Introduction:

In the previous lesson we discussed the basics of creating, editing, and compressing video using a video editor. Now we turn to the process of uploading video to the Internet and making it available for others to view. While this used to be a relatively complex procedure, in recent years web video services like YouTube and Vimeo have streamlined it to a quick and simple task. We’ll look at the services and tools provided by YouTube, practice uploading and editing video files, and managing videos and playlists.


Objectives:

In this lesson you will learn:

  • When hosted or streaming video is an appropriate choice
  • How to upload video to the web using YouTube
  • How to customize settings and add annotations/captions in YouTube
  • How to embed a YouTube video into other web sites
  • How to edit video on Youtube

Lecture:

There are a number of decisions to be made when you are implementing video on your web site. First and foremost is whether to host video off of your own site, or to serve it from a web video service like YouTube or Vimeo.

Pros of using a web streaming service:

  • Great compression
  • Multiple file formats
  • Ease of implementation
  • Broad audience reach
  • Free (in some cases)

Pros of hosting your own video:

  • Control of quality
  • Control of premium content
  • Advertise and market however you want

Stream Your Own: If you are hosting your own video, you will have to decide if you want to serve raw video using HTML and/or Flash, or stream it. Streaming video requires that your web server be configured for streaming for RSTP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol), RTP, or similar protocol. You can also implement your own video streaming platform by using applications like Kaltura (an open video streaming platform), which work similarly to YouTube, but are hosted on your own server.

Video via HTML5: Before 2011 web browsers required plugins to play video. Today, all major browsers support HTML5 and the <video> tag. Serving video using HTML5 is very straightforward, but still requires that you make each of your videos available in 3 formats, Theora or H.264, WebM, and MP4 to accommodate playback in all browsers. There is a quick explanation of what this would look like from HTML5Rocks.com.

What’s that? You say your video(s) is in the wrong format. Try the Miro Video Converter to create video files in the formats you need.

Tips for Web Video

Streaming vs. Downloading

It’s important to understand the behavior of streaming video (such as YouTube). Streaming video remains on the server; it is not stored permanently on the computer accessing the video. Conversely, when you download a video, the entire video is downloaded and stored on your local computer. It can then be played from that computer without an internet connection. While downloaded video can only be played after it is completely retrieved and stored, streaming video begins playing very shortly after you click on the link. Streaming video will only play as long as there is an active internet connection.

When you embed video into a blog or social media application, the video remains on the host server. For example, when you embed a YouTube video into a Tumblr site, the video appears on Tumblr but resides on YouTube. Not only is it streamed—it is streamed from the original location.

As an aside, it is possible to download video from sites like YouTube. For instance, there is a Firefox plugin titled Video Download Helper (MySpace, Google videos, DailyMotion, Porkolt, iFilm, DreamHost and others) that will assist in downloading web video.

Using YouTube

YouTube has developed a comprehensive Help area. We will highlight a few of the steps and tools here, but you will find the most reliable information by going directly to that source.

The second step is to use your Google account (either through UA or through a consumer Gmail account) to log into YouTube. YouTube will walk you through a few additional steps which will connect your Google account fully. To test if your account is connected properly, FIRST log into your UA Google account. In the same browser go to http://youtube.com, then click YOUR channel. If your channel has not yet been configured, you will be prompted to do so. This will fully integrate your account.

YouTube Vocabulary

You will find it useful to understand a few key terms:

  • Account: the page where you manage all the information about yourself. You can only see your own account page; likewise, no else can see your account page.
  • Channel: the public page that others see when they view your account. You can customize what appears on this page, but it generally displays your video uploads, profile information, subscriptions, favorites, and playlists.
  • Favorites: a list of your favorite videos appears on your channel. Both you and your visitors can see you favorites. You can list your own videos as well as other people’s videos among your favorites.
  • Playlists: you can create more than one list of favorites—when you create a new list it’s called a playlist. You can create as many playlists as you’d like.

Activities:

  1. After creating a YouTube account, upload the video you created for Assignment 10. Provide metadata, including title, description, and tags that will help users locate your video. Documentation for uploading is available here.
  2. Customize your YouTube channel. Documentation for working with channels.
  3. Share your video. YouTube lets you embed video into websites and share to social media sites quite easily. Try sharing your video in either of these places. You could even embed a video on a simple HTML page and put it up on your web server.
  4. Create captions for your video. Youtube will auto-caption you video, but the service is imprecise. You will have to make some manual corrections to get captions perfect.

Looking Forward

Your homework this week is to review the list of activities above. If you completed the assignment last week, you can upload that video to YouTube. Once your video is loaded to YouTube, you can share it on here on the site as well. Note that this is not a required assignment. This lesson is to give you experience serving video with a service like Youtube or Vimeo, or even Google Drive.

Now is that time to really focus on the revision of your web page mockup, if you haven’t been working on it already.