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Friday, December 31, 2004
 
Recording classics ::

As I mentioned below (previous three posts), I got all excited at discovering some illustrated public domain (at least in NZ, Australia and the USA) copies of Beatrix Potter stories. As usual I ran at the new project without much though experimenting with different formats and ways of producing the animated texts. In terms of production I am very impressed by Microsoft's free Photo Story, it seems to give good results easily (see http://bigbible.org/children/ for some Beatrix Potter examples).

However, the project raises questions about format beyond the immediate ones of how to produce the files and what software to use. I've already found with Amos that a quality that today seems fine, or even a bit generous, (as 400 pixel maximum pictures did in 1996) can seem quite small in 2004. So it makes no sense to produce these videos as WMV files designed for current bandwidth only. I will indeed make files for current distribution at such quality, but I also need a format to archive the material. Probably AVI high quality video 720x576 pixels variable bit rate. Possibly I should try to do both NTSC and PAL... I am very ignorant about these issues, so any suggestions or discussion would be welcome.

The other issue is the size of the scanned images I start with, currently they are quite small 640x480, I will need to find some old copies of the stories (for USA copyright probably published before 1923) and scan the illustrations at a higher resolution. I don't suppose any reader has access to such copies?

While I am sorting all this out, I am filling the time by recording an audio only version of the Just So Stories (so far "How the Whale got his Throat" or to listen directly), there (I hope the archive format problems are less, I am using Windows WAV at present but am open to suggestions!


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