Saturday, October 10, 2009

Digital media creation

Wait a minute, this seems a bit off topic. Perhaps so. I have been writing about the tech things that college freshman and upper classmen need to meet the needs and challenges of college life. Now I am going to talk about the creation of digital media.

Digital media includes audio and video. You probably watch and listen to a great deal of digital media, but may not have created too much. Of course if you post video or audio to YouTube or Facebook you are involved in digital media creation, and you should be. I think that ALL students should learn to create at least simple audio and video. Certainly for fun, but also for life after graduation. If you can do this you will have a key skill for ANY career field you choose. You also make yourself immediately useful and a little more distinctive than the mass of college grads.

You do not need to be Stephen Spielberg or some talk radio super star. There are simple tools which will get you there. Let's look at a few:

Flip cameras - whether standard definition or HD, you can buy a camera with excellent audio quality for well under $200. You may be able to borrow one from your campus media center for FREE. Make a short and informative clip to beef up your in class presentation. Think about doing a "man on the street" segment to lead discussion in any class. This seemingly simple skill translates to the world of work in almost any discipline.

Marantz audio recorders - these run about $500 and can often be borrowed from your media center. They are very high quality and easy to use. You can also use lower cost devices that can do the same thing. They generally produce crisp MP3 audio and this is what you need.

Editing - you can get FREE video editing software from . Their Pinnacle product is free and can do most of what the average person needs. You can also use MovieMaker which is free with any PC or iMovie which comes with any MAC. If you want to do audio editing looking at Audacity. It is also FREE off the web. There are tools that cost a little more (than free), but offer more features. Adobe offers Soundbooth, Apple offers Garage Band, and Avid offers a light version of Pro Tools.

This is not rocket science, but give you and edge as a student and in the job market. They are also fun. Jump in.

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