Apple’s launch of iBooks Author ups the ante for what’s achievable in content creation. It appears to be a fluid and elegant tool for bringing together text, animation, video, images, audio and interactivity. Certainly seems more fluid and elegant than my use of WordPress right now to craft this blog post. Providing environments for content creation, we at Market7 are pleased by enhancement of how people can extend rich, media-based experiences to other people. Yet, the iBooks Author launch also exposes several areas that could be improved:
There is the well covered limitation of distribution techniques via iTunes and to iPad devices for consumption. It is indeed ironic to leverage technological advances in order to elegantly bring multiple types of media together, and then unnecessarily restrict how the results can be consumed.
Collaboration is vital in bringing together substantial works, and especially in mixed media situations because of the varieties of skills and perceptions related to the different kinds of content, but currently collaborating on iBooks Author requires saving and sending files for teammates to work on in isolation.
While iBooks Author may be great for bringing media together, it’s more for high-level assembly of content built in other applications, and is not a comprehensive or consistent suite for the different types of content in isolation. Granted this is an unfair criticism of a new environment sure to take on more context and deeper functionality over time, but this tool coming from Apple does cast highlight on the fact that the same company has gutted its Final Cut franchise that had emerged as the leading environment for accessible work on video content, and that never seemed to benefit from the same stewardship prioritizing great usage experience that seems clear in the results of Apple’s newest applications.
One of our most popular features is the ability to export comments left by reviewers in the Market7 Annotative Player and bring them into the video edit environment. It’s a great fit for us thematically: the Annotative Player liberates reviewers from having to watch a video in one application and then switch to something else like email or even a paper notebad to compile thoughts about that video — play and commenting are integrated by us; and importing comments is similarly freeing for an editor who does not have to switch between our software and an NLE application like Avid Media Composer — can consume feedback from reviewers in same environment as enacting that feedback. We’ve recently figured out a way to make that even more elegant in Avid Media Composer with use of on-screen subtitles (instead of having to double-click comment markers), demoed here (and we also have a similar capability in Apple Final Cut Pro).
A lot of attention gets paid to the break-through products, services or events that are held by the top tech companies. And how are all of these various moments in time being introduced? With video, of course. We were particularly impressed with videos introduced this month by Twitter, Apple and Google and wanted to share them here as examples of how corporate video done right can educate, inform, promote and excite.
If you’re bold enough to feature one of hip-hop’s OGs talking about “waking and baking” with Martha Stewart alongside the current Speaker of the House and of one of the ESA’s most Twitter-savvy astronauts showing us his view of the world, there’s a good chance you’ve also created something original, unique and engaging. Twitter, working to build its case that you don’t need to Tweet to use Twitter, put together this really tight, celebrity-heavy video showing the many things you too could have access to if you engaged with the Twitter platform. It works so well because it effectively captures the diversity of Twitter, the close proximity that users can get to their favorite people, hobbies and interests, and how simple Twitter makes it all.
Meet the Apple iPad 2
Apple has a reputation for introducing products that are sleek and simple. Naturally, its video content should exactly mirror this. With Apple’s introduction of the iPad 2 this month, Apple released the below video that covered all of the various tech improvements that were made in the latest version, the hard work that went into aesthetics and design and all of the new things users will be able to do. It’s a bit on the long side at more than 6 minutes, but Apple knows it works for their audience: cult of Mac members that love the company and are heavily invested in their products. As they get ready to plunk down no less than $500 for Apple’s latest creation and mentally prepare for 12 hours in line at the store on launch day, they have this video to further feed their excitement and help them start thinking of all the many ways they’ll use their new toy.
Google Goes Gaga
A suggestion has been made that the top tech companies are trying to trump one another by landing the hottest surprise guests to come speak to employees. When Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of consumer products, brought Lady Gaga out for a one-on-one discussion at a recent company event, she was visibly taken aback by the whole thing. (It’s unclear if it was at the thought of introducing Lady Gaga or just knowing that Google was now ahead in the informal “land the biggest celebrity you can” game.) Lady Gaga got her verbal intro from Mayer, but the proper introduction came with a a video that charted just how big of a celebrity Gaga had come. Being Google, the focus was on milestones Gaga has hit in search, video and fan engagement and connections. The video not only uses Google’s various services to validate her overwhelming popularity, but also to source content – in VERY clever and creative ways. (The video below shows the entire event. Skip to the :43 mark for the intro video.)
The three videos above were obviously done with access to big budgets, a lot of creative personnel and TIME. Thinking about the various elements featured in these productions, we immediately recognize areas where Market7 could’ve possibly added some efficiencies. That includes everything from lining up international (and out of this world!) video shoots to script and edit feedback. It’s possible that your organization doesn’t have the resources required to produce this level of content, but that doesn’t mean that what you do create has to be any less effective. Market7 can help unleash the full potential of any team coming together to produce video. Click here to check out how.
Five days after surgery and for first time some pain is felt. Nothing too acute, feels like a thigh bruise, a bit above the knee. Appointment with doctor tomorrow, we’ll see what he thinks. For now I’m tired & uncomfortable, so today’s deep thoughts are short.
Again staying with the news, the initial iPad reviews have been coming out today. Considering this platform, along with the energy that’s in Android & iPhone app development, some are speculating a future in which portable, wireless devices with minimal hardware peripherals, including no physical keyboard, will increasingly be the environment for all computing.
All computing of course includes a broadening range of activities. Watching video? Agreed that seems great on a pad that’s light, easily held & presents content brightly. But I’d rather write a blog post, even as short as this one, with the benefit of a keyboard. Laptops have been with us in just about their current forms for a long time now, I suppose two decades, and the hinged keyboard motif is due for some innovation before long. But right now the screen-only pad does not appear to provide a solution for many tasks that require not just consumption, but also user input & interaction including much on our video.Market7.