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Don’t Sacrifice Usability On the Altar of Design

I took two pictures of clocks in my kitchen this morning, on the left is the microwave, on the right, the coffee maker. Which time is correct and what’s the key clue? If you guessed microwave because it’s about the time I actually start working in the morning, you’d be half right. The answer? The microwave’s clock is correct, and …

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SVT-AV1 and Libaom Tune for PSNR by Default

As of June 22, 2022, libaom-AV1 and SVT-AV1 tune for PSNR by default, and libaom-AV1 doesn’t appear to have a mode that optimizes actual video quality. Be sure to verify and consider this when comparing the codecs to others. Most of the time with codec experimentation, a lapse in attention costs you hours, days, or weeks of re-encoding and re-testing, …

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Choosing a Cloud-Based Video Editor

I recently spent a few days studying cloud-based video editors which led to this article published in Streaming Media Magazine. I learned that there are two tiers of cloud editors. The top tier, including Blackbird and Vimond IO, are serious video editors that rival desktop editors in features and performance (particularly Blackbird). These services should appeal to producers who want …

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Sourcebook 2021 Tutorials Focus Video and Course Production

Every year, the Streaming Media Sourcebook features tutorials to help streaming media professionals perform their daily tasks faster and better and buyer’s guides to help them purchase the right gear and software. This year I focused my articles on video production topics. Here are the tutorials with a brief description: Connecting a DSLR or Camcorder to an External Mic – …

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Lesson of the Week: Two Data Points for Producing Effective Webinars (and a Free Download)

As the producer of webinars and virtual training events for Streaming Media Magazine and Streaming Learning Center, I’m always interested in information that helps me produce more effective events. A recent report from Bluejeans, the Verizon-owned video conference provider, provided several interesting data points. By way of background, the report discussed survey data collected by IDG from 200 respondents in a …

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How to Shine in a Zoom Webinar

My wife was watching a webinar for CME and there were two physicians with such picture perfect presentation that I just had to snap the image and comment. The list of what these two did right is lengthy and instructive. Both practiced perfect rule-of-thirds positioning, with their eyes about 1/3 down from the top of the frame. For this reason, their …

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Tuning for Metrics: What About VMAF and VP9?

If you’re comparing codecs with video quality metrics, you should consider tuning for that metric. However, x264 and x265 don’t have a VMAF tuning option. According to my analysis, it appears that tuning for PSNR is the best option and one you should strongly consider. When working with VP9, there’s an additional complication; tuning for PSNR doesn’t appear to work.  …

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Interview with Streaming Media About New Course: Streaming Media 101

I spoke with Streaming Media Magazine’s Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen about the new course, Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals. The video is available on YouTube so I embedded it below. If you’d rather read the transcript, click here to see the article on the Streaming Media website.  Eric’s second question was “what’s the elevator pitch?” Here’s the …

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Open and Closed GOPs – All You Need to Know

This article defines open and closed GOPs, identifies why closed GOPs are better, and details how to produce closed GOPs in FFmpeg with x264 and x265. The level of testing and analysis detailed here is consistent with the instruction in my book, Learn to Produce Videos with FFmpeg In 30 Minutes or Less ($34.95), and my course, FFmpeg for Adaptive …

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All Roads Lead to ABR Royalties

Most streaming producers adopted HLS and DASH without any concern about intellectual property issues. Though MPEG LA formed a DASH Pool in 2015 it seemed to have died a quiet death in August 2019. Now one of the pool members, Helios Digital, is suing Crackle, Vudu, and Showtime Digital for infringing their DASH patents. As I state in my article …

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