Friday, November 16, 2007

Unpacking Videos

If you're into technology as much as I am I'm sure that you've stumbled across at least one "unpacking" video in the past months. In case you haven't had the pleasure this is the appropiate moment to ask "what is an unpacking video?"

Well, it's basically a video of someone unpacking one thing or another, most of the times some hip new techno-gadget. I have to admit that I don't know exactly when or how that whole thing started but it has certainly spread in the past months and these days there aren't too many tech-sites that haven't done an unpacking video.

In case you're interested in watching such a video I'd suggest you head over to YouTube and simply start looking for "unpacking" but if you're lazy you can also click this link and watch a video of some guy unpacking his iPhone.

If you've clicked that link above and actually watched the video you've just wasted 5 minutes of you life. Why? Because you could have gathered the same information from looking at Apple's website and the iPhone's "what's in the box" page:

• iPhone
• Stereo Headset
• Dock
• USB Power Adapter
• Dock Connector to USB Cable
• Documentation
• Cleaning/Polishing cloth

There are even fancy photos of everything there so you can even get a good look and what the design of the box looks like! (In case that's your cup of tea.)

What I'm trying to say here is that at least from my point of view an unpacking video is a real waste of time. This is a case were using video as a medium doesn't really have any advantages over a text and some photos. So in my book looking at that list and the corresponding photos above gives you the same information plus it only takes 60 seconds instead of spending 5 minutes listening to someone's (mostly useless) comments. Some might argue that watching an actual human being tell you something fulfills an emotional need but I don't really see that...

Moreover it seems to me that making such a video is also a waste of time. Again here it really depends on how you do it because obviously some random dude turning on his camera and filming himself unpack something for YouTube won't take that long. But if you're running a tech-website you need to have some kind of narrative, add an intro and title, render it, upload it to various video-platforms, tag it and publish it somewhere. I'd say that the whole process takes about 30 to 60 minutes. Compare that to taking a couple of photos, writing the necessary text and publishing that (that certainly doesn't take longer than 10 minutes) and you're looking at a real waste of time.

Why do I know that? Because earlier this week I spent more than an hour filming, editing and polishing an unpacking video starring the Zonbu for a review over on EPIACENTER... Due to the fact that I don't have the intro here on my machine (and I couldn't find it on our server) I've asked Sascha to finish the video and it will soon be available via EPIACENTER, YouTube and host of other video-websites. Then you'll also get a chance to see yours truly wasting everyone's time with an unpacking video...

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