Technology continues to bring those of us in the horse industry closer to each other, AND helps us communicate more effectively with our audiences. A recent example should be something to inspire us all.
Image courtesy Paul Smoke
The Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries opened this month at the Kentucky Horse Park (KHP). A $10 million permanent exhibit and a significant addition to KHP’s International Museum of the Horse, the Al-Marah Galleries’ grand opening celebration was kicked off on June 12, 2010, using a live video simulcast. And yes, I watched it – via my laptop, while sitting comfortably on my deck on the northside of Chicago, despite the sweltering heat in KHP’s celebration tent in Lexington, Kentucky!
While a video will never take the place of actually being there, it can help those farther afield still feel a part of things. And I’ve long thought that welcoming new people into the horse world is something we all need to do.
More and more, simulcasts are being used for horse shows, competitions, and conferences. The footage can be archived for historical reference, or packaged and sold as content, making it a potential revenue generator.
As video technology both improves and comes down in cost, I imagine we’ll be seeing even more…and I think it’s a great thing for the horse industry.
A few Al-Marah Galleries extras:
- I found this VERY interesting: While making her opening remarks, Project Manager Evie Tubbs Sweeney made a key point, that this interactive, captivating museum about the Arabian horse will likely be seen by the million or so visitors each year to the Kentucky Horse Park, and that within 10 years, that’s a potential 10 million person audience that could be moved to possess an Arabian of their very own. At the very least, the exhibit will educate and inspire future generations of horse lovers and owners, something our industry truly needs.
- I had the opportunity to visit Lexington for the American Horse Publications annual conference, and visited the Al-Marah Galleries on Day 10 after the grand opening celebration; you can read about my experience here. Since I was marketing/PR director for Al-Marah a while back, it was nice to see some of the familiar programs and people represented, but there are also some fantastic artifacts and lots of great images and information I’d never seen before. I wish I’d had more time to explore it, and I can’t wait to go back.
A question from one of my readers, writer and horsewoman RhondaL, sent me off on the research path for new and improved audio for videos made with the Flip cameras. While I found some great resources for recording and adding voiceover narration, I also came across some other work-around tips to compensate for the Flip’s poor audio quality. Enjoy!
- Here are some basic, common-sense tips from Greyson Ferguson at eHow.com; to get the best sound possible in your original recording, it’s a good idea to keep these tips in mind, such as minimize jostling, don’t touch the mic while recording, and limit outdoor recording (with the resulting wind-noise), but most horse people WILL be recording outdoors, so that particular option doesn’t work for us.
Thankfully, there’s more….
- A company called Quick Video Marketing has some videos and checklists about boosting your audio quality using mostly free software. They have options for both Mac and PC; the only paid software is QuickTime Pro, which the narrator (Jeff ‘Herschy’ Schwerdt) says is about $30. The audio on his videos is clear and strong, so while I haven’t yet used this process, I think it might be promising.
I look forward to checking out Darrell’s other audio/video & tech tips, too. He suggests another resource for learning how to maximize your Flip videos, FlipInFocus.com, which looks promising. Thanks, Darrell!
If you’ve missed my other posts on my Flip UltraHD camera, you can search for ‘Flip’ in the Search box to the right. If you have tips that have worked for you, please post them to Comments – I’d love to read about them!
Sorry it’s been an entire week since you’ve heard from me! I’ve been ‘under the weather’ but am now getting back into the swing of things….
I’ve recently written about my Flip Ultra HD video camera and the audio limitations of same, so I thought I’d point out a creative ‘work-around’ that was shared with me by one of my Twitter buddies, Liam Killen over at Abbeyview Equine. A UK-based company, they do Web sites for equestrians, and recently won a BETA 2009 Innovation Award for their PagePlay concept – congrats!
Image courtesy Abbeyview Equine
The video clip is at the Abbeyview Equine YouTube channel, and was filmed at the 2010 Badminton Horse Trials using Liam’s own Flip video camera. Liam has dubbed in music over the long-distance footage or clips that might otherwise be subject to wind noise, and while there is a bit of ambient sound in the background on interview clips, it’s definitely within manageable limits.
If you come across other creative uses of Flip equestrian footage, please send ’em my way! And if you’d like to follow Liam on Twitter, it’s @AbbeyviewEquine.
To continue the ‘theme’ of using video as a marketing tool for your horse business, I thought I’d share this resource I came across on Twitter (thanks, @themarketingguy!) – it’s a free webinar on how to optimize your video for the Web, on May 5, 2010.
I’m not affiliated with any of the companies or individuals involved; I’m signed up as an attendee just like you would be. That said, I recently participated in a completely unrelated webinar using the same GoToWebinar technology, and it was slick! So, I’m looking forward to this webinar on video. The minimum system requirements are below.
PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000
Macintosh®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer
On an interesting side note: Of all my entries about the Flip video camera, the one that got the most traffic was what NOT to do with your Flip! Hmmmmmm…..
Have a great week!
While I love many things about my new little Flip UltraHD video camera, I had a minor tech crisis this past weekend. I’m sharing it here so hopefully you can avoid the same issue.
I tend to not use ‘canned’ software that comes with tech gadgets on my computer as I find it’s often designed for ‘the general consumer’ and doesn’t always do what I want, or else it does things I don’t want.
Flip video cameras come pre-loaded with FlipShare, a proprietary downloading, editing, archiving, and sharing software that’s both PC and Mac compatible.
Although the Flip has its own program, when I went to move some video files from the camera over to my Mac, I thought I’d just ‘drag & drop’ the files from the camera folder into my external drive folder on my laptop – WRONG!
While it did transfer the files, the camera failed to reset its counter, even though it showed the files were no longer on the camera. WHAT?! A minor panic attack ensued, with a quick call to the Best Buy Geek Squad (the rep was polite, but ultimately unhelpful). And, I didn’t have Internet access in order to check for a fix online.
How I solved it – After trying a few things that didn’t work, I ultimately corrected the issue by recording several new clips, and then downloading them using the ‘right way.’ Thankfully, the camera then reset itself.
Lesson learned – just use the video file download program that comes prepackaged on the Flip camera.
No piece of equipment is perfect; you have to get what works best for your needs, and find ways to live with the rest. That said, there are some very nice features on the Flip UltraHD video camera I recently bought, and a few things I feel are ‘less than’ or missing….
The good stuff:
- Small, convenient, and easy to use
- Great video image quality in high definition (HD) format
- Easy-to-use download and common MP4 format
- Download & edit software that’s built in to the camera
- Screw-in mount on the underside for a tripod or monopod
- The zoom isn’t great
- Audio can be a problem, since there’s not an input for a external mic
- They don’t include much for the price – would be nice to have a USB connector cord and a plug-in charger for the battery, instead of having to buy those things a la carte (I even bought a better camera bag than the one that comes in the box)
If you’re considering buying a Flip or similar mini video camera – there are lots of great reviews out there, and I encourage you to do a Google search on your own and go to stores to try them out.
You must keep in mind what these cameras were designed for – the average consumer who wants to take videos and upload them to YouTube for sharing with family/friends, and to do it at a low cost. Because of that, going outside those design specs might require some creative ‘work arounds’ to get the best results. These cameras are NOT designed to compete with high-end professional video cameras, even though they shoot in HD.
No piece of equipment is perfect; be sure to research your options!
If you’ve decided you ‘gotta’ have one, here are a few NEW options from Flip for you to think about:
- There’s a new Flip camera, the SlideHD, which has FOUR hours of recording time (just in time for your jaunt to Lexington for WEG!)
- If you order your Flip through their homepage store, you can customize your Flip using either some standard designs, a custom-design generator, or even upload a design of your own! How cool would that be, to put your horse’s picture on your camera, or the logo of your business, farm, or stable?!
- The Flip cameras are designed to connect to your computer via a built-in USB connector. It would be nice to have a USB patch cord in the package, but you’ve got to buy that separately. However, from now through June 30, 2010, you can get a free accessory (up to $24.99 value) with your Flip purchase, and USB cords are among the accessory options, as are tripods and power adapters/chargers.
Watch for video clips coming soon, now that I’ve flipped over my own Flip, and tips and ideas on how to use video for marketing and promoting your equine biz.