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Paul White's Leader

SOS DVD 001 By Paul White
Published August 2005

The first-ever SOS DVD, distributed free with the August 2005 issue (UK/EU only), marks the start of a new chapter in the history of Sound On Sound, bringing the added dimensions of sight and sound to your favourite music monthly. The original brief we set ourselves when conceiving this disc was that the content and format had to augment and enhance the written word, not simply duplicate it in another medium. The DVD had to add real value to the magazine and cover disc package, and allow SOS to cover subject areas in ways that the printed magazine simply does not allow. But overall, we wanted readers to find the disc stimulating, entertaining and, most importantly, beneficial to their recording and music-making.

On our DVD-ROM, you will find over two and a half hours of SOS-created video interviews, documentaries and tutorials, plus in excess of 150 minutes of music and audio examples. Significantly, over an hour of that music is made up of unsigned tracks from you, our readers, and this too was an important goal for SOS with this venture. There is nothing quite so motivating as knowing that your music will be heard to make you complete that lyric or finish that mix! Realistically, not every reader will win that elusive record contract or have the ability to drive thousands of listeners to their custom download site, but now there's a valuable promotional outlet for your music in the form of the SOS DVD. The best readers' tracks will be featured on each DVD we release — greater exposure than you could realistically achieve from most Internet download sites and many radio stations! Paul White - Editor In Chief

With each DVD, it is our intention to stimulate you into making music, and this month our Prodrive music-for-picture competition gives budding media composers a unique opportunity to break into this field. Watch the video clips on the DVD, listen to the client's brief, and deliver your music in time for the deadline, thereby experiencing the real-world pressure that professional media composers work under every day. You might win the trip of a lifetime in a Subaru world rally car, and you never know where such an opportunity might take your career...

You may well ask why we've waited so long before producing a cover disc. Quite simply, we never felt a disc full of software and samples (however good) was a true representation of Sound On Sound 's editorial features or the breadth of equipment we review. Music software is only one aspect of the magazine's content, and we would be doing a disservice to the hardware reviews, workshop and tutorial articles if we'd simply delivered what most cover discs offer. So we waited for desktop video technology to mature, so that you'd be able to see and hear our content.

Now, with reasonably priced digital video cameras, powerful video-editing software, and today's generation of DVD-ROM equipped PCs and Macs, it is possible to record and play excellent-quality audio and video. This enables the SOS DVD to offer readers a truly interactive multimedia experience, seamlessly linking the content on disc to current and previous articles on our popular web site, as well as those of the featured manufacturers. But that is only the beginning...

To help deliver a wide range of stimulating and informative content on disc, we've developed three custom-built media players — one for audio tracks, one for video, and the very useful SOS Photo Zoom player for static images. Check out the 18 multimedia product showcases on the DVD to experience the variety of ways in which these players combine to enrich your understanding of the products.

The SOS team has always striven to deliver a quality product. So rather than attempt to build a disc which performs across the widest range of computers, ie. for the lowest common platform, we have created a DVD-ROM which delivers high-quality interactive multimedia content for playback on computers running Windows XP and Mac OS X. Our recent readership survey shows that the majority of SOS readers are well-equipped with powerful machines running the most recent OS, so we hope few of you will encounter any problems. We elected to use a web browser interface, as it is a familiar tool and provides the necessary flexibility for web integration, whilst having the advantage of making the DVD-ROM faster to use once images and text on the disc have been cached by your browser.

We hope you will enjoy every minute, and look forward to our next disc in November with great anticipation.

Paul White Editor In Chief

Note: the SOS DVD was produced quarterly during our 20th anniversary year, whereupon broadband/internet technology accelerated sufficiently to allow us to migrate lots of the ideas from the disc onto the SOS web site (and latterly our iPad/Android tablet app).

Published August 2005