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This blog keeps track of various creative projects I'm working on and news about those projects. During the day I work as the public geek at Takoma Park Maryland Library, helping people use the Internet on the 28 Linux stations at the library and adjoining community center. Most of these blog postings are education oriented, as I work as an outside-of-school educator. I'd like to thank Google for the 20 percent time I've given to myself for creative projects.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Video chosen as YouTube editor's choice

On April 14, 2007, an editor at YouTube, citizensteve, chose YouTube Paneltalk - Participatory Media as an editor's choice. As a result, the number of views of the video went from about 1,200 to about 2,100 in a few days.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Webcams can work well for music videos

I've been wondering whether it's possible to create a clear sounding music video using a $30 webcam. The answer to this question is, yes you can -- although it takes a few extra steps.

I shot this video using a $30 webcam, the Logitech Communicate STX, which is available from and other places. I recorded the audio separately using my iBook laptop, and then imported this audio into Windows Movie Maker 2. Synchronizing the audio and the video took about 10 minutes of trial and error -- sliding the audio file to the right and then the left a bit.

You don't need to use an iBook laptop to record audio. I have a hunch you could get quite good audio recorded from an affordable portable cassette player. Here are some instructions on how to pour analog audio from a cassette player into your Windows computer's sound card.

You probably don't need the Plus! Superpack to accomplish this task. A free audio recording and editing program, such as Audacity ought to do the trick. This Sony portable cassette player/recorder might work well.

If your video consists only of voice narration, you don't need to use any external sound recording device. A simple headset with microphone will do the trick. These sell for about $15 to $30. Here is a headset with microphone being sold on To avoid the shipping cost, wait until you buy something else on Amazon and add this item in to that purchase. (Or find a friend who also wants to buy one of these headsets, and add in their purchase to your purchase.)

To view a version of the above music video with higher quality video and audio, download the source file I uploaded to the Internet Archive. (This Windows Media file is about 60 megabytes in size.) You can download it by clicking here. (By comparison, the Flash video file on YouTube is about 12 megabytges in file size.)

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Friday, April 06, 2007

New song - There Were Two Brothers

There Were Two Brothers Created using AppleWorks and Powerbullet.

This Flash presentation may be freely distributed on refurbished computers and via other non-commercial means.
You can download it here.

If you'd like to download the source audio, you can find it in a zip file here.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Video commentary for themail, March 31, 2007