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PapaJohn's Newsletter #57

Vlogging (Video Blogging)

A newsletter reader asked for an issue about Vlogging or Video Blogging. It's something I don't do... yet. What is it, where is it, and where is it going? And how would users of Movie Maker and Photo Story fit into the movement? Let's explore that this week.

  • Blogging is text based and I've dabbled in some from both sides, as the blogger and the commenter.
  • Podcasting is all about audio getting to computers and portable players; I've listened to a couple but don't subscribe to any, and I haven't tried one myself...
  • Vlogging adds the dimension of video, but from a direction I hadn't explored or sampled yet. Another topic to study and share what I learn... and try to extapolate how Movie Maker and Photo Story users would fit in.

I turned to Google, entered 'Video Blogging' and got 7,690,000 hits in a split second. I picked the first two pages with 20 items to explore. The recently announced Google video service was well-represented in the sample. To some extent I'm Googling about Google... don't know if that feels right.

We live in a marketing-oriented society and sometimes the commercials are better than the features... so I'll include a look at the 13 'sponsored links' on the two pages. Who wants to sell us what when it comes to vlogging?

Vlogging, like blogging and podcasting, is open to anyone who wants to do it. It's another mass-movement that will end up going in the direction the masses take it... Google can seduce us with its offer to host unlimited videos, the marketers can present their items and services, and we can do what we want.

Theory and good ideas are parts of it... then there's the practical 'how to do it the easiest and best'? We'll look at that too.

some notes... before going further


  • Microsoft released a new software app on June 10th, a graphics one named Acrylic... I've Acrylicdownloaded, installed and started to play with it. This version will  turn into a pumpkin at the end of the year, but that's more than enough time to check it out...
  • Talk about codec hell ... a post on the forum this week reported typical codec-related issues. But I'll give this one the prize. It was a video file made by a Panasonic D-Snap Digital Camera, SV-AV50 at the highest quality setting. The poster said the rendered movie had no video, a normal symptom of an MPEG-2 file, but the file was an .asf. He sent a sample file which I'm still exploring.

The saves files as MPEG-4 in an .asf wrapper, and different codecs are needed depending on the quality setting used. Boards and forums have lots of people who have wrestled with the files from D-Snap cameras. Panasonic offers no downloadable codec, and other websites for codecs don't offer it. It seems the only source of the codec is the CD that comes with the camera, so I got a copy of it from the poster. The license info with the codec plug-in software says you're allowed to install it on one computer, and you're not allowed to copy it for others. How are people expected to view videos taken with the camera?

The installation of the MPEG-4 Decoder went well but the file still wouldn't play in WMP or work in Movie Maker. I've been able to see the video in IrfanView's multimedia player and JetAudio's player... but I've yet to hear any of the audio that the file properties say is there. VDubMod gives the usual error message about Microsoft not letting it open an .asf file, and tells you to never ask for a version that does. As I said, it's codec hell with such a file. And .asf is one of the file formats supported by Movie Maker... yes, sometimes.

  • My Toshiba laptop is back after 3+ weeks in the CompUSA repair process for a new video card, TVTuner and DVD/CD combo drive... when the new parts were installed and the screen was still dark, they decided the light bulb had burned out, so they changed it too. Most of the the time was taken by having to wait for a refurbished TVTuner. It seems there are no new ones in the parts system so you have to wait for one to get refurbished. I guess the one from my laptop will go to the next in line.

I don't like being cynical, but I'd bet the only real problem was the light bulb.

The laptop has spent so much time in Texas that I've gotten to know the process and the people too well. Tom the Service Manager at the Grand Rapids store, and Chris the customer contact in Texas are both great people to work with. But I'd rather have my computer not breaking down than getting to know Tom and Chris better.

  • The laptop returend just in time for my final preps for Monday's initial Movie Maker training session at my local library. I spent an hour there today checking out how it worked with the overhead projection system. The trickiest part was to change the hardware acceleration setting from full to none for videos to show up on the projected Windows Media Player.

.... on to the main topic


I started with Google and I'll stay with them a bit. An April 6 press release said that Google Video was expanding their search feature to "Video Blogging". 

... their plan was to include home video submissions from people. At that time they said "we're not quite sure what we're going to get, but we decided we'd try this experiment."

Google started its test version of a video search service at the beginning of the year. It's online today for those who signup for an account... I found that my GMail account is sufficient; I didn't need a new account to start uploading videos. 

Users can search for content from TV programs from a few providers (PBS, Fox News, CSPAN and local ABC and NBC affiliates in San Francisco). It provides still images from the video clips and some associated text, but users can't view video or read a transcript of the program as licensing terms haven't been decided on yet.

Google bought in 2003, so expanding into Vlogging seems natural.

Here's the link to upload videos to Google, and some extracts from their website:

"Your work deserves to be seen. You've made a great video. Now who will watch it?

Whether you produce hundreds of titles a year or just a few, you can give your videos the recognition and visibility they deserve by promoting them on Google - for free. Signing up for the Google Video Upload Program will connect your work with users who are most likely to want to view them.

Sign up and upload...

We're accepting digital video files of any length and size. Simply sign up for an account and upload your videos using our Video Uploader (please be sure you own the rights to the works you upload), and, pending our approval process and the launch of this new service, we'll include your video in Google Video, where users will be able to search, preview, purchase and play it. Find out more here."

Here are selected items about uploading video files:

  • Before uploading your video to Google, we prefer that you encode your video files using mpeg-2 or mpeg-4 codecs with mp3 audio (learn more). To ensure your upload is successful, please follow the steps below. Remember that after you upload your video to us, you'll need to add your video information via your Video Status page.
  • Google accepts video in a wide range of popular formats. The fastest way to get your videos into Google Video is to submit each file in MPEG4 format with MP3 audio or MPEG2 with MP3.
  • While we also support other digital formats such as QuickTime, Windows Media, and RealVideo, it's important to note that submitting your files in these formats may significantly delay us from using them on Google Video. In some cases, we may not be able to add your video at all.
  • preferred video specs:
    • NTSC (4:3) size and framerate, deinterlaced
    • Video Codec: MPEG2 or MPEG4 (MPEG4 preferred)
    • Video Bitrate: at least 260Kbps (750kbps preferred)
    • Audio Codec: MP3 vbr
    • Audio Bitrate: at least 70Kbps (128 Kbps preferred)
  • You can upload as many videos as you like, without size or length limitations.
  • You need Java 1.4.1 or higher to install the Google Uploader, and a broadband connection to upload video.
  • You may designate a price for playback of Your Authorized Content in the Uploading Form. If you don't charge for it, and Google decides to, they will pay you seventy percent (70%) of the gross revenues.
  • You can name any price for your video, which can be done from your Add/Edit Video Information page. The price you choose completely depends on you and your distribution goals. They suggest you choose a fair price that you think users will pay to view your video content. Because you can change the price at any time, experiment and see what price brings you the most success.
  • You can also set the price to zero and allow users to access and play your video for free. This will potentially give you wider distribution than those who choose to charge a price. If Google's costs to host your video are extraordinary, they may charge users a fee (if you've specified zero as the price for your video) or take a larger revenue share of the price (if you've set a price greater than zero for your video) to cover some of these costs. For example, if you upload a high definition file that's 500 MB and it becomes extremely popular, they might charge users a fee instead of giving it to them for free or ask you for a higher percentage of the revenue from the price of the video. They will let you know before adding a price or charging a higher revenue share.
  • You retain all copyrights to your videos.

Other Than Google

SilkRoad Technology, Inc., a provider of Web Content Management (CMS) and Collaboration software, announced the Silkware platform on March 9th, software that brings together audio and video blogging plus a number of communication and collaboration tools.

The SilkClips audio/video blogging tool sets a new precedent for delivery of video content over the Web. The application allows bloggers to capture, publish and play back audio and video clips.

SilkRoad envisions the product enabling independent media outlets to better leverage the Web as a vehicle for video content delivery. As an alternative to conventional broadcast channels, independents could use SilkClips to produce a series of video clips arranged into a feed, or channel, to be delivered over the Web.

Features of note include:

  • Emailing of feeds and clips
  • Publish/Reading will support the MetaWeblogAPI and RSS 2.0 with enclosures.
  • All clips can be viewable by Web-enabled players or the downloadable players. Video Blog Service Review

If you wish to video blog but you have problems with bandwidth or storage, then consider using Here's a short review of this video streaming host service.

Videoblogging Week 2005

Videoblogging Week 2005

The site says Vloggercon couldn't have turned out better. On January 22, 2005...about 60 people spent the day talking about video on the internet. The what, how, why, and what's the come. The underlying theme and excitement was the realization that posting videoblogs can make us closer then we have ever been before.

Blogging 101: WordPress

Ethan Zuckerman, a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society explains how to get started with the WordPress based blogging software.

1. Create your blog's web address/username
2. Enter your Email address and Blog Title
3. Log on to your email and get your password
4. Log on to Blogsome with your username and password
5. Create your first post with a Link and text formatting
6. Publish

Video blogging for Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP)

Sony's PSP turns out to be a good video content platform, with innovation coming mainly from third-party providers. In the UK, PSP has created a video blogging Web site.

What's this? This page shows goodies from the web about video blogging. To contribute, just make a post to your blog about video blogging and include the link below.

<a href="" rel="tag">video blogging</a>

Business 2.0 Article By Greg Lindsay,  April 25, 2005

The Smart Money Behind Video Blogging - The history of exploiting film on the Web hasn't been good. Do Google and Gore have the formula?

At the National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference, Gore took the wraps off his long-awaited foray into media moguldom, Current, a cross between video blogging and the early days of MSNBC. Starting Aug. 1, hipster hosts will introduce streams of blip-length clips, created by the viewers themselves, focused on music and other suitably hip subjects. The channel's first call for entries offered a tempting $3,000, three-segment "studio development deal" as a prize for the best submissions. 

Google and Gore announced a deal with each other. Google's "Zeitgeist" feature, which compiles the top 10 most searched terms at any moment, will become the organizing principle of Current's news programming.

If there's one thing the rise of blogging proved, it's that a nation of living-room pundits and know-it-alls were ready to start posting the moment an easy and ubiquitous set of tools appeared.

Google has the means to invent and own the way video bloggers find, publish, and store their content, and apparently it has the will to at least take the first step.

April 18, 2005

Video Blogging

Just in case you've mastered blogging and podcasting, video blogging will allow you to continue the romance with "new stuff".

Sunday, February 27, 2005

What is Vlogging? the Keynote presentation from last week talking about what is Vlogging.

Do not forget to

  • Decide a theme for your VLOG
  • Bring footage on your FireWire disks to edit an intro
  • Designs for a Vlog logo
  • Create a Blogger.Com account
  • Email me your website address
  • Make your first blog post containing information about your theme

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Helpful websites - includes:

How to Vlog with Movie Maker

Media Aggregators


Friday, March 04, 2005

If you haven't got your account set up yet.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Streaming & Downloading video on the internet

Here is the keynote from last week about how to encode your films for the internet. The settings I usually use for DV-PAL 4:3 footage is the following:

Sorenson 3
Highest Quality
25 frames per sec
90 key frames
70 KB data rate
Size: 360 x 288

Mpeg-4 audio

See for an MPEG-4 encoder

Welcome to!

A video blog is the new hot way for people to stick their personal lives on the internet! Not just simple words, static pictures, or grainy audio. They invite you to join them where-ever they go; meet their friends, their family, go on vacation, fall in love, and all vicariously from the comfort of your home computer. See some people's lives, and consider joining in on the fun here at

About 150 vidblog sites

Jeff Jarvis

One of the Google hits was to a December 2002 article about video blogging possibly being a serious challenge to Cable TV, with a reference to how good the blogging of Jeff Jarvis was. The article commented that thousands were logging onto blogs daily, and may want to make their own. It also said things like:

Technology is becoming cheap and easy to use – enough so that one guy in his living room can whip up a 5 minute spot that is at least as good as a local news segment ten years ago, but probably better.

This is fun. Few people ever bother to read, but everyone likes to watch. When you consider things like wireless internet and video enabled cell phones, you start to realize the potential here.

But the rich, passive, engaging content that video blogging provides may prove to be a serious challenge to cable TV's ultimately baseless monopoly on broadcast opinion.

-------- comments ----------

I Googled to see what Jeff Jarvis is doing today and if he was a vlogger.... his site, the BuzzMachine, is going strong, but I didn't see any vlogs mixed with his blogs.

Check his sidebar to the right... a few items down are links to his comments about Video weblogs (Vlogs)... looks like he did 6 Vlogs over 2-1/2 years, of which one is a WMV file that I can play... the other 5 are .asf files that don't play on the computer I tried to view them... his Blogs are going strong but he hasn't ramped up yet in the Vlog area.

Shoot and Capture Your Vlog

Vlogging as a routine needs to be simple to execute. I just went through the motions using my digital camcorder and Movie Maker... assuming I'm sitting here for my daily vlogging session, with my Sony TRV80 mini-DV camcorder aimed at me if I'm talking, or pointing other interesting things as I narrate them, as if I'm a news reporter or entertainer:

  1. Connect the camcorder to the computer via firewire
  2. Turn the camcorder on in Camera mode (not VCR/VTR mode)... the popup Window offers the same choices as usual when capturing from a recorded tape.
  3. On the camcorder menu, opt for FN > Page 3 > Remote Camera. The camcorder goes to 'Remote Camera Standby' mode... it works the same if left in regular Standby mode, except the regular one would result in the camcorder shutting down when it reaches the inactivity timeout point of a few minutes. The Remote Camera extends the camcorder timeout period to 3 hours.
  4. Capture as usual... to DV-AVI if editing in Movie Maker, or to whatever profile is appropriate for your Vlog2uploading without editing, like this pocket PC profile as I shoot my laptop screen....
  5. I couldn't let anything go without a little editing, even if it's just an opening title for the date and occassion.
  6. ... edit in Movie Maker as usual, save to a movie file and publish (to Google or wherever).

The features of your camcorder may or may not support such an arrangement. If it doesn't you can record and capture as you usually do.

Upload Your Vlog File

A Vlog is nothing more than a video file... so you need a website to put it on... and a web page to provide a link to it, assuming your audience isn't getting the link just from your email or the chain letter type disctribution of the link that follows it.

Who is Selling What?

You'll be at the heart of your vlogs... hosts such as Google will be looking to provide you online space, and others will be offering a smattering of products related to vlogging... here are the sponsered ads at the right side of the 2 Google pages I looked at. I clicked on each and explored the sites to see what was being offered, and I didn't purchase anything:

  • Serious Magic 'The Power of Video', a few software packages from $190 and up. Hundreds of customizable graphics, special effects, screen titles, and music. All versions offer a teleprompter so users can speak confidently without missing key points or memorizing lines, a green screen backdrop for replacing your background with a logo, video or graphic and a clip-on microphone to help eliminate ambient noise.
  • VideoAddOn.Com - a streaming video host that doesn't sell software - allows you to place streaming video on your personal web pages, ebay or yahoo auctions, company websites and blogs with ease. 30 day trial... $15 a month or $100 a year. They  will convert .AVI, .DV, .MOV, .MPEG-1, .MPEG2, .MPEG4, and .WMV. The maximum file size is 50 MB per video. They do not limit the number of videos uploaded.
  • SWiSHvideo lets you convert your video files into streaming Flash files. Now you can easily display your videos on the web complete with play controls and playback settings. $50
  • Blogging Equalizer - "The Shockingly Simple Way To Explode Your FREE Website Traffic and Sales By Sending The Search Engines Into A Feeding Frenzy, Sucking-Up Any Web Page That You Want!"... It's simply a search engine strategy that combines the power and popularity of Blogs to get the search engine spiders to visit nearly any Web page you want... $147
  • Streaming video host... Windows Media and QuickTime... $10 a month for 150 MB and 5,000 MB of transfers
  • JussPress... free video sharing... Just drag and drop videos from your digital camera, and we'll resize, transcode, upload, and host your video for you. It's really that simple! JussPress is absolutely free. We keep JussPress free so that any of your family and friends can easily join and share too. The free version of JussPress is limited to 1,000 photos and 10 videos. At the moment we do not support MPEG4 video, nor do we support WMV video from Windows Movie Maker.
  • - Video Blog of the Mad Vlogger - Call Now - 602-218-7497
  • MedicineFilms... currently showing vom-it... a web-based service that allows its users to create and update movies. The Service can be updated through a web browser as well as by the use of a free downloadable clients ("the Software"). Once registered with, each user receives his or her own account space to post text, data, messages, or information concerning or linked to software, music, sound, photography, graphics, and video ("the Content"). This Content may reside on MedicineFilms's servers or on the servers of a third party.  Free Accounts: accounts are available for free to all valid registrants. Free accounts offer a limited number of features in relation to the other accounts offered. Your movie must be UNDER 2 MB in order to upload. A Medicine Film is a short home video made in response to one of the assignments created by the site's founders and super-users. Medicine Films are creative, often collaborative, documentary "slice of life" mini-movies.
  • How to Make MASSIVE Mounds of Money... In Record Time on Google...(Even Without a Website or a Product!) ... newly updated book... $50
  • RSS To Blog - Compatible with Blogger and WordPress blogs. RSS to Blog is a brand new tool that can help you get and maintain top page rank, boost traffic and income by automatically posting keyword specific content to one or more blogs.
  • Secrets of the Super Bloggers! You Get ALL EIGHT Great Blogging Resources - 7 with Master Resell Rights! But Wait - There's More! When you download your Super Bloggers package in a few minutes, don't forget to download these Free Super Bloggers BONUSES, too!  TOTAL Value of this Offer is Well Over $400!!! With Over $200 in Bonuses Alone! Your investment is  $97

Conclusions and Closing

Vlogging is in its chaotic infancy. Where it ends up going is up to each person. One constraint I feel is the number of minutes in the day. There's always more things that I want to do than there is time to do them, so some sort of throttling has to take place.

I don't watch more than a dozen hours of TV a year, so vlogging can't eat into that time. We go to the big-screen movies every week, and the idea of saving the $20 for admission and popcorn... to spend the dollars and time on something else just isn't appealing.

I'm on the internet from waking to going to bed, 7 days a week. My 3 hours at Barnes&Noble every evening is to work on my website and newsletters on my laptop... away from the internet. It now has a wireless service... but I go there to relax a bit, away from the internet.

Time, money, and choices about what to do with each minute and dollar. The time is a constant. The money is usually enough and can never be too much. What's really going up expontially are the choices, and the internet is such a great tool to facilitate those choices.

Google is great... I use it all the time to research material for the newsletters, and for answers to newsgroup and forum posts. But my G-Mail account goes unused. My new Google Video account is ready to go, but I haven't used most of space at Neptune, and have barely scratched the storage space in the corner of my son's server used for my website and most of my online videos.

When I Google for Vlogging and Google itself is prominent in about half of the first 20 hits, of 7+ million... when the new service is still more of an idea than a reality... part of me is wondering if the searcher should be separate from the searched... if not, the cozy relationship might get overly so, and get in the way of objectivity.

Google has become a powerful force, one I respect for winning by doing something basic but with uncommon quality... but with bigness comes internal administrative and communication processes... and higher responsibilities. To pull off free hosting of unlimited videos is a pretty big goal... it's too early to say they will be successful. 

I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:

Windows Movie

Have a great holiday weekend...


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 -

Products and Services

I'm involved in many things that support the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Here's a list of what is available to the public. Some are free and others reasonably priced.

Do Amazing ThingsBooks and Magazines

Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on

Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the Friends of Ed forum

MaximumPC's winter 2005 quarterly special... had a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie with Maker 2'. The special edition of the video made for it is now  on my website as a file download.

Virtual DubPackt Publishing of Birmingham, U.K. issued the first book about VirtualDub. The last word I got on it was this Yahoo press release , along with a note that my copy was going in the mail.

My contribution was the introductory chapter... I'm glad to b e part of any effort that helps join the worlds of Movie Maker and open source software.


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - - the site's 3 goals are: an online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.

PhotoStory 2 -  - a detailed tutorial about using it. It's not a problem-solving site.

Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups

I'm a regular on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:

Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.

Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows Movie Makers

Movie Maker 2 forum at

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -

Weekly Newsletters

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is on the main page of my Movie Maker website at:

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#58 - June 18 - Civil War Project - part IV - continue building clips into a more complete movie project. Pickup where issue 51 left off.

#59 - June 25 - Converting MPEG-2 files for use in Movie Maker - Part III. This will cover getting recorded TV into it, completing this 3 part series.

#60 - July 2 - open

Older newsletters (more than 6 issues ago) are posted by Rob Morris to an Archive Site at his Windows Movie Makers website. Links from website pages to specific newsletters make it easier for the website viewer to see the content of both while browsing a topic.

Drop an email at any time to suggest a newsletter topic of interest to you...


Add-On Transitions and Effects

Transition Maker 2  (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself. Version 2 was released a week ago and I'm still working on updating the online tutorial.

I routinely beta test the Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and products.


ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally developed transitions and effects.

Personal Database

Managing your personal information is more of a challenge as hard drives get bigger and the internet more robust. 

My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others. Info is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and in the database package itself.

It's available free to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request.

To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.

Online Gallery Neptune Gallery

An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the  'PapaJohn Expert Zone' at neptune.

Check it at N eptune and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to use the service.


in conjuction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions about Movie Maker. Upcoming scheduled sessions are :

Monday - June 13 - 6-7:30 Introduction to Movie Maker 2

Monday - July 18 - 6-7:30 Movie Maker 2 Workshop

Monday - August 15 - 6-7:30 Movie Maker 2 Workshop

Other fee-based services

If you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $50 per hour - send an email - and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.

Wedding combo website/video packages - starting at $2,500 + travel expenses. See  Jill-MarkWedding or the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online portion of the package.


About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.

This newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.

Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index



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