Video Conversion Tips

Most of the time at CSU, videos are sent to me in a proprietary Windows format (eg, wmv).  Unfortunately, those types of videos don’t play nice with the web, especially if your intended audience isn’t exclusively using Internet Explorer.  Therefore, I normally convert wmv files to Flash, which is a much more widely adopted video standard supported by all major browsers (for which Flash is installed, which is typically most everyone).  In any case, here’s how I go about the process (please either follow the steps to manually convert videos yourself, or simply use YouTube, which is the recommended approach):

Manual Conversion (only necessary if you don’t want your videos hosted on YouTube)

  1. First download/install the free version of Any Video Converter at http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/
  2. Open Any Video Converter
  3. In the Output Profile area in the upper right, select “Flash Video Movie”
  4. Under Audio Options, A/V Sync should be changed to Default (not Basic).  You may optionally increase the video frame size to 640 x 480
  5. Click Add Video Files and select your video(s)
  6. Click Convert Now.  The conversion process may take quite a bit of time, depending upon your video’s size
  7. Now you should have a flv video file at your disposal.  Be sure to play the video to make sure that it looks good and is synced with the audio.
  8. Finally, you can add the video to your site, as per http://www.mojoportal.com/using-the-audio-and-video-players 

Letting YouTube Do The Work For You (recommended approach)

Pros: 

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy – you just upload your file in almost any format and YouTube will do the rest
  3. They take huge file uploads, which means less resources used by CSU servers (videos can eat up a lot of your cwis account’s space)
  4. Works on most any device.  Specifically, YouTube videos will work on iOS devices.  If you uploaded a video to your site directly, there’s a good chance it will not work on all devices (eg, all Flash videos will not work on an iOS device unless the user is using an app such as Photon)
  5. Very easy to share videos with others
  6. Great up-times.  It’s unlikely YouTube is going to be down for very long.

Cons:

  1. Limited control over the video player appearance
  2. No thumbnail choice (you don’t get to choose which thumbnail YouTube uses for your video).  Be advised I have a workaround for this (contact me)
  3. This may not bother most people, but YouTube is obviously hosting your video, and you may/may not like this.

Directions

If you have an unrestricted YouTube account (and if you do not, I can get you access to one, or you can create one yourself on YouTube for free), you should be able to upload your wmv video there, have it do the conversion process, and then you can embed their video onto your site:

  1. Log into YouTube.  Contact me if you’d like access to the DsaWeb YouTube account
  2. Click Upload
  3. Drag/drop or otherwise select your video file for conversion, then sit back and wait for the conversion process to complete
  4. Next, you should be redirected to an area where you can view your video (you may have to click its title from your account page if not).
  5. Once you are viewing your video on YouTube, directly underneath there should be a “Share” button that you will need to click
  6. Next click “Embed”
  7. You should see some pre-selected code that begins with “<iframe”.  Copy (Ctrl + C) this code.
  8. Finally, visit the page on your site where you want to insert the video.  Click Edit and then the “Source” button in your editor to view the source for the page, into which you can paste the code you just copied.