We were introduced to Rachel Cook for this week’s class. The topic of discussion, Pod-casting. I have never really used any podcast software like ‘Audacity’ or ‘Podomatic’ but knew that it was vital in the creation of digital media. Plus it will also help me with the multimedia section within our final project. Its funny how we all use audio devices and recording tools but really are completely clueless when it comes to the compression of audio and why we hear what we hear.As I write this i can count three devices on my desk that support audio files of various formats.We’re completely oblivious to what effects our sound quality. It turns out there’s quite a few factors that affect the fidelity. The three core formats are WAV, AIFF and OGG Vorbis.
Now don’t get me wrong, (like the majority of people) I still see random letters in a certain order, but now feel like i can grasp the basic information when it comes to reading about audio file formats. For instance when I’m next shopping for a new speaker or headphones and one of the ‘Geek Squad’ mentions perceptual coding i will no longer stare blankly at him/her because i now know its simply a method used to reduce the amount of data needed to produce a higher quality of sound.So then i began to podcast. After playing around with Audacity for a while i eventually got the hang of it but had some problems trying to dampen the background noise. I looked up some useful YouTube tutorial videos about how to navigate Audacity, (id recomendad anyone starting out with Audacity to do this).Its pretty amazing that after only a 5 min video you can attain a novice understanding of this foreign software . In this podcast i just breakdown the syllabus for our class.
I decided to use Soundcloud as the base to publish my first podcast purely because i use the site daily for my music. After recording my piece on Audacity it was simple to upload on Soundcloud.
Unfortunatly the mic on my laptop is old and not as acute at picking up direct sound like some of the instruments we discussed in class. I hope to have a decent headset for when i record again, but it was good to get started.
In class this week we began discussing HTML and CSS. HTML is the language of the web. There are several online applications such as Mozilla Thimble, Dreamweaver, Kompozer and Google Web Designer which support html and really help when it comes to designing a website compared to the barbaric task of coding the entire site on notepad. HTML dictates the content of a webpage. The headings, paragraphs, embedded videos, images and text layout. But CSS (cascading style sheets) are used to change color of the backgrounds, edit fonts and styles of the text, say if you wanted to have your text aligned on the right side of the webpage or have different color headings.
I have had some practice with both html and css in different modules but was never aware of the level of detail that goes into sharing information efficiently. It was interesting to learn about the f-pattern that we inherently use to track information on the screen. It is only then you realize the amount of research and development that goes into making content more legible and readable.
For the lab section of the class we began using Codecademy which is an online site that you can use to make a website. After having to use Notepad i was really impressed with Codecademy’s layout and teaching methods. The interface is clean and provides you with a step by step guide on how to build a website. We were only instructed to complete the introductory course for the duration of the class but im glad that we have to continue on ourselves at home. This is becoming more and more of a vital skill for people to have as the web continues to grow at an almost scary pace.
For today’s class we focused on website design and layout. This of course meant re-visiting The Gestalt Principles. They’re essentially the simple principles which states that every stimulus is perceived in its most simple form. The core areas are in this class are figure, similarity, proximity, closure, good continuation and symmetry. I never really realized how much development and thought goes into websites in order to respect the users tolerance and best match their preferences. These principles are vital for effective communication and provide some sort of order for the information. Leading on form this i wanted to improve my new blog for readers so we taught ourselves how to set our new wordpress to automatically proofread content when: a post or page is first published and when a post or page is updated. I didn’t realize the full extent of the features on wordpress and im still learning, but already feel like i have a greater grasp of blogging after two weeks.
For our first class we discussed how to create and publish video or pictures in our own personal blog on wordpress.com.