kathy's blog

colours of Auckland countryside

Colours of Auckland Countryside

click on the image to goto the video player page

I've been spending the Christmas break learning more about interactive quicktime, max/msp and isadora for creating music and video and publishing them on the net. Below is the first piece I've created. I went a bit overboard on the effects in Isadora but it's an original piece and I learnt from it so I'm happy with it overall from a learning experience point of view.

How I created it:
- first I took videos with my dvd camera
- then I used DVDx to convert the .vob files to mpeg2 files which quicktime could open. when I installed winamp a couple of weeks ago, I noticed it can display video now also, though strangely, sometimes the winamp videos were upside down whilst they played correctly orientated in quicktime. (perhaps I used strange setting whilst encoding?)
- then I imported the video into isadora, and patched up a storm whilst trying out some of the effects
- I can only save 5sec clips from isadora as I'm using the trial version whilst I work out if I'll use it regularly in future. I'm hoping to learn how to do similar tasks in jitter (max component) as I'll have more control of what I'm doing, even though it's very quick and easy to get things done in isadora without having to know the code. still yet to decide on this.
- once I had the processed video clips, I opened them in quicktime again and joined them together - hence the rough edits
- then I made a couple of text tracks in quicktime and added these in. I tried out the eZediaQTI app whilst learning about the text tracks but decided on doing them manually in quicktime and editing the controls with notepad.
- next, I opened the gps data music patch I made in max/msp and ran it with the soundwalk recordings I made the other week whilst at Mission Beach in Auckland. unfortunately, the mic was picking up a lot of noise from the wind blowing past the mic pickup so there's a lot of distortion. I filtered some of this out in audacity and flattened the audio into one track.
- then I added the audio track to the video with text quicktime movie
- then uploaded the finished piece to archive.org using ourmedia and viewed source on the movie's ourmedia page & copied the quicktime player code here

well, I'm sure there's a quicker way of doing it! which requires less processing and time, but this was an exercise in creating an original piece from start to finish. as you can tell, I'm not a designer or very good programmer either, but I'm happy to finish number one. here's hoping the subsequent efforts will improve and be done more efficiently. I could have used the original unprocessed videos but they seemed a little plain. need to find the right balance I guess..

here's a screen shot of the isadora patch:

2005 - 2006 a few highlights to remember

apart from podcasting, videoblogging / video podcasting was growing in 2004-2005 and will get even bigger in 2006, especially after the release of sony's psp & the video ipod. $1.99 itunes downloads for tv episodes will be more and more popular. even tivo is doing trials atm with (internet based) videoblogs to tivo. http://research.tivo.com/rocketboom/
archive.org (& perhaps google video if they decide to make it more videoblog friendly) providing free storage for videoblog movies & creative content has meant everyday users no longer have to worry about the costs involved in website hosting & data throughput /traffic.

http://braintrustdv.com/roundtables/ipod.html#Anchor-34275 has some interesting points of view from media analysts.

when holographic data storage becomes widely used in consumer devices (eg psp/ipod or future flavours) data storage worries are out the window. these are due for professional gear in 2006 (broadcasters have been testing with hdtv off holographic data storage this year)

exciting times!

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the longest comment to a blog post.. so far

Blogging has become very popular over the last few years as I'm sure most people are aware. here's one possibly for the record books - an Indian blog entry received a comment 4,827 words long! almost like writing a paper..

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knitted jumpers for penguins

Tasmania's Conservation Trust held a project to collect knitted jumpers for penguins caught in oil spills.

The Penguin Jumpers Project has now finished. Over 15,000 jumpers were collected, which will be stored in Oil Spill Response Kits around Tasmania. In the case of a major oil spill, these jumpers will be used to help rehabilitate Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) that have been oil affected. Oil clogs the feathers of these tiny seagoing birds, and reduces their insulating and waterproofing qualities. Even worse, the penguins attempt to clean themselves by preening, and rapidly become poisoned.

these are so cute!

click on the read more link below for the pattern:

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max/msp course @ Goldsmiths college, London - gps data music patch project

earlier this year I did a max/msp course at goldsmiths college. the class was taken by the very clever and talented sebastian lexer who puts on the interlace events in london and performs at various events and festivals. if you're looking for a max/msp course, I highly recommend this one - whether you've used max/msp before or not. the projects by the other class members were really cool also!

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"The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" by al-Jazari (1206)

"The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" was a manuscript written by al-Jazari in 1206 which described automata and mechanical devices used in early Islam. One of the more famous is the "The Elephant Clock" pictured here. Other machines include wine servers. The devices were 'programmed' to be random and unpredictable.

There is an excellent explanation of some of these devices and the book in general @ - this is a conference presentation by Gunalan Nadarajan on his paper :

Islamic Automation: A Reading of al-Jazari's The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206)

Professor Noel Sharkey from Sheffield University is building a replica of al-Jazari's automata boat which acts like a programmable drum machine.

"Al-Jazari's machine was originally a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties. It had two drummers, a harpist and a flautist."

"The heart of the mechanism is a rotating cylindrical beam with pegs (cams) protruding from it. These just bump into little levers that operate the percussion. The point of the model is to demonstrate that the drummer can be made to play different rhythms and different drum patterns if the pegs are moved around. In other words it is a programmable drum machine."

The guys from pawful.org have been working on a livecoding game called Al-Jazari which is a musical robot livecoding system based on the principles of al-Jazari's automata boat.

view the video demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxwLllYchlw

"Al-Jazari is written in scheme for fluxus, and continues in the gamepad driven vein of BetaBlocker.
Livecoding for all the family! Only for use at royal drinking parties."

"The language consists of instructions to move and turn the robot, along with conditionals based on the external state (blocked, robot to my left, right etc) and jump instructions to switch between 4 seperate code states. A simple signalling system to allow the bots to communicate is planned."

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e-Tech 2004 conference - notes from Tim O'Reilly's killer apps recording

O'Reilly killer apps mentioned in the audio recording of e-Tech 2004 from archive.org

social software - harnessing the power of use contributions & user participation:

successful platforms using social software:

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open letter to hilltop hoods blog entry circling the net/blogosphere this week

not sure if you've seen this already, but I think it's important for 2 reasons..

1. because of the DRM issue and music protection some artists and music labels are introducing, and

2. because it came through via Boing Boing which is the Technorati "#1 ranked blog site". poular blogs are measured & given a technorati ranking based on "The biggest blogs in the blogosphere, as measured by unique links in the last six months." http://www.technorati.com/pop/blogs/

so, this entry just went out to thousands of other sites where other people are linking it and commenting on it - great way to get OZ hip hop out there.. perhaps some of the people out there will check out the bands/artists mentioned in the article. (as I like looking at stats, it'd be interesting to see if their website hits or sales adjusted partly due to this)

original blog entry @ http://intermaweb.net/2005/12/09/open-letter-hilltop-hoods/

Boing Boing blog entry:


Thursday, December 8, 2005

Fan to Hilltop Hoods: treating me like a thief is bad business

Popular Aussie hiphop Hilltop Hoods band released its first DVD, The Calling Live. Partway through the disk, the band breaks off to call its fans thieves, and to promise that future musical releases will have DRM to protect the band from its listeners. Pete, a big fan of the band, has written an open letter in response:

Anecdotally, if I hadn't downloaded Left Foot, Right Foot in 2001(?), it is quite possible that I would have never purchased it, or The Calling, or The Calling DVD. It's also unlikely that I would have purchased tickets to several Hilltop Hoods shows. The same goes for my sister, and the several friends for whom I've burned copies over the years. If I had not discovered the joys of the Hoods, I may not have sought out (and purchased) music by the likes of Layla, Drapht, Downsyde, Clandestein, Hunter, Fdel, Pegz, the Herd, Bliss n Eso, After Hours, Funkoars, Art of War, Bias B, Lazy Grey, Mnemonic Ascent, Reason, Plutonic Lab etc etc etc....

So Suffa, I absolutely reject your accusations of theft, and am hurt that you reject me as a fan. I thought you were cool, and that you understood. Now, I'm not so sure...

Hilltop Hoods respond to the letter @ http://intermaweb.net/2005/12/10/suffas-reply-open-letter-hilltop-hoods/ and sound very reasonable.

Personally, I like the creative commons form of licensing & the ability to remix/remux existing works but I don't make my living from my art/music so come from a different perspective to an artist who does.

I think that having the songs available for download helps people try before they buy. and if someone downloads it and doesn't like it they probably weren't one of your customers anyway so you didn't lose any money from it, but perhaps one of their friends will hear it and like it and buy it then you'll gain a customer.

DRM is an issue which more & more artists will be having to deal with in the future though, a tough one for sure.

goas - week 3 notes

notes about studying methods:



There is a method of reading that all of our students will benefit from; it is called the SQ3R. Let me describe how to use the SQRRR method (Believe me it is wonderfully efficient).

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copying files off my ipod to pc hard drive

I have an external 120Gb firewire hard drive which has travelled with me from Sydney to UK to Auckland. It's worked really well. Well, until last week when it fell over and now makes horrible clunking noises when it's spinning up. Unfortunately this drive holds my ipod music files - copies of my cds and records that I couldn't bring with me from home. Luckily I'd done a full transfer to my ipod a couple of weeks ago, so the music is intact, but I can't export it back onto a hard drive (planning on buying another 2.5" drive instead of the firewire drive). I just found an article on endgaget about transferring files from your ipod back to hard drive using ephPOD. cool :) now I just have to buy the new drive and try it out.

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mmst11001 week 2 exercises - photoshop files - 3d ball

week 2 photoshop files for mmst11001 uni subject

different 3d balls, saved at different qualities
(unfortunately I cropped the drop shadow)

I should have spent more time on getting the image to look more 3d, but I wanted to try out the different formats vs filesizes and quality so I spent more time on this aspect.

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semiotics - reading notes

reading notes from Balsem's chapter on Semiotics

page 7-9
(pdf page 3-4)
... signs are socially active forces, and so is interpretation. Therefore, the study of signs and the semiotic perspective on social communication is a relevant activity. But it can only be so if the factors so far encountered are taken into account. Signs are not things, but the result of acts carried out by individuals belonging to social groups. They do not emerge in isolation, but in relation to other signs, previously produced. They are based on grounds and result in effects that deserve to be studied as part of a larger endeavour whose goals stretch beyond purely academic understanding.

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audio on the internet - internet radio, podcasts and hosting audio files

I received and email from the guys at www.radioheritage.net who are setting up a non-profit project involved in 'Sharing the stories of Pacific Radio'. The site has a wealth of information, but they are looking for assistance in putting audio on their site, so people can listen to some of the radio programs. Unfortunately I don't have a great deal of spare time to assist them in depth, but I can provide some advice if that's of use so I replied as such. Perhaps this will be useful to others as well. We were always getting asked for advice on how to do internet radio (it's rather easy once you do it - people think it's harder than it actually is!), and these days with podcasting being so popular and becoming more prominent, anyone can create, broadcast and distribute their own radio programs, whether they be music related, talk show/story format or a combination. anyway, here's a few ideas, I'll try to post more as I get a chance. perhaps some tutorials or help notes on how to setup these things. posting video shows/videoblogs is what I've been trying out lately too, though most of my videos are still offline as I practice editing and capturing the story element.

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semester 3 2005 uni timetable

semester 3 uni timetable

week 1
week 2
week 3
week 4
week 5
week 6
week 7
week 8
week 9
week 10
week 11
week 12


course 1

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