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Video blog how to

By Sparky | May 8, 2006

Bre from I Make Things just asked me to write up a short post on my workflow for creating Flash video blog posts using only free tools available for Apple’s OS X for We Are The Media and as always I’m more than happy to share the knowledge wealth. After I finished this post I was informed that the ultimately awesome Jake had also posted a write up on the same topic on the same day. I need to give good credit to Jake for turning me on to some of the tools I use in this tutorial.

The only things ayou will need to create your video blog post (be it for a personal blog, political manifesto, or sharing your cool new technology hacks with the world) are a digital camera capable of capturing AVI’s, a Mac running OS 10.3.9 or higher, and a website or blog with FTP access to post your creation to. We are going to install a free open source tool called ffmpegX that will help us with converting the video into Flash’s FLV format. You can get ffmpegX here.

The first thing you will have to do is “capture your moment”. Use your digital camera or camcorder to record a video of whatever you want to post to the internet. I recommend using the highest quality settings possible for your video – 320×240 is a minimum resolution, but use a higher setting if you can. As with any digital camera or camcorder good lighting always helps – make sure your environment is brightly lit, and your background is not brighter than you are to ensure that your face is neither too dark or bleached out. You might want to experiment a bit with lighting to find a balance that looks good before you move on to the next steps of posting your video to the internet.

You can then use iPhoto or the finder to transfer your video to your Mac’s hard drive. If you use iPhoto to pull your video from the camera you will want to drag the file from iPhoto to your desktop or another location on your hard drive to make it easier to find for the next couple of steps. At this point you are free to use iMovie or other tools to edit your video if you want, but for this tutorial we are just going to assume you want to post your video just like it was when it came out of your camera.

Now that we have the video file open up ffmpegX. If you have not installed it yet click here to get it, and follow the instructions on the website to install this fantastic video file format conversion tool.

Once you have opened and installed ffmpegX drag your AVI video onto the window to select it as the source file. Then in the “Target format” pane of the window select “FLV” as the format to encode it to. Once your screen looks something like the below you should be good to go – click the “Encode” button to start the encoding process.

Summary

FfmepgX will generate a yourfile.flv that contains your video. The next step is to put this file and a Flash enclosure (a .sfw flash executable file) onto your website. Open up your FTP client and open a connection to your website. If you need a great free FTP client check out Cyberduck. I can recommend a great Flash standard Flash enclosure you can download this one (control click or right click on the link and select to save the target to your hard drive). Both this file and the .flv file will need to be on your website (and note the www accessible URL for the next step).

The final step in our tutorial is to put the HTML code on your website. Below is the code you will want to use:

<center><object width=”320″ height=”240″>

<param name=”movie” value=”YOUR WEBSITE HERE/flvplayer.swf?file=YOUR FILE PATH.flv&autoStart=false;”>

<embed src=”/videoblog/flvplayer.swf?file=YOUR WEBSITE HERE/flvplayer.swf?file=YOUR FILE PATH.flv&autoStart=false;” quality=”high” wmode=”transparent” width=”320″ height=”240″type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer”></embed>
</param>

</object></center>

You will need to change that code to reflect both the URL to the flash player and the filename for this particular video for each movie you want to post to your website. Once you save your file and view the page in a web browser you should see something like the following (although hopefully with a less haggard host):


There you have it!

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Topics: Open source, Technology, Video, Vodcasting | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Video blog how to”

  1. Aidan Henry Says:
    May 9th, 2006 at 11:07 am

    Hey Sparky,

    Very cool article on video blogs. Thought you’d be interested in a new tool for broadcasting your own video site – similar to video blogs. It’s called PiXPO and I highly recommend you check it out at http://www.pixpo.com. Toss me an e-mail if you have any questions.

    Cheers,
    Aidan