Thursday, June 28, 2007

The great smell of DVDs

Sometime in the last week I came across a mention of sniffer dogs being able to detect fake DVDs (similar story here). I opened a new pack of DVD-R stock yesterday, which has probably been maturing for a month or so on my shelves - a distinct aroma of fennel to my palate.

The ever reliable Wikipedia tells me that anethole (or 1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene as we all call it) is the source of the flavour of aniseed/fennel. Whether it's also the source of the smell they don't say. Nor do azo dyes seem to have much in common with the aforementioned.

How do your DVDs smell? Discuss please.

Lost Vagueness comes to wefcpug

Time to dry out your tents, wash the mud from your wellies and focus back on things FCP - or just stop watching Glasto repeats on the red-button services of course.

It's another wefcpug meet, next Monday - July 2nd - at the BBC Bristol Whiteladies Rd branch. 7pm as usual.

Richard writes:

I've had requests to talk about certain elements of Final Cut that people are unsure about, including how to get rid of nasty noise from the background of a clip and also take an in depth look at trimming and, in particular, the Trim Edit window.

So that's what he'll be doing. Apparently Phil is going to be delving into the history of, and in particular, the what of ten years ago or so. Mm... should be interesting!

I can't wait for that myself. What I think I'm actually doing is - allegedly for light relief - revisiting a presentation I made some 10+ years ago on the future of non-linear edits. More seriously, I'm also looking at backup and data protection (in the sense of protection from loss) possibilities, in the run-up to Leopard (or is it Cougar, or Civet, or Lynx) and the Time Machine. No tardis involved, but some free and reasonably priced software to tide us over.

Plus the usual give-aways and some unusual ones - book your place with Richard.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Buzzword alert

While I'm in the blogging mood, here's a snap of a catalogue item that has just fallen through my letterbox. (The catalogue, not the gadget)

Erm... could anyone explain the difference between a 'Voice Messenger' and a telephone?

Podcasts - service announcement

If anyone's been having problems syncing the last two 'Out of Visions' to their iPod, with luck the problem has been solved - I changed the format to AAC but good old QuickTime Pro was marking the files as .mp4 with an internal identifier as a Video file. And recent versions of iTunes helpfully see this and - not so helpfully - won't sync a Video file to what they see as a non-Video iPod (iPod nano, etc).

I've changed the files to genuine audio only (.m4a) versions which should sail through. If you've been listening on your macs, the problem won't have been visible, I mean audible.

You -may- have force a resync in iTunes by deleting the previous download - but I'm sure you'll find it worth the effort.

Thanks to Quentin for pointing me to this - please email me if there are further glitches. I'll go back to mp3 if necessary!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

'Out of Vision' podcast 5 now up

'The view from Cotham Hill' - Phil talks to Gina Fucci and George Panayiatou of Bristol post-production house 'Films @ 59'.

The company's been in business for some 18 years, running offline and online edit suites, grading, finishing, dubbing - and was the first outside the broadcasters themselves to install HD equipment. (Back in the 1990's).

So Gina and George are in a very good position to comment on the state of the industry, and the technical challenges ahead for all of us. Not just FCP editors.

Access the podcast via (links there to free subscription via iTunes)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

RTS meeting Tuesday 12th - Flat screen TVs

Word has just reached me of an RTS Bristol Centre meeting (open to members and guests) this coming Tuesday, 12th June, at BBC Bristol. Entrance, as ever, through the tradesmen's door at the back. Meeting starts at 730pm, with an AGM for RTS members at 715pm.

Richard Salmon, who's one of BBC R&D's gurus, is looking at the new flat panel TV technologies on the horizon for domestic and professional production environments.

Email phil ( if you'd like to come - I'll be there and can invite non RTS members in.