Tendo Dev Blog

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The age of Internet video is finally upon us

News flash, right? Water is wet, too.

What tipped me off, you ask? Was it the fact that Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube last year? The fact that YouTube now owns the #3 spot in Alexa’s traffic rankings? The fact that I’ve already received seven viral video emails today, and it’s just now 10 AM?

Actually, it was none of those things. It’s the fact that an English major and admitted technophobe can edit, produce, and post videos in an embedded player almost entirely on his own!

The link above points to a page we helped our client, Bishop Ranch, build to host videos from a recent forum they held. We brought a single DV camera, taped the proceedings, and output the tape to DVD with the eventual goal of posting clips of the forum on the Bishop Ranch website. Unfortunately for us, we were between interactive producers, and our new producer wasn’t due to come on board for another week or so. Which means that we had to find an in-house solution, which essentially meant “give it to the guy who edits his wife’s trapeze videos and posts them on YouTube.”

That’s when I learned that the age of Internet video had truly arrived. Armed only with the DVD and a copy of Sony Vegas, I set about trying to figure out how to get the video out of the DVD and onto the Interwebs. My first attempt resulted in .mov outputs, which are playable only in Quicktime; no go. Our client couldn’t even open the files to approve them. We had similar results with MP4s and other MPEG variants.

Eventually in my research I came across two amazing tools: the JW FLV player and CinemaForge. JW FLV player is a free, embeddable Flash player that you can use to play any Flash file, be it video or audio. And CinemaForge, which is also free, lets you convert video from just about any format to just about any other format (FLV, in this case). The result was a lightweight, fast, universally accessible, embedded Flash player for our client.

Thankfully our new interactive producer has started, so this will probably be my first and only foray into multimedia production for Tendo. But honestly, if I can build a video player from scratch (OK, not from scratch per se — the JW FLV player was more like a Betty Crocker cake mix) and post it online, then so can you. So get out there and start shooting stuff! —Ian Miller, managing editor

/Commercial mode on
P.S.: We recently purchased a Flip Video camera to shoot Tracy’s trapeze videos. Early reviews are all positive. For under $120, you can be shooting footage, transferring it to your computer via the Flip’s integral USB arm, and posting your videos to YouTube in minutes!
/Commercial mode off

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November 21, 2007 - Posted by | Ian Miller, Multimedia, Web Content

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