Batch video compression software don't crop the filenames of the 100 files I've asked you to compress and append them with your own naming scheme without giving me the option to override it.

    I hate software which tries to be clever for stupid people, but can't be stupid for clever people. I know they are different files, just change the file extension. That's all I want. Hell, it's all I need.

    Now I have to rename 100 files which have had the major identifying part of the filename over written, and that I can't identify the contents of because they are compressed in a video codec that doesn't have a native player.

    Dalston to Old Street

    My cycle from home to work on video

    Home to Work


    Work to Home

    Home To Work (Alternative Route)

    Work To Home (Alternative Route)

    Yesterday I got a new phone so this morning I attached my old phone to the handelbars of my bike and recorded the journey.

    Dalston To Old Street

    Click To Play

    Updated, added my journey home, and an alternative route to work, today

    Chris Corsano

    Free-Jazz Drumming.

    Chris Corsano playing with Barr (Video 1)

    Chris Corsano playing with Barr (Video 2)

    Chris Corsano playing with Barr (Video 3)

    Some video clips of Chris Corsano playing with Barr at the Luminaire in Kilburn last night. Corsano's drumming was hypnotic, first time I'd seen him live, but he must be seen again. Preferably without Barr, who rather spoiled it for me - Corsano seemed a bit trapped with the click-track and song format, though still managed to excel in that space.

    Notable mentions to Temperatures and Birds Of Delay for great support slots. Magik Markers didn't really do it for me either. Thanks to Upset The Rhythm! for another excellent line-up.

    More Corsano.

    Fear of Jazz? More like fear of becoming a stalker....

    Chris Corsano at Fear Of Jazz 2007/01/24 # 1

    Chris Corsano at Fear Of Jazz 2007/01/24 # 2

    Chris Corsano at Fear Of Jazz 2007/01/24 # 3

    Last night I saw Chris Corsano perform once again, at The Pool bar in Shoreditch, at the 'Fear Of Jazz' night. Once again he was amazing. Each time I see him he seems to have developed a little bit more in his style and what he's playing. His ability to generate a rhythm and then make it flow and develop in ever more complex ways, bouncing off the drums and modifying them to make the subtlest changes in sound, evolving it and driving it on. See for yourself in the clips below.

    He's not always on top form, and if you were unfortunate enough to attend the previous nights performance when he played with Noah Howard, Evan Parker and John Edwards can attest to. I held such high hopes for this, having seen Corsano and Edwards do a blinding performance at the LMC Festival in December, it was horrible to see the restraint from Corsano as every time he and Edwards broke out they were interrupted by Howard bringing it back to New Orleans. I'd really liked to have seen if Parker, Howard and Corsano were left to their own devices that night.

    I might start to get perceived as a Corsano stalker at this rate, as I've now seen him perform 9 or 10 times in the last year. Next time is The Flower-Corsano Duo next month. But hey, when you get the chance to see an amazing performer do loads of events in your neighbourhood (well, London) you have to, in the words of Noah Howard: 'support your local geniuses!'

    Installing ffmpeg-php on OS X against Apache2/PHP5 from MacPorts

    [Edit 2011/09/09] ffmpeg-php is long out of date and doesn't compile with later versions off ffmpeg: try this php version instead: , works with very few changes to code - I had to change new ffmpeg_movie() to new FFmpegMovie() 

    This is more for my own benefit that anyone elses, so when I inevitably have to recompile in future I don't have to do all this rediscovery again (Yes, I have done this before and forgotten how I did it the first time). However, I thought i'd hack it into some sort of tutorial (expression used lightly).

    Asusming you have Apache 2/PHP5 and FFMPEG installed from MacPorts *, and you are reasonably comfortable with the terminal. This is pretty much 'by the book' for the instructions from ffmpeg, save for a few little glitches with the configure script.

    Grab the latest ffmpeg-php tarball from here and, open terminal, cd to the download directory and decompress it:

    tar xvjf ffmpeg-php-0.6.0.tbz2

    change to the resultant directory

    cd ffmpeg-php-0.6.0/

    run your _port_ version of phpize


    now, the first gotcha, you need to run a custome configure line to make sure that the make finds the correct ffmpeg install, and the correct include dirs. Do this:

    CFLAGS=-I/opt/local/include ./configure --with-ffmpeg=/opt/local --enable-gd --enable-skip-gd-check

    That 'CFLAGS=-I/opt/local/include' part sets and environment variable called CFLAGS to have the value -I/opt/local/include which is a C compiler flag to tell it to search for include files in '/opt/local/include'. We set that, then run the ./configure script which takes that information, and the parameters '--with-ffmpeg=/opt/local --enable-gd --enable-skip-gd-check' to build an appropriate makefile.

    Without passing the --with-ffmpeg=/opt/local the configure script will fail with: configure: error: ffmpeg headers not found. Make sure ffmpeg is compiled as shared libraries using the --enable-shared option. If you have got ffmpeg installed correctly (and please make sure you do!) then this means it can't be found, so you need to tell it where it is. Of course you may have installed ffmpeg differently so you can change this appropriately.

    The --enable-gd flags force ffmpeg-php to enable gd extensions (so you can export an image in GD format for processing with PHP's GD libraries) and the --enable-skip-gd-check makes it take your word for it that GD is installed, which it was in my case, but I had to force the issue. Sometimes us mere mortals know best.

    Without passing the CFLAGS=-I/opt/local/include the make script will generate a message along the lines of error: libavutil/avutil.h: No such file or directory letting you know that the compiler can't fine an include file, and so you need to give it a base include path. Again if your ffmpeg install is not from macports you'll need to change this appropriately.

    Now do a simple:


    Which will compile our module. Normally now we'd type 'make install' and the module would be installed, but no such luck here. For some reason the configure script insists on installing in /usr/lib/php/extensions/... wherease the rest of our extensions are in /opt/local/lib/php/extensions/... however, to work out _where_ we want to install to we still need to run 'make install' (but not as root - we want the install to fail)

    make install

    With a bit of luck this will return an error (call that luck?) something along the lines of

    cp: /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613/#INST@69638#: Permission denied

    the bit you are looking for is the equivalent to 'no-debug-non-zts-20060613' as you need this to install in the correct path, which shouldbe '/opt/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613/' (though you may need to change that last bit, obviously) We now enter:

    sudo cp modules/ /opt/local/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20060613/

    To copy the php module to our appropriate include directory. You'll need to enter your password to do the copy. Not quite there yet... now you need to add the extension to your php.ini file. By default this is /opt/local/etc/php5/php.ini but if you want to check:

    /opt/local/bin/php -r "phpinfo();" | grep "Configuration File"

    Will tell you for sure. Open up the file in your favourite text editor (textmate or vim for me) and search for the heading " Dynamic Extensions" in the config file. if it's not there don't worry, I'm just trying to be neat. You neeed to enter, under the rest of your extensions:


    then save the file. Now, to check it has installed into php:

    /opt/local/bin/php -r "phpinfo();" | grep "ffmpeg"

    should give you something along the lines of :

    ffmpeg-php version => 0.6.0-svn
    ffmpeg-php built on => Jul 21 2009 09:30:03
    ffmpeg-php gd support => disabled
    ffmpeg libavcodec version => Lavc52.20.0
    ffmpeg libavformat version => Lavf52.31.0
    ffmpeg swscaler version => SwS1.7.1
    ffmpeg.allow_persistent => 0 => 0
    ffmpeg.show_warnings => 0 => 0

    If so you can now restart apache and start playing with it.

    apachectl restart

    Hope that helps someone else...

    Please note that I'm by no means an expert on this and so can't help you get it working if there are all sorts of other issues, that said leave a comment below listing your problem and I'll see what I can do.

    * quick run through, YMMV , check out appropriate variants should you need to:

    sudo port install apache2
    sudo port install php5
    sudo port install ffmpeg +shared

    Also, look here for information on install ffmpeg from ports, and here for information on apache2/php5/mysql from ports, which both looks reasonably informative, but I've not bothered to use instead just bludgeoning on and doing it myself previously.

    A Short Walk...

    Headphones rigged with PCB camera

    Headphones rigged with PCB camera



    Back in late 2002 I built a little rig to allow me to record what I was seeing as I walked through London. I was interested in being able to unobtrusively and passively record what I was seeing as I went around. I mounted a small camera in a set of cheap headphones, and wired it to a DV camera in a bag. To the casual observer I was just a bloke wandering around with a big set of headphones on.

    I was planning to record my walking journeys around London, the routes I had learned and taken, the back-streets and places I knew, that made London personal to me. The intention was to display the videos alongside a map of the route, allowing people to virtually follow the route. I made a basic version of it but never got round to publishing 'A Short Walk', it was a bit to far ahead of the available technologies - bear in mind that Google Maps launched in 2005, APIs for mapping tools were not common, and so I was hacking to try and make something work,,

    Recently whilst developing a new website for Deveron Arts and The Walking Institute I was trying to work out how to get across the concept of 'Human Pace' they were looking for, and rememberd this project. I managed to dig out a few of the of video file which I created and used them to show the principle I was thinking of, and which they have now realised.

    But coming back to it I found a charm I'd forgotten tin the videos, so I've attached what I have here. Unforutnately the DV tapes of other (probably more interesting!) walks seem to have got lost over the years; I recall one night walking down a street to find a couple waltzing in the middle of the road, for instance, but can't seem to find the recording.

    Some of the ideas I had from this have evolved and emerged elsewhere, such as in discussions and work with Julie Myers, and into the interactive version of somewhere's 'Barging Through London Again' I created for the Floating Cinema website. The mapping of the shots of the video to the specific places.

    In our current era of Google Glass, Streetview, GoPro and Hyperlapse this all seems kind of basic, and the videos are pretty lo-fi, but I'm posting them for my memory.

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