Thursday, June 16, 2005

MP3 players, mobile video players, and journalism...

As with most, this is my opinion on things. I could be horrendously wrong. Just pat me on the head and pay me no mind.

MP3 players, Podcasting and Journalism

With the advent of iPods and other such devices, it's obvious people are spending a lot more time walking and driving around with personalized audio content. I've ended up wandering around to the wrong part of campus a few times because I was intently listening to a song on my MP3 player.

People have had the opportunity to listen to audio while mobile for a while now, but it was limited in its length and, in some cases, quality. Tapes were great but couldn't store a lot of information. CDs were good, but even today Discman's and the like don't have the best "anti-skip" technology. MP3 players really broke the barrier with their sizeable hard drives and digital content.

TV shows like Battlestar Galactica (remember, I'm a Sci Fi freak, so this is the example you're getting) have taken the public's enjoyment and reliance on MP3s to expand its interaction with the show. Ron Moore has made Podcasts available for separate episodes that function similar to a DVD's Director Commentary. Instead of just watching the show, a viewer can hear humorous stories about the filming of a particular scene or discover what the director particularly hoped to emphasize about a character. It brings the public closer to an in-depth experience about the show.

What works for TV shows could very easily work for journalism. I, for one, sometimes dread the drive (and walk) to class because I'm trapped with either news stories I do not want to hear any more about (Michael Jackson trial) or CDs that I really don't want to begin hating because I've over-played them.

Enter opportunity. News sites like CNN could make extensive and in-depth coverage of events into an MP3, which is relatively easy to download depending on a person's connection speed. If I wanted to learn about the history of the Terri Schiavo case from beginning to end, CNN could make a compilation of audio clips and reports in MP3 format. The progression of a news event could be analyzed by those who reported on it. In essence it could become an audio version of CNN Presents, which generally takes the longer view on the stories it covers.

I'll admit I'm shaky on how this would work, but it might be possible to have a program set up to sync a MP3 player with a news site at specific times, downloading the latest news reports before a person leaves for/from work. Instant recent newscast available for the drive.

As far as MP3 players that record audio, there you have a simple way of selecting and uploading soundbytes from an interview to the web to go with a reporter's written story. Instead of just reading the text quote, it could be a link to it as well. There are some things people say that are just too unbelievable when it's only words on a page. Hearing them actually say it can be gold.

Mobile Video Players and Journalism

Really, this is just an extension of what I've already said, but with video. Along with the idea that you could download a video of a particular news segment, there's the thought of delivering extra content for people to watch. Too often people struggle with the context of a statement made in an interview (The Connie Chung/Gingrich parents example comes to mind). Digitizing and making available for download the entire video of an interview could allow people to make up their own minds about an interview. Journalists are in the habit of cutting and splicing to provide the "most important" information to the public. I would say a growing number of people want ALL the information, not just some. Yes, it might be about their particular hobby subject, but it's a way to supplement an existing newscast.

I might come back to this with more ideas, but for right now I'll stop here.

19 comments:

Dene' said...

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Come and have a look if you get time :-)

DigitalCamera said...

I just read your blog Andrew Fedge, – very nice. I made myself a blog, I have a mp3players site. It pretty much covers
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ipod said...

Hi, Andrew Fedge,
Good blog. You’ve put lots of thought in here. It looks like we have an interest in common. If you are interested, go see my zen micro related site. It’s totally focussed on the Zen Micro at the moment and is still growing. You may still find something of interest. I recently added a MP3 link page - you would be welcome to post a link to your site there

Kerry

MP3 Doctor said...

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Very nice.
If you are interested, go see my mp3 players related site.
It isnt anything fancy but you might still find something of interest.

mp3player said...

Hi, Andrew Fedge,
Good blog. You’ve put lots of thought in here. It looks like we have an interest in common. If you are interested, go see my mp3 related site. It’s totally focussed on the Zen Micro at the moment and is still growing. You may still find something of interest. I recently added a MP3 link page - you would be welcome to post a link to your site there

Kerry

DigitalCamera said...

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