Manifest Technology
        Making Sense of Digital Media Technology
        By Douglas Dixon
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Digital Media Seminars - Abstracts and Downloads
    (Updated 10/2006)

    by Douglas Dixon

      Book Cover       

Abstracts of recent seminar presentations, with notes posted for downloading.
( Downloads are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format)

About Douglas Dixon

    See Schedule of Upcoming and Recent Presentations

Full List of Presentations

Contents -- Digital Lifestyle Seminars

Contents -- Digital Media Seminars


Portable Media Devices   (Introductory)

Who says you can't take it with you? In today's digital life, you can squeeze billions of bytes onto a postage-stamp memory, and tens to hundreds of gigabytes onto a pocket-sized hard drive. And that's not just data -- it's your entertainment and memories as media: huge collections of your favorite music, photo slide shows, and even videos, available to enjoy and share, anytime and anywhere.

Want to figure out what's up with iPods and Palms, micro-disks and portable media? Or ready to upgrade to the next generation? We'll explore the amazing range of possibilities for portable storage and media playback, from storage on USB thumb drives and portable discs, to media players and iPods, to live streaming on camera phones and PDAs.

    Download: Portable Media Devices  (10/2006, 46 pp. -- PDF, ~ 3 MB)

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Content Protection and Digital Rights Management
    Accessing Your Media in the Digital Home (Introductory)

Do you appreciate the freedom of buying music on CD and being able to play it anywhere -- home and car, computer and portable player? While you also can buy and download individual tracks of digital music online, the song files purchased from iTunes will only play on Apple's iPods, and other purchased and subscription music require compatible Windows Media players. Meanwhile, movies on DVD are encrypted to prevent copying to your computer, and further protected by criminalizing even fair use access through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

If that's not fun enough, the next generation of blue-laser DVDs and new high-definition TVs have even more aggressive copy protection, supported by hardware-based disabling of unauthorized playback on both CE and PC devices. And the music and movie industries continue to push to restrain even analog copying by adopting watermarks that lock out playback on digital devices.

But content protection is more than designing stronger locks and constructing "speed bumps" to try to inhibit at least mass casual copying. It is now evolving to content management, enabling new business models by allowing controlled distribution of protected content, including transferring to portable devices and sharing within a local home network.

This talk will explore the range of content protection technologies that are built in to physical media and digital devices, from CE set-tops to PC desktops to portable players -- and the resulting implications for people who want to collect digital media that can be freely accessed both now and in the future.

    Download: Content Protection / DRM  (11/2006, 26 pp. -- PDF, ~ 700 KB)

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Personal Mass Media - Blogging, Syndication, Podcasting, and Vidcasting  (Introductory)

New Internet technologies are changing how people communicate. Mainstream mass media is challenged by personal media, as the old model of one-way broadcasting has been usurped by distributed conversations.

This talk provides an introduction to Podcasting (radio shows on your media player or computer), Blogs (online journals), Vlogs (Video Blogs), and RSS (Web subscription services). We'll discuss how these new services are used, how you can tap in to these growing conversations, and how you to get started communicating too.

    Download: Notes on Blogging, Syndication, Podcasting, and Vidcasting  (4/2006, 30 pp. -- PDF, 800 KB)
    Link or Download: Notes on Blogging, Syndication, Podcasting, and Vidcasting  (4/2006 -- MHT, 1500 KB)

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Digital Media Fundamentals Seminar  (Intermediate, 1-2 days)
    (Adobe Digital Media Tools) 

This seminar will immerse you into digital media, giving you the knowledge and tools to work effectively with images, audio, and video. It covers the technical details of media formats and characteristics, and provides a perspective of the larger picture of developing markets and trends. Each section also includes discussions of available digital media software products and demonstrations of key tools, highlighting the Adobe video collection applications (Photoshop, Premiere, Audition, and Encore DVD).

Make sense out of this profusion of digital media formats, and equip yourself with the background needed to create, edit, enhance, and share digital media!


Digital Media Technology
    Digital Photography and Images - Photo Editing and Enhancement
    Digital Audio and Music - Sound Editing, Mixing, Restoration and Sweetening
    Digital Video - Video Editing and Effects
Digital Media Delivery
    Streaming Media - Concepts, Web Formats and Delivery
    Digital Video and Compression - DV to DVD
    DVD Authoring - Video to Disc

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Getting Started with Digital Video   (Introductory)

Get started with digital video to save and share the fun, from picnics with friends, to sports events with the kids, to family vacation trips. Create your own annual highlights movie for the holidays, or sports bloopers video.

With today's consumer gear and software, you can capture your videos on a digital camcorder, edit on standard personal computers, and even burn your own DVDs complete with menus.

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Digital Imaging / Photography Fundamentals  (Intro. / Intermed.)

    Download: Digital Image Technology - Seminar Notes  (5/2005, 14 pp. -- PDF, 250 KB)

- Organizing and Enhancing Digital Photos         (Adobe Photoshop / Elements)

Use tools like Adobe Photoshop Elements to enhance digital photos and organize your collection of digital images. These applications combine an accessible interface with sophisticated photo processing capabilities. Use helpful wizards for common photo fixing and enhancements, plus directly access powerful capabilities including filters, effects, layers, text, and graphics shapes.

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Digital Audio Fundamentals / Audio for Video Editors  (Intro. / Intermed.)         (Adobe Audition)

    Download: Digital Audio Technology - Seminar Notes  (5/2005, 16 pp. -- PDF, 146 KB)

- Digital Audio Restoration and Enhancement

Today's audio software can perform amazing feats to restore and enhance audio clips -- remove background noise and hiss from recordings, make pops and clicks from vinyl records disappear, restore clipped audio from thin air, extract just the music (or voice) for acapella or karaoke playback, correct the pitch of off-key singers, and isolate and extract individual sounds. Accessible tools like Adobe Audition bring these capabilities to the desktop, to clean up and then sweeten your recordings with filters and effects.

- Digital Audio Music Creation and Mixing

Use tools like SmartSound SonicFire to adjust a soundtrack to fit the length of your clip, and applications like Adobe Audition to build multiple tracks of looped instruments, sweeten and apply effects, and then mix the final composition.

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Digital Video Fundamentals

    Download: Digital Video Technology - Seminar Notes  (5/2005, 30 pp. -- PDF, 196 KB)

- Desktop Digital Video: DV to DVD   (Intro./Intermed.)

The past few years have seen tremendous innovation and growth in digital media products for both computers and consumer electronics. Digital audio and MP3 have made personal music an affordable and integral part of our life. Digital video is the next step in this revolution, with a wide selection of DV digital camcorders, simple FireWire interfaces, consumer video editing and DVD authoring software, and affordable DVD recorders.

Explore the end-to-end process of using digital media on the desktop, from capturing from digital and analog sources, to processing with video editing and DVD authoring tools, to saving and sharing in on DVD and over the Internet. Understand the potential and pitfalls of digital media, including conflicting formats and compatibility issues.

    Download: Desktop Digital Video: DV to DVD  (5/2005, 41 pp. -- PDF, 879 KB)


Analog to Digital: Tape to DVD
DVD Conversion
    Conversion Services, Set-Top DVD Recorders
Desktop Video Processing
    Digital Video - on the Desktop
    Capturing Video - Analog, DV / FireWire
    Video Data Rates and Formats - DV and MPEG-2
    Video Tools - Video Editing and DVD Authoring
Export: Saving and Sharing Video
    DV, Analog, File formats, Web, DVD
What's Next: Trends & Futures

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Video Editing Tools Workshop   (Intro./Intermed.)
    Consumer / Professional  (Adobe Premiere Elements / Pro)

Explore today's video editing tools to understand the best tools for your needs.
(See also Automated Video Processing - below)

    Download: Video Editing Tools (5/2005, 10 pp. -- PDF, 413 KB)


Consumer / Personal - Assemble Clips into Movies
Automated Editing
    i.e., muvee AutoProducer, Serious Magic Visual Communicator
Storyboard to Timeline, with DVD authoring
    i.e., Windows Movie Maker, Pinnacle Studio
    Roxio VideoWave, Ulead VideoStudio, Adobe Premiere Elements
Professional - Multi-Track Editing on Timeline
    i.e., Adobe Premiere Pro
    Avid Xpress, Sony Vegas Video, Ulead MediaStudio Pro

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Video Compression Tool Workshop  (Intermed./Advanced)
    Automated Video Processing
    (Canopus ProCoder, Discreet cleaner, Sorenson Squeeze)

    Download: Video Compression Tools (5/2005, 25 pp. -- PDF, 1036 KB)

Do your customers need multiple versions of their videos, for local disk, and the Web, and even DVD? Do you find yourself compressing clips multiple times to trade off different size and quality settings? Maybe it's time to look into professional content mastering tools such as Canopus ProCoder, Discreet cleaner, and Sorenson Squeeze.

These applications offer a wide variety of presets and options to compress your video and audio into a wide variety of formats, for desktop files, Web streaming, DVD (MPEG), and even portable devices. They also offer pre-processing and filtering options for better quality compression.

But most of all, they can help you automate your production process by creating custom compression presets, defining batch lists of different desired output formats, and then automatically converting your source content files into multiple desired output formats.

This workshop provides a hands-on tour of the automated video processing process, showing how to define a collection of desired compression formats, and then batch convert a list of input files into a variety of distribution formats.


Video Processing
    Video compression and conversion
    Automated batch processing
Processing Steps
    Select source files
    Define video and audio pre-processing
    Define target formats and compression
    Select target locations and filters
    Convert, compress, output

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