Thursday, 2 October 2008

New news about old news

"Experience the new look ITN Source website," my inbox told me this afternoon. I politely declined and decided to just look at it instead.

Upon entry to the site, an implausibly young Cliff Richard doing his best - i.e. still pretty bloodless - Elvis impression greeted me, but for some reason I still stuck around. I'm not quite sure why. Mainly, I think, because it took me a few seconds to work out "What on earth's wrong with Elvis?", by which time the video window had somewhat incongruously switched to footage of bats. That was followed by a clip of a portly black-and-white person on stilts. There being no sound, I had no idea what any of these were about, but at least I was spared Cliff's singing.

Possibly out of gratitude, then, as well as mild bemusement, I decided to actually find out what the site was all about: selling archive footage, mostly. And the reason for the 'beta' label: this version of the site makes it easier to search for, buy and license footage (in other words, to give ITN money). I expect it also looks nicer now, but having not seen it before I have no idea.

Why, though, am I writing about it?

Well, for those of us not looking to insert classic footage of grassy knolls, broken German walls, or one of a doubtless much in demand compilation of clips of Michael Winner into some creative endeavour, it could at least be quite a handy place to view such things - over one million hours of them (though, sensibly, just a few minutes of Michael Winner), with 20 more hours being added every day. As well as being a kind of NewsTube, then, it could also prove quite a useful research tool.

Just one proviso: a little less browser crashing would be nice - at present the site seems to play videos in a few different formats (QuickTime, Flash, and whichever one it was that kept crashing my browser).


Anonymous said...

Leave poor old Cliff alone!

Tim Warren said...

He's hardly poor.

Tim Warren said...

Except musically.