gazette9.com
9/15/04

 

Monsoon Squalls

Streaming Flash - Run time 7:08 - 1.54MB

A Slide Show Experiment

Looking at "web video" over a fairly fast connection recently made me think there must be a better way. I thought good still photos, at a legible size, sync'd to an audio track, might be better than tiny, jerky, peep-show-quality video.

I hunted around for the tools to do it, and kept an eye out for suitable subjects. It being August in the Mojave Desert, the first thing that came up was violent weather - dangerous thunderstorms and flash floods.

I missed some wild ones. Route 66 was badly washed out one night while I slept peacefully a few miles away. Another night a most dangerous storm parked over the steep barren slopes of Death Valley and poured out its load. Like pouring from a bucket into a funnel, gravity and terrain concentrated the runoff into a few washes which became raging torrents in the dark desert night. These floods destroyed most everything that happened to be in their paths - roads, vehicles, buildings, and people - who probably never saw it coming in the dark.

I caught mine a few days later, on August 18th, when a line of relatively fast moving thunderstorms marched through my local area. It was a chance to be an interested observer instead of an annoyed and anxious back road traveler. And because the storms kept moving, the floods receded quickly. They were just enough for my purposes. To illustrate the potential for major destruction, I've included a few photos taken by the National Park Service in the aftermath of the Death Valley flash floods.

 

Some notes on "Flash": Each pic has its own audio track attached. After the first one downloads, the rest should "stream" seamlessly after it. I tried to keep the file size as low as possible, so this would stream over a dial-up connection. Most recent browsers have the Flash player pre-installed as a plug-in.

This is set to auto-start once the first "slide" loads. Right-clicking on the player brings up the simple menu of controls. If you uncheck "Play", the stream will stop playing once the current audio file finishes.

Please send comments and suggestions to joe@gazette9.com I personally like the combination of stills and audio, and I think it's a great way to use the capabilities of the web.I'd like to get other people's opinions on it.

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