Announcing Open Source Video Podcast Series

by Noah Gift

I thought it would be about time to announce that Jeremy and I will be doing a monthly Video Podcast hosted by O'Reilly. We are going to keep things short, just a few minutes, tight, professional and hopefully put on a good show once a month. It happens to be a brave new world and video is dirt easy to make, produce and distribute. I pitched the idea to O'Reilly and they liked it, so here we are.

We will be shooting on a combination of devices ranging from HD camcorders to our built in macbook cameras. We will be doing post production using Soundtrack Pro and Final Cut Pro. In another life, when I was a teenager I was working for ABC Network Television as a freelance editor. Oh, and I also worked on the first digital feature animated film for Disney and for Sony Imageworks. So I have a little experience :)

If you have any ideas for our show let us know. We will be keeping it broad and covering all of open source, but we are also open to suggestions for future topics and show ideas.


2007-08-22 00:43:01
Well - you could increase the credibility of the podcast by at least trying to use open source software instead of being a Steve Jobs zealot.
Noah Gift
2007-08-22 03:02:59

That actually made me laugh pretty hard this morning, thanks!

Frank Daley
2007-08-28 16:06:07
I would like to add my voice to express great surprise at the curious scenario whereby you are proudly promoting non-open source software as your toolset for the production of video podcasts about open source.

I am therefore curious as to your true motive?

2007-08-28 16:21:49
I wouldn't get into the conspiracy theories just yet, but I do like the idea of us answering a question a month at the end of each show. So far Frank, your question is on the top of my list to be answered unless someone comes up with a better question before the first show airs. I am going to write a separate post specifically regarding questions for our show.

2007-08-28 18:21:30
Noah, good to hear OReilly is getting into the video production arena.
Also, let me throw out a question that would be interesting to hear answered: what fraction of those working on Open Source projects are actually making money? Is there an economic incentive for OS s/w that will sustain it, or must it rely on donated time and labor or love only?
2007-08-29 03:19:46
I was also really really confused. Open source video podcast - using a macbook and final cut pro...


Why not use ardour for audio and cinelerra for video, about open source topics... Seems logical to me... (and it is possible - check this blog:

2007-08-29 03:44:07

You raise some very good points and hopefully one of the outcomes of this series will be an exposure of strengths or weaknesses in free and open source software. I briefly did decathlon in college, although I was quite bad :), and I learned in an interesting truth. Everyone has a few things they are good at and it is natural to pretend your good skills, such as long jump, high jump or the 400 meters will be so good that you can ignore the things your weak on like, perhaps, shot put or discuss.

If we can have realistic and pragmatic discussions from leaders in the open source world and address both the weaknesses as well as strengths of free and open source software, then ultimately that will be a benefit. When it comes to the pragmatic reality of just "getting things done", philosophy can often become unpractical. I blogged about this recently with my post, "Zen of Mac".

To make this topic even deeper, I have engaged in quite a bit of personal emotional and psychological growth in the last 10 years of my life. Perhaps part of this is due to a natural aging and maturation process, but also part of it has to do with a concerted effort on my part to realistically take stock of myself, my thought and my emotions.

For example, "Why do I feel this way when this event happens...", or "am I really handling this situation in a mature and productive manner." The more these introspective and realistic discussions occur within the free and open source world, the better the software will become. I quite literally just sent an email to someone a few minutes ago in which I mentioned that in my experience in Film and Television, people could care less what software they used to make a movie. The top priority is the movie and whether the software made them more efficient.

If open source video editing and audio processing software is as good or better than say, "Final Cut Pro", it will be utilized. There is a very darwinian process in Animation and many products turn from commercial to FOSS if it is better, but they don't care one bit about YOU or YOUR beliefs. They want pragmatic results!

2007-09-14 07:05:49
Hello, Noah,

I was on a browse through the internets ;-) and I remembered my comment on your post.
I have been 100% linux now for about a year, I'm using Ubuntu on a nice but not meganice Acer laptop. And everything works. I mean everything... OK, I must confess, it took me a little time to download the right Cinelerra packages, and I needed some tweaking of codecs (by the way, this O'Reilly book is suuuuper: ) ;-)

I have Ubuntustudio repositories and thus the realtime kernel and audio stuff was also no problem...
About 3 to 4 years ago I wanted to work with Linux and audio. It was absolute hell. Sata disks not being recognized, Debian stuttering, major grub errors, Ardour was superpremature etc etc etc. But this is honestly no longer the case.
Ok, Cinelerra is no Final Cut Pro (I know some hardcore fans), but is does work. Also, with ffmpeg and the terminal, encoding is supereasy and very fast.

I guess that what I'm saying is that 1) my choice for Linux is ethical 2) it's no longer a sheer hellish nightmare. But it does demand your attention a liiiittle bit more..

But I also know that if I have a problem, with my computer, software, OS, there is this huge community out there that helps! In Brussels we have a very active Brussels Linux user group (, I e-mailed them recently with a problem, within the hour I had 4 possible - good - solutions.
Also, these people gather every 4th Sunday of the Month and every Wednesday for group-trouble shooting and installing..

I do not want to force or whatever, but I like this way of working...


Noah Gift
2007-09-14 17:31:13

Thanks for the post and information. I am very interested in Cinelerra. I will take a look at it. I also appreciate the style of your argument as well, as it is more suggestive, than provocative. I am fascinated by the Free Software movement and I am very glad of their existence and tenacity.

I don't feel software is an ethical or unethical choice at this point in time. Perhaps I may change my viewpoint in the future, but I naturally gravitate against any argument that has an argument embedded, "This is the ethical choice."

I would disagree and say the only ethical choice is to suggest that someone consider the possibility themselves and make up their own mind on what is ethical. Perhaps the most unethical action is to not think for yourself and decide for yourself what you think is ethical. If a person cannot decide for themselves what to think, than all hope is lost. Socrates said it himself, "The unexamined life is unworth living".

So, if your point is powerful enough, then its merits will be sufficient for someone to figure out with their own thoughts, without needing to resort to suggesting it is unethical.