John McCann

Vlogging software

In Technology, Television, Vlogging on February 16, 2006 at 1:42 pm

I used to teach a module that I called Revolution in Television Entertainment that focused on a new product named the Video Toaster, a hardware product that purported to put a broadcast studio into your PC. In researching the product, I found the September, 1997 column by Jerry Pournelle in Byte magazine that focused on the Video Toaster:

With the $5000 Trinity box and a decent Pentium system, you can have your own TV studio and produce professional-quality video. Add the new digital camcorders and writable digital videodiscs (DVD), and the result will be a spate of innovative TV documentaries, dramas, and odd-ball entertainments. Most of those will be silly or useless, but not all. I expect some real revolutions in television entertainment over the next few years, and the cost to get in on it is about the same as a year’s tuition at a major university. Graphic art is one of the fastest-growing fronts in the computer revolution. Affordable digital camcorders, Play’s Trinity, and DVDs form one synergy.”

I used to visit a Trinity dealer in Chapel Hill, NC and was always blown away by the demos. The company even started a magazine about the Trinity and I still have the first, and alas only, issue. The product got a lot of positive press and won awards at national conferences but the box was delayed and then seemed to be plagued by bugs. Eventually the firm’s assets were sold and the Video Trinity disappeared.

Today I was surprised to read a post in Terri Heaton’s blog about a new piece of software that seems to be based upon the original Trinity.

“The brilliant minds at Serious Magic have officially released Vlog It, a $49 piece of software that’ll turn your computer into a TV station. These are the same folks who brought us the higher end “Visual Communicator” and that staple yesterday, Video Toaster (remember Garth’s T-shirt from “Wayne’s World?”). I predict this simple product will revolutionize Vlogs by making it easy for anybody to create real time production for television. Go to the Vlog It site and play the demo. You’ll be absolutely amazed. I am, and I’m an old TV guy!”

My mind reels with thoughts about the videos that people can make with this product, if it’s even close to the Video Toaster in capabilities and performance. The dawn just got a little brighter. I would love to see dozens and dozens of Rocketboom-inspired vlogs.

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  1. very insightful read, thankyou.

  2. In theory VlogIt is now available via Adobe – guess they bought the rights from Serious Magic. I spent an intensely frustrating hour trying to buy it from the Adobe site – talk about user unfriendly. left seething and empty-handed.

  3. This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

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