Almost ready!

Sorry; I know nothing’s been posted for a few weeks, but I’ve been busy shooting and editing for Microsoft Tech Ed 2006 in Boston. Based on that footage, I’ve got the next twelve fives vid ready to go, as soon as I can get it encoded and up. Really!

Twelve Fives Mallorca #01: El Cheapo

Five NYC vids is enough for the moment. Even though the footage from that part of the world is drawing to an end (Chicago soon), I wanted to look back further. Mallorca is known throughout Europe as a cheap holiday destination; the package operators have set up huge generic resorts where you’re always within sight of at least one generic “English Pub”. My sister and I went for a cheap, short break from the UK, and the evidence starts here. Enjoy Twelve Fives Mallorca #01: El Cheapo. A new style of music, too.

Subscribe through iTunes

Wow. I wonder how many people reading this got here via the Boing Boing link to Airport? Welcome! Anyway, if you want to automatically get all the episodes as they’re released, just subscribe to Twelve Fives through iTunes.

EDIT: If the last link didn’t work for you, try this one, made with the official Apple iTMS Link Maker.

If that doesn’t work for you, there’s also this RSS feed, also at the bottom of the page to the right of the Blogger icon.

Techy details

A few technical details for anyone wanting to make their own Twelve Fives vids.

The original video was shot in PAL (720×576 pixels) but as it was shot as anamorphic widescreen, that works out to 1024×576 in square pixels. The podcasted movies are half that: 512×288 @ 25 fps.

For compression, I use and recommend QuickTime Player to compress in H.264 @ 650 kbps. Yes, you can use free tools to compress in H.264, but they look terrible compared to QuickTime, which looks great at that size. To avoid interlacing issues, I turn on Single Field in QuickTime Player’s Visual Settings before exporting. That way, there’s no vertical resampling and no double images.

Why no iPod-friendly video? Well, though there’s an easy Export to iPod with Video option, it produces large files. You can manually produce an MP4 if you play with the settings yourself, but you’ve got to downgrade to QuickTime 7.0.3 to avoid a bug, and be very careful with your settings. Even with all the care in the world, one of my movies still wasn’t coming out iPod-friendly, despite using exactly the same settings as several other movies that worked just fine. Since the audience (you! all of you!) is small and conversion is just a menu option away for those who care, I’m just sending out larger, higher quality movies for now. Let me know if you really care either way.

Audio is original, compressed down to 96kbps AAC to save a little bandwidth. To easily sync the beat changes with 5 second shots, the tempo is set to 96 BPM, which also contributes to the languid feel. Average level @ -12dB, peaks around -6dB, but this isn’t broadcast so I’m not being super strict about it.

Um… anything else? If you’re reading this through an RSS reader, feel free to leave a comment on the site itself @