What I Learned This Week (Part 6)

Google DNS: This can be taken a couple of ways – if you believe the “Do No Harm” mantra of Google, then this is simply a way for you to take a personal control of the Domain Name System, and out of the hands of your ISP. This can be seen as a good thing, especially with ISPs under a lot of pressure to track users to get rid of file sharing.

On the other hand, it could be used for Google’s main money maker, demographic information. In fact, it seems that Google’s pretty transparent about this as they say in the blog post:

As people begin to use Google Public DNS, we plan to share what we learn with the broader web community and other DNS providers, to improve the browsing experience for Internet users globally.

That’s fine, but lets be frank. Once Google shares this information, how can they be sure that the recipient of the information will actually take this and act accordingly? Unless there’s a contract or some sort of binding terms of agreement, perhaps a Creative Commons one, it’s unlikely that a third party will not be tempted to use this data.

In a previous life I was an audio engineer. After discovering that poverty was in my future should I not work a billion hours a week listening to abominations… I went into web design and later teaching to some extent. Clearly, money is not a motivating factor for me. Anyways, this blog post by 10,000 Words brought me back to my previous life – 10 great interactive audio experiences.

To add to their list I would add Hobnox – a good Flash based tool to create anything from atmospheric beats to raging noise. I usually end up at the latter due to adding a chain of 800 distortions filtered through high and low passes. Good fun for a while, but you have to have a decent widescreen monitor to take full benefit of the interface.

I’ve also talked about Aviary Myna Audio Editor before and how it’s a fun, multitrack audio creator/editor in the vein of Garage Band.

Cooped In With Audio Tracks

I’ve been playing with the Aviary Online Garage Band style web application called Audio Editor and have been cranking out some neat quick atmospheric items. While it takes a bit of fiddling to get good results, if you’re looking to craft a fifteen second introduction theme, like the one on Howard Rheingold’s videos, then this is a free way to do it. If you spend $25 to $50 on a sample kit you could put together a pretty decent intros and outros for videos or interludes.

It’s fairly intuitive, drag a track to the timeline then add another couple. Add effects, twiddle virtual knobs, and away you go.

Another similar project, although definitely slanted towards electronic music, is hobnox. In some ways hobnox seems more organic, plug the tone bank or 808 clone into a few pedals and dump it into the mixer, then the amp.

So you can add a little pizazz to your videos, which if the content is good, you’ll be able to make them closer to a professional production.