YouTube Gets an Upgrade

November 16, 2009

For all of you avid YouTube posters get ready for some exciting news! Starting this week, YouTube will support 1080p high resolution videos. As high-def digital video camcorders become the norm, it was only a matter of time before YouTube caught up and figured out how to support the bulkier, albeit much prettier videos. Personally I am super excited about this. I love posting clients’ videos, but I am always upset when I spend so much time editing, then they just get decompressed when loaded onto YouTube.

Currently the best option to host our HD masterpieces is Vimeo, but with the free subscription, you are only allowed to post three HD videos per week. Plus, Vimeo has a much smaller reach. If you want to get eyes on your videos, YouTube is the best way to go. Now video posters can have the best of both worlds.

YouTube has stated that they are not worried about infrastructure problems or higher costs associated with supporting bulkier files. Videos uploaded form regular users will still have a 10-minuted limit, although the maximum file size will likely be upped from the current 2GB. Now the coolest part: Videos that have already been uploaded at 1080p (ALL of mine!) will be automatically re-encoded to play back at the higher resolution.

Ok – yes – I may be a little over excited about this new development, but us as an agency and our clients have produced some pretty impressive videos (such as the infamous “Donkey at a house party”), it’s a shame that they haven’t been able to be viewed in all their high-def glory!

In all seriousness, although it is considered “high-def” 1080p has really become the standard it was only a matter of time before YouTube caught up.

Posted by: Lauren


The downfall of print … not so bad?

November 6, 2009

It isn’t a secret that the publishing industry isn’t doing so hot right now.  As Bill  Stoller (@publicityguru) informed me yesterday morning (via Twitter, of course) “First 9 months of ’09, 383 magazines closed…”.  The internet and social media have unfortunately driven newspaper and magazine sales down – way down.  With information so readily available to anyone who wants it, why would you go buy a newspaper (not that it’s necessarily a costly purchase, by any means) when you could just go to directly to the newspapers website from your computer or internet-equipped phone? 

I’m 22 (a lady should never tell her age, but I made an exception here).  Therefore, things like watching the news and reading newspapers aren’t exactly “trendy” with my set.  However, I am willing to bet that 22 year olds now are much more up to date on their world news and current events than 22 year old were 10 years ago.  I’m almost embarassed to say that in other circumstances (such as before I discovered the wonders of the RSS feed, which was – also embarassingly enough – only a few months ago), it would absolutely never occure to me to read the newspaper to see what’s up in the world or to watch the morning news.  However, I follow CNN,  on both Twitter and my RSS feed and also have included The Daily Collegian (my college newspaper), The Boston Globe and The Providence Journal on my RSS feed.  I’m able to hold a conversation with just about anyone regarding current events and am always up-to-date on the lastest news, probably because I have access to it from anywhere at anytime.  Typically, I have more information about current events than older family members, who’s world updates come on the 6:00 nightly news.  They may have more of an interest in what is going on – but I am the one who has the information to give them.

The downfall of print media is tragic.  There is nothing better than receiving a magazine in the mail, or playing the Sudoku in the newspaper (and I guess reading a good article or two) – but perhaps the growing online readership of these publications is a good thing.  Now, more than ever, “young people” are beginning to interact with the general population on a more worldly level.  

Posted by Courtney | Follow me on Twitter


Clint Eastwood Legacy Chronicled by Longtime Collector

November 5, 2009

David Frangioni, musician, producer and entrepreneur adds author to his resume with the release of his first book: Clint Eastwood ICON: The Essential Film Art Collection.

San Rafael, CA – David Frangioni, musician and founder of Audio One, is proud to announce the release of his book Clint Eastwood ICON: The Essential Film Art Collection. For over 20 years David has been collecting Clint Eastwood memorabilia and has amassed a personal collection containing over 10,000 items. Using his collection as the platform, Frangioni and essay author Tom Schatz, chronicle the evolution of Clint Eastwood’s films throughout his exceptional career.

Clint Eastwood ICON: The Essential Film Art Collection presents an unprecedented collection of over 400 archival images that span his film work from the 1960’s to present. This comprehensive trove gathers together poster art, lobby cards, studio ads, and esoteric film memorabilia from around the world. From his early roles as the nameless gunslinger in Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, to the vigilante films of the 1970s and 1980s, through his directorial roles and latest releases including Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood ICON captures the powerful presence and quiet intensity that turned Eastwood into the definitive American hero.

As to how this extraordinary book came to be, Frangioni says, “I’ve been a big fan of Clint’s films and a “collector” since childhood and, as such, have amassed an array of posters, photos and other memorabilia regarding his movies. My book is a retrospective tribute to Clint’s films through movie art that any of his fans will enjoy reading. ”

David’s love of film is both a personal and professional passion and is a part of his every day business as the founder of Audio One, an electronic systems integrator and custom home theater design firm based in N. Miami Beach, Florida. The company’s client list includes stars of sports, music, and film, as well as many of Florida’s most successful businesspeople and has afforded Frangioni both interest and access to unique and historical film posters. Essays included in the book are written by Tom Schatz, current Executive Director of the University of Texas Film Institute. He is the author of four books about Hollywood films and filmmaking, including Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System; The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era; and Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s. Schatz lectures widely on American film and television in the U.S. and abroad and he has delivered talks and conducted seminars for the Motion Picture Academy, the Directors Guild of America, the American Film Institute and the Los Angeles Film School.

Published by Insight Editions, the book can be purchased online at http://insighteditions.com for $39.95 (ISBN: 978-1-933784-96-0) as well as on www.amazon.com. One of the most important roles of Clint Eastwood is that of an activist. To help further his efforts, a portion of the proceeds from sales of this title will be contributed as a charitable donation to the Action Council of Monterey County/Clint Eastwood Fund promoting literacy in California. For more information about Audio One, visit www.audio-one.com.

 

Posted by Courtney | Follow me on Twitter


A question of business ethics

October 23, 2009

Did you know that business ethics are a form of applied ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment?

Though I may not have defined it that way, I certainly know what they are and I definitely know when they should be questioned.

I guess you only know in the moment if you can choose to do the right thing, and if you choose wrong what does that say about you? And then if others subsequently choose wrong because of the first ethical crisis, what becomes of them? It’s a slippery slope.

And one I am really glad not to be on.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter :  newscaster


Audio One Wins 5 CEDIA Lifestyles Awards

October 21, 2009

Custom Home Theater, Whole Home Control and Elegant Design Merge in Three Gorgeous Homes

Audio One has received an incredible five 2009 CEDIA Industry Recognition Awards in honor of its outstanding home theater, media room and integrated home installations.

 “We are extremely honored that our peers have recognized our work on these projects,” said Audio One Founder and President David Frangioni. “Our clients demand the highest levels of quality, performance and attention to personal detail, and we consistently deliver systems that exceed their expectations.  I am honored to receive these awards.”

Overall, three projects accounted for the five awards. 

Large Home Theater – Technical Design Winner, Level VI Bronze ($391,000 – $670,000). This unusual project found Audio One with 17 days to redesign, install and set up an upgraded home theater. An added twist: The wealthy homeowner, who employs a full-time Crestron programmer, was in the process of building a new house with its own dedicated home theater, and used this project as an acid test to see how Audio One would perform under pressure. The end product of Audio One’s high-pressure cram session was incredibly high-performance, reference-quality audio and video that blends seamlessly with the home’s decor, as well as provides unprecedented security functionality. All told, Audio One says it’s one of the best theaters its staff has ever experienced. 

Media Room Technical Design, Bronze Technical Design Award; Integrated Home Level IX: $1,000,001 – $1,400,000, Level IX Silver Technical Design; Best Dressed System. The client for this triple-award winning collaboration wanted to turn an everyday media room into a top-notch, easy-to-use, crank-up-the-volume home theater that wasn’t a dark space like a traditional dedicated home theater. The catch: The media room was not located in a standalone house but in an apartment, so sound isolation was critical. This project required a high level of cooperation and collaboration between Audio One, an acoustic engineer, an architect, a general contractor, an HVAC contractor and an interior designer. The result, based around a Steinway-Lygndorf Model M surround system, is a stunning room-within-a-room with an ocean view that delivers a premium audio, video and control experience while being considerate of the needs of both the resident family and its neighbors. Yes, you can have a great home theater in an apartment. 

 Integrated Home Level VIII: $801,000 – $1,000,000, Level VIII Bronze Technical Design. The homeowners in this installation wanted a top-of-the-line home technology system that was intuitive, easy to use, fun and reliable. The system was expected to provide access points from several key locations in the apartment through which the homeowners could effortlessly manage audio, video, lighting, air conditioning and shades, and they wanted the ability to do so with no training necessary. To make the system sing, and to accommodate the homeowners’ high-design living space, Audio One worked closely with an interior designer on this project. Audio One dedicated several years to this project, but it was well worth the time: the result was extremely satisfied clients.

Credit: Myro Rosky

 Credit: Myro Rosky
Credit: Myro Rosky

 

Posted by Courtney | Follow me on Twitter


Print Media Is On Life Support – Is It Time To Pull The Plug?

October 5, 2009

It’s no secret that print media is dying. Instead of reading the paper, news-seekers are turning to the internet where the information is always up to date. Granted, there are some glossy picture magazines that serve better via print than online, but that number is getting smaller every day. Clients still see print news as the top tier, but over the past 12 months, that has started to shift.

With Congress holding hearings to consider the Newspaper Revitalization Act in an effort to save newsstand fodder, is it time to make the decision to pull the plug once and for all? Don’t get me wrong, I believe that print media is just as, if not more valuable than online news, solely for the fact that you have to have some credentials to be published in a print newspaper. Online, there is no regulation so there are tons of everyday folks with no real knowledge but just want an outlet for their thoughts. Although finding credible news and stories online takes a bit more time than print, is it really worth the government bailing out the entire newspaper market? Personally I don’t think so.

I’m sure there are people on both sides of this argument, and we would love to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comments below.

Posted by: Lauren


Going Green Shouldn’t be about the Green

September 28, 2009

As a public relations agency, we are responsible for portraying our clients’ stories and news in the best light. Every person in this industry has at one time or another used fluff, superlatives and excessive adjectives to promote products and companies. However, there is a fine line that PR professionals must teeter, but never cross when it comes to doing this job.

We’ve all heard of the term greenwashing. With the boom of “green” products it was only inevitable that every Tom, Dick and Harry would want to jump on the bandwagon. But a word of caution to every company who believes they have something to offer in the green space: do it for the right reasons (and no, increasing profits isn’t the right reason).  

I recently read this great article on Newsweek, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green”. The editor focuses on hotel chains that claim to be green by not changing towels and sheets everyday to reduce the amount of water and energy demands the hotel requires to run their washers. It’s a novel idea, however this tactic has some strong implications that the root of going green comes down to just that…the green. It’s no surprise that in these economic times companies are looking for ways to cut costs. But many are starting to cut costs and claim that they are going green. Do you ever wonder where the money the hotel is saving by not washing your towels everyday goes to? If you guess into their bottom line, ding ding, you’re correct. I have no problems with companies taking these measures to save resources, however I have a problem when companies claim they are being green, but what they really mean is they are saving green.

Going green means a company is taking the proper steps to ensure that ALL pieces of their business are reducing its environmental impact, not just the ones that will save them money. Going green costs money, especially in the short term. In looking at Newsweek’s recent “Greenest Big Companies in America”, the top big businesses that have gone green are doing it the right way. These companies are changing the way it does business, and looking at everything from operating costs to materials used and production, and finding how to do it with less of an impact on our environment.

Companies understand that offering green products is going to become a necessity. When promoting these products, make sure that it isn’t just a ploy to jump on the bandwagon, but that the company has a serious investment in doing what is right for the environment, not just the bottom line. You have to cover all of your bases when putting this product to market, otherwise you will take the wrath. “Green” forums, blogs and media are ruthless. If there are inconsistencies in your story or product, they will find them, and they will call you out – as they should.

When rolling out green products or green initiatives, make sure you do your homework. And read Katie’s Tips to Avoid Greenwashing on the basics of what to do and what not to do when promoting a “green”

Posted by: Lauren