Steffest Digitale Pulptuur

Video editing

I did a lot of research in video-editing and conversion software the past days.
The reason was that my all my new mobile gadgets spit out mp4 video nowadays, and my good-old video setup of virtualDub - Multiquence and Premiere pro didn't cut it anymore.

So .. the verdict:
Video conversion: Super
It's freeware but its in the top 10 of most amazing softaware pieces I have ever seen ...

Video editing
Sony Vegas 6
Premiere Pro 2 still is very good, but for mp4 video Vegas 6 seems to do a better job. Also the realtime preview really fast! on overal performance, it runs circles around premiere !

Update 22:56
Hmmm ... this is interesing for my online image library script "blikvanger": pure ASP functions for reading the EXIF data from an image
now I should combine this with some geotagging abilities to place my pics on the map without using flickr or whatever 3th party. Geef je reactie (1)

Gisteren deetie het nog ...

The guys at Microst closed down and redirected everything to
Darn... Of all the personalised homepage sites, was my favorite one for its on-site full RSS reading abilities.
Offcourse has all that and more, but was elegant,light and fast. is also elegant, but heavy and slow.
Funny how one gets attached to their homepage, haha. Geef je reactie (0)


a picture called microsoft_silverlight.jpg (click to enlarge) The first time I heard that Microsoft was working on a flash-killer I wen't "Yeah rrrrrrright ...".
This week - Silverlight 1.0 was released at Mix07.
Hmmm ... after looking at the presentations, trying out the demo's and fiddled around with the new Expression studio, I must say ... Impressive !
Clearly there are some features there that outperform flash ...
But will it stick? Probably, but flash won't go away any time soon.
So in the end: yet another choice for webdevelopers, yet another technique to master, yet another field to explore.
You have to give it at microsoft ... they are spreading themselves paperthin by trying to compete in all markets at the same time, but is there another company that can pull this off ?
Other companies have tried to come up with a flash-competitor, I don't even remember the names (What was that Adobe flashlike thing before they bought Macromedia ?), but Microsoft's Silverlight is here to stay: the integration with exixting web and desktop techniques is just too strong to ignore.
If I had to choose between the Flash Actionscript 3 path and the Silverlight .net path ... Maybe I would go with .net (but probably I'll end up doing both)

Busy times! Silverlight released, Flash CS3 released, Dreamweaver CS3 released ...
(and offcourse new version of Photoshop, Illustrator ... but I couldn't care less) Geef je reactie (3)

Mobile gadgery

a picture called dopod838pro.jpg (click to enlarge) I switched from a Nokie E70 to a Dopod 838pro this week.
Whoohoo! this is über-mobile-gadgery !
Amazing little device. It's not quit as easy to use as he nokia, but on the other hand, maybe thats because it has 5 times as much features and things to explore ... (and the dopod isn't a phone: it's a pocket PC with a mobile phone integrated)
Windows mobile is still a bit buggy, but so is symbian S60.
Offcourse the main plus point is the amount of software available for windows mobile, which is weird ... Symbian S60 is for more used on mobile phones, but somehow, it doesn't has the developers following that windows mobile has ...

One weird thing though .. I'm a huge advocate of touchscreens, but somehow, I find myself using the hardware buttons to navigate most of the time instead of the touchscreen ... maybe because a touchscreen is not so easy to use with one hand, and most of the time, you use the device on the go, one handed, while walking of waiting in line or whatever.
I think that's going to be the biggest drawback of the Apple phone: since that only has 1 hardware button, you must use the touchscreen, and really, in most cases it's just easier and faster to use a hardware button.(these "stupid tiny plastic keyboards" as Steve jobs calls them, still beat the crap out of any touchscreen-keyboard, as any mobile typer will tell you)

Here's a list of must have windows mobile software, all han-cherry-picked by yours truly.
  • Pocket player
    Windows Media player is good, but Pocket player is far better ...
    Very good library, fully usable with only the hardware buttons (unlike every other music player I tried, and I think I've tried them all)

  • Core player
    Simply the best video player for mobile devices ... by far.
    Plays anything you throw at it.

  • SPB Pocket Plus
    Enhancements for the today screen and internet explorer, clever battery indicator, ...
    things that should be present in windows mobile, but for some reason aren't.

  • SPB Mobile shell
    gorgeous eye candy for activate-screens, today plugin, photodialer ...

  • Hubdog
    Very good RSS reader and podcast player. (and its free)
    I don't know what Dave Winer is talking about with his "ultimate podcast player"
    It's allready here and it's a pocket PC with Hubdog: over-the-air syncing, enclosure support, both downloading and streaming, smart podcast managing, online feed management, OPML support, ...

  • Sling mobile player
    Watch your Cable TV, or any video device, on your mobile phone.
    You have to see this to believe it: works very good, even on a Cellular UMTS connection.
    (Offcourse you have to get yourself a slingbox sitting at home, connected to your TV-Cable)
    The next time you're in a foreign country, just grab your mobile and whatch your home-tv ...
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I'm easy to work with

Dave Winer has the ability to write down his thoughts in such a way that when you read it you suddenly realise that you feel exactly the same way, only you hadn't realised it before.

From his aticle:
"I like to joke that at one point I could have a developer's conference for RSS in the shower or while I was taking a walk, alone. Suppose the aggregator developers (me) wanted the blogging tool vendors (me) to support a new feature in RSS. I usually found they were easy to work with! Once there were more developers in the space, guess what happened -- nothing! Even the most innocuous proposals were controversial, and once there's controversy that's the end of forward motion."

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googleeeesh !

I thought the guys at google couldn't build something to surprise me anymore , but that new Google my maps thing: OH MY F****ING GOD !!!! That's gorgeous !
This is by far the best DHTML application I have ever seen !
Then click on "My Maps"

Insane - this raises the bar several notches for everyone else, including me ! Geef je reactie (0)

4 levels of trains

a picture called antwerpencentraal.jpg (click to enlarge) This morning, my train to Antwerp suddenly went underground.
Hey! It't the first time the new train-tunnel underneath Antwerp is in use.
I arrived at level -2 and had to catch a connection at +1. Impressive, expecially because the entire middle section is open so you can see all the 4 level + the glass/steel roof construction from 1905.
Is there any other place in the world where you can see 4 levels of trains ABOVE one another?
(Offcourse if the guys at Dubai see this ... they're going to build a 10 floor subway station - ranging from 2 tracks under water and 1 track at a 1000 feet in the air ...)

April 5 2007 - A little addition:
it appears that Telenet also upgraded their wireless hotspot coverage to the new levels.
At level -2 I got a whopping full 20 Mbit download speed. I have never seen a wireless connection that fast!
Heck - thats even a bit faster then my cable connection at home !!! Geef je reactie (0)

Media center

Al jaren hangt er pc aan de TV (of andersom) en al jaren gebruik ik deze als mediacenter.
En al jaren hangt heel die configuratie een beetje met haken en ogen aan elkaar.
Het werkt allemaal wel, maar is verspreid over verschillende programma's en de interface is niet echt gebruiksvriendelijk.

Daar moet nu maar eens verandering in komen ...
Nieuwe hardware kopen doe ik natuurlijk niet, maar nieuwe software, die moet er wel komen.

Hier staat een prima overzichtje van verschillende Media center software, en ik heb er al een dozijn van getest, maar eh ... 't ziet er weer naar uit dat ik zelf iets in elkaar moet steken om mijn gading te vinden ...
Bijvoorbeeld iets wat ik nu al veel gebruik en zeker ook in mijn media center moet zitten is een mogelijkheid om mij X10 apparatuur aan te sturen, en blijkbaar hebben al die media-center ontwikkelaars daar nog niet aan gedacht want die functie is nergens te vinden.
En ook zijn de meeste systemen dermate gesloten dat het er ook niet zo 123 aan te te voegen is ...

The only expection seem to be Xlobby.
Xlobby has some mayor pro's - like multizoned audio - muli-device interfaces, open architecture ...
But basically, that's what my own custom software does allready (allthough not as good) and , the big "deal-breaker" is the lack of TV support.
I've been struggling to write my own TV player/recorder for some time now and haven't really succeeded, so that's the one feature I'm looking for in third party software.

Offcourse Xlobby can achieve TV support through the XLTV plugin, but that's a bit fake: XLTV is an interface to your existing TV-software, and Xlobby is an interface to XLTV, so .. why don't use the existing tv software then and write an interface to it yourself ?

At this moment I'm using a Slingbox to have network wide - multidevice live tv, which works fine, but it does not have the ability to pauze live TV streams end recording a slingboxstream is not really straightforward or bugfree ...

Some Software Solutions I tested:

  • Windows Media Center 2005
    Very smooth product, however ... it's entirely Windows media based (Duh) so .. no divx or custom codec redording, no custom EPG ... no thanks.
  • Cyberlink Powercinema.
    Cyberlink makes a kick-ass software DVD player, but for the rest: clumsy interface, not expandably .. terrible music manager ..
  • GBPVR. Looks very very good ... almost perfect, however ... limited support for TV tuner cards and - murphy's law ... not one of my cards are supported.
    Weird .. I don't understand why they didn't add a default DirectShow interface ...
  • Showshifter
    The original mediacenter ... works well on older hardware, has all the feature you want but ... the company behind it got liquidated a few years back and since then ... the software seems dead ...

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De overname van Youtube door Google bewijst het nog maar eens: Video on demand via het net is aan het boomen.
Het aanbod van web-tv kanalen is ondertussen al zo groot dat zeker het aanbod van reguliere TV ver overstijgt.

Gelukkig is er wwiTV dat alles netjes catalogeert.
België blijft zoals gewoonlijk hier weer wat achter maar goed: tussen een paar duizend engelstalige kanalen zit er allicht iets tussen wat je interessant vindt.

Een paar favorieten:

Kulaks Woodshed24/7 Live accoustische muziek Site - 500k stream
Channel UKunderground films en documentairesSite - 300k stream

Hier staat ook nog een leuk overzichtje. Grappig: deze schraapt de paginas van weg, en kaapt ze dan weer weg bij wwitv.
Wat een omweg! Maar ze staan tenminste netjes op een rij. Geef je reactie (0)

SL stands for Sling, not Second Life

a picture called slingbox.jpg (click to enlarge) Today I decided to put a hold on my Second Life for some time.
The Linden-dollar exchange rate was at a very low L$275 / US$1.00 , so it was the perfect time to cash out :-)
With a part of my earnings I bought a Slingbox from Ebay.
Yey! I have had my eyes on this device for over a year now.
A few months ago Slingmedia finally made the jump to europe with a PAL version.
Not sold in Belgium yet, so it has to come from Ireland.
This will work insanely great with my Q1 UMPC!
I hope they will soon update there Windows Mobile player to make it compatible with the PAL version so I can watch live wireless TV on my PocketPC. Geef je reactie (0)


Heh :-)
This is some great use of search-engine result mash-ups:

Do some clever google-querying (for example -inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(wma|mp3) +”artist name” )
Slap on a nice flash interface, and Wham:
you got a streaming music app that makes a HUGE music-libary instantly available, while using other peoples bandwith, and without doing something illegal ...

Brilliant !

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Second Life issues

Massive security breach in Second Life.
As a result they have reset over 650.000 account passwords.

Man, that's a developers nightmare! I hope they have deployed an extra army of support personel ...

They call it "a zero-day exploit of third party web-software"
If it was a zero-day exploit, why took it 5 days to discover and fix the problem?
Web based exploits are nearly impossible to predict, but once known, they should be fixed in a few hours. Especially in huge online environments like Second Life. Geef je reactie (3)