Vote for Democracy

`Vote for Democracy

Last night I decided to do a bit of ‘back to basics’ research and watch a bit on online media. I’m talking video content. Without wanting to ground myself down to any institutional or cultural context baggage such as

“Is it a show or a film”

or even

“Is it a vlog or an online video diary”

All I wanted to do was watch some moving image stuff (with sound) and see what came out of the whole experience. So rather than my usual habit of running searches on youtube until I found something I liked and then seeing what else that ‘producer’ had posted I downloaded an app called Democracy. (No doubt named after the democratisation of media rather than the context of democracy = mediocrity).

I’d checked out this player before, about a year ago when I and thought it stank. As a podcaster it made no sense to me to have to make yet another feed that was ‘democracy friendly’. Yet another technical validation check to have to go through. All this was confounded by the fact that the functionality was almost exactly the same as itunes but confided solely to video content. “Why use this buggy app when there’s only 5 good vidcasts out there” (circa Dec 2005)

But now as a viewer – as audience – demoted back to the status of ‘end user’ I’d found that my podcast listening time was interrupted by video content – I’d have to stop what I was doing in between podcasts in order to watch something. So it made sense to me to use another app for my video content.

It’s worth bearing in mind that in itunes I’m only subscribed to three video podcasts. So migrating them wasn’t as big an issue as I thought. Although it’s worth bearing in mind I had to refer to the faq documentation within 2 minutes of using the app.

How do I import video podcast subscriptions from iTunes into Democracy Player?

You must be subscribed to a video podcast, before you can access the feed URL (use the iTunes music store to find free video podcasts). Once subscribed, open iTunes, visit your podcast library, right-click (Mac users ctrl-click) on the name of the podcast, and click “Show Description.” Copy down the URL — Apple disables the text selection tool over the URL, so you’ll need to copy it by hand. Finally, open Democracy, click the “Add Channel” button in the lower left corner, and paste in the feed URL.

They certainly know how to make these easy for new users. It’s almost as easy as the podshow ‘web app

Much like itunes – back when it didn’t flood your eyes with too much colour and flashing logos of podcasts made by the BBC – Democracy has categories; indicative of genres. They’re rather odd but enough to get me started. I choose to download the majority of the first three pages of recommended ‘channels’ (they are not called feeds these days – as that may confuse women) from Arts, Comedy, Movies & TV and our dear old friend Video blogs.

After a short while I had a list of things to watch. The order of which was governed by the order in which they were downloaded. I hit the full screen button and sat back. I had at least and hour’s worth of content to watch without interruption. Some of it would be good, some of it bad but all of it was new to me.

Of course it’s worth bearing in mind how dangerous this sort of practice is to me. For me it’s a fine line between being impressed and being intimidated. But that’s all beside the point because it’s not about me as media creator but rather putting myslef in the shoes of an average audience member.

The process I have just described is indicative of how people will watch moving image in the not to distant future – FACT!

Counter argument: They will also have the option watch video content in a multitude of other ways.

Hell! That’s a reasonably intelligent point! Almost insightful in fact and most definitely new to me. The point of this post was to discuss my findings. To discuss the content of these videos – Instead I’ve pissed away my word count with backstory but ended up somewhere far more interesting.

I must think on this some more.

Party two of this article will probably turn up after I’ve written the final part of my podcasting autopsy.

In the mean time, as your home work, watch this spoof rap video called Hustle. I found it very impressive in a low key way.

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