Video Of Me?


So I get a reply from Astrid today and she’s all like, “get cracking on that video you slacker!”, when I realize it’s been like a month since I did my botched demo at mapquest and promised a followup screencast. So now I’m checking out Rory’s site looking for those comments he made not too long ago about video editing software for the Mac. Then I realize he’s actually promoting Adobe products in the post and making a humble reccommendation for Final Cut Express. I’d love to go there but since I’m not as rich as he is I can’t pull out a single bill that says $200 and make the pruchase. (Do they even make money in 200 denomination anymore? Didn’t that go out with Converse and Cross Color jeans? And further more who pays for software with a greenback anymore? Isn’t everything plastic oriented? How the hell did he send the bill over the internet? Does his mac have a bill feeder? Mine doesn’t! I want a Mac with a bill feeder so I can be all like, “My Mac has a bill feeder and yours doesn’t!” Where does the bil go after it’s fed into the Mac bill feeder?) As a result I’m sleuthing the web, like I always do for open source and free alternatives. I find this tool called JahShaka that’s open sourced and multi-platform. I’m thinking, “that’s kinda’ John Blaze because I never know which OS I’ll be working on next and nothing peeves me more than software I have to find replacements for.” (I had a hard time finding replacements for the Linux replacements I found for Windows tools like cmd here, WinAmp/Amarok, Launchy/Katapult, etc. I still can’t find a solution for walking into zip/jar files!) So with open source and multi-platform on the ticket I’m quick to download. Because on Windows I used Nero which was pretty slick for my basic needs.

I’m babbling and I’m probably showing what a video-editing novice I am. I mean what pro looks for an open source product to backbone their multl-$million career? No, I know nothing about video software but I’m gonna learn cause it sounds real cool. So half way through the multi-megabyte download (running at about 46-65K) I remember that I have something movie related installed from that Mac disk that came in the box with my Macbook pro. It’s called iMovie. I pull it up and I’m instantly overwhelmed. A couple of minutes weeding through the help manual and I kinda find my way. I already have a crappy video screencast I wanna spruce up. I got big ideas like putting my big face in a caption and having in zoom in and out as I move from discussion to demo. I also have to redo the audio because I did the screen cast in a rush in the office while trying to make the deadline for our sprint. (In egg-head developer terms a sprint is a 2-3 week interval of work where you’re supposed to have something finalized at the end but nobody on our team seems to understand how important it is to stay focused on one thing until recently when our product guy told us we all have to eat a “shit sandwhich” and the product guy is actually pretty cool in my book but we’re all under pressure to get this thing released so biting into feces has now become part of the job description.) I start playing with iMovie and learning it. THen I’m all like, “it’s not video editing I need right now it’s audio editing! Now Audacity is an app we can all learn from. %100 java and gets things done simply. It’s easy to learn and I was able to immediately start re-recording the audio from the screen cast using the same crappy bluetooth headset I used in the office. Only difference is this time I have tools to enhance it.

This is where it got really off the chains, right? With Audacity I had the audacity to up the volume with live effect. I recorded a retake of my speaking, then Cmd+A to select all the audio, and clicked the amplify option under the effects menu. Instant volume uppage! (Spell checker is complaining about “uppage”. Could somebody here at WordPress please add uppage to the spell checker dictionary?) Next thing is noise reduction. If I had one of those Rory $200 bills just lying around I wouldn’t need this feature because it would be soldered into my bluetooth thingy, but since I’m not Rory (only slightly better looking when the head is held at 15 degrees offset from perpendicular and the left eye is slightly squinted) I gotta lean on software ‘yknowwhatumsayin’? Noise reduction blew the spot by taking out %100 of the background hiss leaving the stream with just my dumb voice. So I got a basic audio re-record inlined with my original crappy screencast and it’s all good…

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