Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Youtube Monetization With AudioSwap / Library

Yesterday I posted on this blog about my problem monetizing a video that included my very own music.

This morning, I thought to myself: I just want to make cooking videos, not impress people with my own music. So I should use royalty free music available in the Youtube library and forget about my own music.

So I used the "AudioSwap" or Audio Swap option. It's the easiest way to change music that Youtube thinks is copyright infringement into music that they say is "available for monetization".

When I was done and the video had processed for half an hour, no monetization button was there. I was utterly unable to monetize my video. Only then did I find out that you need to:

  1. Download the music from the Youtube library instead of using Audio Swap
  2. Cut audio and video together using external software (windows movie maker)
  3. Upload the whole video on Youtube (again)
  4. Hope that the robots at Youtube realize that the song is FREE
  5. Explain to the Youtube robots that your music is FREE in case they ask!
  6. Hope and pray that they will get it
In case that the Youtube robots consider your video copyright infringement, you lose. You can not get in touch with human beings when sorting out copyright claims. It's all software doing automatic steps.

So what did I learn from this? Well, after uploading my own video with audio that I totally own, but being forbidden to monetize it (the robots think I stole music, which I didn't) and using music that is supposed to be free but doesn't allow monetization the quick way (instead: downloading and uploading again), I thought I am going to spare myself yet another disappointment.

And that disappointment would be:

  • I download free music from the library
  • I cut the whole video and free music together
  • I upload the whole video again
  • Youtube tells me that there is copyright infringement and asks me for proof that I hold rights
  • I tell Youtube that it's a free song from the library (artist name, song)
  • Youtube tells me it's "not enough verification" and asks for written permission from the artist
  • I explode with raging anger

No, I won't do this. I found my own solution. I am indeed going to record music again, but it's not going to be extremely well-produced music this time, just a bunch of chords and a song played in an ambient / calm way... hoping I won't accidentally play two notes in a row that were already used in that order before in the history of commercial music.

My advice to you: If you need to have music, choose a song from the Youtube library beforehand, download it, put it into your video, and if youtube asks, have the artist name and the song ready. But if it doesn't work, forget about the whole music thing... you aren't going to monetize anything unless it's your own music that doesn't even remotely sound professional! Sometimes your music may sound professional but then you have to be lucky that Youtube doesn't mistake it for an actual chartbreaker.

Edit: I finally found a solution.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Youtube Does Not Monetize My Own Music And Video!

After posting about my troubles with Facebook (here and there), I am now facing more annoyances with another major internet company, Google.

Youtube doesn't allow me to monetize my video with my own music!

At first, I thought the problem had to do with free samples that were used in the song. Basically, when you make electronic music, everything that is not recorded directly with a microphone is a sample. Every note you play (piano, synth, organ etc.) is a sample because you don't actually play a real piano or organ or flute, you play sounds (samples) that were recorded once and can be played at different frequencies.

However, I used free samples that were longer (like loops, but as synth instruments) and are recognizable in other songs, where the same samples are used. But this does not mean that I steal from other songs. It's the same as saying playing a single piano note is ripping off John Lennon's "Imagine" because he also used a piano there.

Then, I found out that samples and all that technical stuff aren't even the problem. The problem is Youtube itself. They simply scan for anything that has music in the video, and if the music sounds remotely professional (=good), then they instinctively or automatically believe that the music must be a rip-off of someone else's music. At least that's what I believe.

Then they are scared shitless and demand full documentation of the copyright. This can lead to Youtube telling you to send a letter of the original artist... so you are asked to write a letter to youtube in which you allow yourself to use your own music. Ridiculous.

The worst thing about the whole "Youtube does not monetize my own content" is that you are permanently talking to a robot. Yes... You write to youtube that you want your video to be monetized because it is your own work, but you never get to talk to a person, it's always standardized text messages you get.

It's sad but that's the way it is.

Now I'm trying to learn some tricks that might allow me to get these things out of the way.

Edit: I think I found the solution!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When The Postman Rings Twice And Then Says "Fuck It"

A postman is supposed to deliver mail to you. That's his job. Sometimes, though, the postman thinks it's enough to just ring at your door when you are not home (out to work, perhaps?), then he takes your mail and sends it straight back to the sender with a comment such as "recipient unknown" or "recipient moved away".

I've noticed this behavior twice now, in two different places I lived. The pattern is always the same: You receive normal letters without problems. Your mail box has your name written on it. The senders always write your address correctly. But as soon as it's a parcel that doesn't fit into your mail box, you risk not receiving it at all.

In Germany, there are different possible procedures that are legally possible.

Number 1: Everything goes as planned. The recipient is home and can accept the mail.

Number 2: The mailman asks a neighbor to receive the mail. That neighbor has to confirm this with his signature and will take over responsibility / liability of the mail.

Number 3: The undelivered mail is sent to an automated storage station (needs a code to access the mail) or to a store of the delivery service, where the mail can be picked up. The recipient gets a written piece of information so he knows what to do.

Some postmen go straight for option number 4: Either send it back and claim that the recipient didn't exist, send it to a store to be picked up without letting the recipient know (don't have the time for that shit) or simply throw the damn mail away... who is going to find out?

Mail services have an incredible amount of power over you. They CAN read your mail, they CAN throw stuff away without you being able to prove it and they CAN'T be punished because large companies such as Amazon rely on them and you are only the person on the other end, not the company that made a deal with the mail service.

All I can do is complain and hope that the mail company will transfer my complaint as fiercely and resolutely to the mailman in charge as I sent it to them.

I really want my fish oil...

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Bus People

Exactly 4 years ago, on Feb 1st 2010, I released my article called Grocery People on this blog. This time, I want to go on with another annoying group of people: Bus people.

When you're on the bus, you just want to get to your destination without problems. However, it can be a pain in the ass, especially when everyone needs to get to work at the same time. Here are the worst of the worst, in no particular order:

1. The blood clot

When a bus is starting to get crowded, people don't just keep moving into the empty spaces. At one point, there is a person who is just standing in the middle of the aisle, even before reaching the first exit door. This behavior is caused mostly by these causes:

  • Talking to a friend who is seated
  • Not wanting to reach a distant pole
  • Feeling inhibited because several people are standing nearby, although clearly not blocking the path
  • Lack of attention and awareness of the people behind

The most common reason for the blood clot to occur is because the person is selfish and not aware of anything. It's enough to just stand somewhere, it doesn't matter if everything in front of you is empty and everything behind you is so crowded that people have a hard time entering the bus.

It also usually takes the bus driver to scream into his microphone to back the hell off. And what's even more annoying is the fact that the people who turn into blood clots are most often students who get on the bus EVERY FREAKING DAY!

2. The sneezer

I don't know why, but people here in Germany seem to live all of their lives at home or in hospitals. That's the only explanation I can come up with for the constant vulnerability to sneezing. I'm not just talking about people who are having a cold. It seems that busses and trains cause people to sneeze just because they are out of their usual environment.

Then what puts the icing on the shit cake is when these people just sneeze wildly and orgasmically into the air... which we all need to share. Oh how beautiful that is...

Combine this with the fact that most people don't carry handkerchiefs with them. They should know they are sneezers but they just don't prepare themselves. Then they just draw all that ugly stuff deeper into their noses... one of the most beautiful sounds of nature alongside waterfalls and birds singing.

3. The ghetto kids / "checkerz"

The checkers are the ones who like to sit at the very end of the bus, where there is usually a U-shaped formation of seats. They like to be noisy and mark their new territory with verbal urine.

Somehow it's also kind of sad that many of them are foreigners. It's like they are begging for people to hate them for who they are. I try to avoid that area of the bus because it's reserved for those not blessed much with intelligence.

4. The fidgety child

You have come across this one if you've ever seen a child enter a bus, sit on the very first seat it notices, and then changing seats again or wanting to explore the bus afterwards.

For some unknown reason, the "must have a seat quickly at all costs" behavior is always present. Most children will always go for this first and only THEN will want to explore the bus or complain that they want to have a different seat. It's especially annoying when the child was first so eager to get in the seat and then change its mind.

The worst fidgety child is the one that can explore endlessly, pull some freaking acrobatic maneuvers with parents not even watching. It's only a matter of time before a fatal accident occurs. Which leads me to my next subject on the list.

5. The flying passenger

This person is very common, but also a hidden talent. It can be any passenger, also one with different traits as mentioned before and after. Sometimes, it's someone who feels too dignified to hold on to the bacteria-infected poles (thanks again to passenger number 2), so flying across the aisle at the next crazy braking maneuver of the bus driver is mandatory.

Then there are these "half-assed" passengers who do hold on to poles, but they don't really adapt to the way the bus goes. They don't lean their bodies when the bus goes into a sharp corner, they don't stay alert for sudden braking, they just "stand there" and wait and act like nothing bad is ever going to happen.

Not long ago I saw people flying, and it was not with wings. Well, they were actually falling, and it was funny how I was the only person who, oh God, beware, HELD ON TO THE DAMN POLE when it was clear something like that could happen.

6. The flying grandma / grandpa

This one deserves a mention of its own. Sometimes, when old people enter the bus, the bus driver patiently waits for these people to sit down. Other times, he doesn't. But sometimes, it doesn't even matter because of the lack of awareness the old person has. It's like the world is standing still for these people as they greet their old chaps, talk about the good old times and THEN realize while flying through the air that finding a seat should have been the priority.

I often cringe when I see old people enter the bus because I can tell within seconds whether something is going to end well or not. Often, the old people are taken by surprise and have to cling onto a pole in the last possible minute.

7. Mother Goddess

A mother with a pram can be annoying because she has the holy right to get her space on the bus and everyone has to move out of the way. It's especially annoying when she has to enter the bus at the exact time when adults have to go to work and children have to go to school. I mean, unless the baby is going to Kindergarten, there is no reason a mother has to be up at this time and go for a walk in the park somewhere in the city.

Some mother goddesses are really bad, they leave the pram in a very unsecured position (sometimes sideways) so the pram will fall over. Sometimes, several mother goddesses gather and enter the bus together or one station after the other, which leads to funny cat fights for space.

8. Grandma / Grandpa leaving

When old people step out of the bus, funny things can happen. I once was behind an old lady, and after she had taken exactly ONE step (the one out of the bus), she stood there and looked into her bag. Did she not give a damn that there are people behind her? Well, I had to wait for her to step forward so I could squeeze out of the bus and leave.

Of course, old people take their time when leaving. Often, they are so slow that they only get up when the bus is already preparing to drive off. That can cause big problems.

9. People who are late

It's annoying when people try to catch the bus when they are late. Some of them would risk their lives and dignity to catch a bus rather than to wait 15 minutes for the next one. They will wave their arms frantically even from a mile distance, violently knock against the windows of an already moving bus or making weird gestures or even point at people INSIDE the bus to "do something".

I personally can't even imagine doing these things. I mean, it's just embarrassing, isn't it?

10. People who try to help people who are late

What's even worse than people who miss their bus are people who try to assist them. They shout in a loud voice "HELLO! BUS DRIVER! SOMEONE WANTS TO ENTER!" and wave with their hands. They take a keen interest in helping the hoping-to-be passengers, but sometimes fail miserably when the bus driver simply ignores the request.

11. The overly helpful Grandma

Old people who chitchat on the bus are nothing uncommon. But sometimes old ladies become extremely eager to be helpful to others. There was once a woman who was sitting with her back facing the direction of travel. She turned her head to see where the bus was going. Immediately, an old lady sitting opposite her talked to her:

"Do you want to get out?"
"No, I was just checking where..."
"Just checking where we are now"
"You want me to press the stop button?"
"No, not now"
"Next one"
"No, next one"
"I can press the button for you, I can do that!"

12. The panic person

This person is overly nervous, to the point where he or she thinks the bus has reached a bus stop and won't let that person out, so they shout "excuse me" towards the bus driver. Only to realize it has actually been a red traffic light and not a bus stop. These people are constantly afraid that the bus driver either won't stop or won't let them out. Is it so difficult to just look outside the window to see where the bus stop actually is?

13. Impolite old people

Most busses have seats reserved for disabled or old people... well, actually only disabled people. I mean, what does a first aid cross sign mean? Old? No.

Okay, anyway, most people know that a seat is given up when a needy person approaches. And that is fine. It's okay to occupy the seat if nobody is around, but when someone says he or she needs the seat, then a nice way of asking will be enough to make most reasonable people get up from their seats.

There is only one thing I really hate, and I have seen it before several times. Instead of asking nicely, the old people say:

"Are you disabled?"

And it's not asked in a curious way, it's asked in an aggressive way.

Makes me want to beat the old people until they can call themselves disabled. No, just kidding. I just want to kill them.

14. The therapy person

Just someone who likes to share a conversation with someone but lets the whole bus crowd know the story. One particular incident I remember was when a girl talked about how much "it" hurt and how much she screamed when it was her first time... you can figure out what it was about.

15. The HELLLOOOOO person

I have mentioned this one a couple of years ago. It's usually a teenager with an utter lack of respect and awareness who screams into his mobile phone that he can't hear the person at the other end of the phone line. Makes everyone turn their heads, then shake them.

16. The dependent passenger

This one likes to depend on others to press the stop button. Having to get to work in time? Who cares! It's not just my responsibility to press the button, I know 5 other people also have to get off... what, was that my bus stop just now! BUS DRIVER!!! STOOOOOOOP!

Most of them are just too much into their daydreaming.

17. The WTF person

Every once in a while (with years of waiting in between), I come across someone I can't really describe. Someone who is just too much out of this world to fit into any other category. The behavior is either so disgusting or so eccentric that I don't know how to call them. Here are some examples:

A boy stands at a pole that also has a "open door" button. He is obviously drifting off in his mind, always looking far into the distance, and starts to lick the button with his tongue repeatedly. Oh, by the way, this boy is an elementary student, not a baby.

A drunk guy in his twenties is drooling on the floor and can barely stand in the aisle when he wants to go off the bus. When he was still sitting, a constant thread of drool was going from his mouth to the floor... just a constant flow.

18. The dog person

Dogs are like children, they are overly excited and need to rub their noses into anything that lives.

So, when dog owners enter a bus, the most obvious problem is that their own idea of what a dog is allowed to do clashes with everyone else's opinion on that topic. While the dog owner may be okay with the dog licking his face, eating from his plate at home or whatever else they do together, this may not be the case with everyone else.

Usually, the dirty nose with mud on it goes straight for everyone's genitals. Those who are lucky enough to sit still get the nose into their pants and on their shoes, and the fluffy hair is also rubbed into the fabric of the pants. Nice job. But yeah, he just wants to play, right?

19. Isolated phone persons

This modern age of cell phones leads to weird situations. First of all, people seem to be extremely dependent on their phones. They look like prisoners to me whose only window out of their cells are the screens of their phones.

In the mornings, I even get blinded by all the screens that are shining with their bright light towards me. I believe the bus could safely drive without any lights on if only the cell phones were all set up. There is enough light there to guide a ship into a harbor.

On top of that, these people are just so... lost. Mentally. They are just staring into their phones... Weird way of thinking of it... staring at a phone... isn't that kind of stupid? Imagine that 30 years ago.

20. The bus driver himself

Oh my god. The unholy grail of bus people. The driver himself. He is the assholy one.

Some drivers are just badass, cool people. I once had a bus driver when I was a kid. He would play our cassettes sometimes, make funny announcements every day like we had just ended a 2 hour trip (not half an hour). He was great and fun.

But that was just one out of a hundred drivers I've known. If your bus driver says hello, you are even lucky. Some are very considerate, others not.

I've seen some very idiotic drivers. They brake like idiots when even I could see from a mile away that there was a red light or some car in the way. Sometimes, they are far behind their schedule, other times they are minutes ahead of it and still driving off when people want to enter the bus.

Some drivers even take valid customer passports away from the passengers because an additional ticket is missing. They accuse people of cheating with their tickets and other weird stuff.

One of the worst childhood experiences of my life was when I was about to leave a bus as a young student (10 years old or so) and, as I was the very last person to leave the bus, the bus driver suddenly stood in front of me, giving me no way to leave, and told me to clean up the thrown away packagings of chocolate bars and other stuff because SOME students had carelessly thrown them away. So I was the scapegoat and had to clean up that stuff. When I was allowed to go, I threw the stuff at the stairs in front of him (at the exit) and ran away crying. My parents got into contact with the bus company but they claimed it was impossible to identify the driver. Which is kind of funny because the bus I was riding on was a totally new bus that was totally different from the other ones at the time. Yeah, sure.

Since then, that bus driver has been on my death list.

I hope you liked the list of bus people and if you are a bus person, make sure to not become one of the bad guys. But if you see any stupid people, just kill them for me, okay?