Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming and technology.
Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.
Music composition for various iOS apps, including the entire soundtrack for Steve Jackson’s Sorcery – The Shamutanti Hills and my own album entitled ‘Anticipation’ including original tracks available digitally from iTunes, Amazon and Spotify or a physical CD from the Yamaha Club shop.
Copywriting, article, review, guide creation & blogging | Journalism | Audio & video capture, editing & publication (Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription) | Podcast hosting & editing pre-recorded and live | Music composition | Social Media operation | Community management | Website maintenance
Self-employed ‘Freelance Journalist’ employed by various companies and individuals for over a decade.
My duties have included the installation and configuration of WordPress CMS based websites – maintaining, upgrading and adding features as they become available. Editing HTML and CSS, while adapting themes to match client branding.
Written articles, reviews and guides for various magazine and website publications both print and digital. Researching and understanding new areas to create content suitable for the client’s unique audience, setting a mood and atmosphere appropriate for the brand. Highlighting key strengths, delivering a message while providing interesting content in a recognisable style that connects with the reader.
Proofreading magazine and digital content, offering advice and suggestions for improvement and correcting errors in both punctuation and detail.
Managing social networking profiles and content – including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others to raise awareness of products, sales and overall brand. Also utilising social media to cover events and communicate directly with the community.
The creation of video content including reviews, promotional presentations, tutorials and demonstrations made available via YouTube, DVD and Blu-ray media. Undertaking the entire production process, including scripting, audio & video setup, operation & capture, location setup, lighting, presenting, narration, directing, editing and final publication.
Arranging guests, compiling questions, hosting, recording, editing and publishing audio and video podcasts on a variety of topics – both recorded & edited for later release or transmitted in a live setting over Google+ Hangouts to encourage audience interaction.
Utilising Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems – Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite including the latest versions of Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and InDesign.
I have a varied and wide selection of skills and below are a few highlights. Clicking the titles will take you to a full example:
- Promotional DVDs
Filming, editing and producing DVDs for Yamaha UK to help promote their latest keyboards and digital pianos. The DVDs have been featured for free on the front of independent Yamaha related magazines and distributed by local Yamaha dealers.
- Tutorial DVDs
Filming, editing and producing numerous tutorial DVDs for Yamaha keyboard and digital piano enthusiasts who require step-by-step instruction for operating their musical instruments.
- Video game music
Composing individual music tracks or complete soundtracks for mobile video games featuring an array of instrument voices and musical styles.
- Podcast hosting
Hosting, capturing, editing and publishing audio interviews as well as being a guest on podcasts on various websites. Arranging interviews by contacting various PR agencies and individuals directly, including Paul Thurrott (SuperSite for Windows & guest of Windows Weekly on the TWiT network), Larry Hryb (Major Nelson, Microsoft’s Xbox Live Director of Programming) and many more besides.
- Technology reviews
Technology reviews covering various devices and accessories ranging from headphones and speakers to computers and tablets.
- Video game reviews
Written numerous video game reviews covering various platforms including PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and modern mobile and tablet devices. Featured on independent game websites and magazines.
- Game HD video reviews
Capturing high definition video games from consoles, mobile devices and computers that featured my written reviews – using my own narration and editing skills.
- Video interviews
Visiting developers to discuss their latest announcements, with full on-screen gameplay demonstrations intermingled with live video sequences. Captured and editing by myself.
- On-screen video interviews
On-screen interviews while attending events, showcasing their achievements and highlighting appeals. Captured and editing by myself.
Microsoft Xbox 360 online magazine. Featuring my blog and community articles as well as hosting audio interviews including Major Nelson (Microsoft’s Xbox Live Director of Programming – Larry Hryb).
- Console Monster
Independent gaming website covering Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 news, reviews, previews and more. I have written numerous reviews and hosted and edited many of their podcasts, discussing the latest gaming related news and offering insights into many video game titles.
Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo DS online magazine. Featuring my audio interviews with publishers and developers.
Independent gaming website specialising in Microsoft Xbox 360 coverage. I have written numerous reviews for this website over the years.
Sony PlayStation 3 online magazine. Featuring my audio interviews with publishers and developers.
- Simulator World Magazine
Free German digital magazine covering rail, flight, farm and other types of simulators. Article creation and screenshot gathering with additional captions.
- Tech Depot Blog UK
Technology blog provided by Tech Depot, part of Office Depot and Viking Direct. Tasked with launching a new blog to attract new visitors by highlighting the brand in articles, podcasts and videos as well as offering advice to potential buyers through written guides. Also responsible of all of the social media including Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Google+ as well as maintaining the actual blog itself.
- TESCO Magazine
Online magazine by TESCO covering lifestyle, technology, fashion and beauty and more.
- Train Sim Magazin
German based print and downloadable digital magazine covering rail simulators released bi-monthly (2 months). Article creation and screenshot gathering with additional captions.
- The Yamaha Club Magazine
Subscription based bi-monthly Yamaha keyboard and digital keyboard enthusiast magazine. Various instructional and introduction articles as well as recording, editing and co-hosting tutorial disks on DVD video and advertisement trailers. Also on occasion present online information regarding their website and my own Yamaha site at their annual prestigious event. I also created their current Yamaha Club website.
- Xtreme Tech Blog UK
Technology blog that replaced Tech Depot Blog UK. Here I transferred all of the data to a new server and updated the theme to match the new store branding as well as continuing all my previous tasks as I did with the Tech Depot Blog UK website.
- Gaming, technology and Yamaha keyboard/Digital Piano articles
- High Definition (HD) video features
- DVD capture, editing, scripting and creation
- Music composition and enhancements
- Internet Radio DJ
- Website design
- Website operation (including my own)…
Here is a small selection of testimonials I have received for my work…
I have really appreciated everything that you have done for Tech Depot and Xtreme Tech over the 2 years that we have worked together. The quality of the blog and the posts that you put up on it were superb and really help to drive incremental traffic to the websites. I also felt that the way you handled our Twitter and Facebook accounts showed us in a very professional light and certainly allowed us to achieve things that we would certainly not been able to do on our own. I would like to wish you all the best for the future and hope that our paths cross again.
Gary Thompson – Xtreme Tech UK
James is a difficult act to follow because his honesty and integrity will be hard to match – and it’s these qualities, combined with an expert knowledge of Internet technology, that have played such a crucial part in YPKO’s success. Having just received another batch of letters complimenting Yamaha Club on the quality of its tutorial and promotional DVDs I thought I’d just drop you a line to say ‘thanks’ – because the success of these products is due every bit as much to your hard work and attention to detail during the filming and editing stages as to my (somewhat limited) knowledge of the instruments. It’s always a pleasure to work with you, James, because I can always rest assured that the finished product will be produced to the highest standard possible. The regular stream of positive comments we receive from our customers confirms this. Thank you… and here’s to the next!
Glyn Madden – Yamaha Club Magazine
James has proved himself as a professional writer and talented editor, encompassing profound knowledge of all issues around Train Simulation. Combined with an impressive sense for visual implementation, this makes him a popular author when creating substantial contributions. Besides providing quality, he also fulfils another important area… He is always on time!
Frank Moellenhof – Publisher & Editor in Chief of Train Sim Magazine
After being featured as a guest within his podcasts both audio and video, James has shown on numerous occasions that he is always willing to learn every aspect of the individual products and the company as a whole, while persistently showing us he wanted to go that extra mile to achieve the very best results that would benefit both railsimulator.com and the viewers of the media. I and others within the company have found him very friendly to work with and highly professional. James was especially trustworthy and took confidentiality very seriously to protect product information and respect timed releases. Everything that we discussed within the interviews were embargoed until the official release date and James was scrupulous in adhering to our wishes, while also making sure that the media he created was of interest to the community and potential new customers. I look forward to many more interviews with James as they are always a pleasure to take part in.
Paul Jackson – CEO of RailSimulator.com
James is amongst the most honest, reliable and professional people we have been fortunate enough to work with at msxbox-world. James has always shown a great attention to detail and produced high quality and unbiased content within a timely manner. It’s always been a privilege to work with James and all of us at msxbox-world wish James every success with his endeavours and hope to continue work with him more in the future wherever possible.
Adrian Ricketts – MSXbox-World
…you have created such a wonderful community with your website and it has been so exciting to visit on a daily basis and particularly to receive such valuable advice from so many people and giving us the opportunity to perform our music to one another. I wish there could have been a way to make it viable for you to continue, this is going to be a huge loss to us all. So, thank you so much for your time and the immense pleasure you have given with YPKO and I hope you can persuade your friends to provide similar content as your ideas for each section have been brilliant. Good luck with everything and I wish you a very successful future with your own website.
Susie Drage – Member of my YPKO website
The ‘Close-up with Tyros4’ DVD is perfect for the job. I think the production is first class, Richard’s performance in live mode is excellent (as is the camera work) and the overlays are most helpful in showing the viewer which part of the instrument Richard is using. All in all an excellent production…
Joseph Nicholson – Regarding Yamaha Tyros4 DVD I produced
Thank you for the Yamaha Club DVDs which I have found excellent in both quality and presentation.
James Rees – Regarding Yamaha Tutorial DVDs I produced
I owned and operated a website called Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner, which offered information for enthusiasts regarding Yamaha keyboards and digital pianos. The site was lovingly nicknamed YPKO by the community for convenience.
In 2004 I purchased the Yamaha Tyros (1) and this fine instrument inspired me to create an online treasure trove where enthusiasts could share and discuss their love for Yamaha instruments and music in general. After two months of development, on December 21st 2004, Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner officially opened and slowly began to gain pace as a new resource for keyboard and digital piano enthusiasts. Six months on I realised that there were some imperfections with my original design and there was a need to extend the content and features of the site to satisfy the ever increasing community.
In a meeting with Glyn Madden from the Yamaha Club Magazine, another independent resource based in the United Kingdom, we discussed our common goals and how best to achieve them together while remaining independent. This resulted in extensive changes to my site to facilitate a discussion area that I would host and moderate, replacing the Yamaha Club’s own discussion forum allowing for members of both sites to co-exist with their common interest rather than our two identities competing with each other. With this new arrangement and all the other extra features I wished to facilitate, the development lasted three months.
October 1st 2005, Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner re-launched with a brand new logo and design, navigation system and the announcement of our new relationship with the Yamaha Club. Hosting their discussion forum where all the members interacted and exchanged thoughts and ideas together in a single place.
I owned and operated Yamaha Personal Keyboard Owner in my own time as an independent venture with very little help. Yamaha Corporation did ‘not’ control content or own any share of this website, however I still enjoyed a very rewarding co-operation with Yamaha UK and worldwide, helping to obtain official information regarding their product catalogue, future update exclusives, access to early demonstration models, important news and interview features.
- Nearly 12,000 members
- 34 million page views
- Over 300,000 forum posts
In 2002 I launched XboxRules.com. A Microsoft Xbox dedicated website, which enjoyed great support from the industry and its own membership of 10,000 registered members. It was a pleasure to operate as it only initially started out as a hobby, evolving into a thriving community. With a group of dedicated hard working staff, voluntarily giving up their own free time to submit news, reviews and other media, this helped bring XboxRules.com to millions of visitors in its active years.
It was a very hard decision to close XboxRules.com down, but with so many factors working against myself and the staff, it was time to call it a day, so we could all move on and take with us a fantastic experience that we will never forget.
More information can be found here: XboxRules.com Items of Interest
My first ever fully functioning website that gave inspiration for future websites. It was very limited as I was only just beginning to learn my online craft – however it still featured news, reviews, previews and even a discussion forum.
A multi-platform website that covered various gaming platforms including PC, Sony PlayStation, SEGA Dreamcast and even handhelds of the time. It became clear that this ‘multi-platform’ approach was the wrong direction as it was very intense to cover every platform, so I then decided after purchasing the Microsoft Xbox, to create a dedicated website as I really loved the features the console brought to the gaming space.