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Cost Effective, Compact, Media Wrangling Tools

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Netbook File CopyingWhen it comes to managing your media on location shoots, the tool of choice is typically a laptop. However, laptops can get very expensive quickly, require big external power supplies and bags, and, for simple media management (copying files to a client’s drive) they are overkill. Today’s laptops are also powerful enough do basic grading, editing, and even media conversion and uploading while in the field. But what if you don’t need all of that capability? What if you just need to copy your camera files to an external hard drive for the client to take with them?

A new solution in the market is a budget tablet with USB-3. Today, USB-3 ports enable you to copy your media cards to external hard drives much faster than USB-2. I’ll take a look at three cost-effective and compact mobile media wrangling tools on the market today: The RAVpower RP-WD01 portable media device, as well as the WinBook TW800 and WinBook TW100- both are Windows 8 tablets featuring a full-size USB-3 port on the edge.

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Beware the App Store.

May 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Fishing imageAs people willingly walk into the future, they are being lured by streaming this, virtual that, and the ever vague “cloud.” What they do not see or realize is the vanishing control of things they had taken for granted for so long.

The first crack in this “utopia” was when Amazon had to pull books from its bookstore because the entity selling them through Amazon did not have the rights to do so. Well, that’s all proper you’d say, but they also reached into the pockets of the end users who had bought those books, and took those books out of the buyers pockets. They did this virtually by remotely deleting the books from the Amazon Kindle e-readers of people who had bought the rights-infringing books. But there was a certain irony in that one of the books Amazon secretly removed from the buyer’s ownership was George Orwell’s 1984, where the government censors erase all traces of news articles embarrassing to Big Brother by sending them down an incineration chute called the “memory hole.” 

Are we headed that way too? And are we going there willingly?

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Using inexpensive “DJ” LED lights for video productions.

June 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Good quality light fixtures are well worth the money spent as they will provide years, even decades of faithful service. But a single, good fresnel light head, stand, doors, etc can easily run several hundred dollars. Then, to get creative, you still need an external dimmer, and several colored gels to craft the light into something more creative.

Alternatively, LED panels have been gaining popularity for their energy efficiency and cool running features. Looking beyond the small set of white and bi-color LEDs specifically made for video production, you can find a whole other world of LED fixtures made for other markets- including “disk jockey” LED lights and controllers. For the cost of one good fresnel light, you can have a multi-light, expandable LED lighting package.

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REVIEW: ioSafe SoloPRO Fireproof External Drive

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Today, external hard disk drives are a “dime a dozen” so to speak. They all use drives from a handful of companies, wrap them in a plastic or metal enclosure with USB, eSATA or some other interfaces, add a cheap external power supply, and box it up for sale. What all these drives lack, however, is security for your data. Sure, you can use a RAID, but if catastrophe hits- a fire, flood, tornado, etc, your data is gone. This is where ioSafe stakes their claim. Read more…

Mastering the Dallas Screenwriter’s Association – 2011 Short Film Showcase

November 15, 2011 1 comment

What does it take to master 11 DVD’s, 4 WMVs, and 3 .mov’s onto one disc? Not a lot. But it does take a thorough of understanding what goes into mastering a DVD and what the shortest distance is between Source and Delivery.

The Dallas Screenwriters Association had gathered more than 12 movies for it’s 2011 Showcase. Add to this some PSA’s and some new media created specifically for this program, and you have the makings for a special challenge. But there’s a way around this potentially tricky multiformat maze that enabled the finished DVD to be delivered in just a couple days- and that includes delays for work on other projects, and the need to create a few new media bits. Read more…

Apple’s new iMovie Pro. (aka Final Cut Pro X)

April 13, 2011 12 comments

Say goodbye to the Pro Apps as you know them. The writing has been on the wall for several years, yet many Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Studio users continue to cling to the hope that Apple will make a major leap with Final Cut Pro and bring it into 64-bit computing, and finally address the numerous issues that have been on wish lists, sometimes for an entire decade.

Well, Apple demoed iMovie Pro at the FCP SuperMeet this past Tuesday April 12th and made absolutely no qualms about visually signifying the end of the Pro apps as we know them. There was no talk of Color. Soundtrack, Motion, Compressor, DVD Studio Pro, Blu-ray authoring, 3D authoring, feature film features, etc. No the focus was solely on Apple iMovie Pro.

How did we get to this sorry state? Well, I think there was a conversation in January that sort of went like this: Read more…

IEBA Review: Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder

February 11, 2011 1 comment

When it comes to camcorders, most everything is moving to flash media.

There are, however, an incredible amount of HDV and other tape-based HD camcorders out there, still working hard and producing great images. How do you get these camcorders up to speed with the new flash-media workflow? With an external recorder.

Thus far, the need for external devices to record HD footage has primarily been served by Focus Enhancements’ FireStore line. However, there has been growth in the segment recently and Datavideo has entered the fray with a unique design and price point under $500. Does the Datavideo DN-60 Solid State CF Card Recorder give the more expensive recorders a run for their money? Let’s find out. Read more…

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