Under the Bed…or Online?
When my boss told me to order “some non-linear video editing software,” I thought to myself, “Geez, I have a Videomaker magazine at home that I think has reviews of some non-linear products.” I was trying to think of where that issue could be, and I was about to call my neighbor from work and have him break into my house and look for the issue when I remembered that Videomaker has a Web site. I checked the Web page from work and found the information I was looking for in a few short minutes.
Thanks to Videomaker’s Web site, my boss thinks I know what I’m talking about.
Video Longevity Woes
After reading Magic Memories by Jim Stinson (September 1995) and especially the comment that was made within that article by Hope Schenk of CCI regarding the lifespan of video tape, I’m ready to sell the equipment that I have purchased over the past three or four years.
I went back over some of my video that was shot in 1988 and guess what? She’s right. It’s in very poor condition. I knew that it would not last forever, but only seven years is getting real close to an exercise in futility!
How can your magazine sit back and expound about equipment, how-to articles and the numerous other subjects that you cover promoting a medium that lasts only a short few years? All of those treasured videos of weddings, anniversaries, family gatherings, videos of old photos, 8mm films transferred to video, etc. will very soon be nothing but junk.
I have always looked forward to receiving my copy of Videomaker, but that information sure put a damper on my enthusiasm. I think I’ll wait for DV prices to come down instead of investing in any more analog equipment.
I just have to say that when I started in the video business I thought I knew a lot. Far from it–it’s now been three years, and I’m in the business full time. This would not have happened were it not for the ideas and business approaches you have published in your magazine. I have also purchased used equipment from your classified pages and have been more than happy with the results. Thanks guys!
The Irrational Approach
The story you are about to read is true. Only the VCR has been changed to protect my sanity.
Until recently, whenever I sent one of my video creations to an adoring public, I had to include instructions on how to switch a VCR from stereo to monaural audio. Even so, for the first ten minutes of play, the only sound you heard was several members of the family looking for the operator’s manual. My sister-in-law still thinks my videos are all silent movies.
In an emotional fit, I solved this problem by modifying my brand new SLV-R1000. A short copper wire across an obscure resistor on the audio card grounded the AFM carrier. (That’s easy for me to say.) As a result, my special instructions (and the warranty) are no longer valid.
Anyone can do this at home. All you need is forty years in electronics and an irrational approach to solving life’s little problems.
Instead of the usual “you guys are great” routine featured in a normal letters page, I’m going to offer some (I hope) constructive criticism.
Your product reviews are always a favorite section of mine, yet I cannot help but feel a certain reluctance on your behalf to give a bad review. In looking over the past 2 1/2 years of my Videomaker collection, I did not find one genuinely negative review. There have been a couple of middling ones, but nothing actually bad. Perhaps you screen all products and never feature the real clunkers.
But come on, people–not every piece of video equipment is going to pass a litmus test!
Please don’t think I dislike Videomaker. Quite the opposite–I love it. I guess I’m just being a little picky. You can toss this into the circular file if you want; I’ll still buy the magazine.
Conway, New Hampshire
Notes from our Reader Response Cards
Your magazine should occasionally include freebie samples, the way many music mags do.
Bronx, New York
Videomaker is an excellent, helpful publication.
Richmond Hill, Ontario, CN
Good mag, but too many articles deal with experienced amateurs or professionals. I’d like to see more items for beginners like myself.
I’d like to see more articles on how to begin a career in TV/Video production.
Your “Camera Work” articles are always very helpful. Thank you, and keep up the good work.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I would like to see more Product Probe tests on high-end camcorders (JVC Pro, Sony, Ikegami, etc.).
Kearny, New Jersey
More on Betamax camcorders, please.
Kenvil, New Jersey
I would like to see a comprehensive editing issue (i.e. buzzwords, equipment, how-to, etc.). I’d also like to see a regular special effects column.