Archive for December, 2009

Is Augmented Reality a good marketing tool? (part 2)

BackberryPair Augmented reality combines the real world with digitally created images. This technology gives marketers the ability to control their viewers environment using sound and compelling visuals. Doesn’t this sound like a dream come true for advertisers? If the message is compelling and fun it can for for the ad man and the consumer.  This is fun!

One new trend is AR or augmented reality. See our article: http://mediaslap.soundworks.com/2009/09/18/is-augmented-reality-a-good-marketing-tool/

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December 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Choose Your Cell Phone, Then Your Carrier

Smartphone’s are all the buzz, but in the US most phones sold are combo phones like camera phones, music phones, tough phones and text phones.  These days it’s almost impossible to find a plain old voice only cell phone. Combo phones are a “what you see is what you get” phone – and usually don’t offer software updates or run any apps. Most of the combo phones offer a basic browser, email, text, music and video players.

con_nav_issue_cover-jan-10thumbCombo phones will usually cost less than a true Smartphone and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

This weekend I purchased a copy of the January 2010 Consumer Reports which features Cell phones and all the major carriers.  I like Consumer Reports for unbiased reports and reviews.  If you are shopping for a new phone this would be a great resource.

Choose Your Phone, Then Your Carrier 

Choose your phone based on the feature set you need then choose your carrier and shop your best deal based on your use. All the national carriers sell a wide variety of phones. Here’s a quick rundown of what each of the primary U.S. carriers offers:

AT&T boasts nationwide coverage and a terrific selection of phones, particularly for texting. But some folks complain that AT&T’s coverage. I use an iphone on AT&T and have had a good experience with the carrier. If you want an iphone you will have no choice but AT&T unless you have unlocked your phone. Unlocked phones on the market that work with GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile are not sold by the carriers. These handsets are often imports or hacked phones.They are more expensive than carrier-approved-and-subsidized phones.

Cricket and MetroPCS are new “unlimited” carriers that offer much lower rates than their competitors and don’t require contracts. But they aren’t available everywhere, and they have a somewhat limited selection of phones.

Sprint is relatively inexpensive, and offers some neat media services and a solid high-speed network. It also has the most open approach to third-party apps, running the best e-mail software and letting its subscribers add a wide range of Java applications to their feature phones.

T-Mobile offers cutting-edge phones at relatively low monthly rates and enjoys a reputation for good customer service. This carrier offers a monthly discount in exchange for paying full price for your phone up front. But its nationwide coverage isn’t as complete as AT&T’s or Verizon‘s.

Verizon Wireless is famed for its excellent network quality and good customer service. Its prices, however, can be higher than the competition’s, and the carrier is typically slow to offer new handset features, like 8-megapixel cameras. But when it comes to voice quality, many Verizon phones excel.

AndriodVirgin Mobile is a prepaid carrier owned by Sprint, but it sometimes undercuts Sprint’s rates. Virgin has relatively few phones on its roster, and those it does offer are mostly low-end.

A Phone To Watch

If you want a phone with the Android OS you will have many carrier choices.  The Android is advertised to be the phone that gives an iphone competition.  Does it, yes and no.  This platform is owned and supported by Google – Google is a great contender.  In the US we have the first generation of these phones.  They have been out longer in Europe.  The iphone is in it’s third generation.  In time the Andriod may displace the iphone frome it’s number one position. 

Also see: Cell phones – New models fit changing lifestyles

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December 21, 2009 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

Keep Your Audio In-Sync!

today_show_beyonce_nyrd108I once had a film cameraman tell me that sync was not important only to get a call later to fix his production.  That was many years ago when audio was recorded on a medium called magnetic tape or film.  Remember?  Now it’s all digital. I really thought that digital audio would resolve issues but now there are a few more details to consider.

Digital audio is recording in slices or audio samples regular time intervals. This is called the sampling rate.  The standard for recording digital audio for picture is 48 thousand times per second or 48K.  The 48K rate is used because it is mathematically compatible to picture formats. If  there is a variance in the audio sampling rate then the sound can drift in relation to the picture and create chaos in the editing room. Even minor drifts can create problems. Basically there will be more or too little audio for a given scene. I am pretty sensitive to this and I see one or two TV commercials weekly with bad lip sync. 

 SteveFoyHere are some common causes of drifting audio:

  1. The recording was made at the wrong sample rate, not at 48K sample rate.
  2. Multiple cameras and audio recorders and no external master sync source.
  3. No time code is used.
  4. Delay induced by a digital console without external sync.
  5. A mistake in the editing room.
  6. An unexpected equipment failure.

We all know things go wrong so some proper planning and redundancy may save the day.  Always test your setup before recording the final product. Digital recording does not mean good recording.  I have had to fix many digital recordings that were noisy or distorted.  After you do a test recording make sure your location sound man listens to what is being recorded in headphones and listens to the recording of each scene after a take.

If problems do arise, the drift may be resolved by adjusting the playback to match the picture in an audio post house or editing room.  Some productions require frame accurate recording and this adjustment is not acceptable if there is budget to re-shoot the scenes. Happy shooting and may the sync be with you.

December 17, 2009 at 6:09 pm 2 comments

Two Secrets to a Successful Web Site

It’s really pretty simple:

1) Get people to your site

Most people get this one. People spend good money to promote a web site to search engines, trade links and advertise.  All of these are important.  With millions of web sites on the internet you can’t expect people to find your site by accident.

There are still hundreds of web sites published daily and they will never receive a spec of promotion.  Promote, promote, promote!

 

2) Give them a reason to come back

This is the real kicker.  The days are long gone when you can build a site and forget it for years.  Yet there are static sites out on the Net that have not changed since they were built.  If you have already read a book, it better be captivating and compel you to pick it back up to reread it.  The same holds true with a web site.  Make the web site connect with the visitor.  Better yet, Untitled-2 change your content and keep it fresh.  So why would someone never visit your web site again?  Here are my top reasons:

  1. There is nothing of interest
  2. Nothing has changed since my last visit
  3. Misspellings bad content, broken links, poor design or a bad impression

Please follow these two rules to avoid failure.

December 14, 2009 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Communication with young adults

 

America is now full of non-readers and on average adults read less than one book a year. I recently read a book, Flickering Pixels, which I mentioned in an earlier article which reinforces how new generations prefer learning in a non-webleo2 sequential way influenced by our media saturated world.

We no longer search for information, but information now seeks and finds us, whenever we are. With Twitter and Facebook feeds I’m constantly aware of news, trivia, the important and the ridiculous seems to search for me every second of the day. For those of us in media, it is apparent that abundant information saturation is changing habits:

Parents must instill a strong moral and ethical code within their children. There are not enough Internet and TV filters to shelter our children’s eyes and ears. We must get to their heart before media and friends take over.

Employers this generation is not lazy! However they live life in the moment, and relationships, causes and even pleasure will not be postponed for the sake of a career. The dollar is not their motivation.

Educators no longer control the gateway of knowledge because anyone with a computer or smart phone can access any information in seconds. Educators need to help students think and make sense of the all of the available information.

Publishers will survive this culture shift if they produce and distribute content beyond the printed page. If people are not reading books they are watching YouTube, reading blogs, listening to podcasts, reading Social media and sharing sharing their thoughts online.

December 3, 2009 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment


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