Royalty free music for your video soundtrack? FreePD.com to the rescue!

In a previous blog post, I talked about royalty free images for your blog posts under the CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) licensing agreement. In other words, images that are totally free to use as you want, even commercially.

And in another recent blog post, I talked about the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone taking some cool aerial footage. But if you watch the video, there’s no sound. It’s because I didn’t have any music I could add to the video without worrying about copyright issues.

The only thing missing was the sound!

FreePD.com for Royalty Free Audio FilesSo now I have great photos and video footage, but when I try to create any kind of cool video with this media, I have to worry about copyright issues for the sound.

The right music really enhances a video. So I decided to do a Google search for “CC0 free music” and found a website called FreePD.com. This site has over 850 MP3 files that you can download to use as music tracks in your videos. And there are some really good tracks in the collection. For a $10 donation, you can download ALL of the files, almost 5 Gigs worth of music. The site is operated by Kevin MacLeod, and the majority of the music is his original work.

So I went ahead and donated $10 and downloaded everything. And then I got the following personal message from Kevin that was a reply to the PayPal transaction:

Thank you very much! Cheers.
– km

I responded to Kevin with, “Kevin, thanks for the quick note. I was looking for CC0 music for some family trip video work I am going to be doing. LOVE what you are doing… labor of love I am sure. I can’t imagine the amount of time you have invested in your work and making it available to people like me. Thanks again.”

And his reply:

Woohoo! You are literally the first person to thank me for putting up CC0 music. :-) That’s awesome. Tell your friends about it!

Which is exactly what I’m doing right now. And the best thing? I can even include a few of the tracks here for you to listen to. I can use them commercially on the Blue Gurus website, or in a personal video I put together about a recent trip. It doesn’t matter, because the music is all protected with the CC0 license.

So thanks to Kevin MacLeod and his FreePD.com website for the following tracks:

Ukulele Song (this would be great for a Caribbean vacation video)


Inspiration (I can see my drone taking off)


Happy Whistling Ukulele (reminds me of a cleaning detergent commercial?)


Stereotype News


City Sunshine

And if you are reading this in our email newsletter and can’t see the audio tracks, be sure to click here to go to the actual blog post in your browser to play the audio files. Enjoy!

The DJI Mavic 2 Professional Drone: Aerial Video is more accessible than ever before.

Have you ever been to an event where someone was flying a drone around? The first indication is usually a buzzing sound, like a swarm of bees.

It seems like this is happening more frequently, and a big reason for that is drone technology has come a long way. And it doesn’t hurt that the price is going down while the features get better.

I’ve been a drone enthusiast for a few years now.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional DroneI’ve always loved flying little model planes, helicopters and drones. You know, those cheap ones that might last a few flights on Christmas morning… They sure were a lot of fun while they worked.

In 2016, I decided to take a big step and buy a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone.

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional

The Phantom 3 was my first REAL drone that used GPS positioning to stay in place. It also had a video camera on a gimbal that could record video in 4K resolution and take 12MP still photos. I had so much fun with this drone! I took it to the lake and shot video of jet skis while worrying about the birds swarming it. And I took flyover videos of some local businesses (and donated the video because flying a drone for profit is a lot more complicated to be in compliance with the FAA.)

But the biggest problem with the Phantom 3 Pro was how big it was. And how big a case it took to store the drone, the batteries, the remote and everything else I needed to fly it. It was about the size of a carry-on suitcase. And because of that, I didn’t take it with me to fly as much as I would have liked.

The DJI Mavic 2 Professional

DJI Mavic 2 ProfessionalAs with all technology related gizmos, a lot can change in 2 years. DJI, arguably the most popular manufacturer of drones, recently released the Mavic 2 Professional drone. It’s a drastic departure from the Phantom 3… and they got here through many iterations of drone improvements including the original Mavic, Spark and Air.

The first thing I noticed (and loved) about the Mavic 2 Pro is how small it is. I can put the drone, remote control, 3 batteries, a mutli-battery charger and all the cables in the same footprint as the Phantom 3 drone by itself. In other words, everything packed up looks like a large camera bag instead of a carry-on suitcase. And there are a TON of new features, but I won’t bore you by listing them here. You can see the features of the Mavic 2 Pro on their website.

A sample video using the Point of Interest feature.

Here’s an example of a Point of Interest video I took with the Mavic 2 Pro this past weekend. The Point of Interest feature lets you fly the drone up and then highlight a building or structure as a point of interest. With the click of a button, the drone will fly a 360 degree pattern around the point of interest you specified while shooting video.

(Trista and I went with two other couples to the Cedar Crest Lodge in Pleasanton, Kansas for the Labor Day weekend. If you’re looking for a great bed and breakfast about an hour away from Kansas City, you should check them out. It was a great place to relax and recharge.)

There are still plenty of “don’t be stupid” rules to follow.

DJI Mavic 2 ProfessionalThere are still plenty of rules to follow, and they depend on whether you’re flying as a hobby or commercially. At a minimum, you’ve got to register your drone with the FAA. And you have to follow some specific rules including line-of-sight, no higher than 400 feet, and not being near an airport to name a few.

But once you understand the basics, it’s a lot of fun to fly a drone and be able to take photos and videos from 400 feet up. I was flying at Shawnee Mission Park recently and the footage was spectacular. It gave me a new perspective and sense of appreciation for Shawnee Mission Park. And it took me 5 minutes from parking my car to being in the air. The DJI Mavic 2 Professional drone is easy to operate and has a ton of powerful features.

If you’re a drone enthusiast, or if you have any questions about drones, let me know! As always, thanks for reading.

Easily Record Your Screen (and Your Face) with Loom. For Free.

By Jason Terry, talking about a free desktop video recording application called Loom that is easy to install and use.

I love it when I get to share a cool new application or gadget with you. And this week, I wanted to make sure you had heard about Loom. (Thanks to Home Rental Services for telling me about Loom a few weeks ago.)

Blue Gurus: Loom Desktop and Webcam Capture SoftwareWhat is Loom? Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Loom is a video recording tool for you to be your best self at work and achieve more with your team. Record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously, then your video is instantly available to share through Loom’s patented technology.

That sounds fancy, right? But what does that really mean…

Loom is a piece of software that lets you record your computer screen, your face (if you have a webcam installed) and your microphone. And it’s currently free. Traditionally, screen capture programs cost anywhere from $50-$500 and take a bit of time and energy to install and learn how to use.

Currently, Loom only works in Google Chrome

Loom is a free “extension” for the Google Chrome browser. Assuming you have Google Chrome installed, all you have to do is go to the Loom website and click on the “Install on Chrome” button in the middle of the home page. (https://www.useloom.com)

You will need to set up a Loom account before you can start recording. This is required because your recorded videos are hosted with Loom, and you want to have control over how and where your videos can be seen and shared. (You can download your videos as well, but they start out being hosted at Loom.) So go ahead and set up your free account.

Once Loom is installed, there will be a new icon in the Chrome toolbar. (It looks like the icon above.) You click it and get a configuration screen that looks like this:

Blue Gurus: Loom Interface

As you can see, you have the option of recording your screen and webcam, your screen only, or your webcam only. You can also choose to record your entire desktop or just the current tab in the Chrome browser. You click the Start Recording button and a three second countdown is displayed before recording begins. And now you’re recording!

So go ahead and record a test video. This could be a “How To” video walking someone through a piece of software. Or it could be a video blog. Once you’re done, click the green check mark to save your video. It’s that easy!

Here is a 5-second clip of me recording the home page of BlueGurus.com and waving at ya:
https://www.useloom.com/share/ffef6289f98142299d77194fac52976a

(You can see me looking down to click the green check mark to stop recording.)

Sharing Your Video

Once you finish recording, you’re given a URL to copy that you can share in email, on social media, etc. You can also download your video file in .mp4 format once it has been processed. (For those of you that want complete control over your content.)

You can password protect videos that you only want certain people to see. People can comment on your videos. You can get notified when someone views your video. There’s all kinds of cool functionality, and I really can’t believe that it’s free.

Try it out!

There are definitely situations where a video is so much better than a bunch of text. And Loom makes it easy and free to create videos. So next time you want to tell someone happy birthday, walk them through using your accounting software for time entry, or make a video that shows people how to use your web application, give Loom a shot. I think you will find it’s really easy to use. Let me know if you try it out!

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t already… please consider subscribing to get future blog posts.

Facebook Live + 37 seconds = 224 views, 22 likes and 11 comments?!?!

Post Author: Jason Terry

Hi friends! I just had to write about my recent experience with Facebook Live. You probably know that I don’t use Facebook very often. People usually assume that I would be on Facebook all the time because of the work I do, but we focus primarily on businesses storytelling through blogs that end up on LinkedIn and in email newsletters.

I check out Facebook to see what people are up to, but it’s once a week at best.

That might change.

Facebook LiveA good friend and client of mine (hi Mark!) asked me recently about Facebook Live for their business. I watch a lot of YouTube, Twitch.tv and other streaming services so I understand some of the concepts and strategies around video, but I’ve never done much with it. Mic and I have been talking about opportunities to start using video as part of our content strategy as well.

So I thought I would give Facebook Live a try.

I had no idea how easy it was to start streaming live video from your phone.

You pull up the Facebook app, go to the section where you would post a status update, and above that area is a button labeled “Live.” You click that button, and the Facebook Live screen comes up. The app begins to use your device’s camera and microphone. You can see what you will be streaming (by default it’s the camera facing you, not the higher resolution camera on the back of your phone. You can switch with that little squiggly circle button at the top right of the screen.)

And then you click “Go Live.”

Facebook LiveA countdown begins and you are LIVE!

That’s when the interesting things started to happen. I only did a 37 second live stream. In that short amount of time, 3 of my Facebook friends tuned in. Facebook posts a status to your friends that you are broadcasting Live with a link they can click on to tune in to watch.

Within a day, I had 224 views, 22 likes and 11 comments. I was a bit shocked.

I talked with my wife Trista about it. She uses Facebook all the time for Curious Compass. She said that part of the reason I got some fun feedback and views is that I rarely post anything on Facebook. There’s probably some truth to that. I don’t know if I would get that kind of response if I was broadcasting Live on a regular basis each week. Regardless, some cool things happened.

Interesting results:

  • The first comment I got was from Mic (of course) giving me crap for actually logging into Facebook for a change.
  • Michelle Keller, our friend and client asked if my gray hair was because of Mic.
  • Chris Bloom, my brother-in-law and fellow techie commented about Facebook Live video aspect ratios with tips.
  • Mitch Flesher, a life long friend who is the person responsible for me playing acoustic guitar asked if I would sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight. (For a 6’5″ guy, I can do a pretty good falsetto for that song… it’s kinda funny.)
  • Likes and comments from other friends that I haven’t talked to in quite a while.
  • I went to one of my favorite clients (Home Rental Services) the next morning and the first thing I heard from Derek was, “hello Facebook Live Star!” and later that morning Paul also commented about the video.

One of the most important things to me personally and professionally is relationship. Staying top of mind with my friends, family, clients, peers and prospects. Many of the strategies we use do this effectively, and Facebook Live is DEFINITELY on the list of ways to stay in touch with a bunch of people you care about. Give it a try! And let me know if you do… I would love to hear what happens.

Blue Gurus Adopts Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation

Sporting Commission and Blue GurusPost written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector

Many of you know that we adopt a not-for-profit on a quarterly basis.  We donate our time and knowledge, and love giving back to the community.  Recently, we adopted the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation.

I met Kathy Nelson , President and CEO of the Sports Commission, through our mutual friend, Dara Macan.  After that brief meeting, we decided we needed to get together to talk more about the Sports Commission and Blue Gurus.

Kathy is AWESOME.  She has so much passion, and it comes through in everything she does.  I learned a ton about the Sports Commission and the many ways they affect sports in Kansas City.

If you aren’t familiar with the KC Sports Commission and Foundation, watch the inspirational 5 minute video at the end of this post and see Kathy in action! Read more

Blog Series, Part 1: Why We Added Video To Our Web Site [VIDEO]

Post written by Mic Johnson 
Blogger|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Social Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer

httpv://youtu.be/HlBxXSMml-0

Have you seen this video before?

We added it to the home page of our web site recently and are thrilled that we now have a professional video that captures our personalities and passion.

For the next four weeks, we’re going to feature a blog series highlighting the videos we’ve done for our web site. We hope our stories around how it all came together inspire you or your company to start thinking seriously about how video can enhance your online presence and help your business grow.

(P.S.- We’d love to hear what you think about the video. Did we get it right? Suggestions?)  Read more

New Website, New Staff and More! [VIDEO]

Hello!  It has been a while since I wrote a blog article, so I wanted to update you on what is new in the world of Blue Gurus that has been keeping me so busy. 

If you prefer to watch instead of read, check out the embedded video blog.

httpv://youtu.be/-l8cwaspD7s

1) BlueGurus.com has a new look!  We do this every year, usually in December when things are quieter for the holidays.  We update the “theme” every year to show how easy it is to re-brand your website every 3-5 years without having to redo all your content.  The content lives in WordPress, and all you have to do is set up and configure a new theme to completely change the look of your site.

2) There is a new Blue Guru on our team… please welcome Melissa Zarda!  Yes, she is related to “the” Zardas of Kansas City’s Zarda BBQ.  Actually, that is how I met Melissa initially… we were working on the Zarda BBQ WordPress web site together.  Since then we have done Spay & Neuter KC together and I am happy to have her on the team.  She is a great WordPress web site developer and hit the ground running on multiple projects that we are working on, including a new web site for Mike Pasley and his team at Central Packaging.  (The new site is not done yet, but we will put it in our portfolio when it is complete)

3) A recent study shows that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.  This is something that we knew in practice for years, but it is nice to see some data to back it up for those of you “metrics” people out there.  Follow this link to the article on HubSpot.

4) Hometown Threads Embroidery for embroidering your company logo on just about any fabric, including shirts, briefcases and more.

Video Used More In 2012: Check Out Jason’s First Effort!

Part of what Jason and I do every day in our roles as Social Media Coaches is consuming information. Not only do we like to, but we HAVE to because the world of social media changes at an unbelievably fast pace.

New social media platforms are popping up every day (Google+, Pinterest, etc.) and it’s our job to determine which of these may “stick” (and have the potential for adding value to our clients) and which are just platforms that superusers get excited about because they provide competition to “the Big 3″…Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

One thing I have believed for awhile now is that video is going to continue to grow in popularity. Many of you may know already that YouTube is the #2 ranked search engine (behind Google, which, not so ironically, owns YouTube).

We’ve seen numerous articles and videos over the last 2-3 years that have been predicting the increased use of video and some larger companies/brands have already done it (Does the Old Spice guy ring a bell?). We believe that 2012 is the year when video will play a larger role in the content marketing strategies of companies…both large and small.

I’ve talked to Jason about this numerous times over the last year and so he dove in and made this short video below. Take a look and let us know what you think. You are going to see a lot more video from Blue Gurus in 2012 and we’re excited to share our thoughts and expertise in a more “live” setting.

If you have trouble viewing the video, click this link.