Thursday, April 19, 2007

The podcast that gets results from the BBC

A mere couple of podcasts (which is a blink of the eye in Internet time) and the BBC is shifting ground over the iPlayer's Mac compatibility. You will possibly remember my remarks about the public consultation - according to reports reaching me, BBC future media supremo Ashley Highfield has admitted that making this so is a priority. As reported in Media Guardian:

The BBC is working with Apple to ensure its iPlayer video download service is compatible with Macs, as part of moves to make its content available as widely as possible on digital media.

Ashley Highfield, the BBC future media director, said making the iPlayer compatible with Apple software was a priority in a keynote speech entitled "Distribute or die" at the MipTV conference in Cannes today.

Mr Highfield said offering download services for different bandwidth speeds and in different player formats was not enough.

"Although [Apple's] proprietary and closed framework for digital rights management gives us headaches, it is one of our top priorities to re-engineer our proposed BBC iPlayer service to work on Macs," he told the conference.

Read about it here (will need to be a subscriber)

Listen to the podcasts via an iTunes subscription - it's free folks, iTunes just acts as a directory!

What you missed on Monday

A pretty full house at the April wefcpug witnessed our best efforts to set up the circuit to our NAB correspondents, alas in vain because they were unavailable in person. At least the technology worked, and I have a firm promise to make amends via the next podcast - soon as I hear from them, I'll wrap it up and put it on the website. In the meantime, we had a thorough looking over what-we-know about FCP6, or FCS2, which has raised some interesting issues for all!

That aside, we marvelled at Richard's heartfelt soliloquy on what keyframing means to him, with a PIP before our very eyes. We didn't come to a firm conclusion on a neat way to solve the 'picture in picture with a border' problem - maybe because there aren't any neat ways, just annoying layered work-rounds with nests.

A link you may want to follow:

Google Desktop for Mac is now released, link here
It's for OS 10.4+ users only - as I mentioned on the night, there are a couple of issues you might want to take into account: initial indexing takes a long time, and the install gives the programs 'root' privileges. It is (of course, being Google) beta software. First impressions from me (Phil) is that it's very good at what it does - find emails, web pages in history, and files - and especially good if you're a Gmail user. Indexing did take a while, and broadband is essential, but on my MBPro it didn't slow the rest of the system down over much. More news over the coming weeks, if I hit snags.

Congratulations to the lucky winner of our first raffle, who took away the Larry Jordan 'Soundtrack Pro' tutorial DVD. Next time it's the 'Audio filters' DVD - if I can remember how to work the raffle again. And next time is SOON - because of the bank holiday it's TUESDAY May 8th. Special Guest is Martin Baker, of Digital Heaven, in person.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You heard it here first

Score one to Ned Soltz then, since one of his pre-NAB predictions in the podcast has come to pass already. Apple announced the newest MacPro lineup over the weekend with a choice of 8 or 4 processor cores inside the box. 8 processors? They're multiplying quicker than blades on a razor. There's plenty more to hear in the podcast, with episode three now available for free download via the iTunes Music Store - see the side panel for details.

Time to mark up your diaries for next week's thrilling live meet - wefcpug gathers again Monday next, 16th April, at the BBC Whiteladies Rd, 6.45pm for a prompt 7pm start. Entrance as usual via the back door, names to Richard please for the guys at security to have you 'on the list'. And on the agenda we have Richard's promised 'First things First' look back at the basics of keyframing in FCP, reports on NAB from sources various, (we have agents posted), latest news and rumours, 'Stump the Guru' and (you never know) a Show 'n Tell. PLUS our exciting free raffle, the prize being a Larry Jordan DVD on 'Soundtrack Pro'.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Podcast 3 now available

It's a small-scale version of the World Service on the latest 'Out Of Vision'. I've scoured continents to bring interviews to your iPod. First off, a look back at the Video Forum exhibition held in London earlier this year, with a round-up of technologies to watch in the coming year - maybe we'll get some of them into a wefcpug meeting.

From Dallas, Texas, indie producer, tech guru and all round nice guy Ned Soltz files his first despatch as our US correspondent. He's looking forward to NAB later this month, and offers some words of advice for anyone 'lucky' enough to be attending.

Fresh from a day's filming of Vervet monkeys*, James Bickersteth of Icon Films talks down the line from Durban, South Africa, about their current experiences of tapeless shooting, logging, P2 cards and all that.

All of this in one show? Twenty minutes of techtalk to while away a short lunch or a long render break. If you haven't subscribed via iTunes (button on the right hand bar of this blog) your Mac won't have downloaded the show yet. Otherwise it all runs by itself. Website for xml feeds is

For the first couple of weeks it's even in stereo, folks!


*My only disappointment is that, when I was lining up with James for the down-the-line recording, I misheard him and thought they were filming Velvet monkeys - hints of Johnny Vegas and the ITV digital Monkey. Now that would be even more watchable.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Coming Real Soon Now

Episode 3 of the wefcpod is recorded and assembled on my G5. As I sip from my cup of Earl Grey, all that awaits is the mix and the mpegging and it'll be in your iTunes library before you know it. Matters have not been helped by my ISP choosing last week to upgrade the ADSL connections hereabout, but circuits were found around the globe to correspondents across 3 continents.
There's a look back to Video Forum, a look forward to NAB, and a look sideways at rumours and gadgets just launched. Plus a contribution from a brave crew pioneering the use of P2 and - it's that word again - metadata.