Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account

Thread November 15, 2014 editorial: comments

  • 8 replies
  • 7 participants
  • 1,703 views
  • 7 followers
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
First post
1 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 10:00:02

Video Overkill

Let me start this mini-rant by saying I like videos, I shoot and edit videos, I make screencast videos. Videos are great. But they shouldn’t completely take the place of words on a web page. I find it so frustrating when I just want to look up a specific piece of information online, but the web page I go to from my search forces me to sit through a full video to find what I’m looking for.

Here’s an example: Today I was trying to get some information on a recently released virtual instrument. I went to the software developer’s web page to find out what effects are included with the instrument. On the main page labeled “Overview” (“underview” might have been a better word for it) I see a sub-heading “Effects,” and scroll down to it, only to discover a tiny paragraph that says that an effects section is included with the instrument. No other text, just a video link.

So I open the video, and it’s not even narrated, just a screencast showing the instrument playing with its effects screen open, while various effects are being applied. It doesn’t say what they are, and while I can certainly deduce what some of them are from listening, there are some that I'm not sure of. Even if I could figure them all out, it would still annoy me that I’m being forced to play Sherlock Holmes just to get some basic product information. 

Mind you, this was an extreme example, and usually the info you’re looking for is contained in the video, but you still have to take the time to watch it in order to find out.

Video is great for showing a product in action, and for letting you hear what an instrument or product sounds like or how it operates, but it's not a substitute for information that should be listed in text form in a specifications section. 

If I want to learn how program a complex Max for Live patch or how to correctly play a Theremin or how guitars are made (like our “Inside the Taylor Guitars Factory” video we posted this week — pardon the shameless plug), yeah, video is the perfect medium. But not for everything. In many cases, text is the most efficient way to disseminate information.

Is it just me? Am I being a Luddite, or do you sometimes feel the same way? Let’s discuss it.

Have a great week.

Mike Levine

U.S. Editor, Audiofanzine

rick.hunter.52

rick.hunter.52

5 posts
New AFfiliate
2 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 10:39:54
Oh no, it's not just you at all. As an "iPad recording engineer" who has checked out quite a few music-making apps in the past few months, I too have run into supposed "tutorial" videos where there's zero narration and they come across more like, "Hey, look what cool things I can do with this amazing app!" and I still don't get the answer I was looking for in many cases. It can be frustrating for sure and I think some developers really need to work on making more informative how-to videos AND written guides with step-by-step instructions and not just a list of FAQ's that also are frequently non-helpful. I will say that I've been working with Voicejam Studio by TC Helicon in the past few days and give them props for having a manual guide with supporting videos that other app developers could really use as a model for their instructional support.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
3 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 11:18:40
Quote:
I too have run into supposed "tutorial" videos where there's zero narration and they come across more like, "Hey, look what cool things I can do with this amazing app!"

Exactly. Both marketing and customer support are vital tasks for a manufacturer, but when they intertwine them, it's not a good thing.
Quote:
I will say that I've been working with Voicejam Studio by TC Helicon in the past few days and give them props for having a manual guide with supporting videos that other app developers could really use as a model for their instructional support.

Good to hear that. Many manufacturers do "get it," it's just the ones that don't who drive you crazy.
rtintera

rtintera

2 posts
New AFfiliate
4 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 11:23:02
Whether it's video games or music or news, if there is a video, I just skip it. I can't sit though a long video to get one piece of information. What if I'm lying in bed and my wife is sleeping and I don't have headphones?

[ Post last edited on 11/15/2014 at 11:23:48 ]

Brightshine

Brightshine

3 posts
New AFfiliate
5 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 12:10:00
The Youtube videos are some of the worst. I do a search for an answer to a problem I might be having. All these videos pop up. As an example....lets say I want to know how to "setup an Aux send for Pro Tools". There might be 5 to 10 videos with an "ANSWER". My experience is, 9 of the 10 videos start with someone talking for 2 to 5 minutes about nothing. Then they might give a proper explanation. Lynda.com is one of the best for getting to the problem solving without boring me to tears with blather. I tend to like a, step by step, ABCD answer to my question.
And, how about in a promo video the manufacturer at least gives the "suggested retail price" of whatever it is they are hawking? How difficult would that be?

Thomas Aldrich

Thomas Aldrich

3 posts
New AFfiliate
6 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 18:16:28
Right on ML, dont assume I know the basics...run em down for me!
Plugin Guru does great instructional videos.

[ Post last edited on 11/15/2014 at 18:18:17 ]

planetearth_en

planetearth_en

7 posts
New AFfiliate
7 Posted on 11/15/2014 at 23:11:22
Quote from rtintera:
Whether it's video games or music or news, if there is a video, I just skip it. I can't sit though a long video to get one piece of information. What if I'm lying in bed and my wife is sleeping and I don't have headphones?


Same thing here. And I just read last week how Zuckerberg predicts "In five years, most of [facebook] will be video" (https://www.pcworld.com/article/2844852/facebook-will-be-mostly-video-in-5-years-zuckerberg-says.html).

For various reasons, I follow many music software and hardware companies on FB; I can see how they'll just develop a video to explain the product, and not worry about the rest of us who don't want to view product information on someone else's schedule.

Give me a way to read about your product on my own schedule, and I'm that much closer to considering buying it.

Steve
karmapolice

karmapolice

10 posts
New AFfiliate
8 Posted on 11/17/2014 at 01:12:02
Quote from rick.hunter.52:
I too have run into supposed "tutorial" videos where there's zero narration and they come across more like, "Hey, look what cool things I can do with this amazing app!" and I still don't get the answer I was looking for in many cases. It can be frustrating for sure and I think some developers really need to work on making more informative how-to videos AND written guides with step-by-step instructions and not just a list of FAQ's that also are frequently non-helpful.


That's when I agree about the videos. When it's about a product or app, I don't want to be force fed all of the features in one 10 minute video when all I'm trying to find out is if it's compatible with mac, for example.

I find videos very helpful when they're instructional and focused entirely on my topic of interest. For example, I once saw this video on the forums explaining compression, and while the audio they used was boring, it taught me exactly what I needed to know to understand compressor parameters. Nothing more, nothing less, and no shameless plugs.

But even so, I think having complementary text could do nothing but help maximize the effectiveness of the video as it helps you get the information you want about their products (which is what they want anyway), but at your own pace.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
9 Posted on 11/17/2014 at 06:42:00
Quote:
And I just read last week how Zuckerberg predicts "In five years, most of [facebook] will be video" (https://www.pcworld.com/article/2844852/facebook-will-be-mostly-video-in-5-years-zuckerberg-says.html).

That's not encouraging. Again, nothing against video, it's great way to disseminate a lot of types of information, but not for everything. Also, the nature of how video must be viewed, in a linear fashion, is very different from how we consume text, where we can search for specific items, and jump around to whatever part of the document we want to in whatever order we want to. Yes, you can skim or fast forward a video, but you don't know what's there until you check the whole thing. It's not directly searchable like text is.
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.