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Marc's 10 Things

Wednesday, October 12, 1994 by Dave Winer.


Marc Canter's rollout last nite was great. About 300 people attended. Marc sang. Great stuff, great press kit.

From the press kit -- Marc's "10 Things" -- which follows, provides a list of 10 things that the media should be covering on Multimedia and Interactive TV but isn't. It's Marc's piece, if you have comments, please send them to D0010@APPLELINK.APPLE.COM. I wouldn't mind if you cc'd me on them.

Also: this letter is being automatically distributed to about 1000 people, chosen from my rolodex, from various conference attendee lists, and by reference. It's an experiment in electronic PR. If you aren't interested in this kind of stuff, send me an email and I'll happily delete your name from the list. BTW, it's coming via AppleLink because it's the only scriptable email service. I understand that it isn't fashionable to be on AppleLink these days, so look for a change here soon! (Go get 'em Apple, please!)

So without any further ado, here are Marc's 10 Things...

Dave Winer


Interactive Music Videos Permalink to Interactive Music Videos

1. Interactive Liner notes are great. Repackaged old music is fine, but MediaBand has started a new category - called Interactive Music Videos - which are original pieces that combine songs, music videos and videogames. It's a new artform that breaks down the barrier between artist, musician and programmer.

Kid's Content Permalink to Kid's Content

2. Kids today see the twitchy-ness of Nintendo and they see the production values of MTV. Multimedia today is neither. We need to combine the interactivity of Nintendo with the production values of MTV.

CD ROMs Permalink to CD ROMs

3. We didn't call it a floppy disk industry, so how come it's a CD ROM industry? In fact CD ROM is holding back the creativity and growth of the entire interactive digital media industry.

Scalable Content Permalink to Scalable Content

4. Scalable content is an important concept when developing interactive media today. You don't want to design yourself into a corner, letting the technology define the content. Ideally you'd let the content define the technology. Scalability means downsizing through compression, it means user interfaces that work with both single and multiple users, it means getting ready for Interactive TV.

Audio Permalink to Audio

5. The classic line is "Audio is the orphan child of multimedia" - why do people still say this? What is behind the hodge-podge of audio - especially on the PC? How come it's taken so long for manufacturers to include audio on their motherboards? In 1984 it was $3 in parts!

MIDI II? Permalink to MIDI II?

6. What about MIDI? How many people know what that is? Why isn't there an advanced MIDI format in place? The original MIDI frequency standard (32k) is based a 1Mhz crystal readily available in 1982.But what's the problem today? Why hasn't MIDI evolved and grown?

RAM Permalink to RAM

7. RAM apparently is not following along the path of Moore's Law. The price is still where it was 5 years ago and systems are suffering. Today MPC II is still speced at only 4M - MediaBand needs 8M. Standard business systems should have at least 16M TODAY!

Set top tests waste of time? Permalink to Set top tests waste of time?

8. The whole industry hopped when John Malone announced he was going to deploy one million set top boxes with MPEG chips in them. Once it became clear that he was practicing FUD, everyone backed off of their predictions, delayed their test trials and are now waiting for the next thing to react to.The tests going on (or planned to start soon) are not based upon the same technology or even marketing premises. What good will these tests do? Will any of these tests actually grow into a real service network.

Interactive Commercials Permalink to Interactive Commercials

9. What exactly is an Interactive TV commercial. Lots of people talk about it, but no one does them.

Support? Permalink to Support?

10. Where's the support? As the industry moves towards 900 # support and low priced consumer software, what happens to support? Dealers obviously can't supply it. Is this a new growth market?

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."