P2P Audiovisual Net Beginner's Guide

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Tools and Platforms

A blog (basically a dynamic homepage, last entries show up first) is an individual's or an organisation's virtual home in the audiovisual P2P net - here a review of blogging tools, providers and some basic blogging introduction: Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool? (www.ojr.org, 14.07.05). Popular is the free and open-source WordPress platform: http://wordpress.org/. (*)

New blog entries can be tagged (keywords describing the content) and then be found via blog search engines like Technorati http://www.technorati.com/ or smaller but more specialised ones like Blogdigger http://www.blogdigger.com/.

While images can be uploaded directly to most free blogging services, there are many specialised image sharing sites. This review gives an overview about the most important photo sharing services like Flickr, Photobucket or Zoomr: The Web Photo Sharing Site Faceoff (www.readwriteweb.com, 05.09.06).

An important tool for bloggers is the RSS feed, readers can subscribe to a blog's feed (like to a channel) and will be notified automatically about all updates. Feedburner http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home is the largest feed management provider and offers a very useful free basic service.

There is a vast choice of "free" services for media hosting - important in this context is the question "Who owns the content?". Since those "free" services all want to make money somehow they all have a "terms of service" or "terms of use agreement" that should be read and understood before uploading media. In many cases "free" means that the service retains the right to alter the user's media and to use it for advertising. Some of the more recent "terms of service" agreements from some of the better known providers seem to be very bad for the users/creators.

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

* Summary: Where To Publish What...? Possible Solutions *

Licences, like the popular Creative Commons licences http://creativecommons.org/ are important for an unbureaucratic online distribution: instead of restricting a user's possibility by reminding him of the copyright, online audio and video gets distributed because users are encouraged to share e.g. a podcast under a certain license.

For musicians/DJs specially interesting is ccMixter http://www.ccmixter.org/ - featuring Creative Commons licensed samples/remixes and making it easy for artists to focus on the creative part of their work.

The Creative Commons Search http://search.creativecommons.org/ finds Creative Commons licensed media.

The open-source Miro http://www.getmiro.com/ and Broadcast Machine http://www.getmiro.com/create/broadcast/, as well as Videobomb http://www.videobomb.com/ - all from the Participatory Culture Foundation http://participatoryculture.org/ - are very interesting options for distributing/promoting independent online film and video.

Mefeedia http://mefeedia.com/ (web-based) "is the best place to find videoblogs and podcasts", while FireAnt http://getfireant.com" (software) "is your personal connection to the online media universe!" More about videoblogging and its platforms at Freevlog http://freevlog.org/.

This Open media projects list at Ourmedia http://www.ourmedia.org/about/open-media-projects is a starting point for exploring a variety of other alternative/participatory media projects on the web.

A good general resource for audio/video web related topics is the Wikipedia: e.g.: Podcast http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast or RSS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_%28file_format%29

An overview about more online video services, including some of the better know mainstream ones like YouTube http://www.youtube.com/, gives the online article The 17 Most Talked About Online Video Companies and How They Differ (splashcastmedia.com, 08.02.07 - with video about, incl. promotion of article writer's own service, and blog entry).

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

(Online) Video from the Related Online Articles list.

(*) While http://wordpress.com/ offers free blogs this service appears to be somewhat limited at this point: CSS style sheet editing is disabled in the for free version, use of any kind of JavaScript code is not allowed for security reasons and for posting videos currently only Google Video, YouTube and a few other selected services are supported. Another popular and free blogging platform is Google's Blogger http://www.blogger.com/ that does not have those limitations.

* How-To *

Online Audio/Video Basics

Make Internet TV http://makeinternettv.org/ is a site from the Participatory Culture Foundation that offers "step-by-step instructions for shooting, editing, and publishing online videos".

The Freevlog Tutorial http://freevlog.org/tutorial/ has "everything you need to get started videoblogging" (also called Vlogging).

The Ourmedia Learning Center http://www.ourmedia.org/learning-center/ is "a rich educational resource for everything you wanted to know about user-created video, audio, and other forms of citizens' media". It also features an Open Media Directory http://www.ourmedia.org/learning-center/open.

See also these podcasting tutorials/introductions:

HOW TO - Podcasting for educators (www.makezine.com, 08.12.06)

Podcasting in Education (chatt.hdsb.ca)

Video Production Basics

Video Toolbox http://www.youtube.com/t/video_toolbox is YouTube's video making guide. Very good for beginners - not just for YouTube users.

Make Better Video for YouTube http://www.videomaker.com/youtube/ (where YouTube's "Video Toolbox" tutorials come from) offers more quite useful video making tutorials for the advanced beginner.

The Wikipedia iMovie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMovie and Windows Movie Maker http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Movie_Maker entries are good starting places for basic video editing software. A basic DV video editing software for Linux is the open-source Kino http://www.kinodv.org/.

Another very interesting resource (in the making) is the Filmmaking course from Wikiversity http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Filmmaking that attempts to offer a full (and free) film making online course.

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

Tour 1: Indie Film Maker's (Editor's) Tour

Tour 2: Online Audio, Media Publishing & Online Media/Art Communities Tour

How-To Sites/(Pro) Tutorials and Media Aggregation/Management


The so called "digital revolution" at the end of the 20th century was often exclusively described as a technological revolution - it was going to bring consumers a new "digital" quality (CDs instead of LPs) and advanced productivity to almost every industry. Ten years after the web went mainstream a different picture evolves: consumers turn into producers, we blog about a Participatory Culture and Citizen Journalism and we share our media - recommended online article: We Are the Web (www.wired.com, August 2005) by Kevin Kelly.

Or in short: what was "Power to the people" in the '60 of the last century today is We Are the Media http://www.ourmedia.org/node/9237, "this is a Video Mash-up about the Vlogging movement".

Guided Tours

This is a little experiment in how-to communicate Wiki content. The idea is to make reading the Wiki more of a (useful and applicable) experience, so this is partly more blog style, but with condensed information/links.

Tour 1: Indie Film Maker's (Editor's) Tour

Classic Route

Apple's Final Cut Pro is still one of the best options that indie film makers have when it comes to film and video editing. A great resource for FCP tutorials (plus reviews and more) is Ken Stone's Final Cut Pro site http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html. Another classic is the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group website http://www.lafcpug.org/, check out their forums for questions/answers from FCP pros. The "top-rated media pros forum community on the net" is Creativecow http://forums.creativecow.net/index.html, you'll find very active support forums for e.g. almost any Apple or Adobe software, but also "Today's Industry & Cow News". Bringing all the latest news from the HD world is the HD for Indies Blog http://www.hdforindies.com/, have a look at their linklist.

Early Adopter Route

For an up-to date overview to open-source NLEs see also the related online article Open source video editing: what we have now and what we need (www.linux.com, 10.04.08), as well as the more recent updates and links featured on the main page of this guide!

Worth checking out are open-source editing alternatives like Jahshaka http://www.jahshaka.org/, LiVES http://lives.sourceforge.net/ and Cinelera (there are two versions) http://www.heroinewarrior.com/index.php3 and http://cvs.cinelerra.org/. Ubuntu Studio http://ubuntustudio.org/ is "a multimedia creation flavor of Ubuntu" and "aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional." For free, non-commercial media hosting there is the Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/index.php (you can upload via FTP to their Open Source Movie section http://www.archive.org/details/opensource_movies) and Ourmedia http://www.ourmedia.org/. Great open-source tools for D.I.Y. Internet TV are Miro http://www.getmiro.com/ (watch TV) and the Broadcast Machine http://www.getmiro.com/create/broadcast/ (make TV). Once your video is online you can promote it, discover other artist's works and make a video playlist (that generates an RSS feed that can be used as a channel in Miro) at the Videobomb site http://www.videobomb.com/.

Tour 2: Online Audio, Media Publishing & Online Media/Art Communities Tour

Free Publishing and Free Audio Resources via the Internet Archive

A good place to start learning about online audio (publishing) is the Ourmedia Learning Center http://www.ourmedia.org/learning-center/open. Ourmedia also offers free hosting for podcasts (and other kinds of media).

While Ourmedia (and its host the Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/index.php) are non-profit projects and have Terms Of Use/Terms Of Service agreements (TOS) that are good for users/creators (it is strongly recommended to always read a service's TOS before submitting any content), there are interesting alternatives - specially blip.tv http://blip.tv/ for video (their TOS).

The Internet Archive's Audio section (or Internet Archive Audio Archive) http://www.archive.org/details/audio is both a vast resource for freely and legally available audio recordings of all sorts (including Audio Books or the Greatful Dead collection) and a free host for musicians via the Open Source Audio section http://www.archive.org/details/opensource_audio - which is also a great place to discover new or unknown artists - or the Netlabels collection http://www.archive.org/details/netlabels that "hosts complete, freely downloadable/streamable, often Creative Commons-licensed catalogs of 'virtual record labels'."

Publishing to the Internet Archive works via FTP or with the CcPublisher http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CcPublisher.

* Summary: Where To Publish What...? Possible Solutions *

Podcasts: different options are discussed in the Podcast Alley forums (first thread "Sticky: Podcast Hosting Websites") (www.podcastalley.com)

Music: Internet Archive: Audio Archive (www.archive.org)

Vlogs, shows: blip.tv (blip.tv) (*)

Shorts and features: Internet Archive: Open Source Movies (www.archive.org)

(*) Also worth noting seems Ning Videos (videos.ning.com) (Ning lets users create their own social app) that allows a user to set up a video sharing service by simply "cloning" the standard Ning Videos app. This service is free and user submitted content on Ning is distributed under a Creative Commons license, more in Ning's User Agreement. Maybe not ideal (at the moment) if you are looking for a large video sharing community, but e.g. an option for integrating a small scale video sharing service in your own online project...

More Audio Publishing/Podcast Directories and Webradio

PodSafe Audio http://www.podsafeaudio.com/ "aims to provide a location where musicians can upload music under the Creative Commons License for use in Podcasts, Mashups, Shoutcasts, Webcasts and every other kind of 'casting' that exists on the 'net...

podsafe music network http://www.podsafemusicnetwork.com/ in their FAQ: "All works contain no recordings, lyrics, copyrights, or other elements that are the copyright of any other artist, except under the limited provisions of the Creative Commons License Agreement."

Odeo http://www.odeo.com/ has "over one million audio files—from podcasts and all over the web. Listen, download, subscribe..." About themselves: "As a company, we believe strongly in the democratization of media. We think that giving more people powerful tools for the creation and distribution of media will result in more knowledge, ideas, art, truth, and amusement available to all."

PodcastAlley http://www.podcastalley.com/ is "is the podcast lovers portal. Featuring the best Podcast Directory and the Top 10 podcasts, as voted on by the listeners." About page.

Apple's iTunes http://www.apple.com/itunes/music/ software also features a useful - but by Apple edited - podcast directory as well as many free radio stations via webstream. Most of these stations are compatible with the open-source Streamripper http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/ that lets users record the music as .mp3 files. Note: while this is - to the best of knowledge to this Wiki's editor - perfectly legal in e.g. Europe, it may be either illegal in certain parts of the United States or laws are being discussed to make this practice illegal.

Global Voices Online http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/ is "a non-profit global citizens’ media project, sponsored by and launched from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. (...) Global Voices is your guide to the most interesting conversations, information, and ideas appearing around the world on various forms of participatory media such as blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs." Their FAQ.

Pandora Internet Radio http://www.pandora.com/ lets users "find New Music, Listen to Free Web Radio". It is based on the company's Music Genome Project and tries to answer the question "Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?" This site is - in its free version - supported with advertising. See also the related online articles Pandora and Last.fm: Nature vs. Nurture in Music Recommenders (www.stevekrause.org, 30.01.06) and Pandora to block international listeners from May 3rd.. ("Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply, deeply sorry to say..." - photosandponders.blogspot.com, 02.05.07)

See also (from the P2P Resources section in this Wiki):

Podcasts "This is a directory of topical podcasts (audiofiles) related to Peer to Peer topics."

Webcasts "A directory of webcasts on Peer to Peer related topics." *** New *** in the Webcast section: Our Thematic Indexes.

and further (external link):

Open Media Directory (has many useful related subcategories, e.g. "Archives & Repositories", "Distribution Platforms & Licensed Content" or "Podcasts & Feeds") (www.ourmedia.org)

Remix Culture

Very popular with musicians and DJs is ccMixter http://www.ccmixter.org/: "This is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons, where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want." Highly recommended!

The Freesound Project http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/ is "a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs. This is what sets freesound apart from other splendid libraries like ccMixter."

sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! (Scrambledhacks) is "a Realtime-Mind-Music-Video-Re-De-Construction-Machine". The author does a very good job of describing this truly revolutionary project in this introduction video (YouTube video via Videobomb). On his website http://www.popmodernism.org/scrambledhackz/ the author announces that "the whole package will be released under the GNU GPL as soon as I find time to clean up that mess / comment the code / document it and find a way to make it easily installable. Thanks for your patience."

For online video remix sites and projects (like eyespot http://eyespot.com/) see the online articles Video Editing, Publishing And Remixing Online Is Here (www.masternewmedia.org, 06.04.06) and Ten video sharing services compared (www.dvguru.com, 07.04.06).

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

More Media Archives/(Remix) Collections

Related Links/Resources (remixlinks: open media culture)

Related Online Articles (Remix Culture)

Useful Audio Software

Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ is "free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems." (*)

Streamripper http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/ is "an Open Source (GPL) application that lets you record streaming mp3 to your hard drive", e.g. lets users record webradio.

Ogg Vorbis http://www.vorbis.com/ "is a completely open, patent-free, professional audio encoding and streaming technology with all the benefits of Open Source".

Xiph QuickTime Components http://www.xiph.org/quicktime/ is "the solution for Mac and Windows users who want to use Xiph formats in any QuickTime-based application, e.g. playing Ogg Vorbis in iTunes."

The VLC media player (or VideoLAN) http://www.videolan.org/ "is a free cross-platform media player" that "supports a large number of multimedia formats, without the need for additional codecs" and it "can also be used as a streaming server".

Ardour http://www.ardour.org/ "is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. ... If you've been looking for a tool similar to ProTools, Nuendo, Cubase SX, Digital Performer, Samplitude or Sequoia, you might have found it." For Linux and OS X (no Windows version), source code available.

ccHost http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CcHost "is Creative Commons' open source (GPL licensed) project that powers ccMixter and is the winner of the Linux Journal LinuxWorldExpo Product Excellence Award for Best Open Source Solution."

mxchg http://mxchg.com/ is "Your Fresh New Music Centre" and also allows artists to "Distribute music to their fans directly. ... The Media Exchange is 'open source' (all the source code is included on the CD)".

Jokosher http://www.jokosher.org/ is "a simple yet powerful multi-track studio. With it you can create and record music, podcasts and more, all from an integrated simple environment." Jokosher is "in a pre-release stage". Linux only.

Songbird http://www.songbirdnest.com/ "is a Web player built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed, cross-platform extensions." In development.

(*) Mac OS X Audacity bug: if you hear no sound when watching .flv videos (e.g. YouTube) after using Audacity: Open Audio MIDI Setup (/Applications/Utilities/) and change the "Audio Output setting" from "96000.0Hz" back to "44100.0Hz" (see also Mac OS X: No audio from certain multimedia content). (docs.info.apple.com)

Promotion/Distribution, Discover (Audio and Video)

Creative Commons licenses http://creativecommons.org/ enable "the legal sharing and reuse of cultural, educational, and scientific works."

CC Hits http://cchits.ning.com/recent/ lets users add/vote for their favourite Creative Commons licensed tracks.

10 Ways to Promote an Internet TV Channel http://www.promotevideofeed.com/ and The Channel Channel http://thechannelchannel.tv/ ("One minute previews of Internet TV Channels") are two resources for online video promotion/distribution.

LegalTorrents http://www.legaltorrents.com/ "is an online community created to discover and distribute Creative Commons licensed digital media. We distribute high quality digital media of all types and provide support to content creators, including hosting a guaranteed high-speed seed for the content."

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

RSS TV = Indie IPTV: basics about and list of Videoblog and Indie TV Directories

More Communities/Discover/Buy, Sell

Newgrounds http://www.newgrounds.com/ is "the original and still the largest Flash portal on the web." User made movies, games, music and more. Newgrounds Primer.

deviantART http://www.deviantart.com/ is "where ART meets application" and "the largest art community in the world." About page.

Museopen http://www.musopen.com/ offers "Free Public Domain Music" and "has it recorded by individuals and college/community orchestras throughout the United States". About page.

Stage.FM http://www.stage.fm/ (formerly Audiri.com) says "We give bands a way to distribute music without big labels" and "our plan is to provide all of the normal artist resources but with the majority of the site geared towards the typical music seeker." About page.

Dance-Industries http://www.dance-industries.com/home.php is "one of the many online music copyleft communities" and distributes "contemporary copyleft music". (Note: if play ">" does not work try "Download".)

DiSfish is http://disfish.com/ is "a collective of independent artists, who share their music with you on a "donate if you wish" basis under Creative Commons licenses and a "50/5/5/40 donations split on music". Our rules.

On jamendo http://www.jamendo.com/en/ "artists allow everyone to download and share their music" under Creative Commons licenses and there is the "possibility of making direct donations to the artists". Our concept.

Magnatune http://magnatune.com/ says "We are not evil" and offers ""try before you buy." It's the shareware model applied to music" and "artists keep half of every purchase". Our mission.

Soundclick http://www.soundclick.com/ is "the artist music community". From the MP3 Store FAQ: "How much do I get paid? You keep 70% of the sales price. So if you sell a song/album for $9.99 you keep $6.99."

indiestore http://www.indiestore.com/ "from 7Digital that allows independent artists and labels to sell their music online." Starter and Pro Starter (free): "70% revenue share, quarterly accounting". Pro (£ 75 pa): 80% revenue share, monthly accounting"

Music Forte http://www.musicforte.com/ "will help you with Press-Kits, Radio Promotion, CD Replication, Band|Artist Promotion in Japan, and much more!" Free Plan and Pro Gold Plan, for both: "100% profit to YOU on sales of digital downloads"

Bleep http://www.bleep.com/ offers "High Quality Music Downloads" and lets you "listen to all tracks IN FULL for free! – The player stops after 30 seconds, just click play again or anywhere on the Waveform to continue." Many indie labels are on Bleep, see on the frontpage "Browsing All Labels" for details.

Some mainstream online communities like MySpace http://www.myspace.com/ or Apple's iTunes http://www.apple.com/itunes/music/ software and shop might also be of interest to musicians/bands. iTunes also features a useful - but by Apple edited - podcast directory as well as many free radio stations via webstream.

There is also the Hype Machine http://hype.non-standard.net/ that "keeps track of new songs posted on the best blogs about music. Easily listen, discover and buy songs that everyone is talking about!" While smaller acts can be found on the Hype Machine many blogs tend to post more mainstream commercial music.

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

(Online) Audio from the Related Online Articles list.

and further:

Open Music Business Models (from the P2P Encyclopedia in this Wiki)

Open Media Directory (has many useful related subcategories, e.g. "Catalogs & Collections", "Communities" and "Net Labels") (www.ourmedia.org)

Dave's Imaginary Sound Space (has a very good selection of related links sorted by categories) (soundblog.spaces.live.com)

More Media Archives/(Remix) Collections

UbuWeb http://www.ubu.com/ "is a completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts. All materials on UbuWeb are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author(s)." From their FAQ: "What is your policy concerning posting copyrighted material?" "If it's out of print, we feel it's fair game. Or if something is in print, yet absurdly priced or insanely hard to procure, we'll take a chance on it. But if it's in print and available to all, we won't touch it."

DIYmedia.net http://diymedia.net/ "Microradio, Media Collage and more" is "still a work in progress", good starting point is the Media Collage Index that also links to similar projects like Illegal Art http://www.illegal-art.org/.

Remix.Kwed.Org http://remix.kwed.org/ is "the definite guide to C64 remakes" featuring user submitted Commodore 64 remixes. The "small print" states that "all files provided for download on this server are assumed to be freely distributable." A related project is The C64 Take-away podcast http://c64takeaway.com/.

OverClocked ReMix http://www.ocremix.org/ is the "Unofficial Game Music Arrangement Community". From their FAQ: "Isn't this music copyrighted?" "Yes, the original works which OverClocked ReMixes are based off of are copyrighted. We are not out to infringe on the copyright owner's rights by making money off of their content. ReMixes are not sold, and ad banners on this site go only to pay for the bandwidth / hosting that it requires. Thus far, there have been no complaints."

AmigaRemix http://amigaremix.com/ is "The place for Amiga Game- and Demo-music Remixes!" Note on their website: "All files provided for download on this site are assumed to be freely distributable. In the event that a file here is not freely distributable, please contact the site maintainer for immediate file removal. By downloading any files here you acknowledge that you will not hold the webmaster or our host liable for any damages."

OverLooked ReMiX http://olremix.org/ "is dedicated to ridiculous interpretations of video game music and video game culture. Its primary focus is song rearrangements (ReMiXeS) in .mp3 format. Anyone is welcome to create an account and submit songs to the site. Our mission is to entertain, heckle, annoy and insult video game fans. Please enjoy."

Specialised Audiovisual Media Concepts

Little Sound Dj http://www.littlesounddj.com/lsd/ "The basic idea is to transform a plain Game Boy/Game Boy Color into a full-fledged music workstation." There is the LSDj Wiki showing how to build an LSDj Midi Interface and there is also a mailinglist.

Free-To-Use Sheet Music

The Mutopia Project http://www.mutopiaproject.org/ offers "sheet music editions of classical music for free download. ... Most of our music is distributed under Creative Commons licenses."

Free-To-Use Photos and Images

Yotophoto http://yotophoto.com/ finds "free photos... fast!" and is "indexing well over a quarter million Creative Commons, Public Domain, GNU FDL, and various other 'copyleft' images".


Downhill Battle http://www.downhillbattle.org/ "is a non-profit organization working to support participatory culture and build a fairer music industry." About themselves: "Five major record labels have a monopoly that's bad for musicians and music culture, but now we have an opportunity to change that. We can use tools like filesharing to strengthen independent labels and end the major label monopoly." There is a very good link collection towards the bottom of the main page.

DefectiveByDesign.org http://defectivebydesign.org/en/node is "The Campaign to Eliminate DRM".

See also the related online article How to boycott the Music Industry and still enjoy music. (www.ghacks.net, 16.06.06)



The electro-music.com forums http://electro-music.com/forum/ are "dedicated to experimental electro-acoustic and electronic music".

The Home Recording dot com BBS http://homerecording.com/bbs/ is one of the forums from N o W h e r e R a d i o . c o m http://www.nowhereradio.com/ that "is here to help promote independent musicians around the world using new technologies, and bring new music to the barren ears of people from all walks of life!"


The Creative Cow forums http://forums.creativecow.net/index.html are the "top-rated media pros forums community on the net."

See also (in this P2P Wiki section):

How-To Sites/(Pro) Tutorials and Media Aggregation/Management for iPod and prosumer video related forums.