NOVEL AMUSEMENTS #2 published by Jim Munroe, free. Rating: NNNwww.novelamusements.org Rating: NNN
It was only a few years ago that CD-ROMs were the bleeding edge of digital technology.Films like Spinal Tap were pressed onto CDs to watch from the comfort of your computer, and no self-respecting band would think of releasing an audio disc without an "enhanced" component -- usually just some press photos and a bio, but occasionally featuring ways to manipulate the music itself.
The trend died almost as quickly as it began, in part because of the rise of DVDs, which could cram more and better-quality information onto a disc, and also because people figured out that no one really wanted to sit in front of their computer for two hours watching a film.
It's that mild obsolescence that gives Novel Amusements its edge. A CD-ROM-based digital zine published by author Jim Munroe, the disc features a handful of short MPEG films by different contributors. Volume 2's gems include a hilarious bit of Star Trek melodrama, some guys trying to light their asses on fire and a cat stalking a rabbit in the snow.
Despite the digital format, it feels like a magazine. None of the films is more than a couple of minutes long, which gives the impression that you're thumbing through something. It's also fairly disposable, meaning that you probably won't look at any of the films more than once.
Munroe probably understands this, which is why the disc is an entertaining but entirely no-frills affair. It takes advantage of the technology but isn't obsessed with it.
Pick it up and then pass it email@example.com