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Adobe Edge promises animations viewable on Apple devices

Adobe has launched the first HTML5 editing tool: Adobe Edge. The new software allows designers to create animations for news sites using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript rather than Flash.

Unlike animations built in Flash, Edge moving graphics can be viewed on Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Edge Preview is now available as a free download for both Mac and PC while Adobe encourages and gathers feedback.

According to a release:

Edge Preview 1 focuses primarily on animation and motion, with upcoming previews featuring additional creative capabilities and functionality.

Adobe states that Edge is designed for evaluation purposes only.

We do not recommended that this release be used on production systems or for any mission-critical work.

Even those without previous experience of creating animations can have a go at importing pictures and graphics, adding text and drawing simple shapes, and then add them to the timeline and try out key framing and transitions.

Users can then add the animation to news stories. Adobe explains how this is done.

Edge stores all of its animation in a separate JavaScript file that cleanly distinguishes the original HTML from Edge’s animation code. Edge makes minimal, non-intrusive changes to the HTML code to reference the JavaScript and CSS files it creates.

An article on ReadWriteWeb explains how Adobe has released Edge to sit alongside Flash rather than immediately replace it.

If you are a designer, let us know how you get on with Adobe Edge by leaving a comment below

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Why every independent news site should have a YouTube channel

August 23rd, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Online Journalism, Traffic

John Hillman is editor of PC Site and head of publishing and projects at Net Media Planet.

With video in the ascendancy many independent online publishers and bloggers are beginning to feel that offering video content is a necessity rather than a nice optional extra. Yet creating editing and hosting a video can be an expensive and time consuming business that isn’t always easy to get right.

However, building a YouTube channel to sit alongside your indie website, whether it’s a blog, online magazine or hyperlocal, is much easier than many people would think. You can build the channel out to look exactly like your existing site, and with some good content and clever use of title tags you could find yourself attracting lots of new readers that may never have found you otherwise.

The figures speak for themselves. People searching for videos on YouTube make up a staggering 25 per cent of all of Google’s search volumes; it stands to reason therefore that anyone serious about increasing their readership should be tapping this rich source of traffic. When you also consider that Google now automatically displays a selection of YouTube videos in its search results, the opportunity for drawing new readers to your site should be obvious

As an independent online publisher we’ve found that YouTube has a lot to offer, providing us with a platform on which to publish unique video content, increasing our readership levels and helping us build our reputation as a quality online technology site.

Video equipment

Fortunately online video is valued more for its content than its production value, so while big news organisations may spend thousands on AV equipment, any indie publisher can get going with tools as basic as a Flip video camera and an open source video editing programme. This amounts to a total cost of around £150.

At PC-Site we use Flip video cameras all the time. They are cheap, small and fully optimized for the internet. This lets you get on with making basic videos without having to worry about such unfathomable tech conundrums as codecs fighting each other on the timeline.

When it comes to editing software there are lots of open source options out there, but Camtasia Studio works exceptionally well as both a movie editor and for creating screencasts. It costs about £220, which is excellent value for money. It also lets you automatically upload directly to your YouTube channel once you’ve finished the production process, saving you time. Alternatively we use TubeMogul to upload our videos as it enables us to do it across multiple sites, such as YouTube, HowCast and Vimeo simultaneously.

Branding your YouTube channel

This is a very important part of the process. It takes surprisingly little to give both your videos and your YouTube channel a quick makeover so that they reflect your blog or website.

Using Adobe Fireworks, for example, you can quickly mock up a little logo, if you have one, which will sit nicely in the corner of your screen during playback. Those of you with Adobe Illustrator skills can even create an ident to give your videos that real ‘TV Channel’ look. All of these things require a bit of extra effort but they really make a big difference to the finished product.

Your YouTube channel itself can also be branded by uploading a suitable background image that fits with your blog or website, and by going through the YouTube registration process you will be able to choose how the URL ends, also giving you that extra brand uniformity.

Once you’ve customised your videos and YouTube channel you can use the ‘sharing’ button to automatically syndicate your videos through your various online social networks, and you can embed your videos on your blog or website. You can also link your YouTube channel directly with your blog using the ‘blog setup’ button, this way your videos will post straight to your website from YouTube.

Getting it all up and running does take a small investment from you in terms of time, problem solving and creative thought, but the benefits that come from it are well worth the effort. One of our videos got nearly 30,000 views in a couple of months, all from just a cheap video camera a free video editing platform and the benefits of YouTube’s vast army of viewers. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

More from John Hillman on Journalism.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @johnjhillman

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Wired gets ‘wired’ with Adobe for iPad edition

The US edition of Wired magazine has launched its iPad app in characteristic fashion with its June edition, priced at $4.99. Writes editor-in-chief Chris Anderson:

The irony that Wired, a magazine founded to chronicle the digital revolution, has traditionally come to you each month on the smooshed atoms of dead trees is not lost on us. Let’s just say the medium is not always the message.

Except that now it is. I’m delighted to announce that Wired’s first digital edition is now available for the iPad and soon for nearly all other tablets. We have always made our stories accessible online at Wired.com, but as successful as the site is, it is not a magazine.

The tablet is our opportunity to make the Wired we always dreamed of. It has all the visual impact of paper, enhanced by interactive elements like video and animated infographics.

Most interestingly, the magazine’s iPad edition has been in development for a year and will use new publishing technology from Adobe which will allow the title to create both the print magazine and its digital edition using the same system.

There is no finish line. Wired Magazine will be digital from now on, designed from the start as a compelling interactive experience, in parallel with our print edition. Wired is finally, well, wired.

Wired Magazine’s iPad Edition Goes Live | Magazine.

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Reporter’s guide to multimedia proficiency – now available for download in PDF

September 8th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia, Online Journalism, Training

Mindy McAdams’ comprehensive guide to multimedia proficiency is now available to download in PDF from her website.

The 42-page document is fully linked and usable online in most web browsers, Adobe Reader, or in Preview on the Mac OS, so there’s no need to waste trees in order to read it.

McAdams has licenced the entire document  under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License so users are free to share, distribute, reuse and even remix it, in line with the CC conditions.

The booklet comes straight from a series of 15 blog posts, written as guidance to those who want to transform themselves into multimedia journalists. Her succinct guide includes tips on blogging, audio interviews, podcasts, photography, and video.

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Googleblog: Optical Character Recognition now allows searching in PDF documents

October 31st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

From today Google can now perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on any scanned documents that it finds stored in Adobe’s PDF format. OCR technology helps convert a picture (of a thousand words) into a thousand words and the words can now be searched and indexed. “A small but important step forward in our mission of making all the world’s information accessible and useful,” said Google on its blog.

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Sun’s Page 3 widget breaks download records

July 22nd, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

A Page 3 girl widget for RSS feeds, launched by The Sun on Friday, has beaten previous download figures for Sun apps after only three days, the newspaper has said.

The Keeley Hazell application (see below) was built using Adobe Air – a new piece of technology, which allows one widget to be built that will be compatible with both PC and MAC systems.

Further editorial developments are planned for the site over the next few weeks to build on changes to the site navigation and page design introduced last week.

The homepage is longer and features a panel on the right-hand side showcasing breaking news, ‘most read’ and ‘most discussed’ articles.

In addition, users are now taken directly to the article after clicking on a homepage headline, rather than visiting the section homepage.

The changes to the homepage have received criticism from media commentator Roy Greenslade, who asked if the revamp was a reaction to the Daily Mail’s recent relaunch.

However, Danny Rogers, The Sun’s editorial manager (online), said the new features were the result of long-running development.

“It has nothing to do with the Daily Mail. This has been going on for the last six months,” he told Journalism.co.uk, adding that the changes were aimed at displaying content in a more accessible and user-friendly way.

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links for 2008-07-03

July 3rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized
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