Jalebi Line

It’s my local London Underground line. It’s what I use to go downtown – and it’s what I use to get home when coming back from town. It’s coloured silver on the tube map – and was inaugurated as a new tube line in 1979 as a tribute to the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Last year was the Silver Jubilee (25th anniversary) of the Jubilee Line – and Diamond Geezer did a fantastic travelogue special on his blog covering every station on the line – and a photoset of that blog series is on his Flickr.

Not as extensive a tribute from me, and a only a year too late – here are two cameraphone objects of the Jubilee Line:

The very first Jubilee Line train of the day – 5:30am – Kingsbury Station
(Someone called Gypsy Rose calls this photo a favourite!)

At first I thought the picture was rubbish. But after I got a message from Flickr that Gypsy Rose had made it a favourite I looked at it over and over again – and now I think it looks quite nice. There is something about the camerphone fuzziness that gives the picture a “painting”-like feel.

And next up is a video. Again: from a cameraphone. Only this time, it wasn’t intentional. I was holding my mobile phone in my hand getting ready to take a photo of the wonderful escalator “cavern” at Westminster tube station as I was headed down towards the Jubilee Line platforms. What I didn’t realise was that the video record mechanism had been triggered and was recording me walking down. Well – my feet anyway. When I played it back – I quite liked it – so didn’t just delete it. Here it is.

Going down the escalators at Westminster Tube Station
(Westminster station has a futuristic “cavern” area as part of the Jubilee Line extension)

It was recorded on my cameraphone as an MP4 file – which is a container format for MPEG4 compliant multimedia components – in which most 3G mobile devices will deposit video and audio in H.264 and AMR formats respectively. Most up-to-date media players (Real, Quicktime, Windows Media etc) will play such files – but not all “consumer” edit-suite apps (like Windows Movie Maker) or video sharing services (like YouTube) will support the format. Which is really annoying. And most of the software tools out there for doing coversions you have to pay for. Luckily though – there is an open source initiative at Sourceforge called MP4cam2AVI where you can download a very handy utility for converting MP4 files to AVI – which you can subsequently use in most edit-suite tools and video sharing websites. The only problem is that the tool will not be able to convert the audio part – so your video will come out silent. Which is OK if you are dubbing something else onto the video – e.g. music. No problem for me.

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