Spreadable Media 101: Forums and Communties

So onto my second spreadable media experiment. My media content needed to be targeted as many of the relevant communities as possible. This is important so that I could get the media in front of the right people to generate discussions and a buzz. This can be done by identifying groups of people who read discussions within forums.

For part two of spreadable media 101, my research fellow and I had been recording 3D sound for some subjective tests in the new year. We decided to share some of the audio to promote 3D audio and get some discussions started about the audio.

A video was made showcasing some of the features of an audio plugin that transforms the 3D audio recordings into 3D audio you can listen to on headphones. I posted a bit.ly link to the video on a number of groups on Reddit and LinkedIn. All of these communities were centered around audio. A list of communities was created as part of the media strategy. Here is a list of the platforms and groups considered.

3D Audio Clip
Platforms Used Site/Account Size
WordPress
Twitter Click here http://bit.ly/1yEahjC to experience the front row @MattandPhreds during a jazz gig! #Jazz #3DAudio @JazzTimes @BBCNorth 1,095 followers
Tweetdeck Scheduled for 1:20pm 1,095 followers
Facebook 2,543 friends
Soundcloud MrSoftSkank
Youtube Mr Soft Skank TV
Myspace
Mixcloud
Tumblr
Instagram
Flickr
Whatsapp
Tindr
Grindr
About.me
Gravatar
LinkedIn
Buffer
Bebo
Bitly
Email
Vine
Communities/Forums Engaged Website Number of Members
Sound Engineer Club LinkedIn 10,872
Sound Designers Group LinkedIn 17,949
Perceptual Audio LinkedIn
Love Sound LinkedIn 7
Sound & Vibration LinkedIn 6,046
Pro Sound News LinkedIn 12,893
3D Audio Group LinkedIn
Sound for Film Professionals LinkedIn 4,989
Spatial Audio Club Reddit 25
Audio Engineering Reddit 38,649
Audio Reddit 8,255
Audiophile Reddit 40,602
Technology Reddit 5,080,140
Home Theatre Reddit 14,972
Sound System Reddit 1,851
Jazz Reddit 45,000
Wearemusicmakers Reddit 100,461
Jazzband Reddit 33
Headphones Reddit 36,566
Binaural Reddit
Research trends and spatial audio Spatialaudio.net Unknown

We uploaded the video to YouTube and then shared the video on the forums and communities asking for feedback. As part of the spreadable media posting we created two blog posts: one, on DannyWellens.Wordpress.com website to showcase how the recordings were made and where they were made; two, a blog on my WordPress site, detailing the way in which Harpex-B was used to convert and control the sound scape recorded in 3D.

Fun with 3D bit.ly Link for forums

This picture is of the clicks for the video link. The posts were timed to go out on a Friday at 1pm. Over the space of five days 145 people watched the video on YouTube and also then clicked onto find out how the recordings and plug-in was used. One of the reasons there is such is a spread across so many days is that for each of the LinkedIn forums the posts had to be accepted by the group owner and this can take some time. As I write this article, still some posts are pending.

These next two pictures show how the users went on to click on the making of links on the YouTube video page. The first picture is of the number of people who clicked on Danny’s blog post from the video and the second picture of stats shows how many went straight to my blog post from the video.

Fun with 3D Part 1

Fun with 3D part 2

This shows a the flow of the clicks from posts with communities to the actual primary media and then to the making off blogs.

I had targeted some big communities during the strategy but found it hard to get the posts and discussions started at the time I wanted. The Technology group on Reddit with over 5 million members required a karma score of 10. A karma score means you have posted at least 10 discussions. Also Reddit will not allow you to post too much too quickly. These are factors than mean you need to take more time promoting your spreadable media to reach your total audience.

The lesson gained from this spreadable media experiment was that you need to be a regular contributor to groups to be able to use the high number of members. This means that for any further media I want to share I need to be a person that is already in the conversations and that will allow me to promote my media better and faster.

Inspiration for Getting Fit: Five Tracks You Need For Your Workouts

2014 on review was my best year for fitness. I went to the gym over 150 times for body building. Over 50 times for cardio and ran a 10k around Aintree Race course.

I do most of my sessions in the early morning but dark mornings has not made it easy. My target is to smash the sessions again next year and improve further.

So after over 200 sessions what tracks made it to the top of my playlist for tracks you need for your workouts. I went through tons of music this year in the gym. From DJ mixes to my own productions, but these five are the ones that have given me the energy to push myself even further every time I head to the gym.

Here is my first five tracks for the gym in reverse order.

At number 5 it’s KMG Records with Lex One & Mike Beatz – ‘My Remedy’

Inspiring lyrics and super tight production make this track great for every workout. Download the track for free from the Youtube page.

At number 4 it’s Mad Decent records with Dillion Francis & DJ Snake – ‘Get Low’

This slightly downtempo track builds up your energy ready for those power reps and massive squats.

At number 3 it’s OWSLA records with YOGI feat. Pusha T – Burial

Mega hype track. Heavy bassline, big lyrics and more next level productions that won’t let you down as part of your workouts. I love the point when the lyrics drop into some serious bass and synth sounds to push me harder.

At number 2 it’s New State Music with Lethal Bizzle – ‘Rari Workout’ (feat. JME & Tempa T)

This tracks all about working up a sweat and getting your pump on. A good vibe track and more than enough energy and fun lyrics to keep you entertained.

And finally at Number 1 it’s the track I start every workout with…

OWSLA with Schoolboy Q – ‘Hell of a Night’ (Yogi Remix)

A bassline intro that breaks down into a vocal buildup with more and more drums and synths. Then pow, might be a hell of a night! Gets you going hard and ready ever single time. Massive bassline with super tight vocal stabs and some serious energy. The production on this track is superb for the gym and should be on your iPod Gym Sickness playlist!

Good luck with you 2015 workouts removing that Christmas Tyre around your waist.

BONUS Track:

Sometimes you need a pick me up at the end of a session. For that time of the session I find Drum and Bass to be the KING! Here is a small liquid DNB mix I made to help keep me strong at the end of a session. Enjoy

Mr SoftSkank DNB Gym Pick Up

References:

Article image taken from: http://beinganshul.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/sweat-your-body-out-but-keep-gym-clean.html

Spreadable Media 101 – Timing the publishing of a Meme

Introduction

‘Spreadable media’ formally known as ‘Viral Media’ is any piece of digital media that is published online with the intention of getting much attention as possible.

In this blog post I will outline some of the elements that helped get a piece of spreadable media in front of over 238 people within two hours.

The Spreadable Media I Created:

I have personal interest in the SHO TV series Homeland. Homeland season 1 through 3 was a massive success for me and I couldn’t wait to watch the season 4. There was big issue, though, that stopped me enjoying season 4. The issue was that the TV producers decided to kill off one of the main characters at the end of season 3. A gruesome hanging, took the main male character Brody out of the TV series for good. Brody not being part of season 4 meant Homeland was no longer the great TV show I had grown to love. In reaction to this I made a Meme [Henry Jenkins, 2009]:

Meme.pmg

This meme was made on Cheezburger using an image sourced from Google Images. You can see the Meme on Cheezeburger here. http://chzb.gr/1vCP4Lf

To get as mainly people as possible to see my Meme I had to get the timing of my tweets and posts online just right.

Timing

When publishing a piece of media online you must consider several attributes that will add the success of the spread. As a wise man once said ‘If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead’. [Henry Jenkins, 2009]

Timing Step 1: Social platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Take some time to review this info graphic [Wendy Frink, 2014]

1398974207-best-times-tweet-pin-tumble-post-infographic

As you can see from this very detailed info graphic posting on the internet at the right time will mean you will get more exposure at certain times than others. This is the first key to a successful publish.

Timing Step 2: The current trends online

In the case of my Meme the best time to tweet online was when everyone was watching the latest season of Homeland. This was out of normal Twitter best times but if I added the right hash tag it would put my tweet in front of people following the twitter discussions during the show. Here is the tweet i published at 9:15pm on Sunday the 23rd November during the airing of an episode of ‘Homeland’ on Channel 4 in the UK:

Tweet for Brody

As you can see the tweet included the hash tag #Homeland and was sent to several of the Homeland twitter groups including @SHO_Homeland the official twitter account for the show. @SHO_Homeland also posts to the Homeland website. More on this in a bit.

So with the meme online and the tweet scheduled on TweetDeck to go on my twitter account @MrSoftSkank and on my personal Facebook page, I sat back and waited to see what would happen next. My aim was to get 50 people to click on my Bit.ly link and see the picture. Here is what happened in a graph produced by Bit.ly:

BIT.LY Graph of results

As we can see over 230 people clicked on the link within 2 hours. This was beyond my expectations and goes to show that timing can really help with getting media in front of people online.

Next lets review where people clicked on the link.

Where the clicks cme from

Reviewing this data we can see that most of the clicks actually came from my posting at the same time on two discussion groups on Reddit.

I found two forums on Reddit.com that relate to the show:

The second discussion was perfect for my meme as the owner was discussing Homeland losing viewers. Here is the comment I made on both Reddit discussion groups:

“I just can’t get into #Homeland anymore…. This picture explains why.. http://chzb.gr/1vCP4Lf”

Homeland on Reddit

Also 6 clicks came from the official SHO Homeland website because I used the official @SHO_Homeland account in my tweet and the post went up on the official community website.

Next to get a few more clicks I republished the tweet at the same time as the USA show as on 2am UK time. This added to the total with a further 16 people clicking on the link.

Conclusion

The flow of traffic online can be used to my advantage to get people to view my media. In the case of my meme the media was not a huge success as I only had 3 Facebook shares, 2 re-tweets and 5 favorites on twitter. If the media was seen to be spreadable we would have seen more clicks in the days that followed the publish date. How spreadable the media is goes to back to the actual content created. The better thought out the piece of spreadable media the better the reactions will be.

There are two concepts I would like you to go away with from this blog: one, timing is important for your tweets and posts online; and two, forums are just as important if not more important as twitter and Facebook for getting your media viewed by online communities. With these two important concepts in mind we will continue the journey of understanding spreadable media in part 2…soon to come.

Thanks for reading,

Mr Soft Skank

References:

[Henry Jenkins, 2009] If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead (Part One): Media Viruses and Memes, http://bit.ly/1ud5raq

[Wendy Frink, 2014] The Best Times to Tweet, Pin, Tumble and Post (info graphic), Wendy Frink, 1st May 2014, http://entm.ag/1ywuWG8

The Streaming Price Bible – Spotify, YouTube and What 1 Million Plays Means to You!

This article is an eye opener on the real music business on the internet. The article is very long but still has some interesting facts that will make you think about how the music industry is currently making money through streaming and iTunes sales. Well put together. You will need to click on the read more to see the full details about how much you make with 100,000 streams online.

The Trichordist

Several of our posts on streaming pay rates aggregated into one single source. Enjoy…

[UN to Airlift Calculators, Behavioral Economics Textbooks to Digital Music Industry]

musicstreamingindex020114[EDITORS NOTE: All of the data above is aggregated. In all cases the total amount of revenue is divided by the total number of the streams per service  (ex: $5,210 / 1,000,000 = .00521 per stream). In cases where there are multiple tiers and pricing structures (like Spotify), these are all summed together and divided to create an averaged, single rate per play.]

If the services at the top of the list like Nokia, Google Play and Xbox Music can pay more per play, why can’t the services at the bottom of the list like Spotify and YouTube?

We’ll give you a hint, the less streams/plays there are the more each play pays. The more plays there are the less each stream/play pays. Tell us…

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3D Jazz from the front row : Part 2 of 2 – Converting 3D audio to a headphone mix

This is a joint blog post done with my workmate Danny Wellens. You can read about how this 3D recording was made by visiting his blog post.

My blog post covers the details of how a 3D recording made by a SoundField ST450 was converted to a headphone mix you can now hear online.

When the 3D SoundField microphone was used in the recording stage, it created four mono channels of sound. These are known as B-Format files. They are named W, X, Y, Z.

These four channels of audio can be seen in this picture of the waveforms in ProTools 9:

W, X, Y, Z

The four tracks of audio can be combined to recreate the 3D sound scape of the recording environment. This is how Ambisonics works in general.

Ambisonics is based on the expansion of the surround signal into spherical harmonics up to the order N that defines the angular resolution [Matthias Kronlachner, 2014]. N can go up to higher orders which include 16, 32 or even 64 channels of audio and needs at least that many loudspeakers to be reproduced correctly.

There is enough information with first order Ambisonics to create a general sphere of sound on a loudspeaker system. We will be using the audio in subjective tests over 8 loudspeakers in a cube, but for now we wanted to make a headphone mix you can listen to now.

There are many tools and plug-ins that can be used to create a headphone mix. We decide to use the Harpex-B software plug-in for Protools as this created a really good headphone mix ready for people to listen to on headphones.

Here is a screen shot of the Harpex-B plug-in running on my MacBookPro:

Harpex-B Plug-In

The plug in is extremely fun to use and shows you the frequency content of the B-Format recordings on a visual graph shown in the picture on the right hand side. The plug-in can spin the recording around in any direction so you can move the listens perspective. As an example the version of the audio you hear online was turned on the horizontal plane to round by 40degress to get the drums in the middle of the frontal plane, rather than to the right of the soundscape, which, was where the drummer actually was on stage.

If you would like to know more about the Harpex-B plug in and its creator head over to this page and watch the video at the bottom of the page. This explains all the different ways you can use this software with B-Format recordings [Florian Hollerweger, 2008]. The software is limited to the horizontal plane when playing back over loudspeakers, but it is fully 3D for headphone mixes using a binaural technique. This is the setting used to create the published audio recording. There are a number of HTFR human settings there and this the most common was used for the conversation.

I hope you enjoy listening the the audio we recorded. You can hear it here if you haven’t heard the recording already.

Next time we will be showcasing our subjective test design. Please follow my blog to be sure to know when we post the next installment.

References:

[Matthias Kronlachner, 2014]] Plug-in Suite for Mastering the Production and Playback in Surround Sound and Ambisonics, University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz.

[Florian Hollerweger, 2008] An Introduction to Higher Order Ambisonics

Surround Sound with Height

I’m currently working on a research project into 3D audio and this has so far mainly been focused on Ambisonics and recent 3D microphone techniques. Ambsonics means audio periphony (‘Full-sphere Surround Sound’). This technology has been around for over 40 years. Many people have set up these soundsystems with height as well as speakers around the listeners.

To start you off I recommend you watch this video with Andrew Mason giving a really good talk on details about this technology. Click on this link to view the 13min video. http://bit.ly/1s9FmZG

Ambisonics is not new. It’s been around a long time… So what is new.

Dolby Atmos – Prior to launching it’s new cinema system Dolby Laboratories bought Barcelona-based Ambisonics ‘imm sound’. Though undisclosed this does show that to me that Dolby have used the technology as part of there new system. Read more here http://bit.ly/1wsCvAB

ISC_Calrec_Auro-3D_2

Auro3D – again a system that uses three layers of height speakers including speakers above the listener which is Ambisonics at it’s best. See more here at their website including videos http://bit.ly/1A75lKq Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 22.52.59

3D Gaming is now becoming more and more popular with gamers buying high quality headphones to listen to games with 3D audio. Game developers looking to get more out of 3D audio during game programming can check out several websites for tools including the Blue Ripple Sound http://bit.ly/1ock4OM and also RealSpace3DAudio using Unity Plugins http://bit.ly/10g0c1V.

There are many more areas as we use 3D audio to complement 3D video and Virtual Reality experiences. Playstation 4 will soon have it’s missing part the Sony Morpheus picture above. Go here to see a recent review by TechRadar: http://bit.ly/10g0fuD

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 22.49.53

Perhaps the most interesting parts of the developing technology, I have found, are the microphones that are being created to capture 3D soundscapes. Ten years ago the only microphone you could use was a SoundField microphone with four capsules capturing 3D soundscapes in a rough detail. Now it is possible to get the RealSpace Audio Panoramic Camera consisting of 64 micrphones and 5 HD video cameras!!! 64 microphones is a serious amount of information. This microphone records for only 630 seconds and in that time using USB3.0 creates no less than 51GBs of data. At the same time it records 5 HD camera footage via firewire!! very cool stuff.

Recent work by Salford University and the BBC has been looking at how height systems could benefit broadcasting and which type of systems to use if they did. You can read more about the joint project here. http://bbc.in/1xUycfq Finally there has been some recent work to investigate 3D audio from a football game. The game would be recorded using wave field synthesis as well as Ambsonics to create a full immersion scene. http://bit.ly/1t7g51H. I will be discussing this research in detail in later posts. I hope this gives you some food for thought.

I will be do another blog soon with more details on Ambisonics and how I will be doing some of my own 3D audio experiments. Watch this space.

Audi 3D-Sound with Bang & Olufsen at CES

Found this short video online talking about one of the first cars to have height speakers built within the car design. This type of speaker placement puts the audio inside the car at head height rather than at waist height which is the most common placement level of current car audio systems. This is a big move forward for 3-D sound.

This type of car audio does create two questions:

1. Will radio every be broadcast using this technology?

2. Will there be much content created within the music business to make use of these extra speakers or will there just be a ‘Wow’ button on the car stereo panel?

Welcome To The Audi Denver Blog

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