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Inserting video

There are a few options for uploading video to your website, depending on the file type of the original video, and how you would like it to be played on your website.

Videos come in many different raw formats depending on how it was recorded or produced including:
avi, wmv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mkv, flv and swf.
 

The problem

The problem with most raw video formats is that they are too big, take too long to upload and download, they require specialist players or software to connect the player to your browser. They do not include controllers for the user to adjust the volume, start stop etc.


The solution

Ultimately you want a video that can be embedded on your website that users can easily play from the browser window with the click of a button (without having to download specialist players for each individual file format). It should load quickly and you really want it to be streamed rather than downloaded. You want a player for the video that allows users to start and stop, pause, and adjust the volume.

Because of this YouTube and other such video sharing websites were born....
 

Video streaming / sharing / hosting websites

These specialist services provide tools and support for preparing, publishing, distributing and promoting your video. They make it very quick and easy for website managers to:
  • resize video
  • optimise to load quickly
  • add a controller to your video, allowing users to play, pause and move fwd or back in the move and adjust the volume
  • convert to a format that allows easy embed to a web page
They also host your video and allow users to stream it over the Internet. This means the video will load and run as smoothly as possible.

YouTube is free because it is supported with Ads. This means they display a watermark on top of your video when the user rolls their mouse over the video. They also display relevant advertising over the top of the video when watching it from the YouTube website.

If for some reason you can't use YouTube, IE you don't want the watermark on the start of your video or you need member protected video. We would suggest to go with the other paid options such as Vimeo or Brightcove as they will be able to make your video for your to use on your website.

Vimeo offer both methods you can have a free advertising supported video streaming or you can pay to remove watermark etc.


YouTube

YouTube is the most popular video sharing application. It is free, fast, it is well known and easy to use. It is a great way to market your video and attract users to your website. Youtube is one of the core applications at the heart of the Social Media revolution and if you have gone to the trouble of publishing a video you should definitely be promoting it through Youtube. You will most likely have more people viewing your video through YouTube than through your website. Ensure that you promote your website in the movie. Learn how to upload your Video onto Youtube to use on your Website.

Youtube allows users to create and upload videos to share with everyone. YouTube is the recommended method to upload and use on your Website as this is form of video can be viewed by majority of viewers. Using the software YouTube you will be able to automatically resize, optimise and add a controller to your video (for free). You are then able to embed it on any page of your website so that users can simply click on it to start playing the video and without having to leave your website.

What video file formats you can upload to YouTube?
YouTube accepts a wide range of video file formats transferred from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones.
The video files below are all accepted by YouTube.
  •  .AVI (Windows Media Video)
  • .3GP (mobile phones)
  • .WMV (windows)
  • .MOV (mac)
  • .MP4 (iPod/PSP)
  • .MPEG
  • .FLV (Adobe Flash)
  • .MKV (h.264)
It is free, fast, well known and easy to use. It is also a great way to market your video and attract users to your website. YouTube is one of the core applications at the heart of the Social Media revolution and if you have gone to the trouble of publishing a video, you should definitely be promoting it through YouTube. You may have more people viewing your video through YouTube than through your website, so ensure that you credit or mention your website in the video.
 

What if my video format is not supported by YouTube

If your video is not supported by YouTube, firstly you should ask your video person to give you a suitable format that can be uploaded to a Video sharing specialist website such as YouTube, Vimeo or Brightcove. Failing this....
 

Alternatives

If you do not wish to use YouTube, you can try Vimeo or Brightcove, or you can ask your video guys to convert the video file to an swf format and add a video controller to it. You will then be able to embed the swf video on a page of your website yourself using the Website manager. This will not stream, and it may add to loading times for larger videos. Also another thing to consider is that to be able to view SWF videos the viewer will need to have Adobe Flash player installed on their computer, if they don't then the video will not play which is why we suggest using Youtube videos.

 

Customisation

If you have a video but you do not know how to convert it to SWF or add any controls to the video Zeald may be able to customise the Vidoe for you. There will be a development fee for our team to add codes to upload the appropriate add on files such as players, javascript code and to test it and ensure that all the paths are correct (please note this will not stream like YouTube, this would require a streaming flash video server licensed by Adobe dedicated server just for you (expensive) - you should use video specialist like Vimeo or You Tube to do this for you)

Why does it cost me extra, You guys are the web guys, why cant it be hosted with the cost of my website?
Well we are website guys, but we are not video specialists. We do provide support for embedding video, but we do not specialise in resizing, editing, optimising, and streaming video. That is the service provided by YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove etc and they make their money through advertising or paid hosting.

 

Protected video that requires login to view

You may require Private video hosting and streaming for something like training videos in your members areas. These need to be private and therefore cannot be loaded onto YouTube.

If you are getting the videos produced then the company that is producing them may be able to host, or recommend a hosting company. Otherwise there is Vimeo or Brightcove. You can then use access controlled pages on your website to allow customers in a certain group access (links) to these videos.


What about audio

You can also use YouTube to publish and distribute your audio files. Simply record your audio with a video camera and point it at a flat graphic, a logo, screenshot or photo. and publish as per a usual Youtube video.

If you have an mp3 file you might like to try audio sharing websites such as
Sound Cloud These websites will optimise, host, promote and stream your audio files. They allow users to play them in the browser and post comments or share the files with their friends.
 

Download files to desktop

You might not want users to play the files in their browser, and instead be able to download the files themselves to play on their computer or ipod.
Using the Zeald Website manager, audio files, can be treated as "files" just like any other file (e.g. a pdf document). So they can be uploaded with the 'File and Image Manager'. The user then downloads these and plays them with an audio player e.g. Windows Media Player