The digitally literate learner and the appropriation of new technologies and media for education

February 16, 2009

Interesting presentation from Professor John Cook, from his Inaugural Lecture.

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Royalty Free Film Music

January 31, 2009

Film and media students often like to create their own films or edit other people’s films. When making their own films, they would often use a piece of popular music or a film soundtrack and add it to their films.

Royalty Free Film Music

In the olden days before everyone has access to the internet and online video sites such as YouTube and Blip.tv it wouldn’t matter that media and film students would infringe copyright as it was very unlikely that anyone apart from the student and their lecturer would view the video.

Edit: Just to note that it mattered then as it matters now that students infringed copyright. When I said wouldn’t matter what I was thinking was that staff and students then wouldn’t worry about infringing copyright as they perceived the risk of being caught very low and as a result wouldn’t worry about infringing copyright. But it was as wrong then as it is now, just now the risk of being caught is higher.

However these days students are not only making films, they also want to show them off. They are uploading them to YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and loads of other places on the internet.

As a result it is much easier for rights owners to find that the students have infringed their copyright. Regardless of your views on this, it can make life easier for the student, the lecturer and the college to have a source of music for these student films that does not infringe someone’s copyright.

They can of course seek permission from the copyright owner and this may be given or asked to pay a royalty.

The following is not copyright free, but you don’t need to pay royalties, just need to credit.

Lots of wonderful film type music.

From the FAQ

Can I use this music in a Student Film? Commercial Film? Stage Production? Flash Animation? Instructional DVD? Relaxation CD? Slideshow?

Yes. Anything and everything – as long as I get a credit.

Used it myself in a little film I made about the ALT Conference Dinner.

Great source of music for film projects.


Adobe Launches Media Player 1.0 for Mac and PC

April 12, 2008

After their success with Photoshop Express, we now see another web application from Adobe.Adobe Launches Media Player 1.0 for Mac and PC

This is a media player application which works on the AIR platform.

Macrumors says about it:

In many ways, the Adobe Media Player mimics iTunes Video and Podcast functionality by providing users with an all-enclosed application that provides access to network shows and podcasts. Content is sparse at the moment, but Adobe has partnered with a number of content providers such as CBS, PBS, MTV and more. Unlike iTunes, however, Adobe’s Media Player is not presently a “store” and offers free and ad-supported content. Adobe, however, has said that it plans on adding payment systems later to offer purchase and rental options.

Certainly this looks like it could be a real alternative to iTunes for those looking for a way to play podcasts.


Online Video Conversion Tools

October 26, 2007

I have mentioned video media conversion tools before, but most of them have been applications. These are fine for example if you have the right computer (you need a Mac for VisualHub) or you have administrative rights to install the software on your Windows computer (which in institutions is generally not the case).

So if you can’t install a conversion tool on your computer, how do you convert video files, well I have been looking at online video conversion tools for a while now.

The one I have used and found the results work well on mobile devices is Media-Convert.

Media Convert

It’s quite simple, you upload a media file from your computer, and an online conversion converts into the file format of your choice. It can handle a large number of file types including text and audio as well as video, and has a range of possible output file types.

It can be used to create PDF files which is handy.

The user interface could be better, it is covered in Google ads, but it is free and they need to make money somehow.

I was impressed with the quality, I took a large Quicktime movie and converted it into an MP4 file that could be used on my Nokia N73, and the conversion was done very well.

I was recently told about another online media conversion tool, Zamzar, however the site is populated with pop-ups and you also need to enter an e-mail address which smacks to me that my e-mail might be harvested and passed onto third parties.


Sixty Years of “Charley says” and all that – now online

September 12, 2007

If you are of a certain age you may recall various public information films starring such people as Kevin Keegan, Jimmy Saville, the Green Cross Code Man, Charley and the Grim Reaper!

Green Cross Code Man

The National Archives has now put sixty years of public information films online.

For the first time on The National Archives’ website you can view complete public information films from 1945 -2006. Joining with the Central Office of Information (COI) to celebrate their 60th Anniversary, we have featured a selection some of the most memorable and influential COI public information films that cover some fasinating events from Britain’s post-war history.

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