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Video uploads

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    I have recently uploaded videos onto the Video sharing site and notice they have not generated thumbnails and at least when I access them won't load. Is there a problem with the system or with my file formats? Original footage is Hd - which you'd never know from how they look on site!

  • #2
    Hi Greg, had a look and not sure why these 2 videos wouldn't process. You've posted in the past fine. They did appear large movies so wonder if your browser timed out during upload...

    In terms of quality, all uploaded movies are converted to flash files which are a standard for internet video. Flash loads quicker and so makes videos much more accessible across all platforms and browsers. The goal is to get as many eyes on the video as possible. Downside is compression in order to make the file small enough that the user doesn't have to wait long after hitting play. However, it is possible to control the compression and so, if you have HD material and want to preserve the resolution as much as possible, we do allow users to convert their files to flash files before uploading. Software such as Sorenson Squeeze will convert a .mov or .wmv in to a .flv. You can control the amount of compression, size bit rate etc. Several Surfbirds videographers use this software. Sorenson has several products and free trials so you may need to research which is best for you. If anyone wants more specifics about settings that are commonly used, just post here.

    I have gone ahead and emailed you your last 2 videos as flash files so all you need to do is upload them. I tested and they uploaded fine.

    Best, Admin


    • #3
      Flash loads quicker and so makes videos much more accessible
      Not true. If you want to make them more accessible, use .ogg format as e.g. wikipedia does, or .avi format. Flash is commonly associated with malware and trojan invasions, and it is wise to keep it disabled to reduce the risk of such things installing themselves on your computer.


      • #4
        Originally posted by admin View Post
        Software such as Sorenson Squeeze will convert a .mov or .wmv in to a .flv.

        If anyone wants more specifics about settings that are commonly used, just post here.

        Best, Admin
        Thanks for the tip for Sorenson, I'm sure it was one of the compression options on a previous version of iMovie which has since disappeared.

        I've had problems with HD which played badly with any bird movement showing interpolation issues. Also 16:9 video is converted to 4:3, is there a way around this?

        Is it best to convert to NTSC or PAL or doesn't it matter?

        I can't log in to my davej account to add or edit my videos as I get a message stating 'email address not recognised'. Can you help please? Thanks.
        Dave J


        • #5
          Hi Dave, with a lot of trial and error, the workflow I've used (which answers your questions about deinterlace and aspect ratio) is:

          1. Export HD QT from imovie (I found the deinterlacing option on export doesn't seem to do anything).
          2. Open Sorenson Squeeze and import the HD QT
          3. I use the VP6 codec (not sure if they've developed anything more recent but VP6 gives you a good looking flash file)
          4. If it is a relatively short clip (say less than 1 min), I'll use the VP6_768K. If it's a larger file (several mins) then I would go down to VP6_512k or 256k. Goal is to keep file size small so user doesn't have to wait for it to buffer after they hit play. Obviously, higher the k the better the video. For really short clips, 1Mbps gives a very good render of your HD movie.
          5. Double-click VP6_768k and set the specs. I use 2Pass VBR, frame size 640x480 and select "letterbox" I also push it up to maximum quality on the slider. You can experiment with "maintain aspect ratio"
          6. For the "filters" select "generic web" and there you can select "deinterlace" and "auto remove interlacing". I found this worked well in removing interlacing. If you want to crop the sides, you can select 4:3 or you can leave it alone.

          I didn't find any difference choosing NTSC or PAL.

          It has been a while since I tried all the different output options but I ended up with this being the best for me but I think this workflow above does end up cropping the edges but maintains a larger video. A combination "maintain aspect ratio or letterbox in the vp6 specs gives you a letterboxed movie.

          Sorenson is useful not just for encoding your movies before uploading to sites like Surfbirds but also if you want to put flash movies on your own site. There's a cheap and nifty flash player here that you can put on your own website and allows visitors to play your flash movies.
          My Surfbirds Photo Albums


          • #6
            Dave - I have same issue with movement on any HD footage uploaded onto the video site and you're right about the de-interlacing option on iMovie - it does absolutely nothing. I use JES de-interlacer (free download) which seems to do the trick but still leaves a big file to compress for uploading. Sorenson is an expensive option so in meantime I'll keep playing with other compressions to see what works best.


            • #7
              That's right, I forgot, I sometimes also use JES de-interlacer that works very well and then I've converted to a flash file with Sorenson. There do seem to be free .mov to .flv converters out there:
              Can't testify for any of them but some of the links mentioned are shareware and free. Before downloading, probably smart to google them to be sure they really are nice and clean
              My Surfbirds Photo Albums