Great Targeting or Luck?

targeted-advertising.jpgAn ad for Suboxone (a pharmaceutical medication that helps people get over opoid addictions) appeared on my YouTube video called “Ten Fewer Holiday Things to Stress Over This.”

Targeting or luck?

Why do I have a feeling this blog post is going to attract a lot of spam for Percocet and Oxycontin?

Importing PC .mov Video Files Into Mac iMovie (without audio and video missing)

It’s the age old problem. You import an MPEG, Quicktime (.mov) or AVI into iMovie, and get a video with no audio. Or the dreaded white screen with working audio. That, of course, plunges you into countless hours of Google searches, flings you into the black hole of forum & help sites, and ultimately convinces you to buy several $20 downloads that don’t work. Then you finally figure it out, but the next time you forget what you did.

Today, after spending $100 on Flip4Mac’s WMV and upgrading to Quicktime Pro, I found the solution in free software from Squared 5. It’s called the MPEG Streamclip. It also allows you to rip videos from YouTube and other video sites (see picture), and save them in a variety of ways.

When I do collaboration videos, I’m often sending large files (using free Pando software or YouSendIt), and the video files usually work fine.

streamclip to convert video files between mac and PCBut sometimes video files present problems because they are muxed (the audio and video are mixed). The odd part is that the clips sometimes play fine on Quicktime but won’t import into iMovie. That’s because iMovie doesn’t support muxed files. So you need to demux the puppies.

First, download and launch MPEG Streamclip, and then open your problem video file. Next, select “File>Demux>Demux to M2V and AIFF.” This may give you a strange video file that still won’t open in Quicktime or iMovie. But at least you can import the audio portion, since AIFF exports separately, and imports as audio to iMovie without problems. To patch up this “Grant Giggles” video built from ancient .mov files, I had to import the videos as Quicktime .mov files, then import the audio separately as AIFFs (which I created in Streamclip). I next locked the audio and video using Apple-L (a nice trick Charles Trippy taught me).

This may not solve all problems because the file extensions “.mov and .mpeg” can be deceiving. There are lots of different CODECs (ways to code them), and some versions are Mac friendly and others aren’t.

Still, Streamclip is free (thanks, guys) and has a lot of different import and export/convert options that I would have thought would come with Quicktime Professional or Flip4Mac’s WMV professional studio (and I have no idea what I just payed $100 for, since WMV can’t solve this, and I’m not quite sure what it does otherwise).

Here’s another site with a buttload of information about file conversions.

Got any better tips for solving PC/Mac or Mac/PC conversion problems? Please comment below!

Addition December 19: Thanks ChristopherMast for pointing out iSquint. If you’re on Mac and want an easy way to rip videos from the web, try Tasty Apps.  Marquis- this is for demuxing your own clips if they’re old (like these, which I captured via MPEG on my digital camera). Also- sometimes you lose a video and have to go rescue it from Revver or something. And finally, when I make videos and want to show a highlight of someone else (usually ask permission if I’m not sure they’ll say yes).

Top Ten Stupidest Moments of Online Video in 2007

It’s time for the first annual WillVideoforFood.com’s Top 10 Stupidest Moments of Online Video in 2007. This list is my first draft, so I invite and encourage moments I’ve no doubt missed.

I haven’t kept a notepad besides my bed all year, and I try to suppress these moments. That said, I did review hundreds of blog entries and perform countless Google searches to compile this starter list. Feel free to use all or parts of this post on your blog or website- link appreciated.

  1. Chris Crocker becomes a viral sensation after this weeping video defending Britney Spears. It gets 13 million views, but Crocker fails to post another video in the three months since. Lesson: It’s not the one-hit wonder, it’s about consistency. To his credit, he’s another video amateur that is “working on a TV show,” he’s been spotted at Social, and he did make Time Magazine’s top 10 list of viral videos.
  2. YouAre.tv gives up, and embarrasses itself while trying to hype its own auction (with a paltry 2,000 visitors per day) on eBay. To add insult to injury, it sends an “exclusive” report to New Tee Vee, but accidentally sends it to The Silicon Valley Insider (who promptly publishes the entire desperate e-mail from You Are Media CEO David K. Dundas). Lesson: Don’t start another video site, and check e-mail when you leak exclusives.
  3. top 10 stupid moments of online videoSneeeer: Techcrunch publishes “The Secret Strategies Behind Many Viral Videos,” which leads to a dramatic backlash among online-video enthusiasts, bloggers and the video community. I parked “ViralVideoVillain.com” for TechCrunch contributing author Michael Ackerman Greenberg. TechCrunch does a “follow up.” Lesson: There are appropriate ways to market your videos, and cheats don’t need a soap box.
  4. Oprah makes her debut on YouTube by taking over the homepage with online-video clichés (dog on skateboard, cats doing tricks), then creating a YouTube channel that looks more like a network PR site. Lesson: Too many for this post. See previous post about what Oprah might have learned.
  5. JewTube launches in the summer, and Google later challenges the name (based on copyright infringement of YouTube). Lesson: Niche sites are smart. But build your own brand.
  6. The Daily Reel dies after morphing from “Entertainment Weekly for online video” to a video podcast series to a video-hosting site to a video-enthusiast community site to a site thats’ now frozen in time like some parts of New Orleans years after Katrina. Lesson: Pick a core competency and stick with it.
  7. ZeFrank killed his popular online-video show in March, just as his fame was developing. He quietly returned to blip.tv recently, but not on his ZeFrank “The Show” page. NewTeeVee writer Chris Albrecht called his return video “anemic” with a “spark missing.” There were rumors of a television deal, and blip.tv issued this press release when he closed The Show. We won’t comment, as we have a documented history of being jealous of ZeFrank (as “caught on tape” with this Dove Evolution parody). Lesson: Stick with what you do well. And I’m not saying there’s a “Famous Amos” thing happening here, but why else wouldn’t ZeFrank populate his show page in addition to blip.tv?
  8. The New York Times calls YouTube “celebrities” hot property. Umm… I’m kinda a big deal on YouTube, but someone show me how the YouTube thing has changed more than a couple lives. Lesson: The “overnight” success of online-video amateurs is a bit exaggerated.
  9. Experts project that television advertising budgets will pour online. Experts project 3/4 of a billion dollars in online video for 2007. Even so, that’s a small portion of the 3-8 billion expected to go into online advertising in total this year. No word yet as to how the year’s shaping up (but eMarketers upped its estimate in August). I didn’t get my share of 3/4 billion, though. Did you? Lesson: Take advertising projections and divide by 10.
  10. Viacom demands YouTube remove all of its content and tries to build an “old media consortium” to compete with YouTube (Viacom, News Corp and NBC ). Writers who are on strike find this move, in hindsight, quite ironic (see recent video by Daily Show writers). Naturally, media executives come to Viacom’s defense. Lesson: as I mentioned in March, that old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” consortium thing never quite works out (see ComScore reports of online-video share). Still, you can’t blame someone from crying fowl about having their stuff stolen and monetized by someone else online. Unless they’re a writer, of course.

The Daily Reel (TDR) Goes RIP?

I’m always the last guy to realize someone got laid off. Or someone took a new job. Or the company I worked for shut down 6 months ago, which explains the lack of paycheck and the movers trying to box my computer.

The Daily Reel Goes DarkSo it shouldn’t surprise me that months after The Daily Reel (TDR) apparently died, I’m starting to realize it. No message on the company blog. No new headlines on the homepage. Ads promote an event that happened in October. Heck I free, freelanced for them and I don’t remember getting a memo.

Everything just frozen in time like some of the homes in New Orleans even two years after Katrina. Can’t they hire a temp to turn the lights out?

Halfway through this post, I decided to do a Google News search. New TeeVee writer Liz Gannes was a full 5 days ahead of me in noticing TDR’s dormancy.

I have been tracking some of the alumnae, who are diplomatic about their former employer but extatic about their new gigs:

This reminds me a little of a video spoof I did about online video called Chapter11TV (someone has since squatted the domain name, which used to host a fake site).

The major lesson? Know what you want to be when you grow up. TDR, to me, started as an Entertainment Weekly of online video. Then it started hosting video podcasts, which I thought was complementary. What confused me is when the site invited creators to post their own videos (as opposed to using Revver or another provider). Eventually it was trying to become a community for online video enthusiasts, which gave it an identity crisis and made it, to a degree, competition with some of the sites it was covering. Its final act was facilitating a conference in October.

There were some smart folks involved, so I’m guessing the demise was a result of investor impatience and desperation. Sorry for the folks that set up Reeled In accounts at my urging. Want to do a pool for how long before the site has a 404?