Sunday, April 26, 2015

Vinyl log 6 - 26 April

26April1975Richard and Linda ThompsonI want to see the bright lights tonight

I wrote about buying this record a few months ago; I see that I even wrote that I bought it from 'a short lived record shop in West Hampstead'. I don't know whether the part of the road where the shop was sited was already was West End Lane or still Fortune Green Road, but it was opposite the fire station. The past two times when I have been in London (2004 and 2012), I've stayed at a bed and breakfast a bit further down West End Lane, and it's always a pleasure to revisit the stamping grounds of my youth.

That shop opened at the beginning of 1975; I recall that they had some big display for 'The electric muse' 4 lp set which came out at around that time. During the autumn term of 1974, I walked down Fortune Green Road and West End Lane twice a day on my way to the West Hampstead underground station, from there to travel via the Bakerloo line to my university near the Elephant and Castle. But in the spring and summer terms of 1975, I transferred my allegiance to the Golders Green station and the Northern line. It might have been a slightly longer walk but the trains were less crowded in the mornings.

So now I wonder how I knew about this record shop. Maybe they opened in December 1974. 

Funnily enough, in that blog from January, I wrote about walking. What I didn't mention was that a walk lasting 50+ minutes whilst running a program ('MapMyWalk') on the mobile phone would frequently end with an empty battery. It's happened more than a few times in the past two weeks that the phone has turned itself off before I've completed my walk, which means that my records are somewhat incomplete.

I think that I've found the solution to the battery problem: I can start the GPS and MapMyWalk, then remove them from the display (I don't know what this functionality is called). MMW continues working in the background but doesn't continually update the display. This should save a great deal of battery power. I am going to try this out tonight.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

More home movies

Emboldened by the success of the 2014 Italian movie, I started work on creating a movie from the 2013 footage, which was shot in Barcelona, London and Edinburgh. There isn't that much footage from Barcelona, which puzzled me until I remembered that at this time I only had the original battery for the camera, which limited the amount that could be filmed each day. I bought a second battery in London.

I was fairly ruthless with the footage, cutting out a great number of repetitive shots; this was most apparent in filming from the London Eye or on the bus trip around the Edinburgh centre. 

The holiday ended with the MBA ceremony; whilst my wife filmed bits of this, I also have the professionally filmed version. I have decided to discard almost all of what my wife filmed and instead use sections from the professional version. But - and there is always a 'but' - the program which I am using to extract portions from the dvd creates a vob file, which is the native format of dvds. Such files, of course, are not suitable for Microsoft Movie Maker, which wants WMV files. I found an internet site which performs the conversion online (albeit slowly), so after extracting the most important minute from the dvd, I sent it to this site, then later was able to import the new file into the movie.

I have also discovered that one can import static pictures into the movie and also define how long each picture is displayed, although I get the feeling that this time setting is for the entire movie and not on a per-picture basis. I would also like to crossfade between pictures, but I haven't been successful in doing so yet, although I have only experimented for a few minutes with this functionality.

I don't have any more time at the moment to play with movies as I am very busy, both at work and at home, and making movies is at a very low priority.

Today is the 37th anniversary of Sandy Denny's death.