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What's best way to present training video?
RonSolo




msg:3464897
 12:43 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a client who wants their training video to be available on their website. The video is 20 minutes long and will be available only to the company's sales reps, not the general population.

I don't have much experience with video. What is the best method to embed and present this video?

Thank you,
Ron

 

aeronautic




msg:3464910
 1:45 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ron,

If you could post more specifics about the project you might get a few on-topic replies.

What is the nature of the content? (Text slides, high motion action, still photos, audio is stereo/mono/un-important)

What is your delivery goal in terms of quality? (size, res, etc.)

What infrastructure exists? (hardware, bandwidth, media server(s))

These things are always an exercise in trade offs.

Which apps do you have for encoding now?

What format is the master file in?

HTH - I'll check back for your reply.

RonSolo




msg:3464942
 2:46 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

aeronautic,
The content is high motion action.
Audio is stereo.

Quality doesn't have to be superb. We can trade off some quality to reduce the size.

Their site will probably be a shared hosting account.

Re. "encoding", again, I'm not too familiar with video. I'd like to know what apps you recommend.

I don't know yet what format the master file will be.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Ron

jtara




msg:3464993
 4:29 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does the training video already exist? If so, what form(s) does it exist in?

Samizdata




msg:3465092
 10:59 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

As the video is only available to company employees they can be instructed to install the correct playback software, so choice of format is not dependent upon player penetration.

I would personally favour Mp4 for such a project - but whatever the format, I would make it available for download so that local (possibly full-screen) playback was an option.

RonSolo




msg:3465147
 1:51 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm waiting to hear back from my client on what format the video will be in.

Enabling the sales reps to download the video is a good idea.

But, I'd like to know, for playback on the web, what do you recommend I use to deliver the video. What player should I use? Flash? Can I use Camtasia? Anything else?

Although I've designed many sites, I've never had the need to handle video. This is the first time, so I'm pretty new at this.

Thanks for your input.

Ron

jtara




msg:3465225
 3:56 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Although not there yet, the web video world is converging on MPEG4. Support is is a beta version of Flash.

Downloaded .mp4 with a suitable player would seem to give you a good degree of future-proofness.

(Supporting Flash will require some minimal conversion, because Flash will want it in a .flv container. But it should not require actual transcoding - just packing into a different container format.)

Is it really important that users be able to view the videos online? These are your own salepeople, who will be doing this again and again - not casual users who will only view one video. It seems to be that making the videos available for watching online (as opposed to downloading) would encourage unnecessary wasteful use of resources.

RonSolo




msg:3465233
 4:10 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

jtara,
You're right. When I first heard about the video, that it was 20 minutes long and only for the sales reps, I also considered setting it up as a download only. And, I still think it's probably the best way to go.

Thanks again!

Ron

jtara




msg:3465315
 5:58 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

BTW, *most* sites today that allow you to view videos "online" actually use what is called "progressive download".

That simply means making a file available for download, and supplying an inline viewer that will start showing the video once a bit of it is buffered, while continuing to download the video in background.

For the webmaster, there's little if any difference from simply making the videos available for download. You plop them in a directory somewhere and let the webserver serve them. Other than that, you just have to select an embeddable viewer (Java, Flash) and put it in a web page somewhere.

I think you're thinking this is more complicated than it actually is. Yes, if you had a high-volume site that only allows inline viewing, you'd want to install a special video server (at considerable expense and trouble to set-up). Most sites don't need it.

A real video server will allow a user to index to a particular part of the video, and the server will skip over the parts before the index point. With progressive download, the portion being skipped has to be downloaded. And that's about the only practical difference between the two approaches.

RonSolo




msg:3465326
 6:16 pm on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes. I was thinking that it was more complicated. But, you've cleared that up. I'll advise my client to simply have the reps download the video and view it on their local computer.

Thanks very much for the additional info. It explains a lot!

Ron

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