Posted Video Quality

May 17, 2013
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We’ve been having a new issue with some of our post production videos (or it was some during processing LA Ruby Conf) where a little bit of pixelation crept in here and there in the video.

For the Ruby on Ales videos the posted videos where of unusable quality once uploaded, they look great locally.  So we are researching the cause.  In the mean time we have taking all of the ROA videos off line.

I believe we are on track for a solution here, we have published Brian Cardarella’s talk from RailsConf 2013 via YouTube only at the moment, and watch it from beginning to end before and after it’s uploaded.  So it looks good, please provide feedback on youtube if you see issues in the quality of the video and note the time where you first noticed.

Sorry for this fail, we are diligently working through, and will do a write up once we’ve gotten through to help others who may hit similar issues with their videos.

Thanks,

-Coby

View Counts

April 5, 2013
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If you look at the Home Page of the site, you’ll notice that the top videos based on views have been reset.

This is a temporary fix to a database issue that came up earlier this week.  We are currently recording events in Salt Lake City – Mountain West Ruby Conference, and Kansas City, MO – Ruby MidWest.  We’ll address the view count issue in the future, for now we have a backup of the history data prior to 4/3 and are now collecting fresh data for 4/4 and beyond.  We’ll merge this data eventually.

Thanks!

-Coby

confreaks.com – this site may be compromised

November 3, 2012
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So I have received a lot of tweets and emails about this particular topic.

When you search for confreaks on google.com it returns the listing below.

WTF? – people say…

In the first few years of operations we used to publish static web-sites for each conference that we recorded.  In 2010 I created a rails based application to start hosting dynamic content instead of static pages that were previously generated by ruby code.    Those static sites were hosted on Dreamhost and are very basic, and once launched haven’t really received a second thought, until I started getting these messages.  It turns out someone somewhere had hacked into our hosting of these static sites and implanted there own content, often in a folder under lib or under images they’d add a PHP based application that served content for gucci hand bags and other presumably counterfeit items.  I have since gone through all of these static sites and removed the content, and am in the process of moving all of the videos from the static site to our more controlled and curated dynamic application.  Once this is done those sites will be simple redirects.

I’m working through the google instructions and webmaster tools now in an effort to get the warning removed.

Thanks for your patience and your notifications.

Fell off the blog wagon

August 22, 2012
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Well it’s been a while since I’ve updated the Confreaks blog and there have been a lot of exciting changes.

In July Cindy Denison joined Confreaks as our first full-time employee.  Up to this point it has been a part time, boot-strapped, labor of love.  There is still a lot of love for the Ruby community and open source software in general, but the demand on my time simply got too great.  This was starting to impact the speed at which videos were being released, and the happiness of myself and my wife :)

Some of you have probably meet Cindy she has helped with Mountain West Ruby in 2009 and 2011, with Ruby Conf in 2010, Agile Roots in 2010, and more recently she was the videographer at jQuery Conference and Cascadia Ruby.  This week she is doing her first solo conference – Madison Ruby in Madison, WI.  In addition to her videography skills she is also now doing post-production and editing.  Why did Cascadia Ruby come out as quickly as it did? – Cindy Denison!

I have added a second editor doing some piece work for me by the name of Brady Ralston, he completed the post-production work on a private conference that we recorded in mid-July and is now responsible for the stream of jQuery Conference videos you’re seeing come out each day.  With any luck we’ll have all of that conference only by early next week, follow @confreaks on twitter for announcements, visit us on Facebook, or look us up on Google Plus.

So with all these extra hands what am I doing?

As I write this I’m in the middle of finishing up the Rails Panel from Rails Conf 2012 then I have to double check and make sure nothing was missed.

I have also been spending some time with the ailing code base that runs confreaks.com.  In recent weeks I’ve added automation to push a finished video from our FTP server (where the editors push them to when they are complete) to ZenCoder to generate the multiple size options that are available to download, and to YouTube, the primary source for our streaming videos now.  In the coming weeks I’ll be finishing the automation to announce video releases to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.  Once that’s done I’m going to get to the request that many have been asking for over the last two years – an RSS Feed!

Between now and the end of the year we will be recording:

  • Madison Ruby Conference in Madison, WI – Starting Friday :)
  • GoGaRuCo in San Francisco, CA
  • Aloha Ruby Conf in Hawaii
  • Ruby Conf XII in Denver, CO
  • Clojure Conj in Raleigh, NC
Also keep an eye out for videos from:
  • Steel City Ruby Conf (we shiped them equipment and they recorded and are post producing their own)
  • Rocky Mountain Ruby (recorded by their local Videographer: Zef Houssney)
That should wrap us up for 2012.  In 2013 we’ll be doing MOAR!  If you are a conference organizer we’ll probably be proactively reaching out to you, with the additional staff and production capacity we’re really going to make 2013 a growth year for the company, and the communities that support us.

I’ve also got a short list of articles I want to write for the blog, as well as a total redesign of the confreaks.com website.

Thanks for all your support over the years!

If you have feed back feel free to post it here on the blog, on the videos on youtube, or just email me coby@confreaks.com.

Railsconf, Goruco, jQuery Conf, and other news

June 26, 2012
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So last Thursday June 21, 2012 I boarded a plane from Redmond to Portland once at PDX I had a six hour layover.  I came prepared, I got out my eSata attached Drobo hooked it into my Macbook Pro and edited Obie Fernandez’s talk from Railsconf.  The performance of my Macbook Pro and Drobo as an editing machine wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.  It took me close to 2 hours to finish up one video, ordinarily for a video with raw footage in good shape it’s about 45 minutes.  I didn’t have the patience to attempt a second presentation edit while at the airport.  Later I boarded my second flight that was going from Portland to New York.  I arrived at JFK at about 7:20 AM and took the Airtrain / Subway into Manhatten arriving at the Altman Building at about 9:00 Am.  I checked in with the venue staff and got oriented, then  found a table and chair, that were out of the way, and went back to work on my day job.  By about 6:00 PM things were mostly set up for the conference, so I got out the Confreaks recording equipment and set it up.

Saturday we recorded and live streamed the event.  Live streaming was done using a Sony HDR-XR260 camera attached to a Matrox MXO2 capture device that was hooked to my Macbook Pro using a PC Express card.  The software I use for live streaming is Wirecast from Telescene.  In addition to the live camera I has an auxillary audio out from the house sound board piped into the line-in on the Macbook Pro which provided for a clean sound broadcast.  Recording the event went well.  Things wrapped up about 5:45 PM and I started tear down.  By 8:00 PM I had all my gear packed up, and hauled down the street to the local Fedex Office, labeled and scanned to be returned to Oregon.  I missed the Yacht Party which departed at 7:30 PM, so I headed back to my hotel to grab a bit to eat and get some sleep.

Goruco was a really great conference, the new venue this year was fantastic and included a lighting person to help setup the night before, and an audio tech who was on the sound board the entire day on Saturday.  The speakers were great,  Dr. Nic did a hell of a job starting off the morning and getting everyone awake and participating, not to mention a great message about deployment, but I’ll let you watch the video for more on that.  Overall the speakers presented some very timely and thought provoking material.  The organizers choose to do micro-talks instead of lightning talks which was nice because the presentations were prepared and based on solid content, with lightning talks you never know what you’re going to get.  So the micro-talks were made up of pre-selected speakers giving 10 minute presentations.  Another thing that the organizers hit spot on was their overflow / sponsor lounge area.  It was a good sized room with tables for the sponsors who elected to utilize them, snacks, drinks, and two large screen TV’s with the slides and audio from the presentations piped to them.  So even if you were late or choose to relax in the lounge you were able to listen in and view the slides from the presenters upstairs.  Like I said it was a great conference.

Sunday morning I got up and started to consolidate all of the camera, audio, and slide recordings down to a single HDD for post production purposes.  Everything except the slides were completed by 11:00 AM which was my departure time to catch the Subway / Airtrain back to JFK.  So I packed up and headed out.  The flights back were uneventful and the layover in Portland was only 90 minutes, I made it home about 10:00 PM Sunday night.

Back to work Monday morning on my projects at AT&T.  So last night I got out the Goruco footage and figured out the format for the videos.  This includes the conference slide, the sponsor slide(s), the presentation title slide, audio track under the intro and outro, and the credits and outro graphics.  Once that was completed I put together Dr. Nic’s talk and Matt Wynne’s talk, and both rendered and uploaded overnight and should be ready to go sometime this morning.

Tonight I hope to knock out a big chunk of the Goruco talks, I was hoping to have them all finished, but I have a need to spend some time with my wife before I leave for San Francisco tomorrow morning.

I’m headed to San Francisco in the morning, will work from there tomorrow, then setup for jQuery Conference tomorrow evening.  This is a big deal for Confreaks as most of you know we record Ruby conferences,  last year we also recorded Clojure Conj you can see the videos here.  In the past we’ve recorded a few Agile conferences notably Smigdig in Oslo, Norway and the Agile Roots conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Getting outside of the Ruby space is a good step for Confreaks and will allow us to continue to grow the company.

For those of you who have been at the last two Ruby Conferences and at Rails Conf this year you may of had the opportunity to meet Cindy Denison (@cinner on twitter) she has been working with me on demand for a couple of years now helping with the recording Mountain West Ruby Conf, Ruby Conf, and Rails Conf.  She’ll be joining me for jQuery Conf as well.  In the not too distant future she’ll be doing conference recording for Confreaks on a regular basis and without my attendance.  This means we’ll be able to do conflicting conferences, and more importantly I’ll be travelling a little less, while still getting as many events recorded and posted.  She will also be taking on a video editing role in the post production process.  This will allow us to catch up on the current conferences in the queue:

  • RailsConf 2012
  • Goruco 2012
  • jQuery Conf 2012
  • Mountain West Ruby Conf 2012
  • Madison Ruby Conf 2011
  • Ruby on Ales 2012
  • missing videos from Ruby on Ales 2011

Those are the ones that I know are on the list, there are other missing talks from Lone Star Ruby Conf 2010 and Emerging Languages Camp 2010.

Please note that the conferences that are really old in the queue fall into one of two categories.  !) I provided the services at no cost or expenses only to the conferences, or 2)  I am one of the organizers of the conference (Ruby on Ales).

Anyway I’m looking forward to having a dedicated resource working on Confreaks every day.  It is a much needed addition.

With jQuery Conf recording taking place it will be next week before anymore RailsConf videos make it to the site, but a few from more from Goruco should be up soon.

And before signing off in addition to announcing on Twitter (@confreaks) we are now also posting release information on Facebook (search for Confreaks) and on Google Plus.

Thanks for watching, thanks for your patience and your support.

-Coby Randquist(@kobier)