Photos from the 2012 Halifax Zombie Walk

These are a collection of photos I got from the Halifax Zombie Walk on August 12, 2012. These are better quality than the photos posted on Facebook, which has its own file size and dimension limitations, for those who want them. I tried to get everyone, not just the pretty people.

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How to Record Videos Off YouTube with Replay Media Catcher and Some Reposting Strategies

Have you ever seen a video on YouTube you wanted to use that had embedding disabled so you can share on Facebook or other social media platforms? What about wanting to have just a part of a video for your use? How’s about a version to use on your blog that won’t be taken down in the early stages of the battle by certain people to have certain videos removed? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, or are curious about them, this post is for you.

Attempts by some to disembed videos happens all the time with the public posting stuff that are probably copyright violations, but so what? If the video is hot, there’s a whole bunch of people out there posting or reposting to thwart the efforts of those trying to remove the video, and to get views for their accounts. Those who try to prevent video posting or embedding usually fail in the end cause they can’t keep up with the reposters, but they don’t seem to learn. Your ethics here are only good for yourself.

Some examples of videos I’ve used that have been at the centre of such removal battles include these three within two months of this posting:

The first or subsequent versions I had were disembedded or removed. However, a quick 2 minute or less search yielded another one to replace the codes with and that was that. I actually just replaced the Taylor Swift interview on The View video in that post. They’re still trying! It’s just the way the world is these days and these people trying to take down the videos should just “get with it”.

In another situation, often, the best part or the part you want to share with someone is not the entire video. Or maybe someone’s corrupted the video with their add-on advertising and so on. Or maybe you only want the portion of Susan Boyle singing during her Britain’s Got Talent 2009 debut, rather than the entire segment. It’s annoying to have to use the whole video in those instances. They’re all good reasons to get your own version of a video.

Getting a video you like for your own use so you don’t have to let it load every time, or for when you don’t have Internet access, is another good reason, too. Convenience!

If you’ve encountered any of these situations, you can get around them a variety of ways using video capture software. It’s like how you can take a screen shot of what you view, then paste into a photo editing program to capture pictures or video stills you aren’t able to download or get otherwise. Only here, you’re doing it with entire videos, using a method similar to how you record music off the radio.

A good list of video capture software can be found at All Streaming Media. However, I want to share my experience with one called Replay Media Catcher by Applian Technologies. The demo is free at the previous link. They don’t even request an email! It’s very easy to use and works completely for YouTube, which is really where pretty much all the good videos worth sharing is anyway. Videos on other site only have 75% capture, but which may include the good part you want anyway. It seems to be the best of the bunch listed at All Streaming Media, with an Editor’s Choice approval. I don’t doubt it!
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To download the software:

  • Download the 13 MB software (version 3.11 is that size) at Replay Media Catcher (download right on page of link).
  • Double click on the downloaded file to install.
  • Click a few things like Agreeing with their terms of use that you probably wouldn’t read and you’re done.
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To open the software

  • Find it in your Start menu in Windows XP, or however your operating system starts programs, and open it like you open any other program.
  • You get a little screen asking for a code, for which you click the “Continue in Demo Mode” button.
  • Then comes a screen asking if you want to start recording now. Click NO.
  • You should then get the operating screen that looks something like the one below. The rest is below, but is really just opening your video, letting it load, clicking record in Replay Media Catcher, playing the video, clicking stop here when done and then closing out the video. It’s just like recording music off the radio in a lot of ways. Don’t let all the little steps below deter you.

Replay Media Centre

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To record a video:

  • Open your browser and go to the video you want to record. The video should start playing if it’s in YouTube.
  • Click on Pause and move the time slider all the way to the left at the start if you want the full video. If not, move it to the play time when you want to start recording. Then let the video load fully. This full preloading is not the exact instructions given by the Replay Media Catcher page, but I find it works best to let the entire video load before recording so uploading disruptions don’t ruin your recording.
  • In your menu bar at bottom (or wherever you have it), click back on the Replay Media Catcher button to get back to the software and screen seen above.
  • Click the Start Recording button.
  • Click back to your browser via the button for that software in your menu bar.
  • Click play on the video.
  • Click the button for Replay Media Catcher in your menu bar to bring that screen back up on top.
  • Move it out of the way of your video.
  • Put your mouse over the Stop Recording button, where the Start Recording button is in the graphic above, ready to click on it when you want to stop recording.
  • Switch back to your browser and close out the page with the video, or close out the browser. This is important if you want to do extract your video in Replay Media Catcher. Otherwise, it seems to maintain a link to the page and you can extract your video.

That gets you the video on your hard drive, but it is in some temporary storage space you can’t access. It is a permanent storage space, though, meaning you can exit out of Replay Media Catcher and shut down your computer and come back to find it again. However, until you get it out of that space, you can’t use the video.

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To extract your video
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  • Click on Tools at the top and choose Video History from the drop down menu.

Video History

  • Click on the video you want in the list. WARNING: This software records any video you watch on the Internet, whether the software is opened or not. The record button only seems to allow for some more control, so be careful what you watch knowing this!!! The only good thing about this is it separates the videos you watch so it’s not all one big video, but it only records what you watch so if you don’t watch the whole thing, not the whole thing is recorded. I was testing my Roger Federer video on my blog and had watched just part of the video at the end of this post shared on Facebook to test for this post. The software recorded them both even though it was closed!
  • Click on the Diskette button second from the top at right and it saves your file to your My Recording folder (in Windows XP), within the My Documents folder. It should tell you otherwise where it saves the file. Now it’s ready for use and is as good as the source! See sample of recorded video.
  • Click the Trash Can button third down from top to rid of the video in the temporary storage so you can free up disk space. Trash anything else you don’t want.

With your file, in Adobe Flash Video format or FLV extension, you can upload it to YouTube as is. That’s another lesson but I’m sure you can figure it out as YouTube does a pretty good job to make it easy. You just need to create an account on YouTube and follow their instructions there. The FLV extension doesn’t seem to be the most natural for YouTube. It took something like 10 minutes to process my upload. Maybe that’s normal. I’ve never uploaded a video on YouTube till now.

Getting the sound off the video as an MP3
With Replay Media Catcher, you can also extract just the sound track for those videos for which you can’t buy the soundtrack, whether that’s the Liverpool FC fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, or Susan Boyle singing her Britain’s Got Talent debut in that electric atmosphere of people in shock and egging her on.

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Smart Reposting
Finally, a few points about smart reposting to give some longevity to your repost in the war between posters and those trying to take down your video. Well, they’d be trying to disembed it to prevent easy social media sharing (what you probably want to do most in reposting), because taking it down is another war altogether that they have with YouTube.

  • Repost on some other site if you can. YouTube is still the king of video sources, by far, for sure. That is the reason it sometimes is the only focus of those trying to take down the video. However, other video sites like Vodpod have a decent audience, and your video still shows up on searches outside that community. Using the Kanye West VMA 2009 incident video on VodPod, I’ve never had to replace it.
  • Repost using as few appropriate key words as you can, like maybe VMA incident without using the words Kanye West Taylor Swift. This won’t get you all the search results, but it’ll likely keep the video up longer from those searching to take it down. Meanwhile, you can use it for your blog or share it with all your friends, and they can further share it, without worrying about it being taken down. Basically, it’s for you and your friends to hustle rather than search engines and such, but this is a different motive than trying to get views. If you are just using it somewhere you can set it up with text, like on a blog, then really, who cares what it’s called? Call it Software Test, like I did, or something even obscure nobody will ever search while looking for the topic of your video.

Hope all this helps! Go be a rebel!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.3

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What Should Hollie Steel and Susan Boyle Sing Next on Britain’s Got Talent?

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Hollie Steel

Hollie Steel

Update: May 24 2009 – I got Susan Boyle’s prediction correct! Waiting on Hollie!

Hollie Steel and Susan Boyle both made great use of the surprise element to enhance their dazzling auditions on Britain’s Got Talent to stratospheric levels. Hollie started off dancing, dressed in a ballerina outfit before she opened her mouth the blast away everybody with her stunning singing. Susan Boyle, meanwhile, looked “frumpy” and over the hill, incapable of having such a polished voice since nothing else about her said “polished”.

But now, we’re getting ready for the next round and those elements of surprise are gone. People will be expecting great performances out of both. What should they each sing to get them the edge over the other?

Simple answer, in terms of concept, if you ask me. Difficult as heck of an answer, in terms of details, if you ask me.

I think they should both sing something which demonstrate the strengths in their vocal abilities, as well as show us a new element of their singing and/or character to add a little surprise. That is, keep the same formula as much as you can. But without both elements, the expectations of another great song would just be too great for either to fully satisfy now that people have an idea of how great their voices are.

There are many songs that suit the strength criteria, with all of breadth, power, great lyrics and such. A British crowd pleaser would certainly be a bonus. Susan’s strength is seriousness and grandeur. We heard her sing I Dreamed a Dream that was slow, with notes held long and several grand flourishes. Hollie, meanwhile, has more dexterity and range in her voice, singing a suitably playful and light I Could Have Danced All Night to suit her girlish looks.

That said about both Susan and Hollie, what might they be able to surprise us with, then? Well, I find it hard to imagine Susan doing most fun number convincingly. She might look like a granny, for example, but can you imagine her singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins, for example?

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The best I can imagine Susan to do for fun is Honey Bun from South Pacific, like Reba McEntire does below, hip twisting and all as Susan showed she could do in audition intro to Simon Cowell while saying “and that’s just one side of me” that drew quite the reaction from the crowd. Susan would never win on that number, but it’d be hilarious and I’d pay a lot to see it!

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Susan might do well in the style of fun if she were to choose something like A Wonderful Guy from South Pacific. It’s the prototypical fun song for the “frump next door”. Hahaha. I can’t believe I just came up with that! Frump next door. That’s my new affectionate nickname for Susan. Anyway, Susan can even seduce the judges with this song by dedicating it to, say, Piers Morgan, who had asked her on a date to apologize for his cynicism of her abilities on the show and she had accepted. I don’t think Simon Cowell would fall for it, though. It’s all in the lyrics so listen carefully! Brilliant choice for Susan, in my opinion. But, alas, can’t you also imagine how cute little Hollie would be doing something like this??? Susan would be beaten at her own song, even if Hollie could not try to seduce any of the judges with it like Susan could given her age.

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Hollie, meanwhile, I think could go serious in any number of ways while still retaining her childish charm. That is, she could be on Susan’s turf and still keep her identity in all this. What if Hollie stepped out and did the Liverpool soccer team favourite of You’ll Never Walk Alone, in the style Sissel does below with the ravishing surprise ending? I think they’d go nuts for her! Susan couldn’t hit that note, but wouldn’t sound all that unique or special if she were to sing it, even though she’d sing it well.

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Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle

I thought about Josh Groban‘s You Raise Me Up, but that was recently done by former BGT super contestant Connie Talbot. It was outside of BGT at the age of 8, and as much better as Hollie would be able to do it, it’d be too close in time for comparisons. I think if Hollie were to really dazzle, she’d sing For Good, from Wicked. It’s one of my favourite 10 songs, and so thoughtful a song it’d be the one I’d play at my funeral to share a last thought if I could only have one song. Turns out, it might also be one of Hollie’s favourites as Hollie had said on the Today Show that she would love to sing in Wicked in London’s West End! She might well do this song! I only found out in trying to find hints Hollie might have given for her next song and saw she was thinking something similar, if not the same thing. Imagine that! I might just get my wish, and wouldn’t that just be Wicked? Listen to the lyrics in this duet version that I’ve heard interpreted solo before, and imagine a 10 year old singing that to you! I think I’ll need to Kleenex to sponsor me for that one! Ironically, Susan might be old and more suited to give this kind of advice, but she just wouldn’t move me the same way Hollie would. Not even close!

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So what’s Susan to do then, if going fun isn’t suitable for her? I say stick to the powerhouse classics. Maybe she could try one sung by her idol Elaine Page? There’s an emotion filled rendition of Memory from Cats below by Elaine. If Susan could do it with that much emotion, given her voice and less polished look to look like a character who might say those lines, and add in a few growls, it’d be stunning! Even better, I’d love to see Susan sing it in costume! She’d be quite the cat! A “little tiger”, as Simon Cowell called her during her audition on Britain’s Got Talent… 😉

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Of course, if Hollie showed up in a little cat outfit, everybody would all be melting over how cute she would be! And even if the audience could immediately predict she’d be singing Memory upon seeing her in her cat suit, I think the voice power and the image of a little girl pouring out such maturity would confound them and dazzle them enough to stun them like Susan could not.

Ah, let’s face it. I’m convinced Hollie Steel will win Britain’s Got Talent 2009, even if the odds are not with me. But whatever Susan and Hollie come up with, though, I’m sure it’ll be good and frankly, I can’t wait! When is that next round anyway?

What would you suggest Hollie Steel and Susan Boyle sing next on Britain’s Got Talent?

By the way, WordPress just enabled videos in Comments. I don’t know how it works yet but if you want to try, see if you can make it work with a video to illustrate your choice of song/s!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.5

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