Well, last night I joined in an event that I won’t soon forget.  In case you missed it (and I almost did) U2 broadcast their concert from the Rosebowl LA last night online via YouTube live for the world to watch – and FREE.  As I watched it really felt like a new dawn (although it actually was very late for me) with many technologies coming of age over past years were put to full test to share an experience globally.

First a note on how I found out about this.  Maybe my head had been in the sand, but I was not aware of this event until shortly before when I saw notes coming across my twitter feeds (which is quickly becoming my news and information source).  I am no U2 expert or even one who follows them closely, but I recall many of their songs from my youth and thought this might be fun to watch – I had no idea what I was in for!

I followed a link and logged online and within minutes the band took the stage around 12am EST.  Now this being U2, many expect nothing short of a great show.  Certainly for those attending live in LA the show had too have been phenomenal considering the stage, lights, 360 degree rotating screens, energy, etc – the list goes on.

But what about those of us watching online? Generally the online community ends up getting the “scraps” when its a live broadcast as the show is produced for the live audience.

Not this show!  The sound quality was incredible – mixed well, clear, crisp.  The video production was also great.  I watched it full-screen and the clarity was superb almost the entire time providing incredible camera angles and effects to bring the show home to me.  The online broadcast worked for me without any issues, which seems like a major accomplishment as I assume quite a few were watching globally.  I definitely felt like a 1st class participant receiving the same attention to quality as those in attendance.

While I’m no expert in U2 songs, I did hear messages tonight touching on violence, war, sickness, and most importantly God.  They sang one of my favorite songs – Amazing Grace as an intro to “Where the streets have no name.”  It was incredible hearing a message being sung for the world of God’s love and grace for all of us even though we are all lost and blind.  I know that God’s love can move mountains in our world of pain and brokenness.

And beyond watching and listening was the social experience.  The twitter feeds were alive with posts in various languages across the globe.  Folks were posting where they were watching from and the band referenced several remote simulcast (I think).  Having a global audience U2 used this experience to communicate on important social issues including hunger and democracy!  They had Nelson Mandela talk via video and a special focus on the Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi even providing everyone signs to hold up.  At one point they also spoke directly to anyone who might be online from Iran.  And there was what appeared to be a live message from the international space station.

My only negative was Bono at one point took an American flag from an assistant and opened it up on the stage floor and was nearly laying/walking on it.  I don’t think Bono was trying to be disparaging, but this is definitely not a proper handling of our flag.

I’m not personally equipped to gauge the impact this event may yield – but realizing that folks across the globe were watching left me feeling at a minimum there may be someone watching who is facing repression and who may have received encouragement.  And for those of us living in freedom it was an important reminder of the value of our freedom and life battle that others face for their own freedom.

In case you missed it – here is the YouTube link where it will be rebroadcast –  http://www.youtube.com/user/U2official

If you’re an audiophile you may enjoy this post on the sound setup – http://clairglobal.com/u2/

Advertisements

This is a great time with many new (and some not so new) video related technologies coming to market.   Many of these are service based and cover everything from capture, management, editing, tagging, distribution, and monetization of video. 

In doing research recently, wanted to at least capture and list technologies I have come across that sounded interesting.  Considering this is a big space, these will only be a drop in the bucket – so please comment with more!

This list does not imply endorsement nor confirmation of their products capabilities.  Considering the sophistication of these products you should see their web site for complete product information.

  • Omnisio– provided ability to create your own video applications by editing and mixing with non video elements such as onscreen comments and slide synchronization.  They were acquired by Google last summer and merged into YouTube but can only find the text annotation capability online now.
  • Jumpcut– consumer and community targeted service for online editing, remixing, and publishing of videos and images
  • JayCut – another consumer and community targeted service for online editing, remixing, and publishing of videos and images
  • GorillaSpot – their SpotMixer platform provides a turnkey solution to allow for “user-generated generation” of video to share via email and social networking sites.
  • Multicast –  providing a service for delivery and monetization of live and on-demand video content
  • Pathfire – from their site:

…provider of digital media distribution and management solutions to the television, media and entertainment industries. The Pathfire solution—which includes a robust distribution network, flexible hardware solutions and innovative software applications—delivers unprecedented control for both content providers and stations…

 The company’s proprietary computer-vision based video indexing, search and interpretation algorithms empower content owners and publishers to efficiently monetize their digital video content, and advertisers to automatically target ads to thematically relevant video content.

  • Spinvox – voice to text service
  • Inlet Technologies– provide encoding, transcoding, and streaming solutions & services which “enables new media for new networks”
  • Ooyala – video platform providing delivery, analytics, syndication, advertising, interactive video features.
  • Blinkx– early pioneer in video search who “uses a unique combination of patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software to efficiently, automatically and accurately find and qualify online video.”

Please comment and share new technologies you have seen and I will continue to post more I come across.

With advances in new media and online collaboration, I find it interesting to consider how new media might be used in the corporate world of tomorrow.   No doubt there are uses we cannot yet conceive, but it’s always worth trying.   As a kid one of my favorite activities was to draw pictures of “cities of the future” which looked more like “cities in outer space” – it’s fun to imagine the impossible considering it may actually become real.

Here is my initial list of ideas.  Some may already be started outside corp walls and will eventually move behind.

  • Use of robust and integrated social networks for identification of content
  • Video based presentations – ppt of the future?
  • Video for how-to’s, support, etc
  • Video email.  Or are words simpler and better for email/chat.
  • Video based lan navigation – like a virtual office to help organize information.  Users from different languages might be able to navigate storage by pictures instead of words…
  • Blending of doc & video format – maybe auto conversion between spoken/written/visual
  • Video Reports – could time based media provide richer reporting format?  Instead of Excel spreadsheet you get a media clip with integrated navigation

Are these crazy ideas?  How about more so I can update the above list with credits to each of you.