Nielsen and Twitter today announced a deal to create a Nielsen Twitter TV Rating system for the US market.
Under the agreement, Nielsen and Twitter are creating a ‘standard metric’ to measure ‘the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter.’
On the surface, everybody wins:
- Nielsen gets to control a new Rating standard;
- Television gets a standard yardstick for social media engagement, making it easier to focus their social media investment;
- ‘Ad dudes’ get a lot of new work; and
- Twitter gets increased focus & investment from broadcast media.
The losers in the deal, though, appear to be Twitter users.
The deal effectively gives broadcast media a huge incentive to promote and manipulate discussions on Twitter, and that’s exactly what they plan to do:
“The proliferation of smartphones and tablets….create(s) the opportunity for content providers like CBS to offer engaging interactive features for our viewers,” said David F. Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corporation. “We are already engaged with Nielsen and Twitter in a program of research and experimentation in this exciting new area.”
Here’s what Fox has to say about the deal:
“Combining the instant feedback of Twitter with Nielsen ratings will benefit us, program producers, and our advertising partners,” said Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO, Fox Networks Group.
Note that nowhere does he suggest that the new system will benefit either TV viewers or Twitter users.
The new system is slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.
People around the world have been asking for Google Maps on iPhone. Starting today, we’re pleased to announce that Google Maps is here—rolling out across the world in the Apple App Store. It’s designed from the ground up to combine the comprehensiveness and accuracy of Google Maps with an interface that makes finding what you’re looking for faster and easier.
While Google is putting a positive spin on this, it’s actually a huge win for Apple and iPhone users, and a validation of their app strategy.
As usual, John Gruber is one of the few tech analysts looking at the real implications of the news:
This iOS 6 mapping saga has been a source of tremendous controversy, but here we are three months after iOS 6 was released and iPhone users now have a better Google Maps experience than they did when Google was providing the back-end data for the built-in Maps app. It all worked out.
Before Apple introduced its new Maps app, Maps on the iPhone was becoming second rate, with features that many users were asking for missing in action.
Now Google has to compete for users on the iPhone, has to ask for permission to use your location and has to deliver a great mapping app for people to even bother with using it.
Expect more jockeying on this – but Apple’s strategy successfully neutralized a potential threat from Google.
Microsoft has announced that it is dramatically expanding the availability of the Surface RT tablet, effective immediately.
Neowin reports that the Surface RT tablets are already available at Best Buy’s site.
“Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier,” said Steve Schueler, corporate vice president, Microsoft Retail Sales and Marketing.
With SonicMaps, you can create an audio guide to a popular place, a located music composition/playlist, audio games (e.g. Treasure Hunt), located poetry, or simply send geolocated audio messages to your friends.
Using the 3D audio engine option, sounds can be fixed to real world positions, so they are consistently perceived into space while rotating your device (panning) and levels are attenuated according to distance (intensity).
To use SonicMaps, you:
- Upload your audio files to your favourite hosting service.
- Go to the desired location and start placing sounds around using the SonicMaps Editor iOS application.
- Then, you can publish and share your project with other users who will be able to experience your composition as they walk on the selected location.
SonicMaps uses “on-site” editing, avoiding common inaccuracy problems in similar web-based services due to high buildings, maps displacements, etc.
- 3D Audio Engine
- “On-Site” editing using your iPhone/iPad
- Easy project publishing and sharing GPS tracking
- Sounds are activated as you walk
- Requires an internet connection to download/play sounds (Wifi or 3G)
- Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
- Audio files links must point to the actual file name which should be in the mp3 format (e.g. http://sonicmaps.org/sample.mp3). Short or encoded links are currently not supported.
SonicMaps is $2.99 in the App Store.
The most noticeable difference between professional and amateur videos often isn’t the quality of the video, but the quality of the audio.
This video series, by Sennheiser, takes a look at recording audio for video. It covers microphones for video recording, wireless mics, handheld mics and more.
I-Jingle Pro is an app that turns your iPad into a professional jingle/sample cart player.
Easy to use controls let you either play up to 8 jingles simultaneously, cross fade 2 jingles, fade out the first jingle while starting the next or simply stop the first and start the next. So called 2nd touch settings allow you to stop, fade out or re-start a jingle.
At any moment you have 35 jingles on screen and scrolling up and down through the jingles or quickly switching between presets allows you to access up to 300 jingles without leaving the main screen.
I-Jingle Pro is $24.99 in the App Store.
Note: I-Jingle Pro is not recommended for the iPad 1.
AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reports today Apple is planning to move podcasting out of iTunes and into a new dedicated application.
Why have podcasts disappeared from the new version of iTunes that Apple started showing to developers this week?
Because Apple plans on giving the recordings their own bit of digital turf.
People familiar with Apple’s plans tell me that when its new iOS 6 software becomes widely available this fall, podcasts will have their own app, where users will be able to discover, download and play them on mobile devices. Users who access iTunes via laptop and desktop machines will still find them in that version of iTunes, though.
This could be simple housecleaning. iTunes has become a bloated jack-of-all-trades app, and it could use simplification.
The success of iOS devices has shifted Apple’s priorities, too. iPhones and iPads are no longer primarily peripherals to computers, but are Apple’s most important platform.
There may be much more to the news, though. Instagram’s billion dollar sale to Facebook highlighted that mobile devices are rapidly becoming the default platforms for content creation.
With Apple’s existing strengths in mobile audio and video content creation, they have a huge opportunity in rethinking their approach to podcasting.
Think podcasting is getting demoted? Or do you think Apple see a bigger opportunity for mobile media sharing?
This is a demo video for the iRig Mic Cast, whic is a $40 portable micrphone for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
The iRig Mic Cast is designed for recording podcasts, interviews, lectures, voice memos and speeches. It features a unidirectional pickup pattern that minimizes background noise, making it ideal for single-source audio recording.
The video demonstrates the difference between using the iPhone’s built-in microphone and the iRig Mic Cast, in a couple of noisy locations.
This tutorial takes a look at how to make enhanced podcasts with GarageBand.
An ‘enhanced podcast’ is an audio podcast that can also contain images, chapter markers, hyperlinks, and artwork, synced to the audio. When an enhanced podcast is played on a compatible device, the additional information will be displayed in time with the audio podcast.
iTunes upgrades include:
- An updated iTunes image requirement — RGB 1400×1400 — throughout the plugin for better cover image quality throughout.
- “Feature Episode” that allow podcasters to designate a primary episode, which can be used to introduce the podcast or lead in to a new series.
- An iTunes Order feature that allows a podcaster doing a series of episodes to have each listed in the desired order.
Other PowerPress 4.0 offerings include:
- A Feed Episode Maximizer “option” for shows with episodes in excess of what can currently be included in a feed. This feature allows the podcaster to maintain the latest 10 episodes in iTunes with all of the extensive episode data. The rest of the episodes are listed in a way that maximizes the number of episodes that can be listed on iTunes / Zune etc. Perfect for the serial podcaster with an extensive episode library.
See the Blubrry site for details.
- Banish (computers) to a separate room or to a specially designed cupboard.
- The room needs to be as dead as possible, especially at mid and high frequencies.
- Don’t record in front of a table. The reflections off the table will colour the sound. Radio broadcasters use special ‘acoustic’ tables which are acoustically transparent.
- Make sure the page turns in the script are placed so that the VO artist doesn’t have to turn the page in the middle of a line.
- Make sure the VO artist has a glass of fresh still water to keep everything lubricated and sometimes an apple can help to reduce mouth clicks that won’t go away with a drink.
Most of these seem obvious, but you still hear plenty of podcasts that could benefit from them.
See the site for the full article.
iMovie for iOS now is supported on these devices:
- iPhone 4
- iPhone 4S
- iPod touch (4th generation
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G
- iPad (3rd generation) and
- iPad Wi-Fi + 4G.
Previously, Apple only supported iMove on the iPad 2. As of iMovie version 1.3, though, you can officially install it on the iPad 1.
To install iMovie on the original iPad:
- Select your iPad in iTunes and navigate to Apps;
- In the Sync Apps area, find and select iMovie;
- Sync your iPad and you’re done!
Note: iOS 5.1 or higher is required.
iMovie is $4.99 in the App Store.
Alesis has introduced the iO Mix, a new docking station that turns your iPad into a 4-Channel recording studio.
The Alesis iO Mix lets you mix and record four channels of audio directly into GarageBand or other compatible Core Audio apps, turning the iPad into a multitouch portable studio.
Around the back, iO Mix lets you connect microphones, instruments, speakers, headphones and more to your iPad, which could make it a great audio podcasting workstation.
- The world’s first mixer/multi-channel interface for iPad
- Mix and record up to four channels, or a stereo mix into your iPad
- Works with mics, instruments, speakers, headphones, video monitors and projectors
- Four combo XLR-1/4″ input channels, each with trim, channel gain, pan, and low & high EQ
- Switchable 48V phantom power for use with studio condenser microphones
- Guitar-direct (DI) switch for guitar recording without an amp
- Balanced, stereo 1/4″ outputs and 1/4″ headphone output with separate volume controls
- Direct Monitor switch for latency-free input monitoring while recording
- Switchable limiter for clip-free recordings
- Hinged door completely encloses and secures your iPad
- Core Audio-compliant: works with virtually any app in the App Store
- Video output for connection to TVs and projectors: perfect for presentations, meetings and VJs
- Mountable to a mic stand using the Alesis Module Mount (sold separately)
- Complete routing and signal-management controls
- Power supply also charges your iPad
In a talk at South By Southwest, being held March 9-18 in Austin, Texas, filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks) said that podcasting saved his career.
“I had no idea, but that would become the fucking center of everything I’m doing now,” said Smith. ”The ultimate freedom that allowed me to walk away from the ‘heroin’ [money] of the movie business – what gave me the strength to walk away – was podcasting.”
In 2007, Smith launched SModcast, a weekly podcast, with friend Scott Mosier, and he’s been doing it ever since.
Smith also noted several ways he’s made money from his podcast:
- “People would tweet left and right: ‘You put out so many free podcasts; how can I pay it back?’ ” said Smith. “I was like, ‘Go buy a T-shirt’ and they were like, ‘Cool.’ “
- Paid advertising – The first sponsor was adult product Fleshlight.
- A paid version of the podcast which contains bonus features, but no ads.
- Taking the podcast on the road, selling tickets and merchandise.
- Creating a podcast network of affiliated shows.
“In terms of filmmakers, it was me and Peter Jackson on the Web,” said Smith. Then, one day, he said ‘I’m going to get offline and go make classics’ and I was like, ‘I’ll stay here.’ ”
Developers have released Audacity 2.0, the latest version of the free digital audio workstation application.
Some of the new features in Audacity 2.0 include:
- Many effects significantly improved, especially Equalization, Noise Removal and Normalize. Vocal Remover now included plus GVerb on Windows and Mac. VAMP analysis plug-ins now supported.
- Improved label tracks with Sync-Lock Tracks feature in the Tracks Menu. Multiple clips per track. Tracks and selections can be fully manipulated using the keyboard. Many more keyboard shortcuts.
- New Device Toolbar to manage inputs and outputs. Timer Record feature. New Mixer Board view with per-track VU meters.
- Automatic Crash Recovery in the event of abnormal program termination.
- Fast “On-Demand” import of WAV/AIFF files if read directly from source. FLAC now fully supported. Added support for optional FFmpeg library for import/export of AC3/M4A/WMA and import of audio from video files.
Audacity is popular with podcasters, especially on Windows, because it offers solid basic recording and editing features, and is free and open source.
Audacity 2.0 is free and available now for Linux, Mac & Windows.
Every couple of years, Wired, the New York Times or some random tech pundit declares that blogging is dead.
Most recently, the NYT said that blogging was dead because the young are switching to Twitter – as if they were interchangeable.
Stats from Nielsen, though, show the number of blogs growing at a steady pace for six years, from about 36 million in ’06 to 173 million last year.
Here’s how they profile bloggers:
- Women make up the majority of bloggers;
- Half of bloggers are aged 18-34;
- Bloggers are well-educated: 7 out of 10 bloggers have gone to college, a majority of whom are graduates;
- About 1 in 3 bloggers are Moms, and 52 percent of bloggers are parents with kids under 18 years-old in their household; and
- Bloggers are active across social media: they’re twice as likely to post/comment on consumer-generated video sites like YouTube, and nearly three times more likely to post in Message Boards/Forums within the last month.
While the buzz may wear off blogging, podcasting and other forms of citizen media, it probably means that the technology has matured and moved into a steady growth phase – exactly what the Nielsen stats show.
Apple today updated GarageBand for iOS, adding new collaboration and editing features for musicians, and social network sharing that could be useful for podcasters.
Here are the highlights:
- GarageBand 1.2 introduces Jam Session, a feature that lets groups of people wirelessly connect their iOS devices to play instruments and record live music together. Jam Session automatically synchronizes the tempo, key and chords of your Touch Instruments. After jamming, everyone’s tracks are automatically collected on your iOS device for you to edit and mix.
- GarageBand also introduces Smart Strings, a new Touch Instrument that allows you to ‘play’ a string orchestra with one finger.
- The new Note Editor is probably the most welcome addition. It allows you to fine tune a Touch Instrument recording instead of replaying it from scratch.
- Integration with iCloud keeps your GarageBand songs up to date across your iOS devices, and you can share your finished songs directly to Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud.
GarageBand 1.2 will be released today for $4.99. Updates are available for free to existing customers.
Apple today released a major update to iMovie and also introduced iPhoto for iPad:
- iMovie now allows you to turn the HD video on your iPad and iPhone into trailers, even as you’re recording. The new Theater view lets you preview and choose from nine templates in a range of genres including Fairy Tale, Superhero and Romance. Trailers feature customizable graphics with soundtracks written by legendary composers such as Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer and performed by world class musicians like the London Symphony Orchestra. You can also share your movie trailers to YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, and use AirPlay to stream them to Apple TV in high definition resolutions up to 1080p.
- iPhoto has been reimagined for iOS to take full advantage of the Retina display and intuitive Multi-Touch gestures on iPad and iPhone. Simple gestures can be used to select and compare photos side by side and flag your best shots. iPhoto gives you full control over color, exposure and contrast, and you simply touch the parts of the image you want to change. You can enhance pictures by adding beautiful Apple-designed effects with just a tap, or apply adjustments exactly where you want them with fingertip brushes. In addition to posting photos to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, you can beam photos between your iPhone and iPad; stream photos and slideshows to your Apple TV with AirPlay; and use iCloud to publish photo journals to the web and share your stories with friends and family in a whole new way.
Apple also released an update to GarageBand that adds social media sharing.
iPhoto, iMovie 1.3 and GarageBand 1.2 are available today for $4.99 (US) each from the App Store. iPhoto is a universal app that runs on iPad 2 or later and iPhone 4 or later. iMovie is a universal app that runs on iPad 2 or later, iPhone 4 or later and iPod touch (4th generation).
Apple today introduced the iPad 3, featuring the company’s new A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a 5 megapixel iSight camera that can capture 1080p HD video. The new iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G connects to AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G LTE networks.
The new iPad Wi-Fi models will be available in black or white on Friday, March 16, priced at:
- $499 (US) for the 16GB model
- $599 (US) for the 32GB model and
- $699 (US) for the 64GB model.
iPad Wi-Fi + 4G for either AT&T or Verizon will be priced at:
- $629 (US) for the 16GB model
- $729 (US) for the 32GB model and
- $829 (US) for the 64GB model.
Beginning today, iPad 2 will be priced starting at $399.
Here are the details on the new features:
- The new iPad’s Retina display delivers four times the number of pixels of iPad 2, so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when held at a normal distance, making web pages, text, images and video look incredibly sharp and realistic. The 3.1 million pixels in the Retina display are more than one million more pixels than an HD TV, and with 44 percent increased color saturation the new iPad displays colors that are unbelievably richer, deeper and more vivid. Movies are now capable of playing at full 1080p HD-resolution, delivering an incomparable viewing experience on a mobile device.
- The new A5X chip with quad-core graphics was specifically designed by Apple to deliver a fast, responsive user experience while supporting the incredible Retina display.
- The 5 megapixel iSight camera features advanced optics for taking stunning pictures and recording full HD video. Backside illumination allows you to take great photos in low-light conditions and a new video image stabilization feature removes the bumps and shakes typically seen when filming with a hand-held device. Images can be enjoyed on the large Retina display, then edited, enhanced and easily shared with friends and family using the built-in Photos app on iPad.
- iPad Wi-Fi + 4G with built-in next generation 4G LTE has support for fast networks worldwide including HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA, and now both CDMA and GSM iPad users have the ability to easily roam internationally. The world-ready iPad delivers blazing download and upload speeds so web pages load incredibly quickly and email with large attachments can be sent and received easily. Personal Hotspot can be used to share the fast network connection on your iPad with up to 5 other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.
- With iOS 5.1, the latest update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, the new iPad has a number of new features and enhancements including: a redesigned Camera app with video stabilization technology; the ability to delete photos from Photo Stream; support for dictation in English, French, German and Japanese; and Personal Hotspot; iOS 5.1 also works seamlessly with iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services including iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that works seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content and push it to your devices.
- The new iPad also supports dictation. Instead of typing, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, then say what you want to say and the new iPad listens. Tap done, and iPad converts your words into text. You can use dictation to write messages, take notes, search the web and more. Dictation also works with third-party apps, so you can update your Facebook status, tweet, or write Instagram captions.
“The new iPad redefines the category Apple created less than two years ago, delivering the most amazing experience people have ever had with technology,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The new iPad now has the highest resolution display ever seen on a mobile device with 3.1 million pixels, delivering razor sharp text and unbelievable detail in photos and videos.”
Apple also introduced the iPhoto app, along with major updates to iMovie and GarageBand, completing its suite of iLife apps for iOS. iLife and the iWork apps, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, have all been updated to take advantage of the new iPad Retina display.
Paolo Tosolini shares his approach to getting better video from an iPhone or Android smartphone.
His DIY mobile video setup adds a tripod mount, hande bracket, external microphone and an LED light panel.