Tuesday, May 16, 2006

To Do or Not to Do

That is the question. I have received another in a line of requests for access to my book on the Language of TV Advertising, published in 1982. As time passes, it must be harder and harder for some to get access to it. So, I have started checking into on-line publishing, some sort of scan, OCR, and PDF page creation process or some other method. I could actually just scan the pages at home, though I would take awhile and figure out some way to get paid enough to pay for my web site and perhaps my other expenses. I checked into Google's books program and I couldn't figure out how in hell I would get paid. Would it be clicks on my order page or books sold or clicks on the advertising on the page with my buy the book link? Nowhere on their page did the word "royalty" appear so I guess their method would be the same as in the adsense stuff I don't put on my blog. Anyway, no royalties, no book.

I inquired with a real publisher and their representative had the interesting idea of coming out with a new edition. Given that the other one is a quarter century old a redo would make more sense. But am I up to it? The gear I would need is a problem. For screen shots, I would want to take them off my HighDef TV. I haven't actually tried that but I think the results would be great. The problem is that Tivo offers no easy one button recording feature that a tape or DVD recorder offers. So, whole shows would have to be Tivoed. But they fill up the hard drive fast. As a result, I would have to make a video of the TV commercial with a video camera I don't own, do the screen shots with a digital camera, and then delete the file. The question is whether or not I am too damn old to do another book. I am doing two blogs and it probably would be no more work than that. But I like blogging. I also like book writing. What's a person to do?

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Blogger concerned citizen said...

Gosh, I hope you are not thinking about leaving us.
How will I ever get smart without you?

6:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually TiVo does have a one button record. You can press 'Record' at any point, and you have the option of then starting the recording at that point, or recording the entire show, including that is already in the buffer. You can also stop a recording at any point, you don't have to allow it to record to the end of the show.

As for saving content - with TiVoToGo, which all current standalone units have, you can transfer shows to a PC over a network connection. So you could move the shows to a PC and then edit the files to save only the bit you need. And that's the best way to get screenshots - you can take a still image right out of the digital video. No cameras, no need to photograph a TV screen. Straight from source to still.

8:52 PM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

I checked the one button record funciton on my Tivo unit and it was totally unsatisfactory. I got very good at anticipating when commercials were coming up in 1978 and could start the tape machine just seconds before and then stop it on a dime. The Tivo unit makes you go through the routine you mention and that is too late. It is much easier to anticipate when commercials are coming just seconds before they do. But to anticipate it the five to six seconds it takes to effect recording is impossible unless one uses the standard commercial time breaks, which would be a possibility. Moreover, when you record that way, it will record not, I think, where you are in the program but will record what past material has been written within the 30 minute strech that is recorded. When I want to record something I normally switch off the channel and then back to get rid of what is in the buffer. Maybe that would work but I think a better method would be to record the whole damn thing and then shoot the screen with a video camera to get the action and dialogue synched and shoot stills of key shots.

I do not have a stand alone Tivo but a DirecTV Tivo unit. I wonder if that would allow the transferring to a computer hard drive.

7:49 AM

Blogger concerned citizen said...

I know you don't take me seriously.
I really do mean what I said.
If you went away & wrote a book You'd really be missed. By me.

11:46 AM

Blogger The Language Guy said...

Actually, I do take you seriously, l>t. You are good to have around.

12:18 PM


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