YouTube – A New Media Object

@MyDtcAccount   –   Jonathan Crabtree

An incredibly popular new media object that has exploded since the early 2000s is YouTube. The numerial representation is exemplified in the fact that each video is made using a computer. The continuous data, such as the individual photos that in turn create the video, is turned into discrete data (code) that the computer can read and show to the user as a fluid video (Manovich 27). On a somewhat related note, modularity is also key when talking about new media. An example for YouTube is that, while the videos themselves are what the user watches, they are made up of many independent files that act together to create a new, larger, more entertaining piece (29). Luckily for each viewer, the process is automated, meaning that the person watching the video does not have to piece all those files together himself. Using carefully constructed algorithms, the computer is able to play each still picture in rapid succession automatically in order for the user to percieve a video (30). If an account is created, YouTube is never the same after every video played. It learns the account owner’s preferences and will pull up different suggested videos based on what the user has previously watched. This variability creates a different experience for every single user (32). The final characteristic that a new media object must comply with is transcoding. YouTube has an exhaustive list of categories that each video falls under, and which kind the user chooses depends on mood, goals, or time of day. However, to the computer, they are all the same. Simply numbers telling when and where each colored pixel should be displayed.

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