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Publisher's Note: Don't Panic!

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It's the best advice I ever got. 

It happened in grade 8 when I checked out, for the first time, my all-time favorite novel The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and that counsel has stuck with me, even superseding "give every man thine ear but few thy voice" from Shakespeare's Hamlet.  Douglas Adams was truly a genius; he had the amazing skill of wittily bringing to light obvious points that people were oblivious to, or at least didn't consider often enough.  I, for one really enjoyed the humor, the intelligent writing and of course, the whole sci-fi stage. Most people my age, (especially in North America) remember him for his books, which actually were based off the BBC radio comedy series in 1978, which then eventually developed into the trilogy of five books selling the over 15 million copies, in his lifetime alone. Most recently, 4 years after his passing in 2001, the big screen version rings a bell with most people, but it's not the best representation of his work.

He actually had a larger influence than it might appear at first glance. He was friends with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and, a left-handed guitarist himself, he played on the band at Earl's Court in London in 1994.  He even named their album from the same year, The Division Bell.  Gary Brooker of Procol Harum was also close to Adams and the two had performed together; both Brooker and Gilmour played in tribute at his funeral.  He was an active environmentalist and a huge fan of technology.  An advocate of hypertext and a Mac junkie, he was the first person, so the story goes, to buy an Apple computer in Europe. Along with other celebrities like Gregory Hines and John Cleese that Apple made into an "Apple Master," Adams was a spokesperson for Apple.  As for contributions to the online video industry, he created a rock video with the first version of iMovie, featuring his daughter, Polly (who by the way, was born when he was 42) and a guest appearance by John Cleese. The movie used to live on his .mac page here: http://homepage.mac.com/dna/imovie.html, but doesn't seem to work anymore. 

And that's just it now, isn't it?  Here's a video made on a Mac with an Apple video editing product, living on Apple servers, that for whatever reason can't be watched now (on the day of writing, it failed to play on an iMac, Macbook Pro, iPad2, and or iPhone 4S).   That's exactly the fuss that we are all dealing with in the online video industry, more today in fact than in any years past. The bottom line is that as a reader of Streaming Media, you more than likely have a tremendous amount of video content to deal with, an amount that's growing on an exponential basis, and have already invested a serious amount of dollars to make it work.  You already know that when it comes to online video, you are going to need keep investing in your technology just to keep up, not to mention to grow. From our annual reader survey, we see on average that your budgets are up 18% from last year for online video products and services to make that happen.

Don't Panic. 

The Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook is the Hitchhiker's Guide to Online Video.  This year's installment is the biggest yet.  As Eric points out in his Editor's Note, the buyer's guide section is the ultimate resource and the best we've ever done - it's the answer to life, the universe, and everything. And, if you need a company to supply you with products and services that you can trust will not disappear like an early generation .mov file, pay close attention the companies in the directory.  So for the online video industry and everyone who depends on it, raise your thumb in the air and hitch a ride with the Sourcebook.  Just don't forget your towel, especially on May 25.

Hitchiker's Guide to Online Video

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Editor's Note: Big Time

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