Pre-Production To Do List
- Update all uses of the Wikinews logo to the latest one installed by Eloquence.
- Done. Create mic box with Wikinews logo for field reporters.
- Done. Compress Wikinews theme songs to under 20MB and upload to Commons for contributors interested in audio/podcasting. (Other versions are welcome.)
- Done. Set up studio with chromakey screen and lighting system.
To Do List for April 11, 2005
- Done. Work up slate boards for each quote.
- Done. Teleprompter script.
- Done. Create main title boards for intro.
- Create talking head PIP boxes.
Second that vote of confidence, DV! Amazing. We even have 'em talking over at #wikimedia. - Amgine 02:19, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Very nice indeed. Please keep it up - this is the kind of project that drives Wikinews forward.--Eloquence 04:09, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- Dan, the Ourmedia site is awesome for its free hosting, but they warn that it can take between a few minutes to a few hours for an uploaded video to appear, which would be deadly for a daily (someday morning, noon, and evening) news program, given that it will already take us a few hours to produce something on our own end.
- I just tried this video uploaded at 9:10PM, and it still wasn't up as of 3:20AM, over six hours later.
- There is also the question of reliability. When it first launched, the video on the Ourmedia site wasn't accessible the couple of times I tried it. I just tried some videos again with a 75% success rate. One of the four videos I tried simply never loaded (however it didn't time out, so perhaps it would have started if I had waited long enough.)
- On the Ourmedia site they say, "Soon that waiting period should be reduced considerably", so who knows what the future holds? Maybe Ourmedia is where it's at?
- Back here on Wikinews, I'm still wrestling with whether a daily show is practical or if we'll have to settle for a weekly show to get started, so maybe the delay on Ourmedia won't be so bad if we end up with a weekly show to start with.
- The bottom line is that there is no substitute for hosting the videos under Wikimedia's control, so I continue to be optimistic that the Commons will eventually host video. Using a third-party provider is only necessary to get the job done for now, but it really ought to be temporary. If it's not temporary, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
- I've been working on a new Wikinews theme song this weekend. I have to confess that I have been procrastinating on shooting the pilot until the Ayala chili finger case comes to San Jose. If that doesn't happen by next week, I will endeavor to get into some contentious city council meetings, or obtain video from other newsworthy events, as I'm just as eager to get the show going as everyone else is. I've got the pre- and post-production issues covered, but we must have enough video each week to be serious about producing a regular show, so that's been the main holdup. A Wikinews TV show would be boring if the video is simply various shots of some fat guy in a rumpled suit reading the news - no matter how slick the post-production or how cool the virtual set may be. The bare minimum requirement I have set for the show is that there has to be video from the scene of at least one story to make all of this effort worthwhile. If I can find a more telegenic anchorperson, all the better.
- Once the Wikimedia administration is confronted with a pilot and a queue of shows produced and ready to upload, the policy for Commons hosting of video will be updated to reflect that new reality or they will tell us to go elsewhere.
- Thanks for pointing out Ourmedia - I will continue to check them out as a backup plan. — DV 10:53, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Codecs vs licensing
My own research into codec licensing issues recently gave me a firm belief that MPEG4 is not in fact free, even if encoded using free software such as divx/xvid. The mpeg consortium license based on what quantity of stream you deliver, which is why these folks can release 'free' encoders/decoders, compared with mpeg2 where the license was for the sw, both encode and decode i think. mpeg1 is not really suitable for streaming i suspect, but is at least free if using the right sw - some people own patents i think, but historically have never persued them. I am not too confident the same will happen with respect to mpeg4 if significant amount of content is streamed ...
Please tell me I'm wrong! ;) As well as Ogg Theora that DV has already looked at, the BBC's codec, 'dirac' i think, may be another worth looking at, I'm not sure its status. Even either of these may at some point come under patent litigation, I have heard from people working in the field. The patents that have been awarded on media compression are apparently very broad in some cases, or perhaps it is that the field allows only narrow scope. - Simeon 08:10, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
- I can't offer any legal advice. Please check out the MPEGLA or Via sites for details about MPEG4 licensing for commercial use, if that is your concern.
- Apple's new H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) codec is built in to QuickTime 7 for free, and is being touted as a worldwide standard under ITU-T Rec. H.264 and ISO/IEC 14496-10. I anticipate that many thousands of QuickTime 7 users will be encoding their videos and posting them on the internet with no legal problems whatsoever. Perhaps that isn't good enough for Wikimedia, so I hope they will get some legal advice on this matter.
- It would be great if Ogg Theora makes more progress in the coming months, but Apple's implementation of MPEG4 Part 10 and Microsoft's Windows Media format are the only practical formats that we can expect a large part of our audience to have installed on their systems.
- It's nice to have Ogg Theora as an archival format for the long term, but as long as it is the only acceptable format that can be posted on Commons (so far, I can't even post Ogg Theora because of the byte size limits), I will continue to host externally for the time being, which makes the licensing question a moot point for now. — DV 10:06, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Really cool project. May I suggest for the first little bit, it is a bi-weekly broadcast, then weekly, then twice weekly. We don't want to over-exert ourselves. I'm ready to commit to doing at least one Toronto-based piece each week during August 2005 to April 2006 (when I'm at school), presuming time permits. Can on-site stories be filed without the reporter being on camera? -- user:zanimum
- Standing off camera shouldn't be a problem. Do you have a DV camera (miniDV tape would be great for the quality) or something that outputs MPEGs or AVIs files? — DV 05:11, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
- My college has a bunch of video cameras, and there's never any trouble getting them. I don't know what exact type they are, but they are digital and have tapes about 2 inches by 4 inches, and half an inch thick, by my memory. I have access to iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, and know how to use both properly. They've also got lighting systems and some sort of solid mikes. -- user:zanimum
Fair use okay? Pretty please?
I know that fair use is a no-go for Wikinews. Can we make fair use okay for Wikinews Broadcast, provided that we get permission from the copyright holder, or get the content off a press website. Of course no Reuters, AP, despite the infinite people on Wikipedia itself who I've tried to convince aren't okay to use. PR material is made for this sort of stuff, I can't see any complaints as long as we credit it all on-screen. -- user:zanimum
Should we actively seek broadcasters once the pilot is done? I'm sure many local television stations the world over, especially community cable providers, would love to have a daily news show for free or for a small monthly donation. -- user:zanimum
Wow, I'm really impressed with what David Vasquez has done at demonstrating the feasibility of doing video news. Hopefully others will take up the task and push the idea forward, I think it has a *lot* of merit.
It seems that having on-the-scene footage is a requirement. For a distributed project this could be a problem in that the news reporters may be working on stories in places far from where they're located. However, I think this can be addressed fairly easily by having people collect stock footage in places they're located. For instance, take a camera downtown and film your city hall, major corporation headquarters, universities, common tourist sites, and other such places where news might occur. Clip those into individual pieces and upload them to the stock footage repository. Then some day when a reporter is working on a story in your city, they will have those clips to build from. Once the main city is covered, do the same for the suburbs and other towns in the region.
Similarly, stock footage will be needed of various other things that commonly appear in the news like forests, building construction, marching armies, power plants, locals going about their daily business, hospitals, gas stations, etc. Stock footage in foreign locations are obviously especially important, and will help make up for our lack of on-the-ground people in those locations at the time of the news event. Perhaps donations could be used to subsidize camera rentals for reporters visiting or living in third world countries.
The above approach also lends itself to the video camera problem: Rather than each person having to buy (or be granted) a camera, it could simply be rented for the weekend in order to collect the stock footage. Or, someone who is a frequent traveller (i.e., for work), could buy a camera and do the stock footage collection as they go.
There may also be standard things that someone could just film routinely. For instance, filming the price of gas at a station on your way to work every day (for stories about rising/falling gas prices). Or if you have a relative in public service (fire fighters, police, emergency techs, politicians, nurses, etc.) perhaps you could interview them weekly about any big stories that happened they were involved with.
I think that since it'll be a bit of work to get this started, and thus since there won't be that many broadcasts to begin with, the initial stories should focus on general stories that will remain relevant for months. This way, the work invested will pay off longer into the future. It would probably also make sense to focus on news items that won't already be heavily covered by other news organizations. For instance, original reporting items, local stories, interviews, special interest things, and stories about long term issues. Stuff that could sit on the wikinews site and remain relevant for a long time.
BryceHarrington 18:57, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Talked a bit with Amgine about this. Certainly there would be a whole host of technical issues to sort out in order to do stock footage. Some thoughts:
Storage. Media files take up a lot of space, and random raw stock feeds would probably chew up even more. However, storing lots of big files is something the open source community has sorted out quite well. I think there are enough solutions available, even beyond mediawiki, that this would be a fairly pedestrian issue to sort out. Similarly for webcasting, I bet.
Organizing. Initially, there wouldn't be a large amount of footage, so locating the right bit would probably not be too hard. However, over time as the collection builds, it would become difficult and time consuming to search through. The Open Clip Art Library faced a similar problem, except with SVG's instead of MPEG/OGG's. Here's the approach we took:
- Most important: make it really easy for people to submit stuff
- Ensure that the licensing considerations are clear at time of upload.
- ALWAYS collect metadata with every file. For SVG we actually embed RDF into the file itself, with the author, title, and keywords. OGG may also allow for RDF tagging; if not, just create a .rdf file to sit beside the ogg.
- Hierarchies are of only limited usefulness for locating files. Search-by-keyword is better.
- Provide a step-by-step guide for how to do it. E.g., what equipment to use, what file formats are preferred, how to upload the files, etc.
BryceHarrington 20:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
News broadcasts will often pop up static graphics with a logo or symbol to help identify the news story. The Open Clip Art Project has a page for requesting clipart http://www.openclipart.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?ClipartRequests that might be useful for gaining this type of stuff. This project is the descendant of the SVG World Flags project, and maintains that flag collection; I know wikinews has made good use of this flag repository in the past, so if you need new/updated flags, post requests of those there too. BryceHarrington 20:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Virtual Studio Software?
I see that DV did his anchor work from a virtual set - a brilliant idea, since it allows the professional look to be done in software. However, I suspect the software used is proprietary.
How could a similar approach be done using existing open source tools? Is Blender able to do something like this? If there are no such tools, could something be easily cobbled together? BryceHarrington 20:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
The project I believe is currently in limbo, but yes, I think current is a great idea! --TUFKAAP 05:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Links to videos
The links to the videos are not working :(