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Recommended Reading

September 6, 2007

iWoz

It’s the story of an engineer who loves his work and feels ownership in his company. When he got off of work, he still did the same sort of work as a hobby because he simply loved the stuff.

Avid got a similar start. It was Avid Technology, and it certainly was a technology company. I’ve worked for Avid (as the OEM point of contact) for my first 10 years at Pinnacle. I’d say my contribution to Avid’s success is measurable. (Humble me!) Then Avid bought Pinnacle, and I’ve worked for Avid since. Avid really is my company.

But, many of my peers have moved on, and in one fell motion, almost all of my management has moved on. Does new management own the company like Woznaik did? I’m talking about ownership in terms of having the company produce stuff consumers will love. How many individual contributor Wozniaks do we have at the company?

I’m going to renew my effort collaborate with technical staff here at Avid that have that same Wozniak spirit.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

From JoelOnSoftware:

You’ve probably heard the expression “hurry, supplies are limited!” so many times in television advertisements that it hardly registers any more. But it’s there because of the principle of scarcity; your natural assumption that something that is scarce is worth more money.

When charitable organizations send you a request for a donation, they almost always include a “gift” in the envelope. Sticky labels with your address on them. Or a couple of blank greeting cards. The reason they’re giving you the gift is because of the social principle of reciprocity; now you will feel obliged to give something back.

When it comes to downloading free software, however, a complementary effect can occur. The user can associate little or no value to the software. Download and forget it. Or download and never upgrade.

Something that can be done to alleviate this is to instill a little desire in the user. Maybe even cause a sort of buyer’s remorse, in the sense that they grow to really want the upgraded product. To do that, we’d need to show them how awesome the free download is, but that the purchased product is even far more awesome. That only works if you show them how.

Give them a workflow, and then improve it.

VideoSpin

August 29, 2007

VideoSpin window

new badgeCall me Ishmashill. This is what I was excited about in the last post.

Pinnacle VideoSpin is a free video editing program.

It’s got the same workflow as our Studio family of applications, although it isn’t nearly as fully featured. (But hey, it’s free.)

I like the workflow. If you download it, run the tutorial in the middle of the window to learn about the album, the player, and the timeline.

Go ahead, download it and watch the tutorial. I’ll wait. (Hmm. It took a few minutes for me to install it. Our server’s a little slow.)

Did it? OK. Then:

How to make an AMV with VideoSpin

1. Chose your music and your show. It’s best if they match pacing and feeling, like U2 and Ergo Proxy or GitS, or Ayumi Hamasaki’s Beautiful Day and Kamichu. Get the media onto your computer. (Legally, of course.)

2. Go to the Music tab in the album, find your song, and drag it to the bottom track, the music track.

3. Switch to the Video tab in the album. If your video file has multiple scenes inside, double-click on it in the album to see the scenes within. Select some clips and drag them to the video track on the timeline. (Do the same with images, if you want to use them, too.)

4. You can trim and move clips right on the timeline by dragging them around, or dragging their edges in or out. Use the music track’s waveform to help guide you along with the pacing of the music.

5. You can liven things up a little bit by dragging titles (the third tab down) from the album to the title track. Then double-click on the title on the track to open it up and edit it.

6. Use the Transition tab on the album to add transitions to give a little more mood or to liven up photos. Don’t get crazy. A couple of fades go a long way, there, Spielberg.

Kamichu Project

7. When you’re happy with your project, click on the “Make Movie” tab at the top, and write your movie to file or upload it to the web.

VideoSpin isn’t perfect, but most of what I don’t like about it is available in Studio. For example, you can see what I think of the fact that VideoSpin doesn’t support track locking.

Mmph!

August 21, 2007

I’m pretty excited about sharing what I’ve been working on.  (And about giving away the free stuff, but that’s a secret.)

I might come across like a corporate shill when I start talking about it, but it won’t stop me.  If I like what I’m making, why not admit it?

I can’t talk about it yet, but soon my lovelies, soon.  The thing might bomb.  The thing might rock.  We’re trying our best.

Mmph!