New Tools

vuvox-inaction

Today was abnormal for a weekend day: I actually came across all sorts of multimedia tools, as opposed to just sleeping all day. I attended the second day of the Illinois College Press Association conference, and was able to attend a session that gave us tons of tools we need to get around the particular shortcomings of College Publisher. It’s refreshing, because I’ve been made legitimately angry by the horribly outdated multimedia tools that we’ve been stuck with. Now, I’m not blaming those bad tools for all of the shortcomings of the website, but they certainly don’t help.

One of the really cool tools we were shown was Vuvox. I’ve been slightly anti-Flash on this blog, but only because it’s annoying to a blogger– I can’t link to content within the site itself. Vuvox is cool though, because it creates a lightweight flash slideshow presentation within the website itself. Here’s an example that I threw together quickly:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cool, no?

Another site we were shown was Wix. Wix makes free and quick Flash websites, and though I don’t like trying to link to them, I can’t avoid the fact that Flash looks better than anything else on the web. Whether or not it’s easier to code than HTML/CSS (I don’t know, I’ve never tried), it always looks like more work went into it. Loads more. I’m contemplating using Wix to run my Convergence Journalism class’ website, but I’ll have to work out the bugs. It’ll probably be a mix of our current content manager and these Flash tools, whatever is the most efficient/good- looking.

Two more short thoughts, and they’re both Facebook-based. The first is just a matter of confusion. Take a look at this image that was in a Facebook advertisement on my sidebar today: 6002243224597_1_791bfe59

Apparently whoever made this image put a phone’s keypad onto the body of a Canon Digital Rebel DSLR. Usually camera phones work the other way, but hey, if someone invents this, it’ll be handy to… Um… Somebody with really large pockets. I just don’t know what they were thinking. It’s a curious idea, though, I’ll give them that.

Also: I’ve commented on the vapidity of social networking sites, but I was crushed (crushed) to see that a friend de-friended me on Facebook today. It hurts surprisingly much for such a small, relatively meaningless thing. I guess it depends on who it is, but it never feels great.

Enough Facebook. Here’s the music.

I don’t feel good posting this first track… It feels like sacrilege of some kind. The Beatles are just so much better than the Monkees. They do sound good together, though. Probably because the Beatles taught the Monkees everything they know.

Speaking of cheesy bands, this second track features Green Day.

This last track is a long ‘un. It’s got a great groove, though.

PS– My (horrible) method of keeping track of which mash-ups I’ve posted is to download them and search my iTunes for a track I’m suspicious about double-posting. The problem is that I don’t download all of them, so a bunch slip through the cracks. I also haven’t cleaned up my desktop in a while, so now it’s covered with two weeks of mash-ups. What a mess.

7 responses to “New Tools

  1. Pingback: Facebook » Blog Archive » New Tools

  2. I’m afraid I have to take issue with your comment about the Beatles teaching the Monkees everthing they know. The TV show The Monkees was conceived BEFORE the filming of Help! or A Hard Day’s Night. It was a TV show about a band. They were 4 performers who eventually became a group. They never tried to be the Beatles or copy the Beatles. They are talented entertainers in their own right. John Lennon said it best when he was asked to compare the Beatles and the Monkees. He said the Monkees were nothing like the Beatles. They were more like the Marx Brothers. And he loved them. I find that it’s people who don’t know the facts who are quickest to bash the “Pre-Fab Four”; people who think that the Beatles never used studio musicians and never sang other artists’ songs. The truth is the Monkees were hired to act and were not allowed to play on the first two albumns. When they wrested control from the powers-that-be, they wrote music and played every note on their 3rd albumn. Please, do some research before you deny credit to worthy performers.
    P.S. In 1967, The Monkees sold more albumns than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

    • Hahahahaha.
      I admit to conforming to the stereotype. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy listening to them. I’ve just been around people that bash the Monkees all my life.
      As to your aside about 1967, I don’t think anyone would deny that they were a popular band. Popularity and album sales don’t equate to creative genius, however– just look at Jet. Or the Fratellis.

  3. Thanks for indulging me. I appreciate you putting up with my ranting and raving. I realize this blog isn’t really about the merits of ’60s pop bands. I got sucked into Monkeemania in the ’80s and for some reason find myself compelled to come to their defense whenever I find their honor being besmirched. I agree with you that record sales do not necessarily equate talent, but believe me, the talent was there. It was in the song writing, the TV producing, the music production, the promotion, the acting, etc., etc. They would not have become such a phenomenon if it had not been there. Anyway, thanks for letting me put my two cents in without bashing me for my nerdy taste in ’60s bubblegum.
    P.S. I LOVE the Beatles!

  4. hey nathan,
    So, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve listened to many of the mash-ups you’ve posted. Something I’m trying to remedy. (though the fact that they’re ALL from goodblimey kinda bugs me)
    But, I think part of the reason I haven’t been listening to them is that I essentially have to open them in new tabs to listen to them, download them, or use the annoying ‘SnapShots’ thing which blocks part of the screen when I’m listening.
    So, I don’t know if you have the opportunity to code, (I’ve never used wordpress but have always heard good things, so I assume there’s some option) but here’s a nifty bit of code that will turn whatever mp3 into a little flash player.
    http://www.labnol.org/internet/design/html-embed-mp3-songs-podcasts-music-in-blogs-websites/2232/

    • Yeah, there are cool little Flash applets to play individual music files, like on Kitsune Noir, but I don’t use them for one important reason: You can’t download them directly. Now, I suppose I could embed the player AND include the Flash player, and maybe I will, but I’ve never taken it quite that far. For now, though, I value the ability to download over the looks of embedded Flash players.

  5. Pingback: Expansion « Gorilla Media

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