Know-how lets you post different versions of your masterpiece.
MOVING right along from last week's advice on how to do video on the cheap, this week we talk money. Tools such as iMovie and YouTube may be free, but you get what you pay for. To make the display of your videos personal and unique you need to take full control, from shooting to streaming on the internet, and that costs money.
If you already have a blog you are halfway there, but if not, consider hiring a web hosting service. For $3 a month (justhost.com.au) you get server space, a domain name, access to blog software such as WordPress, and a reasonably fast server for video streaming. (Our website on JustHost is at terrylane.info; this is not a paid endorsement.)
For the world to enjoy your video, it is most important to know that would-be Cecil B. DeMilles have a constant struggle to find a compromise between picture quality and smooth streaming. The bigger the picture, the higher the bit rate and resolution, and the larger the file. Big video files stream well on a PC connected to the internet by cable (roll on NBN!), but hardly at all on 3G wireless broadband or smartphone.
There is another consideration - the late Steve Jobs. The world was moving towards a universal video format, Adobe Flash, until he decreed it wouldn't be allowed on iThings. Only a format designated H.264 is approved for iPads and iPhones. Mozilla then got sniffy and banned H.264 from Firefox browsers because it isn't an open source. Firefox prefers a format ending in .ogg or a variation. Internet Explorer and Google Chrome seem to cope with just about everything.
The solution to the format wars is HTML5 and an application called EasyHTML5 Video ($49 from easyhtml5video.com). Suffice it to say that EasyHT ML5Video takes your video file created in a video editor, converts it into each of the device- and browser-recognised formats, and generates the HTML code that will play your masterpiece on every platform or browser.
EasyHTML5 produces an index.html file that can be copied and pasted into the code of a blog post. Of course, it must be edited to specify the full location of the video files, and here's where it is obligatory to have your own hosted domain and a little understanding of web authoring and file transfer.
We upload our video files to the server and insert the full path for each file into the EasyHTML code, then create a web page to display the video (terrylane.info/Video/650D). This is the larger version for broadband streaming; there is a link to a smaller version in our blog under the video frame. EasyHTML5 has output size presets and a custom setting.
A detailed explanation of these processes is at terrylane.info/videomaking.pdf.