January 2007

"5..4..3.. Hey?!"

If the way you begin a new year is at all indicative of the way things will go for the next twelve months, I want a "do-over"!!

The Van Riper family tradition for New Year's consists of staying the hell off the road! Sometimes there's a party we can walk to in the neighborhood. Other times we make our own little party. This was one of those "other" times.

We had salmon marinating in the fridge, champagne chilling, DVDs stacked by the TV to get us up to ball-dropping time, and everything was set for a quiet, comfy celebration in front of a fire on the hearth.

Then some drunk mowed down a telephone pole, blew out a power transformer and snapped the main television cable!

It was,certainly, the quietest (and darkest) New Year's Eve we've ever had. We were sound asleep before the year ended.

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New Rates!

It's 2007 now, and that puts my new rate card into effect. If you need an estimate, you can either call me or figure it up for yourself online.

Kickin' off 2007...

...With my client of the month, NFL Films!

It's been a little over a year now since I picked up the phone and cold-called Kevin McLaughlin, the talent co-ordinator for NFL Films. I had just moved to the Philly area, and they are located on the other side of the river, in Mount Holly, NJ.

After getting past Kevin's understandable, "Oh God, it's another Harry Kalas wannabe" reaction, he let me send him a demo CD and, not long after, invited me to their facility to record a Katrina Relief psa. I guess I passed the "audition". He's been finding work for me ever since. The latest is on the radio now, promoting the Superbowl XLI halftime show featuring the artist formerly known as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince". (Pleeeeeease, no wardrobe malfunctions!!!)

NFL FIlms has, of course, a terrific stable of talent on which they rely for the majority of their voice work. I am grateful to be considered worthy of handling some of the other odd jobs that come along. The people are consumate professionals, the facilities are incredible, and their product is legendary in the sports world!

MrVO M.I.A?

I'm afraid I dropped off the e-mail radar for almost a month in December because of some Internet Service Providers' zealous attempts to filter out "spam" for their clients.

I added a lot more e-mail addresses to my list of recipients for the December newsletter, enlisting it as a sort of Christmas greeting to just about everyone I know. Little did I know that sending an e-mail, especially one containing graphics and links, to more than a hundred addresses in one shot was enough to trigger anti-spam defenses in some of the bigger internet hosts. Comcast, for one, chose to blacklist everything that came from "mrvo.com", and even blocked comcast customer's mail from going TO a "mrvo.com" address!

This effectively cut me off from a number of my clients, friends, and even family members. It took weeks to figure out what was going on and get it resolved. I also happen to have a Comcast account, and couldn't even send or receive mail to myself at "mrvo".

So, if you didn't hear from me in December... that's why. If you don't receive this newsletter, please be sure to let me know! (joke) If you want to see the Christmas newsletter you might have missed, click here.

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Evolution?

After transcription discs, the first real (or reel) method of distribution of broadcast material was on 1/4" tape. Then, cassettes also became popular, because they were so much cheaper and easier to deal with... but the quality was awful compared to reel tape.

That changed with the advent of DATs... digital audio tapes. But they cost a lot more than cassettes. Using FedEx sped up the distribution process, but that, too, could get expensive.
At least the advent of CDs cut the shipping weight down.

Then as the internet grew and bandwidth soared, delivery via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) became the low cost/high speed solution. Now there is ISDN. Instant audio, with CD quality, just about anywhere just by dialing a couple of phone numbers! Is it the end of FTP?

Good question. As computers get faster and bandwidth gets cheaper, the internet may reach the point where audio can be compressed and delivered in real time just as fast as ISDN does it now. And ISDN lines, once prized for their speed, are now much lower on the phone company's totem pole. Not much expansion planned there, and they're still not cheap.

I don't have any answers... just questions. What's next? If you have an idea, lemme hear it!

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