During my adventures (or should I say mis-adventures) with PopcornMaker over the past week, I discovered that PopcornMaker and Mozilla’s Persona sign-in system do not play nicely with Safari 6.0.5 on MacOS 10.8.3 (see bug report here). In general, I prefer to use Safari as my primary browser. But once I adopted Chrome for PopcornMaker use, I was able to continue with my project. Eventually, I moved to Firefox with the assumption that Mozilla makes both FF and PM, so I expected them to work well together.
Next I decided I needed (wanted?) a video of cavemen telling stories around a campfire at the start of my week 1 remix assignment. Initially having trouble finding a Creative Commons licensed version of such a video, I decided to create one myself and post it to YouTube with its own CC license. I discovered GoAnimate, and proceeded to create my own silly cartoon version of cavemen swapping stories around the campfire. (You can view it separately here if you’re interested.)
Next, I spent a fair amount of time trying to determine how to apply a CC-BY license TO a YouTube video. As it turns out, it is not a very complicated procedure, just not as well documented as I would have hoped. Once I realized that one solution would be to upload the video to YouTube myself to access the option for setting the licensing (the screen capture tool I had been using to upload my creation to YouTube was simply applying the standard YouTube licensing to the clip and not offering the CC option), I was well on my way to producing a remix in which I could take pride. In the end, I decided against using my custom crafted cartoon version. At least I had fun learning GoAnimate!
Overall, accustomed to working with editing programs that function properly (i.e., smoothly, gracefully, efficiently), I am finding the use of PopcornMaker to be clunky at best and !#%$@& frustrating at its worst. On several occasions, I had to sign out and back in again in order to get the PopcornMaker app to respond to my clicks. Once, in spite of the play button clearly showing that it was paused, PM continued to play the media in my track, even past the out point I had set for it!
Now with a full week under my belt playing with PopcornMaker, I am wondering if its problems (my problems with it) are just bandwidth issues. I did not immediately suspect the possibility because I have more than enough bandwidth to stream MLB and NFL games on a regular basis. I watch Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and other kinds of streaming media both on my Apple TV and on the Mac Mini I have connected to the TV as a media center. That said, once I started replacing the video I was trying to remix in PopcornMaker with still images and text, the program became a little more functional. It still stops and chokes on the videos I left in place. But with less video, it does so less often. This leads me to wonder, if someone else views my creation from a different location (with different bandwidth and latencies), will it work properly for them even though it does not for me? Feel free to check it out and leave a comment to let me know if the video sections show up for you or just play as white (or even pause the entire project) as they do for me.
I really wanted to create a remix almost entirely from video clips. But I just don’t think I can. At least, not given my present situation. I have viewed several tutorial videos showing people doing exactly what I had hoped to accomplish. Unfortunately, when I tried the things they were doing, my results were markedly different. I suspect this might be the kind of lesson in failure that Andrew wants us to experience. In any case, I ended up substituting still images for video in several places on my remix to allow me to get through it (sort of, it still stops a lot).
With the above preface in mind, allow me to present my first PopcornMaker Remix:
(Note: I have attempted to embed the actual video within this post via multiple methods, all without success. For example, pasting the embed code from PopcornMaker directly into the HTML of this post results in WordPress deleting said code. Therefore, I have simply embedded the link to the remix.)
After viewing (attempting to view?) my remix, if at any time you saw a blank screen with audio playing, that was one of my errant video clips. Please click the Remix button in the lower right to view the structure of my project. If it actually plays through for you without stopping or dropping any of the video clips, please do me the favor of telling me so in the comments. I would greatly appreciate knowing if the problem is mine or PopcornMaker’s.
Below are the sources for the CC licensed content in my remix: