The screencast below is about one of the under-the-hood features of WordPress. So it’s going to be of zero interest to anyone who doesn’t have (or has had) a blog or website using WordPress as the content management system.
WP is great for searching. I have 5,000 posts going back 15 years but if I can remember a word or phrase, WP will find all references in a matter of seconds. If you include media (photo, video, audio) with your post, WP puts it in the Media Library. I had more than 1,600 pieces of media in my library but I couldn’t search because I hadn’t taken the time to give the media a useful name or any other metadata. This 6 minute screencast shows how I cleaned that up and why.
As I’ve experimented with various online tools for managing media (iCloud, Google Photos, Flickr), I’ve found myself drawn back to my WordPress blog. Let me hasten to point out almost nobody visits my blog. That’s been true since the beginning. It’s always been more journal/archive.
But when I put images online, I try do so in some context. If I have 50 photos of my mother as a young woman, I’d rather include those (as a slideshow or gallery) as part of blog post that might include links to other posts and images. You get the idea.
For me, the stories behind the images (if I know them) are as important as the images themselves. A blog works well for this. And because it is self-hosted, I don’t have to worry that Yahoo! or Google or Facebook might one day kill it.
I choose to believe this is what it appears to be. A spontaneous, unrehearsed “wing it.” Far more effective than if they had planned it.
- Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.
- Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.
- Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.
- Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.
- Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.
- Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.
- Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.
- Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.
- Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
- Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.
- Vemödalen: The frustration of photographic something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.
- Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening
- Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.
- Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.
- Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.
- Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
- Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone
- Rückkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.
- Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.
- Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.
- Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.
- Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.
- Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective.
The fortress-like Kowloon Walled City of Hong Kong was demolished in the early 1990s, but a German documentary crew braved the sprawl in 1989 and captured amazing footage from inside this sunlight-less patchwork metropolis.
Competitive FPV drone racer Gabriel Kocher filmed an incredible video of his drone speeding up a snowy mountain.
Back in the early days of online video, it was (for me) a three-step process. Shoot the video; edit the video; encode the video for uploading to (eventually) YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc. And for a long time, encoding was a Dark Art. Lots and lots of hidden settings that — if properly optimized — resulted in a file that didn’t take 8 hours to upload and still look pretty good when streamed. I think most of that voodoo now happens behind the scenes and we mortals don’t have to think about it.
My net connection is via DSL and while it’s okay (8mbs) coming down, it’s damned slow going up, so even a short video can take a while to upload. To address the problem, I run my videos through a program called HandBrake. HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. It converts videos from nearly any format; it’s free and Open Source; and it’s Multi-Platform (Windows, Mac and Linux). And it’s free.
The program has been around for 13 years and I first used it to rip songs from CDs. Don’t have much call for that anymore but along the way I discovered it was really good at encoding video for streaming online. I won’t get into features here except to say the latest version has a bunch of handy presets. Experts can tweak and optimize to their heart’s desire.
I know, I know… this is getting long. I’ll hurry.
Yesterday I recorded a bit of a song I’m trying to learn and wanted to see what kind of video I could get recording directly to my iPhone using the built-in mic. Not all that great. And it was too big to email to my buddy Professor Peter, so I started playing with some of the new encoding presets in HandBrake. They had a few that appeared to be optimized for Gmail.
The original .mov file was about 224MB. The HB preset I usually use took that down to 69MB (1080p30). And the Gmail preset down to 15MB (720p30). I’m thinking, “That’s gonna look and sound like shit.” But when I compared the three, not to bad. Try to ignore the ‘vintage’ filter I mistakenly used (iMovie on my phone). Each of the samples is only 30 seconds.