I’ve been working on a new company cofounded with friends, SnappyTV. We give you the ability to share clips of television in near-real time from when it airs. Here’s a thoughtful piece from our CEO about our business and the tv-web space.
So today has been a very good day.
One of our video clips from the French Open was featured on the Yahoo home page (eeeep! bouncy bouncy) and …… THE SERVERS DIDN’T DIE! We have somewhere around 1000 views a minute and our entire site was purring. I assure you, this is an impressive feat of pure scaling awesomeness.
Macworld was tiny this year in comparison to previous years. I was able to see all the booths in about an hour, and that included dawdling longer than needed at many of them. The above statue is Atlas. Despite all the depictions of Atlas carrying the Earth, in Greek mythology, Atlas held up the heavens & separated it from Earth. I’m not exactly sure what the artist is trying to say with this piece — the iPod could be a representation of heaven (which was divine and far from perfect), or this sort of technology weighs us down. There was a time when I wanted to major in classical mythology.
By far the best things I saw was the minidv->HDMI cable from Kanex. It’s not sexy or showy, but this connector allows me to use a mac mini as a media center that I can connect to my HD tv. Hot.
The other noteworthy gadget was the universal remote app for the Iphone. It’s very new and I don’t think it’s out yet. The app will require an infrared iphone case. Without getting into the techy dorky details, some media devices use IR to communicate with the remote, so in order for the iphone to become a universal remote it needs an extra accessory. I have a universal remote at home and it’s pretty confusing to use. The demo of the iphone app makes it look super easy.
Where to purchase the toys in the videos: Bone flash drives Joby’sGorillapod – This is a *must have* for anyone who owns a camera. You can wrap this tripod on anything which makes it much much much easier to take self portraits and long exposure night shots. Trexta – can’t find a place to buy those amazing little man ipod cases! I really want one iKit kickstand cases – will be available in about a month.
I was hanging outside the Apple announcement today with Justine. We tried but nobody gave us a press pass. Even though we didn’t get to see anything, I’m esploder over the product. They call it the iPad.
This is a little bit of everything we did at CES. I was shooting with a Canon 960is which I borrowed from a friend. I have since purchased and received it just in time for Mexico. (Yep, I’m currently in Mexico.) The touch screen at the Intel booth was absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun. It was running the Intel Core 7 chip. Fancy!
The 3d tvs were amazing. I put on a pair of glasses, and then realized that hundreds of people have been putting them on their faces. Eww! I blame my giant face pimple on those glasses. I saw a lot of devices that made it easier to mirror content from your computer to your tv. Watch out, cable tv. The now is watching streaming content from the computer.
Justine participated in the Build your own pc race. It was so much fun. Next year we are totally going to try to win. We also rode The Big Shot in the Stratosphere. It was a freefall ride at the tippy top of the Stratosphere. I’ve never done this kind of ride before and I seriously regretted it as I was getting strapped in. Turns out, the anticipation is the worst, and it was a lot of fun.
We also stopped by the It won’t stay in Vegas party where I saw Brent Spiner and LeVar Burton. Eeep! They were completely surrounded by a massive crowd of fans and I was afraid I was going to get trampled.
Justine made a ton of videos from CES, so check them out here. The pc race one is great.
I saw some amazing new tech and had a fantastic time. I’m already looking at going next year.
holy crap, you can string a series of clips together on your freaking phone
good variety of transitions, although you only really need fade and dissolve for most movies
rendering was pretty fast
Room for improvement:
clipping or expanding a clip after the first trimming
overlay audio – either a song or a voice over
preview the entire movie before rendering
split a clip – turn one clip into two
My movie rendered in tallscreen mode. I’m really disappointed the program didn’t correctly detect the orientation of the videos.
Can’t change to high quality option after you start adding clips
Verdict: Not worth $8 yet, but hopefully they’ll have less buggy versions soon.
When you open the app, you are presented with a list of your projects. It takes some experimentation to figure out what each field does, but it all makes sense after playing with it.
Be sure to select high quality mode when you start – you can’t select it later. I can’t imagine why you’d want a low quality version, since the iphone camera is pretty low resolution to start with, but the default is off.
Once you’re in the edit screen you’re presented with a mostly intuitive interface. Select the add button and you are presented with the videos from your library. The trimming feature on the clip is well done. Hold down the ends of the timeline and the filmstrip expands to allow you to crop with more precision. You must do your cropping in this screen. Once you chose the clip, you cannot re-crop or expand it (pity).
In the filmstrip screen you can easily reorder your clips and add transitions to the beginning and end. The little ball allows you to scroll through all your clips, but it’s so hard to actually touch and drag it that it might as well not exist.
Back at the project screen, I was ready to export my movie. “Create” is a confusing option – I initially thought it meant I wanted to create a new project from my current project screen. Since the other two available options were “Delete” and “Properties”, I decide to try out “Create”. It actually renders the movie. I assume they chose the term “Create” because most users might not know what “render” or “export” means. You can’t share, play or save until you create. Once you “create” the movie, you could preview the entire thing. “Save” writes it to your photos area. This button seems completely unnecessary. Whenever I create a movie, it should save it to my photos area. I don’t need to save a photo every time I take a picture.
The thumbnails on my clips were all upside down. I hoped it was a preview bug, and my movie would be oriented correctly once I “created” it. No such luck.
Aside from the orientation bugs, which hopefully be smoothed out in the future, this is a darn cool application.
It’s the Canon HF20 and it comes out in February. I haven’t decided between the new Canon HF20 and the Canon HF10. The primary difference being the HF20 has a 32g flash drive, and the HF10 has a 16g flash drive. Both have slots for more cards. I tend to lean towards the newer and shinier thing, but at just $630 on Amazon, the HF10 is incredibly tempting.
I want to bring my computer into a store and check what file format each camera outputs. For all its fancy features, compatibility with my computer is the most important thing.
A few years back our work group up the jvc mg555 because it was the ONLY consumer camera on the market that had an external mic jack. Oh boy was that a disaster. It saved video files in MOD format, which could not be read by my mac. That means converting every file before watching them. Video processing is confusing enough without an extra step. I think I made 3 or so movies with the camera, while my dinky old Canon ps700 has helped me create hundreds of short videos.
I’ve been shopping for a camera for a while. I was saving up for the Canon 5D Mark II, but I’ve decided that I won’t utilize such a fancy photo camera. I’ve never owned an SLR, and I feel like I should know how to use one in manual mode before dropping $3000+. There’s also the bulkiness factor.
I love the little flip cameras and I always have one with me, but I love the focus control I get with the PS700. I won’t drone on and on about cameras. There’s far too many camera review sites for that.
It’s amazing to experience how far the technology has come in a short few years.
Last Saturday I got to chat with Adam Jackson on his podcast dailytechtalk. You can listen to us discuss online video and how hard it is to make movies. I would love if you took a chance to listen to it–it was a lot of fun:
Who’s going to the Maker Faire? Dennis and I are going on Sunday. I hear that flickr has a booth where they’ll take polaroids of you. Yes, we’re missing Bay to Breakers. I’m not crying about that one.
Tonight (or possibly tomorrow morning) I’m going to do a little ustream experiment–I’ll be baking a pumpkin pie tonight and I thought it would be fun to have some virtual company in the kitchen. It’ll be fun if you’d like to join me.