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Wednesday
Sep232009

A Narrator's Dream Machine?

Source: Gizmodo Source: Gizmodo

This just in: a new drool-worthy piece of tech that I want yesterday.  In short, it's a two-sided tablet type computer that has multi-touch capability.  The down-side, it's from Microsoft....but maybe they have some new employees on the usability side.

Here's where it might come in for voice talent: some voice over artists like to read their copy off of a monitor, whether to save paper or for easy scrolling.  This can be tricky, however, since it will involve running cables into your booth; a monitor cable, and probably a mouse/keyboard cable as well.  With this device, I would imagine loading up a PDF or Word doc and flipping through the pages would be a dream...very quite page turns, and you're saving the environment.  Plus it looks like there would be very easy highlighting/note-taking functionality with the stylus.

The downside is that this would be purely a "reader."  With a cabled in monitor you could also edit in-studio, like this example.

Check out the nifty video example in the full article over at Gizmodo:

Microsoft's secret tablet
Friday
Sep182009

OverDrive for the iPod

iPods get new tasty DRM-free audiobooks! iPods get new tasty DRM-free audiobooks!

I'm seeing a lot of chatter about this lately: Overdrive is dropping the DRM on some of their audiobook titles, which will make them compatible with the iPod and iPhone platforms.  If I'm understanding this correctly, it means that users will be able to download DRM free audiobooks to their ipod.  I guess the desktop client version of Overdrive is what you need to do this....

There's an article here.

Some good blog coverage with comments by a libraian here.

And here's a blog specifically on audiobooks on iPods

While this is great for end-users, I wonder if the publishers are worried about pirating.  Strike that - I know they're worried about pirating.  One of the audiobooks that I've narrated pops up as a torrent when you Google my name...so I know people are doing it.  And this particular title has a smaller audience, I can't imagine how quickly a Dan Brown book would be up on the Pirate Bay.  We'll see how this shakes out, I'm interested in keeping an eye on it.

Photo credits:
Thursday
Aug272009

More Celebrity VO Attention

Yet more digital ink spilled on the whole celebrities-are-taking-over-the-industry issue.  I agree, it's annoying, and it's interesting that a non VO-specific publication picked up on this: Examiner.com  Check out the article and let me know what you think:

Call of the Wild

This hasn't really been an issue for me, but then again, I'm not in LA competing directly against some of these celebrities.  Chicago has our own local celebrities and voiceover rockstars that command a lion's share of the VO market.
Wednesday
Aug262009

More Pronounciation Resources for Voice Talents

As I mentioned in my previous post, sometimes I have a hard time finding the correct pronunciations of words in narration scripts or audio books.  Especially if it is a foreign word or proper name it can be hard to track down.  Here's a few more resources that were suggested to me:

Merk Manuel: lots of medical terms

Voice of America Pronounciation Guide

Public Figures

Lots of good sources for names!  In addition, I had a project recently with a lot of foreign words, specifically Arabic, and this site: HowJSay, seemed to include a lot of them.
Thursday
Aug062009

Celebrity Voice Overs

Here's an interesting list on an annoying trend: Celebrity Voice Overs.

Via the Ethiopian Review.
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