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MMD > Archives > September 2008 > 2008.09.02 > 02Prev  Next

Mechanical Music Videos On the Internet
By Adam G. Ramet

I have read with despair the recent postings on MMD about mechanical
music videos on the net.  Suggesting a separate forum to overview and
rank these and add keywords is commendable but pointless.  YouTube,
which hosts 99.9% of the videos that would ever be reviewed, already
has all of this -- all videos may be peer-rated and commented upon and
have keywords.

Most comments bemoan low-fidelity image, poor cinematography and
low quality sound.  The majority of the clips referred to are, by
definition, on YouTube.  Like all complaints, people complaining
invariably state more about themselves than the subject matter.

Has anyone read YouTube terms of service?  Presently, if you upload
a video, no matter how wonderful, YouTube render each into lo-fi mono
sound and a lo-fi small image.  'YouTubing' is a low-fi low-res format
per se.  Recently they have started to add a higher-res same-size small
image but they decide automatically which videos get this treatment.

As there's nothing you can do to influence it how then do you propose
to offer a higher quality picture and sound on YouTube when you have
zero ability to effect this?  You can host your own videos of course
but you'll pay for the bandwidth used.  YouTube is a free service.
The moans are about something that is free.

Until folk understand why lo-fi incomplete clips of band organs at
wind-swept steam rallies, etc., attract a young generation more than
umpteen lengthy chunks of expensive society promo with scrolling
titles, then the path to passing the torch to the next generation will
remain elusive.  The instruments may be in the 19th and 20th century
-- the people charged with perpetuating their preservation must be at
the forefront of the 21st.  We're already near the end of the first
decade yet most haven't really got to grips with one-tenth of the 21st

The comment that "with no movement other than drums being beaten,
people soon lose interest in organs after admiring the art work and
carvings" left me reaching for the gin.  It seems to assume that for
most people mechanical music is more appealing for the mechanical
rather than the musical.  Whilst this is what floats some folks' boat,
it's not true for everyone.  This is why some folk make videos of
player pianos showing the insides twirling and stand at the back of an
organ watching cardboard move whilst others stand at the front and do
listen to the music.

Recently on the iMOD forum there was report of an organ grinder
whose wife features on YouTube cranking some Raffin or similar organ
with her top-half fully exposed.  This plus the "suspending small
paper or cloth rectangles over the throat of the organ pipes.  They
flutter when the pipe is active and dance about across the display
of pipes ...  it fascinates the onlookers" has left me reaching for
a second gin.  The day I see a topless pole-dancer putting music books
through a 98-key Gavioli at Dorset Steam Fair with the pipes fluttering
paper streamers I will drink the rest of the bottle.  I think my future
sobriety is assured however.

I say, "if you can't beat 'em join 'em".  Don't waste any time and
money on all this.  If you want to come over as credible and do the
Dale Carnegie "win friends and influence people" thing then don't try
and force feed people glossy stuff they don't want.  If we want to
support enthusiasts then we must behave like modern enthusiasts, take
the cell-phone camera and be genuinely enthusiastic about the subject
and convey and share our enthusiasm by uploading the lo-fi shaky cam
clips or whatever follows in the future.

More young people will be enthused ultimately from watching Eddy
Nickson's latest video 
than anything advocated by the recent MMD posts.  Please watch a few
of his other videos and enjoy yourself!  Also see these: 

They might be shaky and lo-fi but hundreds of people love it all and,
most importantly, it is done with enthusiasm and utter sincerity.

Adam Ramet 
(50 clips, ca. 150,000 views, 90+ subscribers, not one solitary penny
expended, QED)

(Message sent Tue 2 Sep 2008, 22:49:14 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Internet, Mechanical, Music, Videos

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