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