Whither KeepVid?

EDIT: It appears KeepVid is Back!

Sometimes you want to download something from YouTube and hang on to it. Not because you’re interested in violating copyright or overthrowing The Man or anything like that, but because you’re worried that it will go away or that you’ll want to look at it somewhere where the Internet access is dodgy.

Anyway, when I was in that situation my go-to site was KeepVid. And now it appears KeepVid is no more. When you go to KeepVid.com you get something that looks like this:

What Happened to KeepVid?

I went and checked the domain registration for KeepVid at Whois.sc and apparently the domain information changed today, so this is really recent.

According to the same registration information, the domain doesn’t expire until March 2018, so I don’t think this is a case of forgotten renewal. Is it that KeepVid has finally folded to threats of legal action? The KeepVid Twitter account hasn’t been updated in well over a year, and the Facebook page not since January 2015.

Anybody out there know what happened? Any thoughts about alternatives to KeepVid?

Vimeo Launches Vimeo Video School

Video site Vimeo announced last week the launch of Vimeo Video School, which has both instructions on how to make better videos and a directory of video tutorials. It’s available at http://vimeo.com/videoschool.

The front page is set up like a blog, with lessons at this writing including making a good holiday video and setting up a do-it-yourself camera dolly for less than $50. As you might expect the blog posts have videos included as well. If you’re really getting started at the very beginning you might want to start at the Video 101 site, which walks you through the basics of choosing a camera, shooting, and editing (or at least editing if you’re using a Mac or PC.)

But there are lots and lots and lots of other tutorials. Check out the nav on the right side of the page. You’ll see a variety of categories including sound, shooting, and gear. Pick a category and you’ll get to browse through dozens of videos covering very specific parts of video creation. The Lighting category, for example, had over twenty videos, while the DIY category had over five dozen videos covering things like cheap shoulder rigs, shooting underwater, and homemade camera jibs.

Thanks to phone setups pretty much everyone has a video camera with them these days. This site does a good job of bringing a lot of information on good videos into one place, whether you want just some simple ideas on how to make better videos or whether you want to go as complex as making your own equipment. Nicely done!

Remix Your Politix With Museum of the Moving Image

Here’s the ResearchBuzz part of why I’m doing this writeup: Museum of the Moving Image has a Web site called The Living Room Candidate, available at http://livingroomcandidate.org. This site contains over 500 commercials covering every presidential election from 1952 on up. That’s quite an archive. The site also has free downloadable lesson plans and the ability to view the commercials by type (biographical, fear, backfire, etc.) or by issue (civil rights, taxes, war, etc.)

The site has been up for a couple of years. I am covering it now because of the newly-launched AdMaker, an editing tool that will allow you to remix campaign ads or make new ones. The new tool is available at http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/admaker.

This page only has a couple of full commercials for remixing (one with John McCain and another with Nixon/Humphrey) but there’s also a feature that allows you to mix your own commercial.

You’re given snippets of media and tools in several different categories, including images, audio, video, transitions, effects, etc. Editing is via a simple click and drag layout; clicking on the end of a snippet and pulling it allows you to edit it down where you want it. (Video is added with audio, but an audio control on the right allows you to control the volume.) You can only add one layer of video at a time but multiple layers of audio are supported.

Don’t see what you like in the available media? AdMaker allows you to easily upload your own and integrate it into your commercial. And that’s how I ended up with video of a bear wandering around the woods with a voiceover of Bill Clinton saying he’d inhale if he had to do over again, all to the background soundtrack of Laurie Anderson’s Sharkey’s Day. And if you registered with The Living Room Candidate, you can save your masterpiece for later perusal.

I had a tremendous amount of fun with this. I hope Museum of the Moving Image expands the number of clips available in AdMaker. I can imagine some talented people making great ads.

Johnny Carson, Now In Digital Archive Form

Did you ever fall asleep watching Carson? Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show is now available online in digital format. Unfortunately you won’t get to browse the entire archive of content unless you’re interested in purchasing usage licenses, but there is some content available here. According to Hollywood Reporter, the show’s archives were stored in a salt mine until 1999 and weren’t transferred to digital format until last year (!)

The archive is available at http://www.johnnycarson.com/. Unfortunately the site really is about selling some upcoming DVDs, but it’s still worth visiting. The current featured clip shows Johnny Carson and Burt Reynolds getting increasingly risqué with a can of whipped cream (which is very funny. Johnny Carson’s outfit is a bit of a riot too.) Other clips include Jay Leno from 1977 (his hair, it is bouncin’ and behavin’), Betty White (from 1983) and Siskel and Ebert (from 1986). Clips show in a popup window and all the ones I looked at had captions available — a nice touch.

But as I said, this site is more to sell the DVDs than to provide a comprehensive overview of Carson content. If you’re interested in the licensing side of things, visit https://licensing.johnnycarson.com/. You have to register (and registering is extensive) but once you’ve done that you’ll be able to search by keyword, transcript, etc.

I only wish that was available for the general public! This is the kind of archive where I would pay a few bucks for a day pass and just enjoy the nostalgia…

YouTube Gets a News Feed

YouTube posted something intriguing on its blog yesterday: the announcement of the YouTube News Feed. On a Web site noted for cute kittens, laughing babies, and people explaining historical events while inebriated, the idea of honest-to-goodness news being distributed sounds more radical than it probably should.

The News Feed will be distributed via CitizenTube; if you go there you’ll see a blog style front page with embedded YouTube videos. At this writing the top news story is an explosion of a gas storage tank that took place in North Carolina over the weekend. Each post includes a bit of context and view counts (though the view counts seem really, really low.)

Other stories covered on the page today include “Explosion Injures 15 German Police Officers,” “Knoxville Police Altercation Caught on Video”, and “Congressman Scuffles with Student.” How is YouTube finding this news? Its blog post notes that it is working with the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, but it also encourages video uploaders to tweet pointers to their own news videos @citizentube.

There weren’t a huge number of videos on the site — just 12 for the month of June — and it’ll be interesting to see if YouTube goes for depth or breadth. I think if the site goes far afield and pulls in a wide number of videos covering a number of topics, it’ll be interesting to surf. But if it’s just a few videos a day highlighting stories that are already covered elsewhere in depth — why would I watch this instead of video highlights on a news network site?