Democracy Player — internet video player

democracy player - browser for watching online videos

Democracy Player is a new kind of browser for watching videos– grab webpages with video and video RSS feeds (including podcasts, video blogs, and BitTorrent feeds), and watch them full screen, one after the other. It’s free and open source.’

I’ve tried this kind of software before. But yesterday, when I installed Democracy Player, for the first time I really saw where this is all going. I think due to the neat way it presents the channels.

More importantly, I’ve actually been using it to find and watch videos. The full screen video quality is smooth. There is a bit of a slow down on the PC when you are downloading several videos (hope they can tweak that).

My favourite channel so far is Media Rights. It makes me want to get out and make videos about the things I care about.

I recommend ‘Fast and Reliable’ about a cycle courier (with a difference). I was touched by this film. Meanwhile ‘Battleground Minnesota’ also made me sit up, as the star Chris (also known as ‘Hip-hop activist Shakademic’) looks very like another (but different) Chris from Minnesota whom I know.

 

Manchester Passion – live BBC event on Friday

At 9pm on Good Friday, BBC 3 will broadcast ‘Manchester Passion‘ live from the city centre. It’s a ‘contemporary retelling of the last hours of Jesus life told through the music of Manchester’.

I’m not exactly a big fan of religion (or Manchester pop bands), but you have to admire the BBC for taking a chance with something different like this and that alone makes it worth supporting. It’s being made by the same people as FlashMob the Opera — which I enjoyed.

Hopefully I’ll be there shooting some video to put up here next weekend.

More info on the Manchester City Council website.

 
 
 
 

A special video for the start of Videoblogging Week

Our contribution pokes fun at the fact that no one seems to be making any money from videoblogging, despite some having hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Story links:
Rocketboom

Last Thursday evening we were standing in an underpass next to the motorway, during a thunderstorm, filming for this. That was just the start… We had a load of fun and there are some very amusing out-takes.

EDITING
The editing took a l-o-n-g time. Even though I’m quite organised, it’s still not enough. I ended up rendering the same effects several times as I made a couple of different versions (and needlessly so, as the effects were unchanged). It can take hours to produce a minute of special effects. So, I need to rethink my workflow: work on the effects separately and then include those prerendered versions on the main timeline in Vegas Video.

HUFFYUV CODEC
I use the free HuffyUV video codec to render archive versions of finished productions to store on disc. The video is uncompressed but HuffyUV gives a smaller file size.

That way I avoid DV compression artifacts on graphics and effects. So, I could also use HuffyUV to render the effects and then drop them into the timeline. Finally, I make DV, MPG2 and online versions from the HuffyUV master.There’s more information about the various tools I use on my favourite software page.

Though overall I’m really delighted with the Sony camcorder, its performance in low-light isn’t too hot. We used my old Canon Hi8 for the shots walking towards the subway and the colour balance and brightness are much better than from the Sony under the same conditions.

We shot a lot of different stuff last week. I have three other things ‘in the can’ to edit, not including the out-takes.

UPDATE (September 2012): a slightly re-edited version of this video was put back online.