As a video enthusiast, I love checking out new companies that are trying to get a piece of the digital landscape. It’s easy to pay attention to the big guns in the industry, but for every AppleTV, there are 100 smaller companies playing just as an important role in redefining the future of television. At this stage of the game, it would be impossible to predict how things will end up shaking out, but at the end of the day, it’s the consumers who will win the most.

Last night, I had an opportunity to attend NewTeeVee’s 2nd Pier Screening. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the event, but was really impressed with how things turned out. They hosted the event at pier 38 in San Francisco. This is a great venue. If felt like I was at a Drive-In theater that was built right over the water. There was something unique about being able to mingle at a party while watching the sun go down. Later on it got cooler, but they had heat lamps that people could cuddle under ;) Once it got dark, they started the program and I was able to hear some interesting insights into the video world, from some of the people who’ve been involved in digital video from very early on.

During the event, NewTeeVee screened a number of parody videos and gave out awards for the most interesting ones. The winner was the hilarious “Real World Ikea“. It’s a story of what happens when five strangers stop acting polite and start getting real. They really probably should have told Ikea, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if they knew that they were moving in. Continue Reading…

podcast.gifOver on my LinkedIn network, an interesting question was posed: How often do you listen to podcasts? The author limited his query to non-work-related and non-NPR content. Here’s my response:

I rarely listen to podcasts. So interesting followup questions might be: Where/when/how do people listen? I find I can’t concentrate on a podcast while working on my computer and I don’t listen through my iPod or TV when relaxing.

Generally speaking, I’m more visually oriented and prefer reading or watching video over a purely audio broadcast. If I still regularly commuted (via subway), I might listen to podcasts more frequently. Though I’d just as likely watch some DVRed video clip on my mobile instead.

Continue Reading…

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This isn’t quite within the realm of what I’d normally cover on ZNF, but it’s probably relevant to anybody who’s reading this site. Yesterday I had time to kill on a train from Trenton, NJ to New York’s Penn Station. Given that: blogging takes up so much time primarily because of the reading involved (jkOnTheRun agrees), Google recently launched Google Gears, and I have no mobile broadband connection, I decided it was the right time to try out the new offline Google Reader feature. Here’s how it went:

Step 1
Download Google Gears and restart browser.

Step 2
Click the new offline button on the Google Reader home page to transfer the latest 2,000 items in my RSS subscriptions from the Web to my desktop. (The file download was remarkably quick.)

Step 3
Unplug and hit the train with new offline reading material.

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I’ve drooled over Final Cut Pro for years, but unfortunately in this lifetime I don’t have enough hours to learn the software, much less use it on a regular basis. So, I’m thrilled with the fact that there are now a bunch of Web apps that make video editing exceedingly quick and easy. YouTube is of course the latest to offer such a tool with its addition of Adobe’s Remixer app. I tried it out and was initially all set to sing YouTube’s praises. Unfortunately, the published version of my first remixed video looked nothing like the very-promising preview. The basic editing cuts worked, but the transitions I’d added in were gone.

Wondering how other people had fared, I decided to check out the comments on YouTube’s blog post about its site updates. Ouch. There are a bunch of very unhappy people out there. A few people mentioned having trouble with the editing features (audio problems, text rendering issues, problems with graphics, etc.), but far more people wrote to say they are having trouble with other parts of the site that worked fine before. That plus the fact that YouTube has added a “Videos Being Watched Now” section to its front page that seems to highlight ass shots and outright porn, makes me wonder what YouTube was thinking. Continue Reading…

Word on the street is that Joost is on the lookout for hardware partners. Because we just don’t have enough media extenders. ;) Of course, Joost does has several things going for them – tons of buzz, funding, and content partners. Although Joost’s unique interface may not translate so well to a couch-based experience. And as Brad Linder over at PVRWire wonders:

the whole selling point of Joost was that it made the experience of watching internet video a bit more like watching TV. If you’re actually, you know, watching TV on it, does Joost bring anything to the table?