Hulu Beta Testing

December 31, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Social Networking, Technology, Videos

Hulu.com icon logoIn a largely speculative post last month, I wondered about the possibilities of Hulu, News Corp’s new online video venture.

Since then I’ve received my beta testing login details. With a great deal of excitement I went to Hulu.com to see what fantastic wonders would be presented to me.

None. If you’re in Australia, bad luck – it’s a case of look, but don’t touch.

For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only. That said, our intention is to make Hulu’s growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time.

Being limited to North America because of distribution rights, international users are agonisingly teased by a long list of currently popular TV shows they can’t watch – Arrested Development, Family Guy, Scrubs, King of The Hill, My Name is Earl, The Office… the list goes on, and unless you have a beta login to Hulu (get on the waiting list) none of those links will get you anywhere.

With a login, choosing any episode from one of those shows takes you to the video player screen, right to the excited point of ‘Loading Video’ before slapping you in the face – rejection.

Hulu.com screen grab - Unfortunately this video is not currently available in your country or region. We apologize for the inconvenience.
But I want to take advantage of the options alongside the video player – share, embed, watch it full screen! Hopefully it’s not too long before something is up and running for Australia.

In a desperate attempt to see the video player in action, I tried some older shows in the hope they were no longer affected by distribution rights. Thankfully, even Doogie Howser episodes (Breaking Up is Hard to Doogie) from 1989 were unavailable.

ABC Now

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.

Online Video overdose

July 2, 2007 by  
Filed under Broadcast, Media, Online, Technology, Videos

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The most basic and free video editing software (as in, you don’t have to go download/install it because it’s already on your computer) is usually okay for basic video users.

For Windows users there’s Windows Movie Maker, while I’ve found iMovie for the Mac is an ample resource for those quick edits and exports.

If you don’t have any video software that you can use on your hard drive, or are up for a little experimentation, there are a lot of online editing solutions.  I would recommend not trying them on dialup (as I have to at home).

Mashable has put together a very comprehensive resource.

Video Toolbox: 150+ Online Video Tools and Resources

There’s more information there than anyone can reasonably be expected to digest, and the following are just the categories under which they list resources:

  • Live Video Communications
  • Online Video How-to
  • Online Video Editors
  • Online Video Converters
  • Video sharing
  • Video hosting
  • Video organization and management
  • Vidcasts & vlogging
  • Video mashups
  • Mobile video apps
  • Video search
  • Online video downloading services
  • Miscellaneous tools
  • Online TV

They also have other posts in the series, with the Online Photography Toolbox, Blogging Toolbox, and Online Productivity Toolbox.

The Fallen

February 5, 2007 by  
Filed under News

It’s been a long time since Boyz II Men ruled the R&B boy-band scene, and I don’t think the genre is ready to conquer the international stage once more.

If it was, the Boyz wouldn’t be playing to the Suncorp Piazza next Friday night, with a seating capacity of just over 2000.

Oscars

January 31, 2007 by  
Filed under News

It’s three weeks till the Oscars, and at least one of the movies nominated has been a pleasant surprise.

My favourite movie of the year, Little Miss Sunshine, picked up four nominations including Best Picture. It’s a high achievement for a relatively small film. Their nominations were:

  • Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin (the heroin-addicted grandfather)
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin (the optimistic pageant-bound daughter)
  • Best Picture
  • Writing (Original Screenplay)

Dreamgirls is guaranteed to win at least one Oscar, the Music (Song) award, having three out of the five nominations. The other two nominations in that category are Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Cars, so it’s more like a 75% chance of winning.

Eddie Murphy could also get an Oscar for his supporting role in Dreamgirls. I sympathise with all the actors who, after years and years of ‘serious’ work and possibly a few best actor or best supporting actor nominations along the way, will cry into their champagne as a comedian walks away with the prize after his first non-comedic effort.

Casino Royale

December 8, 2006 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

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Went to see Casino Royale last night on the IMAX screen.

It was sold out for the opening night, and on the way into the cinema we were handed surveys that a Sony representative asked us to fill out afterwards.

With a microphone from the front of the cinema, she informed us the same survey would be done internationally, and as some of the first people in the world to see the movie, these surveys would be on London’s desk by the morning.

Well, the excitement was palpable. Our very own special mission for London! We felt a part of the secret service before the movie even began. We didn’t, but we could have!

The movie was brilliant. Almost non-stop action, as you would expect from a Bond film, believable bad guys and mostly believable stunts.

I loved it. It was much more realistic than the Pierce Brosnan movies, which had far too many kitschy extravagant toys that I found a little far-fetched.

After the movie, it was back to the survey. There were some general questions about comparable quality of the movie, but also personal questions about Daniel Craig, such as whether or not he was a good Bond, or whether the survey participant saw him as ‘sexy’, ‘rugged’ or other such things.

As it asked to tick all that apply, I felt compelled to go with ‘Attractive, but not my type’.

We’re off to the beach for four days today. Enjoy your weekend!

Suck it

December 4, 2006 by  
Filed under Pictures

We bought a cheap vacuum that I have occasion to use on a semi-regular basis around the house. Despite having recently done a bit of vacuuming with it, on borrowing my parent’s long-serving Amway vacuum cleaner, the difference was marked.

One vacuum cleaner sucks, evidenced by the amount of dust collected in this before and after shot. I would guess at several litres of the stuff.

The other sucks not so much – or at least it didn’t suck those several litres picked up by the first.

HELP

September 27, 2005 by  
Filed under Podcasts

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Back from holiday. Just quickly throwing these things out there because I need some help

  1. Skype – I’m trying to configure Skype to record straight into Garageband (or other similar/better audio recording software for the purpose of online voice interviews. I’ve seen some stuff but am yet to get it to work. Specifically, I can’t find a step-by-step guide I saw a few months ago that dealt with Skype to Garageband specifically.
  2. Does anyone know how to make an iPod function as a storage device that will work in both Macs and Windows-based computers? I thought I had enabled it on my mac, but when I went and tried to use it on PCs at university it wasn’t recognised, and asked if I wanted to format my external storage device in FAT32 format or something. I didn’t because I didn’t know whether or not that would end up being a bad thing for the iPod as a whole, and didn’t want to lose the files I HAD transferred onto it.
  3. Quick links. Because I hardly have time to read these, but I really want to, maybe after putting these links here I can shut all the tabs and unclutter my desktop. These are all the websites I have open in tabs at the moment, with plans to read in full. Some are read and awaiting posting here, but this will have to do.

Alright, there’s a big storm rumbling through, and I’ve been trying to rush this post so I can unplug everything. Take care, see you soon. Oh yes, and help with 1. and 2. above would be appreciated.

I’ve been using this product for 6 months now and it’s totally eliminated all menopausal symtoms. Buy viagra online. That is why we pay attention to the quality of the medications.

April 15, 2004 by  
Filed under Media

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I’ve just spent…who knows how much time…cleaning my keyboard. Yes, that’s right, I took off every key on the keyboard, cleaned them to remove any of those sweat&dirt-smudge buildups, and put them back on.

Slightly obsessive compuslive, I realise, but I noticed some ‘dust’ under the keys and what I noticed was fairly significant. Once I had finished popping off the keys and chasing them across the floor, the piles of hair, dead skin cells, bits of food and unidentified objects was quite impressive, I really should have taken a picture of it.

The fun part is when I tell you that this is a second hand keyboard from the newspaper where I did work experience in Jan/Feb, where it spent an unknown number of years collecting lunch scraps, hairs and trace elements of all the nasty things people touch… and not just any nasty people, but journalists… I shudder at the thought. haha, no offence Charlesworth! :)

Today I went and sat in the courts to get my journalism story that I have to write by next Monday. Great action! Not really, but the drug-addled defendant had an amusing ramble about ‘thanks for letting me off lightly’ while the judge was trying to explain his probation and community service order to him.

Actually, I’ve noticed in my court visits the judges are quite sympathetic to offenders when sentencing them, commenting that the harshest sentence would likely do more harm than good… kudos to you Judges who are looking for the best in people.

I’m actually going to write something related to media as well!! go figure.

I love The Australian’s ‘Editor’ section on the weekend, which covers editorial pieces from all over the globe and editorial cartoons (from Israel, Canada, Jordan and France last week). Although I don’t think they put any of this stuff specifically up on their website, so no direct link for you.

Another good part of the site is a whole raft of links for those interested in international news. Some of the links don’t work (like Kuwait Times) but it doesn’t take too much to figure it out. My link there is the ‘fixed’ one.

Anyway, enough of that, there was actually some stuff written in last week’s Editor that I was interested in talking about some-some. I’ll put that in a new post.