One Media Outlet Thinking Outside the Tube

I’ve had a few experiences with the local newspaper in the past that emphasises how short-sighted some of the established media can be. From being defensive and difficult to get along with, to being outright nasty. (I might go into that another time…)

So it was refreshing to see this story on an Australian TV network using a little forward thinking.

Channel 10 has embraced YouTube, whom some might feel to be a potential rival, as a new opportunity to broadcast content.

From the article:

“Unlike most television organisations, we don’t regard YouTube and Google as the enemy. We think that they will be great distribution partners,” Mr Smith said. Ten last year offered clips of local comedy Thank God You’re Here on YouTube.

“One of the reasons we put stuff on YouTube last year was that it was free, incremental traffic,” Mr Smith said.

Ten treated the YouTube videos like a broadcast, including ads for the show’s sponsors in the clips. “The fact that we put it out on YouTube means that there were tens of thousands of additional eyeballs watching those things for free.”

The lessons here? Just because you don’t understand something, that doesn’t make it an enemy. And perhaps look for ways to leverage something new to your own advantage instead of dismissing it.

Outlook 2007: One step forward, 20 steps back

Well, just when we had warm and fuzzy feelings towards Microsoft for the improvements in Internet Explorer 7, they go and flush it all down the loo.

If you have to create HTML email, you’ll be pleased to know that Outlook 2007 won’t use IE as it’s rendering engine any more. It uses… wait for it… Word! And we all know how good Word is at rendering and creating HTML! (Not!!!)

So instead of getting improved standards support in the next version of Outlook, we take about 20 steps backward instead.

Sheesh… what are they thinking?

Read more here.

Digital Music Downloads – Not Forever?

There have been a few stories lately talking up digital music downloads (iTunes not coping with demand, music charts being changed to reflect the nature of digital downloads) but I’m not so sure about it any more.

I have downloaded a couple of things from iTunes: Engima’s Voyageur was virtually impossible to buy over the counter, and I also grabbed a couple of Neil Diamond’s tracks as it was convenient just to get the few I was after and not have to buy a whole album.

Convenient? Yes. Fast? Yes. However:

  1. I have paid for these tracks but I’ve only got them at 128 kbps. The quality will never be any better than that. Okay on cheap equipment, but I recently shouted myself some quality headphones and now I can tell the difference.
  2. Recently I reformatted my hard drive. Sure, I backed everything up, but iTunes would not play these purchased songs until I “authorised” my computer.

Now there’s a trap – the songs can only be played on “authorised” machines – and I can only authorise 5. Actually only 4 now, as I didn’t de-authorise before reformatting last time.

Now, if I lose a hard drive unexpectedly, there goes another machine. And what if I want these tracks on a work computer and a home computer?

I dunno – I think that in a few years’ time I won’t be able to play these tracks anymore. Might have to burn them to an audio CD and re-rip them back into iTunes.

Second thoughts, just fire up amazon.com and buy the CD…