Unfortunately, only available for Windows XP or 2000, Vlog It! is a killer little $49 package that turns your webcam into the front end of a personal video blogging production studio. It features the kind of graphics power you might expect in a much more expensive package – and all the cheesy transition effects I hope you never choose to use. (Note: If you have a good DV camera and firewire on your computer, then you will experience better quality using that rather than a webcam.) Vlog It! allows you to add other media to your productions – including video sources from QuickTime, Windows Media & MPEG – with finished output to Flash, WMV or RealMedia.
For those of us who’d rather read our words like all news readers and most politicians (rather than attempt to ad-lib), Vlog It! features a good little teleprompter as part of it’s package. Position your camera just above the screen and it almost looks like your speaking directly to camera. (If you want a great little prompter that attaches to the front of your DV camera – but is a lot more money – check out the ProPrompter – our company, uses one and you can read my comments on their Testimonials page.)
One of the issues that Vloggers face is bandwidth. Serious Magic is offering a couple of packages through PlayStream – for 7.95 a month you get approximately 1,000 plays of your videos with storage for 45 video clips. For 19.95 you get 2.5X the number of plays and a little over double the storage and bandwidth. I’ll investigate other alternatives.
Terry Heaton’s post triggered this one. Terry comments:
I predict this simple product will revolutionize Vlogs by making it easy for anybody to create real time production for television. Go to the Vlog It site and play the demo. You’ll be absolutely amazed. I am, and I’m an old TV guy!
As an old TV Guy myself, who’s spent the last twenty-eight years in Television (not including the three years in Radio & Television Arts @ Ryerson in the mid seventies) Vlog It! will be one of the key components in “The Revolution will be Televised.”
I’m going to load Vlog It! onto a rarely used Windows 2K machine we have here. I’ll keep you informed of my results.
For those of us who are Mac Heads, there is a Mac product that is somewhat similar to Vlog It! – Videocue 2. And you can also try Boinx Software’s 20 dollar IveZeen – for simple, direct to camera recording. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boinx doesn’t come out with their own Vlog oriented software, as well. And you can be sure that the next iteration of Apple’s iMovie will have Vlog capabilities, just as GarageBand 3 has been designed to do PodCasts (in iLife ’06).
For a little more of my polemical writing on the subject of IPTV and the citizen media revolution, read these posts:
The Future of Broadcasting
The Future of Broadcasting Part Two
The Future of Television – Part 90210
Frightened TV Execs, Apple & IPTV
Digital Projection, Ad Reveunues, Google Video & The Prosumer HD Camera
Little Films and the Long Tail
and the already linked to above
The Revolution Will be Televised.
To read the brightest mind in the Blogosphere regarding the impact of Web 2.0 on Broadcasting – read Terry Heaton, daily. And if you wonder how you could use software like Vlog It! in your industry or social sector, drop me an email – my address is under the wonderful picture of my smiling face.
*For those of you who are interested in a company’s roots – a lot of the Serious Magic folk were behind the revolutionary VideoToaster (now VT4) from NewTek and then moved on to Play, which had a lot of promise but went under in 2000. Serious Magic began in 2001 and has created evolutionary and revolutionary products like DV Rack, Ultra, Ovation and Visual Communicator.