DMS Help: Free Music for your Video Projects

Need some music for a film project? Finding your production budget a bit short? No problem. Just visit musopen.com and solve your problem. Musopen is an online repository of free, royalty-free, public domain music. It’s mostly classical pieces performed by university orchestras, but by and large the quality is excellent. All you need to do … Continue reading “DMS Help: Free Music for your Video Projects”

Need some music for a film project? Finding your production budget a bit short?

No problem. Just visit musopen.com and solve your problem. Musopen is an online repository of free, royalty-free, public domain music. It’s mostly classical pieces performed by university orchestras, but by and large the quality is excellent.

All you need to do is create an account and log in to download the mp3s.

DMS Help: Getting Started in Adobe?

Just getting started with using Adobe’s creative suite? Always wanted to learn Photoshop? Here’s a way you can get some lessons for free. Around the time Adobe released CS3 there was a huge boom in tutorials on the internet aimed at Adobe beginners. One site, TechTutor TV is still up and running. While the tutorials … Continue reading “DMS Help: Getting Started in Adobe?”

Just getting started with using Adobe’s creative suite? Always wanted to learn Photoshop?

Here’s a way you can get some lessons for free.

Around the time Adobe released CS3 there was a huge boom in tutorials on the internet aimed at Adobe beginners. One site, TechTutor TV is still up and running.

While the tutorials are done in Adobe CS3, the techniques, and in many cases even the application layout, is still the same in CS5, Adobe’s current version.

So check out the site. There are a huge number of tutorials available and they are all free!

DMS Help: Media Services Serves Up Math Help. O rly??

Ok, so math tutorials are not really DMS Help, but this particular website certainly is worth knowing about for a couple of reasons. For those who don’t know, Salman Khan is the MIT-educated creator of the not-for-profit educational website Khan Academy. Salman, or “Sal” as he likes to be called, began developing video tutorials to … Continue reading “DMS Help: Media Services Serves Up Math Help. O rly??”

Ok, so math tutorials are not really DMS Help, but this particular website certainly is worth knowing about for a couple of reasons.

For those who don’t know, Salman Khan is the MIT-educated creator of the not-for-profit educational website Khan Academy.
Salman, or “Sal” as he likes to be called, began developing video tutorials to help his nephew with math. His site now houses more than 2,100 tutorials on a wide variety of subjects both in and out of the mathematical realm: basic algebra, calculus, differential equations, biology, chemistry, astronomy and physics to name a few.
While Khan Academy is certainly a great place to get help with your homework and study for exams (there are a huge number of practice problems on the site as well), there’s something relevant here for media-makers as well.
One of the things one notices right off is that these are LOW-tech videos. He’s using a simple screen-capture software and hand-writing all of the work he does. And despite this, his website has amassed over 58 million video views. Some schools are even using Khan’s videos as supplements to their instruction. With that in mind it’s worth considering the notion that a simple and solid concept is often much more effective than a sparkling execution.

Todd’s Tips: External Hard Drive Suddenly Not-Writeable on a Mac?

This is a problem that comes up in the DMS from time to time. Patrons come in and say, “I’ve been using this external hard drive on a mac for a long time and suddenly it won’t work; I can’t put files on it.” My first question is always the same: “Did you use it … Continue reading “Todd’s Tips: External Hard Drive Suddenly Not-Writeable on a Mac?”

This is a problem that comes up in the DMS from time to time. Patrons come in and say, “I’ve been using this external hard drive on a mac for a long time and suddenly it won’t work; I can’t put files on it.” My first question is always the same: “Did you use it on a PC?” They usually shrug and look at the floor, “yes.”
This is a problem and it can create some misleading assumptions. Flash drives (thumb drives) can move fairly effortlessly between Mac and PC since they are basically solid-state memory. External hard drives, on the other hand, are an entity unto themselves. As such, they live by different rules.
When a Mac-formatted external hard drive is plugged into a PC, the Windows OS can sometimes attempt to appropriate the drive’s file system for its own. Then, when the hard drive is plugged back into a Mac the Mac is unable to write to the disk. There are two solutions to this problem:
1) Prevention – DON’T use your Mac external hard drive on a PC. Just don’t. There’s a very low chance that your disk will become unwritable if you do this.
2) Cure – If it comes to the point where your Mac-formatted hard drive has become unwritable on a Mac your only option is to reformat the drive. Some folks will tell you that you can “repair the permissions,” but this is almost never possible. BEFORE you do this make sure you backup all your data; once you tell a Mac to reformat there’s NO WAY to recover any data left on the drive. Here’s a video tutorial on how to format an external hard drive on a Mac.
One option you have, if you insist on your drive being useable on both systems, is to partition the drive with some percentage reserved for Mac and some percentage reserved for PC. Here’s a video tutorial on how to partition a drive.
If you decide to take this route, make sure that you set the formats as follows:
Mac partition – Mac OS Journaled (extended)
PC partition – NTFS
DO NOT USE Fat32 for any reason. This file system was intended to be a cross-platform solution. Unfortunately it will not allow the transfer of files larger than 4Gb. If you’re doing video work or some other heavy multimedia lifting Fat32 will only complicate your life.

Todd’s Tips: Choosing an External Hard Drive

It seems like choosing an external hard drive would be little more than a question of price. But this is far from the case. There are a number of important considerations one needs to take into account when choosing an external hard drive. 1) Purpose – The answer to “why do I need an external … Continue reading “Todd’s Tips: Choosing an External Hard Drive”

It seems like choosing an external hard drive would be little more than a question of price. But this is far from the case. There are a number of important considerations one needs to take into account when choosing an external hard drive.
1) Purpose – The answer to “why do I need an external hard drive” is going to drive the rest of the considerations when choosing a drive. If it’s just to store your documents and work or school stuff, then you probably don’t need a very large or very fast drive. On the other hand if you are planning on using it for media projects you speed and capacity are important things to think about.
2) Capacity – Most external hard drives range from 500 to 2000 Gb these days. The more space you want, the larger and heavier the drive will be.
3) Connection – The choices here are USB and Firewire. USB will work just fine for a PC or casual use on a Mac, but if you intend to do any sort of media work at all you need a Firewire connection. This will make file transfer much faster. Some external hard drives actually come with both Firewire and USB connections. You should know that Firewire connections are much more common on Macs than on PCs.
4) Format – When you buy an external hard drive it will be formatted for either Mac or PC. It is important you purchase a drive with the format of the system you plan to use most often. While, depending on the format, one may work on the other system, problems can and do occur with cross-use. Be warned.

Interactive Media: iPhone Development – Updates

Since my last post on this topic a few things have changed. Some good, some not so much… Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. The new iOS SDK is no longer free. That’s right, XCode 4 now costs $5.00 on the AppStore. Oh, and it only runs on Snow Leopard. There … Continue reading “Interactive Media: iPhone Development – Updates”

Since my last post on this topic a few things have changed. Some good, some not so much…

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
The new iOS SDK is no longer free. That’s right, XCode 4 now costs $5.00 on the AppStore. Oh, and it only runs on Snow Leopard. There seem to be a few places where you can get older versions of XCode for free, but Apple seems to be sweeping this into a corner. Oh well. I will say though that the new XCode is worth the five bucks. It has a lot of new features that make development much easier. So if you have Snow Leopard you should certainly drop the dough and get XCode 4.
On the upside we have two bits of very good news.
The first is that Apple is really pushing resources for folks to develop Apps for iOS. One example of this is that they have compiled a whole page of iTunes U and podcast resources for development, marketing and business management. There’s some really good stuff here including full courses for iOS development from Stanford and UCDavis. It’s worth your time.
And finally, this Fall Apple will be releasing iOS5. Check out this video on the new features to be introduced.

Multimedia Resources @ AU

Whether you are putting together a slide presentation, creating a video assignment, or working on your film thesis, there are a host of resources available at AU to both students and faculty. Unfortunately these are scattered all over campus – in the Library, in the New Media Center, in the School of Communication. Until now … Continue reading “Multimedia Resources @ AU”

Whether you are putting together a slide presentation, creating a video assignment, or working on your film thesis, there are a host of resources available at AU to both students and faculty. Unfortunately these are scattered all over campus – in the Library, in the New Media Center, in the School of Communication. Until now it has been difficult to find information about what resources are where. There is now a webpage which is one location for information about multimedia production resources all over campus-
http://www.american.edu/training/multimedia/index.cfm
• Looking for a Mac lab? The webpage has information about the main multimedia labs on campus, their hours, facilities, and restrictions.
• Tracking down the specific software application you need can be difficult. The webpage has a matrix of what software is in each of the major labs. It also lists which version of each application is available so you don’t get caught by incompatibility problems.
• Where can you borrow a tripod to shoot your video assignment? A list of circulating hardware is included as well as user manuals for cameras, audio recorders and, yes, tripods.
• Getting started. The webpage has information about software specific training sessions held in the multimedia labs. There are also links to comprehensive online training sites like Lynda.com and AdobeTV. Before you begin a video project, you might want to look at “Getting Pro Results from a Compact Camera”.

You can find the Multimedia Resources @ AU webpage linked from the www.american.edu/training pages and from the www.american.edu/library/mediaservices pages.

Dreamweaver CS5 Tutorial: How to Design a Website

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS5 on how to design a website.

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS5 on how to design a website.

Dreamweaver CS4 Tutorial: How to Design a Website

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS4 on how to design a website.

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS4 on how to design a website.

Dreamweaver CS5 Tutorial: How to Design a Website

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS5 on how to design a website.

Although we always recommend you use lynda.com when you may have questions on Digital Media Studio software, here is a tutorial for Dreamweaver CS5 on how to design a website.