but also news stories, movie trailers, and sometimes full-length TV shows and movies. (via LR)

Style, Content and Comprehension

June 18, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, News

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Earlier this morning I mentioned to a friend this academic report from October last year about the quality of news content found in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

And today LostRemote mentions a Pew Research study showing: ‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert’ viewers most informed about news – Lost Remote TV Blog

Read the entire report’s summary of findings, if you have some time.

Is the News a Joke?

May 3, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Print

Perhaps it’s a result of recent numbers released saying newspaper circulation has declined yet again, but David Letterman’s Late Show Top Ten list the other night was “Top Ten Signs Your Newspaper is in Trouble“.

In reference to the post title, I don’t think news is a joke. Newspapers shouldn’t panic, but take heart that there is also a trend to increasing online readership. The revenue lost from print isn’t yet being returned online, and it might never fully be, but in the long run media outlets are not likely to go out of business. They’ll just be smarter about how they manage their resources and news collection. For example, in the form of unpaid citizen journalist contributors.

From David Letterman’s Late Show

Top Ten Signs Your Newspaper is in Trouble.

Read more

Brisbane Times launched

March 7, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online

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Today Fairfax launched their competition to News Ltd in Queensland, the Brisbane Times. I’ve only just seen it now and don’t have time to really check it out, so there you go, have a link.


March 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Media, News, Online, Videos

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The other day I complained about a television station unlawfully detaining me on their channel through nefarious means, and declared my intention to bypass their chains and shackles at the first available opportunity.

BitTorrent, a downloading service better known for film piracy, has struck some deals whereby they will offer legal, paid downloads of movies, TV shows and more.

In May last year, Warner Bros. agreed to sell movies and TV shows using the BitTorrent software, and Monday’s announcement is the culmination of months of planning by BitTorrent to enter the market for legal downloads.

I know iTunes is already doing pretty well on this front, but competition works. Also, that TV content isn’t available in the Australian iTunes store. The only visual content currently available is music videos and eight Pixar short films.

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