Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Armed Forces Day at USO Navy Pier


I have just finished up a highlight video for the USO of Illinois.

Here is the video, and some info about the event!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009
3rd Annual Armed Forces Day at Navy Pier presented by the USO of Illinois
Navy Pier, Chicago

On Armed Forces Day, a national day to honor and thank our men & women in military service, the USO of Illinois enthusiastically joined the celebration by offering its 3rd Annual Armed Forces Day at Navy Pier. The USO welcomed over 450 military and their family members to historic Navy Pier for a day of fun and exploration. Upon check-in at the USO registration desk, each family member received a special USO Kid Kit back pack filled with surprises, including free lunch vouchers, IMAX theatre tickets, treats and directions to all the attractions staged at Navy Pier, including free admission to Chicago Children's Museum, military dsiplays and demonstrations. The Spirit of the USO band also performed at the Dock Street Stage while U.S. Marine Week staged drills and concerts throughout the day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My new reel


I'm working on my new reel. I just got back from a short "stay"cation at nearby Cocokeys. It was great!!! The boys had alot of fun.



We're crazy! on 12seconds.tv

Friday, March 20, 2009

#Followfriday 3-20-09


Its Friday!!!!!!

So I decided to use a method I picked up from my buddy @mjnewham http://martin.newham.ws/.

But a little different. I just wanted to take a moment to share why I am recommending that you check out these people. Its in the true spirit of community that I share these people with you. So thank you for taking a moment to look at them at your leisure. Decide if you think they would be a good addition to your network. And then do something out of the ordinary. Say something to them!!! :-)
Otherwise, move on to the next one.

This is my take on #followfriday :-)

Peace to all of my twitter family!!


Special thank you's to these people for taking time, and energy to help out someone they have never met in person. They have helped me survive my recent client project. IN A HUGE WAY!!!


The Gold Chain Music Family is in the Building!!!!!



The #DCTH CREW!!! Design Community Twitter Hours http://twitter.com/DCTH, http://dcth.info/

This is the coolest show around the world on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm E.S.T. Trying to help designers/creative through twitter.




Its a simple question.

The U-IN free media player has the most HD channels in the world! Your desktop is your gateway to an endless supply of your favorite downloadable videos. In the U-IN multimedia player you get an incredible amount of free content, along with the innovative web based social networking tools.

Your television will miss you! R U-IN?

Check the blog. Its launching this spring!!!


U-IN Website



Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free trial, or Free???


I use lots of software, for lots of tasks. Since 1997 I have been "online" using my first modem (1200 baud) to connect to bulletin boards, then onto to a $250 per month Compuserve bill to the broadband we have today.

Software has changed over the years as well. It just keeps getting bigger and faster.

Throughout all of the years there have been two types. Free, and for pay. Today there is open source everything!!!

The free ones are just free. And the for pay ones do something called trial versions. Now since there are open source versions of most software, it leads me to search for software differently.

Granted, Adobe CS4, is not going to be easily matched in an open source product, but you can get close. I did a simple Yahoo search and came up with a bunch.

So why do we buy the big ticket software, when we can find a free open source alternative?

Why choose Free trial, over Free???

Comments Welcome.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Man!!!


As I type this entry I a feeling AWESOME!!!!! I have so much more to learn, but I am feeling so strong and powerful it is unreal.

I need to sleep, but I doubt I will.

I am so excited because I have just completed the first draft of a client site that came into my life just as I was learning about css and jquery. So of course I couldnt build the site using my old method of very little css, and using lots of nested tables in the html.

So I dove in, and it took alot longer than it should have, but I got though it.

WOW!!!! I feel good.

Anyway. Stick to your dreams!!!



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Updates to madbradproductions.com


I'm committed updating this site on a regular basis.

Please stay tuned to madbradproductions.com, I'm here and its on!!!



Monday, March 9, 2009

Introduction to Podcasting

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. This one is not meant to be a "bible" on podcasting. Its just an intro :-)



Are you looking to find out all you need to know to create and publish audio and video podcasts? Well you have found the right place.

A podcast is, in short, a piece of information stored on a server, that is being fed (made public) through a file (RSS Feed) on the internet that can be accessed using a reader. It can be delivered in any format to any platform. Whether it’s just text or images and video. From mobile phones and Palms to computers.

Podcasting, Palmcasting, Learncasting, Vodcasting, Vidcasting, Vlogging are a few of the many ways to refer to sharing your content to the world for mass consumption. In short, the only reason any variation on the word podcast even came into use was because it originally started as just audio. Now, with video content being just as easy to produce and deliver to the World Wide Web, due to increased internet download speeds, it gave some of the original audio podcasters, and the new video podcasters the idea that they should remain separate in name so that there is no confusion.

I will refer to audio podcasters as podcaster and video podcasters as vidcasters. Both of which are related to the word broadcasting. And that is what a podcast does. There are just a few easy steps to get your first podcast online. But before it can go online for all to see and comment on, you'll first have to get the equipment you need.

If you are making an audio podcast you will need the following:
1. Microphone
2. Recording software
3. Unique content to produce

If you are making a video podcast, you will need the following:
1. Video camera
2. Video editing software
3. Video converting software
4. Unique content to produce

There are literally hundreds of choices for software out there to use for editing audio, and video. If you are on a budget, and cannot spend money on this, you are not out of the game. Windows, and Mac PC's come with simple software that you can use. And you can use even a simple desktop microphone, and your family video camera to achieve your goal of making a podcast. There is also high end software and equipment. Here are my top 3 picks for free, and fee based software and equipment. They have been chosen for their ease of use.


Free audio Software picks for Windows:

1. Audacity www.audacity.sourceforge.net
2. WavePad (free download) www.nch.com.au/wavepad
3. QuickTime (free download) www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Free Video Software picks for Windows:

1. Windows Movie maker (pre-installed)
2. VideoSpin www.videospin.com
3. QuickTime (free download) www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Free Audio Software picks for Mac:

1. GarageBand (pre-installed, $79 to upgrade if you don’t have it preinstalled)
2. Audacity www.audacity.sourceforge.net
3. WavePad (free download) www.nch.com.au/wavepad

Free video Software picks for Mac:

1. iMovie (pre-installed)
2. QuickTime (free download) www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Many of the fee based software makers, have trial versions available from their websites. Download them and test them out, before you buy.

$$$Fee base audio Software picks for Windows$$$:

1. Sound Forge Audio Studio From $54.95 (free trial available) www.sonycreativesoftware.com/audiostudio
2. Sound Forge 9 Professional From $299.95 (free trial available) www.sonycreativesoftware.com/soundforge
3. Audio Editor Pro 59.95 (free trial available) www.audioeditorpro.com

Fee base Video Software picks for Windows:
1. Corel VideoStudio $99.99 (free trial available) www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Product/1175714228541#versionTabview=tab0&tabview=tab0
2. Adobe Premiere
Fee base audio Software pick for Mac:
1. Soundtrack Pro 2
Fee base Video Software pick for Mac:
1. Final Cut


You can use almost any computer microphone. Although a good pop filter like you see in recording studios will help the sound dramatically, the main thing is to ensure there are no outside sounds on your recording.

And most home video cameras can be linked to your computer. They vary in price. The Sony HandiCam is a great choice for under $300, and can be easily linked to your computer for video capturing.

Next, we'll cover the most important part, producing unique content for your podcast. Whether you are sharing family recipes, your very own sports talk show, a comedy show, or lessons on subjects like how to play the guitar or cleaning stains from your carpeting, your content needs to be unique, and make your audience want to see your next episode. So, first start with a production plan. Write your shows out, and create the show "clock". Luckily, with high-speed internet, your audience can get shows from short format, 3-5 minutes, to long format over an hour. This will set you apart from any other podcast on your subject. Once you have your show written out, and have a show clock, you can now produce it. Whether you are producing audio, or video, you must first make sure your environment is free from outside noises. Vidcasters will need to pick a "set" for each of your show segments, even if it is just one, it needs to be neat and clean, and free of objectionable props and images on the wall, and on your clothing unless that is the point of your podcast. :-)

Once your environment is ready, you can produce your unique content. Once you have finished producing it, you need to edit it. If you are recording audio directly into your computer, you are ready to open it with your audio editing software. Vidcasters, if you shoot to tape or memory card, you will have to import/capture your video. This is a simple process using your video editing software.

Listen to, and watch what you produced. Edit out the blank sound and video bits. Make sure you only put out there what you want. Then re-produce any elements that you are not proud of, and edit them into to your final product.

Now it’s time to create your podcast feed. Here’s what you need.

1. Final Produced episode(s)
2. A webhost for the episode(s) (Unless you use Blogger.com which allows free uploads)
3. A blog that has the episode details, and a link to the hosted episode file
4. An RSS Feed that uses the blog to enable podcasting so that users can subscribe to your podcast.

Let’s find a webhost for the episodes. There are several limitations that you need to be aware of when using a free podcast host.

1. Is there a download limit?
2. Is the limit based on bandwidth, or number of downloads?
3. What happens when/if I go over the established limit?
4. What are the file type limitations?
5. Do they run ads with your content? If so, is there revenue sharing?

Many internet service providers will offer you a free website, and free web storage. I don’t suggest you use this, as you will have to move your podcast if you decide to change internet service providers. You want a place that will grow with you, and that will be there for you for the long haul.

If you are able/willing to pay for your hosting, you will find the limitations are fewer.

If you already have webhosting for a website you have, you can use it to store your episodes. You would need to make sure that your host will play the file type that you are using.

Top Podcast hosting websites
1. Switchpod www.switchpod.com (a free package, and upgrades from $5-$30)
2. Liberated Syndication www.libsyn.com
3. Cyber Ears www.cyberears.com (audio only)

Once you have a webhost, you can upload your episode(s). Next, copy the address to the episode(s) to a blank document so you can have it ready for pasting later. This is the link to the file itself on your webhost that you just uploaded.

Now you’ll need to choose one of the many free blog sites, to create your blog, which you will use to create your RSS feed. Blogger is a good simple one to use. Then you’ll need to use a service like FeedBurner to publish your podcast RSS feed.

Blog websites:

1. Blogger www.blogger.com
2. WordPress www.wordpress.com

Once you have chosen a blog site, you will be able to use a webpage interface to create and go live with your podcast episodes anytime, from any computer in the world. You will need to provide a little information about your podcast first.

1. Podcast name
2. The date
3. A web address (if you have a website)
4. The category that you feel it fits into
5. Your email address

Then you will need to create your first episode. You will have to provide some information about it.

1. Episode title
2. Running time
3. Category
4. A link to the hosted episode (or upload to the server using Blogger.com)

Depending on which one you use, they may ask for more or less information.
Now we’ll create the RSS feed. FeedBurner is the best around, and is free. It will keep statistics on your podcast, and its subscribers telling you some basic information. For $5 more, you can get more advanced statistics.
Go to www.feedburner.com, and create an account. Once logged in you see a box to paste your blog web address into. Make sure you check “I am a podcaster”, and hit Next. FeedBurner will verify that your blog address works. Then hit next. FeedBurner next will ask you information about your feed so that it can be placed into iTunes.

The first question relates to what elements FeedBurner will send to iTunes. Choose “any rich media file”, if you plan on using audio and video files. Or choose one or the other, if it will only be one.

Choose a category that best describes your podcast. If you have created an image for your podcast, which I suggest you do, you should paste the address to it in the next box. Create a subtitle, and a summary of your podcast for the next two boxes. Then enter a few keywords, for easy searching to find your podcast. Enter an email address. And make sure that Add Media RSS is checked, so that your feed is picked up by Yahoo.

If your podcast is for adults only, make sure to choose yes in the next box. Then add copyright info, and your name as the author. Then hit Next.

FeedBurner now offers you stats. You should check the Click through’s box, and the enclosures box. If you want more detailed stats you can check “I want more” and pay $5 for the more detailed stats.

Once that is done, the feed address to the podcast is what your users will use to tap into your "feed". They can even got to the address using their browser, and choose episodes to "stream". Or instead they can subscribe to your RSS Feed using a "reader/podcatcher" like iTunes, and many others. They are normally free.

Now you should add yourself to iTunes, and a bunch of podcast directories. This is how the world finds your feed. Many of them have a rating system. So you can see how your podcast stacks up against the rest.

Adding to iTunes is simple. Open iTunes and choose Podcasts. In the middle of the page choose Submit a podcast. Paste your FeedBurner feed address into the box, and hit continue. You must have an account with iTunes to submit a podcast. It is free to join. If you do not have an account, ask a friend or family member to submit it for you. Next you should see your podcast information, and the image you chose. Then hit Submit. You’ll see a message saying it will not be added immediately, as it needs to be reviewed by the staff at iTunes. It should only take a week or so.

But you can email the same address you used to submit to iTunes, to your friends and family, and they can subscribe using their favorite podcatcher (feed reader).

Here are the top directories. You should submit your podcast to all of them.

Podcast directories:
1. Podcast Alley www.podcastalley.com
2. Podcast Directory www.podcastdirectory.com
3. Mefeedia www.mefeedia.com
4. Podcast Pickle www.podcastpickle.com
5. PodNova www.podnova.com

Now you are off and running. Please check back here for more articles. I’ll go into the creative process, and do head to head comparisons of the best free podcasting sites and software.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Whats new?


I am wishing that I could stop time for 2 weeks to be able to learn JQuery, Mootools, and other Java, to step my web game up.

But since I cannot stop time, I will be staying up most nights grinding out this stuff.

Check back often. I'll be bloggin my butt off!!!



P.S. Here's the latest video I produced for the USO of Illinois.