Thursday, March 31, 2011 

YouTube's Audio Recognition Software | Good or Bad?

Speaking as an "early adopter" long-time YouTuber, it's been interesting to see watch its evolution & impact on the world. I'm hearing it's also being used as a search engine as much as it is for checking out videos?

Obviously, Google knew full well what it would & could do with YouTube when they bought it a few years back for $1.65 BILLION - specifically, they knew they could ensure videos hosted on YouTube would come up first - or close to it - in its search engine results. From there, they could put ad overlays on the videos, invite visitors to click on the "Promoted Videos," put up pay for click ads, banner ads, etc. Make money from other people's talent, to put it simply.

Early on, I also noticed that when someone posted a video with a song they didn't own the rights to (myself included), YouTube rarely removed the video. Instead, they figured there was more money to be made leaving it on. They'd put up an ad, inviting the viewer to buy the song at or some other online shopping cart (smart). My low-resolution version of Stardust is one example; it's gotten over 350,000 views by now, it comes up on page #1 of Google (video tab), it features links to other Nat King Cole songs for sale online, and the comments people post about it truly blow me away (keep 'em coming!). 

NOTE: Although I've gotten invites from YouTube to apply for their revenue sharing program (what a nightmare filling out their forms!), I have never made a dime from any of my online videos; my stuff is free entertainment, which actually costs me $ as a professional video editor.
Lately, though, I've noticed something when trying to post videos featuring other artists' music: The audio is sometimes automatically deleted, with some kind of notice saying "YouTube does not have a licensing agreement for this music" or something along those lines. Wow.

Unless YouTube has real humans monitoring all these uploaded videos (highly doubtful), it's more likely they have some kind of audio recognition software in place which recognizes copyrighted songs. If that's true: What a MASSIVE project that must have been to process all those famous tunes so a computer program could recognize them? 

Setting aside the more nefarious implications of that same software being used to monitor people's conversations and certain phrases with electronic eavesdropping (legally or, more likely --- illegally), this is actually pretty fantastic news for songwriters and publishers: It means YouTube now has software in place to ensure these people get paid for their art. 

Speaking for myself, this is right in time with some proposals I've been dialing in, which pays royalties to artists based on a per-view basis for videos featuring their on-camera performances. I mean, look at it: Until/unless the end of the world happens, online videos will NEVER go away - might as well figure out a way to get paid off those things, eh?

Friday, March 25, 2011 

MySpace Loses 10m Users In One Month

Good riddance! Their site always navigated like a pig; way too many ads; pages took too long to load; zero customer support; crappy internal search engine. Here's the link to this latest article chronicling their deserved demise:

Sunday, March 13, 2011 

Susan Tedeschi | Hurt So Bad

This great tune will always remind me of my first time in New Orleans, which was also the first time I ever heard it, accompanied by the moves of a very very good dancer...

Saturday, March 12, 2011 

John Lilly | Come & Go | Live at Duke's Bar Rogers Park IL

Another video I shot & edited for John Lilly from his show last August at Duke's Bar in Rogers Park (Chicago) IL USA.We used a couple of Canon VIXIAs, the tripod shot unfortunately wasn't set to the highest HD setting (although the monopod/handheld was) at 24p 1080 HD.

I think John said he won a song contest for Midas with this tune? It was his idea to put in the assorted postcards...

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 09, 2011 

The Final Days (And Nights) Of Fat City?

There's a section of the New Orleans area about a 10 minute drive west of the French Quarter called Fat City - it's actually in Metairie (pronounced MET-ree, or Met - er -ee, whichever you prefer). From what I'm hearing, I may be witnessing the last days of Fat City in March 2011.

This is a beautifully sleazy/easy/greasy small little condensed section of town, bordered by nice neighborhoods, typical corporate chain stores & restaurants (think Office Depot, Borders, Best Buy, McDonald's, a mall, etc.). Although I'm told it's pretty tame/lame compared to its heydey 15 years or so ago, there's still a few holdouts standing: A strip club, some 24/7 restaurants/bars, coffee shops, bakery, convenience marts. And just about all the places within reasonable walking distance. 

I'm told Fat City was a nice alternative for locals who didn't feel like dealing with the French Quarter crowds, parking or prices. Folks could get off their shift (whenever that was), roll by one the many places for food, booze, a lap dance - whatever struck their fancy at any time of the day or night. 

Now, it sounds like the same story happening yet again: Real estate developers are working in conjunction with local politicians to "clean up Fat City!" I'm hearing an ordinance was passed, effective April 1 2011, to close any business serving alcohol by midnight. MIDNIGHT? Hell, most states let bars stay open until 2AM at least?!?!?
As for the bars in Fat City, a big chunk of their business comes in AFTER midnight. And the politicians and developers know this full well. It would seem the plan is to 1. Dramatically reduce their revenue and 2. Soften the building owners up to sell for whatever they can get for their properties. 

But then again... since when did politicians ever bite the hand of who's really feeding them?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 

Crabs In A Bucket Y'All

One thing that's real cool about the French Quarter in NOLA: TONS of restaurants and bars, all squeezed into a pretty small geographic footprint. Bouncing around down there the other night as Mardi Gras gets closer and closer, I was sitting in a local's bar, next to a couple of cooks who just got off work nearby. Having done my time cranking it out in restaurants, it's pretty easy to strike up a conversation with cooks (and waiters too).

We were talking a little bit about the different cultures in various US cities, when he shared one about New Orleans. "Down around here," he said, "it's like crabs in a bucket." Huh?

"You know, a bunch of crabs in a bucket - did you ever watch 'em? Every one of 'em is climbin' over the others, trying to get to the top."

I laughed hard and long, and although it's probably true, it's really more sad than funny. Come to think of it, I don't think that description of people in New Orleans is much different than just about anywhere else you go. Are most of us just "crabs in a bucket" after all? Hope not.