Free For All
The common element is that I have refused to spend a single dollar on content. So far, not really a problem. Plenty of good podcasts out there. I'm reaquainting myself with Harry Shearer's "Le Show", as well as with the BBC's excellent "In Our Time": both of which I used to listen to regularly, but fell away from. I also keep up to date with new funny "Strong Bad" emails (from Homestarrunner), without the help of Fark.com. Even local radio gods, Don and Mike, podcast some of their shows through ITunes, which helps just about break the last ties I had to terrestrial radio. (Find the links yourselves, folks.)
What I haven't been able to find is much free content for my 3-year old daughter. We always bring along the portable DVD player on long car trips, so I thought dedicating a portion of the Ipod's hard drive to children's fare would make sense. But then again, there is that hang-up about parting with my money.
So I decided to make some content myself.
Since we are starting into the Christmas/Holiday season (see Elevated Umbrella over the next couple weeks, as Mrs Valentine plans every detail of the military operation that is to be our Holiday Party), I thought I might work on some seasonally appropriate fare.
I quickly discovered that "Twas The Night Before Christmas" is in the public domain, that is, its free and no one will come after me for messing with it.
I took the illustrations from a 1912 print edition of the book (off of Gutenberg.org), and the audio from Librivox.org where volunteers produce audiobook versions of classic public-domain works.
I then used Microsoft Windows Movie Maker to combine the two, using some very simple effects and transitions between the still illustrations, keeping them in sync with the audio narration.
The end result can be found on Google Video here. It can be watched online, or downloaded to a computer or Ipod (or similar device). And the cost is even something I can swallow, absolutely free.
Eventually, the ice will break, and I will start forking over cash for content. But until then, I have a few episodes of Superman cartoons from the 1940s, clips from the old "Man Show" (when it was good), and random animations via Channel Frederator to keep me going.