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Artwork in a digital age
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Artwork in a digital age

It was a common complaint, back in the day, to bemoan the loss of full size record album jackets when the CD came along. Suddenly the vast square foot of space for compelling, enigmatic or just plain cheezy photos shrank to what seemed like microscopic size, not even five inches square.

So here's the situation I find myself in, many years later. When the files, both audio and video, are now *preferably delivered on a flash drive, how do I include the candid photos of the concert? The scanned pages of the program, oftimes meticulously researched and composed by the organization?? The bios of the performers???

I am reduced to forcibly also preparing DVDs, with their generous 8 x 10 areas of space inside and out, but the resolution of a DVD???? Who wants to watch that?????

It was always one of my many mantras that "the presentation of the product inevitably and subconsciously influenced the recipient's valuation of said product"-- like or not, how the thing looked could not but determine the worth placed upon it.

Is there a protocol that's arisen to provide artwork in digital form, a bunch of jpegs also on the flash drive? I need some counsel... please!



*this is according to the customer's wishes
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

If you are already using something like an USB stick to deliver your work, you might as well include whatever you want to include on that stick. You could do the similar with DVD as well, as long as you make it hybrid and inform the audience about what they can find on the disc. You could even create a separate chart/track on the DVD to show all the printed material and still pictures. You could lay it out on a PowerPoint document and export it as a video file to be included on the DVD. Would that work for you?
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

All of the interest in re-releasing old albums of mine has been around releasing them as LPs (again). The aficionados of music recordings seem to either want LPs or super-mega-high-bandwidth downloads etc. No one is too interested in CDs, as much sense as they make re: cost, storage, shipping, wear and tear and capacity. So I'd suggest looking into making LPs for sure, and if the $ isn't there then CDs. I agree that a great cover makes a recording sound better to most people!
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
....Would that work for you?
Could work for me, but I am struggling with what would work for customers...? Or, more pointedly, what could they not avoid seeing...?

You can't avoid seeing the CD or DVD artwork, and its lavish, dazzling layout, but if my customer can't play a Powerpoint presentation, or just more simply doesn't bother opening up the "artwork" file that's carefully been embedded... I guess there is no solution for that, ever. Other than to resort to something like ALL CAPS AND GO, "HEY, YOU! NICE PICTURES AND DOCUMENTATION, HERE!"
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

The PowerPoint idea is to force the customer to watch whatever you want them to watch. Say, you embed the PowerPoint presentation as the 1st and last video track of the DVD, before and after the actual program. You can even do some creative video editing by using some screen within screen technique. They have to watch that if they want to watch the recording itself. It is kind of aggresive, thouogh. Will that work?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 
Old Foof's Avatar
 

Couldn't resist adding this to illumine the discussion.

http://shop.totallyvinyl.com/img/upl...FIRE_2LP_5.jpg
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Foof View Post
Couldn't resist adding this to illumine the discussion.

http://shop.totallyvinyl.com/img/upl...FIRE_2LP_5.jpg
..and the music (to my ears) was just as arresting as the initial impact of the art !
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Could work for me, but I am struggling with what would work for customers...? Or, more pointedly, what could they not avoid seeing...?

You can't avoid seeing the CD or DVD artwork, and its lavish, dazzling layout, but if my customer can't play a Powerpoint presentation, or just more simply doesn't bother opening up the "artwork" file that's carefully been embedded... I guess there is no solution for that, ever. Other than to resort to something like ALL CAPS AND GO, "HEY, YOU! NICE PICTURES AND DOCUMENTATION, HERE!"
If you check a typical popular music DVD (at least from a musician or record company that cared about giving you 'extras') you'd often find embedded in the menu below "Play Movie" the "More Features" item.... which would branch you off to press reviews, live concert footage, reproduced ticket stubs, out-takes, extended interviews etc.

When faced with a DVD screen menu containing only those 2 items (assuming you're not required to add a 'setup' item for alternate languages, etc)...and if you make the font size on "More Features" twice the size of the "Play Movie" ...I think you'll induce people to pay a visit to those extras.... maybe not on first viewing, but when they have the time, and the curiosity.

How to do that on a USB flash drive: not immediately obvious, but some clever nesting of options in the directory tree could work...to draw attention ? Maybe presenting the USB key in an envelope (or better still, attach it to a keytag) upon which is printed the extras, to be found within.... ?
Attached Thumbnails
Artwork in a digital age-keytag.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
.... (or better still, attach it to a keytag) upon which is printed the extras, to be found within.... ?
Aha! Just the kind of devilishly clever idea I am apparently yearning for... thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Photos were made to be printed. If I want an image to look a particular way, I'm going to print it myself or I'm going to check the printing if done by a printer to be sure it looks like I intend it to look.

I have on my desk a brochure made up of a photoshop composite of my images that were delivered in JPEG format on a USB stick to a charity. Mind you, I want to help them, but I'm super picky about color rendition, and they used my images in B&W. That's the risk that goes along with giving out images on digital media absent a clear written document regarding their use or modification.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Exactly to the point-- the disappearance of the traditional delivery mechanisms has thrown monkey wrenches, entire zoo wrenches, into the process. I guess I'm just looking to salvage some desperate measure of "packaging" into this increasingly bleak landscape.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Exactly to the point-- the disappearance of the traditional delivery mechanisms has thrown monkey wrenches, entire zoo wrenches, into the process. I guess I'm just looking to salvage some desperate measure of "packaging" into this increasingly bleak landscape.
Feeling your pain. I still have a notion that delivered media should be "shelvable" in some organized way. In other works not be something easily mislaid and of a similar size and shape to other similar sorts of objects. I had a long debate with some other artists on a label we are on together about CD packaging, where I insisted that we not use the cheapest "envelope" style sleeves since, having no spine printing, as soon as they are shelved they disappear. (Way bad if you want radio DJs to play your stuff.) Someone will have to tell me if people who casually rip CDs and then toss them or buy music online keep any of the graphical material in any way--my bet is that they don't. That sort of music collecting doesn't interest me at all. There is a healthy market in NOS LPs, partly for this reason I think.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Addict
 
dcwave's Avatar
 

[autorun]
;Open=PlayMe.exe
ShellExecute=PlayMe.exe
UseAutoPlay=1

Use the above in a autorun.inf file you create in notepad.

The "playme.exe" app might just be a m3u playlist file that opens up an jpeg playlist or song list using the default media player - on windows probably Windows Media Player.

I haven't tested this in this fashion, so not sure if it will work, and it does depend on the user not having autoplay for USB drives turned off.
I do not believe macs will run autoplay due to inbuilt security.

Just spit balling here.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Foof View Post
Couldn't resist adding this to illumine the discussion.

http://shop.totallyvinyl.com/img/upl...FIRE_2LP_5.jpg
I have that.

And the best part is side 3 with "Spoonful".


Its not that we always sat down and looked at the pictures when we were listening to vinyl... lets be honest, most of the vinyl-covers werent that interesting or flat out bull****. And I only read a few of the liner notes... or lyrics, if lyrics were presented, what was mostly not the case.

So I complain about CD and DVD covers too a lot, but in reality... and I never ever would spend money on degrading my music and deliver it on vinyl. Disgusting.

Attach an USB stick to a LP-cover... hows that?
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteaxxxe View Post

Attach an USB stick to a LP-cover... hows that?
Back in the day we tried attaching CDs and cassettes to larger artboard with graphics etc, partly because record stores were set up with LP bins. I didn't think it worked all that well....the art isn't really integrated with the music recording that way, unlike CD or LP covers.
Old 6 days ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
surflounge's Avatar
Folder of JPEGs for images delivered on a flash drive in addition to sound files. Universally accepted usually.
Side question: if you are including stereo mixes, what resolution are you sending to customer. I record at 24/192 but most customers want reduced quality audio for their purposes. Some only want MP3s and others happy with 16bit/44.1 for CD burning. Others want 24/96 to mix on their DAWs, or 24/48 for video.
Old 6 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by surflounge View Post
Folder of JPEGs for images delivered on a flash drive in addition to sound files. Universally accepted usually.
Side question: if you are including stereo mixes, what resolution are you sending to customer. I record at 24/192 but most customers want reduced quality audio for their purposes. Some only want MP3s and others happy with 16bit/44.1 for CD burning. Others want 24/96 to mix on their DAWs, or 24/48 for video.
It's feasible to do batch renders to all of those bit/sample rates and apply appropriate dither also...at least you keep the reduction process in your hands ! Then all you have do is explain all those additional files to the client !
Old 6 days ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Exactly to the point-- the disappearance of the traditional delivery mechanisms has thrown monkey wrenches, entire zoo wrenches, into the process. I guess I'm just looking to salvage some desperate measure of "packaging" into this increasingly bleak landscape.
Present the flash drive in a little wooden box with a properly cut foam insert. One way or another, everything you have given the customer has value and you fulfilled their request. They can look at the candid photos on their computer because that is what they asked for.

I would also ask them why they wanted everything on a flash drive? Hearing them say the reason out loud might be enlightening.
Old 6 days ago
  #19
Lives for gear
Some good points raised by Given to Fly...no matter how much we might value the various components (audio, visual) presented to the client, the only certainty is that they probably won't hold all of them in the same regard as we do.

For some, the photos and PDF docs of the concert program will rate more highly than the audio...others might just want the mp3's of the concert, to put on their phone for a few days listening pleasure ?

Just how hi-res are these photos anyway...if they're grainy and poorly composed or don't convey the same attainment of perfection (visually) as your audio components....they'll likely be glanced at once as event mementos, and then banished from awareness.

It's well nigh impossible to second-guess the particular priorities of your client(s), when you present them with an audio-visual feast
Old 6 days ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Given To Fly View Post
.... out loud ...
Hmmmmm... I think it's just the advance of technology with its peculiar straightjackets that I'm up against, 1080 video and wav files must necessarily be delivered on a thumb drive, there really isn't any other way to transport them, is there?


Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
.... well nigh impossible ...
Sheesh Louise, ain't it the truth. Hopefully the photos/artwork create the ambiance of a true memento of the event, however significant or precious or treasured the regard for it that flutters in the customer's heart... I also take the loooooooong view that the customer's descendants/fans/biographers would love to see their ancestor/favorite/subject in full flower of their performance... I realize this may be where diligence fades into pure, lofty speculation.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Some good points raised by Given to Fly...no matter how much we might value the various components (audio, visual) presented to the client, the only certainty is that they probably won't hold all of them in the same regard as we do.

It's well nigh impossible to second-guess the particular priorities of your client(s), when you present them with an audio-visual feast
Sometimes people like a particular photo because they see something in it like a close friend or some moment that the photographer doesn't even notice. But mainly, good photos are good photos. Then there are those exceptional photos that can stand on their own and are not diminished by time.

It would be helpful to know how the client would like to use the photos. That helps in figuring out what to photograph and what to deliver.

Sometimes, you are not going to get the photos you planned on getting, but then you get lucky with that one of a kind unplanned photo.

When you see your photos go into print or get posted on the client's webpage, that at least helps identify which photos the client liked and how they used them.

Sometimes we don't know the significance of a particular photo until later. Sometimes photos are needed for publicity purposes, and if the client hasn't been getting photos all along, they can find themselves coming up short. If they have a lot of good photos, that gives them more to pick from.

Whether the heirs will have an interest in the photos depends on the individual heirs. Some are only interested in how much their check will be. Others may see the photos as something to help them remember a loved one.

But for the living, good photos are valuable to promoting a group, making them seem real to a fan base, giving the fans something to hang on to, show their friends, and personalizing the musicians.

If there was a good vibe and you were part of it, doesn't hurt to have your photo in there, too.
Old 3 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Hmmmmm... I think it's just the advance of technology with its peculiar straightjackets that I'm up against, 1080 video and wav files must necessarily be delivered on a thumb drive, there really isn't any other way to transport them, is there?
No, a thumb drive is likely the most practical way. Technology.....(sigh)
Old 3 days ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

I have a friend here in NashVegas who does video at two of the schools where I do audio... and he's in the same boat. He's having to rethink his entire approach (no shoot fee, just prepaid DVD sales before he produces the product) since, if he releases a single paid-for high-res video file (thumb drive, download, whatever) it's then available for immediate duplication by EVERYONE involved. He'll likely have to go to a hard prepaid fee (paid by the school who would then have to figure out how to be reimbursed) based on the number of potential sales (or just on the actual cost+time+profit model) so he can stay in business and stay current with production gear.

A sticky wicket, to be certain.

Ahhh... progress. It's why I haven't done "retail" photography, video or audio work (only fee+expenses based commercial work) since Y2K, when I went digital.

HB
Old 3 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
Although it doesn't help on the video side of things, some photographers prominently watermark images that they anticipate that the client will upload to the internet on the premise that it's good advertising. I've seen some watermarks aggressively placed in areas where you'd pretty much wreck the photo if you tried to crop them out.
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