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But daddy, I want them NOW!

Friday, July 14th, 2006

The week is over and I’m video-podcasting again! This week I try out my new camera, and take a crash course in video editing. Sorry that it’s quicktime video, and not an embedded Flash video but I was having problems with re-encoding it and am too drained to futz with it. You might have to upgrade to Quicktime 7 if you are on Windows to see it because I encoded using h.264.

I’m happy with the camera quality, but my workflow needs a lot of work to avoid the compression artifacts that you will see in this video. I managed to have to re-compress it twice, both times losing significant amounts of quality. I also need to figure out how to wrangle audio – something went horribly awry right, but then I seemed to keep it under control.

Anyone have a recommendation of a lossless video codec that’s Mac friendly? I’m doing the editing using iMovie HD because it’s both slick and handy. Video editing in general seems to have a bit of a steep learning curve, but I’m always up for a challenge.

Beginning of the week and I’m vlogging already

Monday, June 5th, 2006

It’s only Monday and I’m already vlogging!

Video blog how to

Monday, May 8th, 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.


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>


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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Dance Dance Assimilation

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Or, “Borg of the dance” DANCE BORG, DANCE!

Did I just ruin my social life forever by posting this? Will I become the next Star Wars Kid and have to sue my friends? You be the judge!

(cross-posted from Gear Live)

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3rd video podcast – at the end of a long day

Monday, May 1st, 2006

It’s the end of a very long day and I thought I would throw up another episode of my soap-opera of a life. Apologies in advance for the rocky start and horrid finish to the podcast – I need to get some video editing software. I have iMovie HD and was able to figure out how to use it to trim and edit the video, but then when I tried to save it out as an AVI (the only format that my flash encoder can read) I was stumped.

If any Mac guru’s are listening out there – how do you export an iMovie project? Do you have a better (free) solution for video editing for a budding vidcaster like me?

Second video blog post – now with flashy goodness

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Hopefully this second blog post will show up a bit easier to consume, for you my adoring readers. I’ve used some freeware apps (for Windows) to transcode the video I took with my SD400 to Flash Video and am hosting it in a small SWF. Apologies in advance for the ultra gay Skype affections!

If this does not work than I guess I’ll just have to be sad and not 1337 like other bloggers. If it does then it means I have a complete roll-your-own video blogging solution based on Dreamhost and flash.

Now off to relax, watch some real Borgs in Voyager, and recuperate from a wonderful experience. Thanks Mind Camp 2.0 for all the great times, and all the great pictures!

My very first (5th) attempt at a Video Blog Post

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Watch the video
A quick technology test to see if I can get the whole video blogging thing set up. Luckily I have lot’s of cool people here helping me, and Blip.tv to run some of the back en.

This video was originally shared on blip.tv by sparktography with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
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