Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Tue 28 Aug 2007

Still testing video embedding

Category : mac and the internet

Everyone's taking video!
Cheap handheld cameras have provided video capability with sound even by 2003 - e.g. see this cycling clip from 2003 - all that heavy breathing is your truly!

I used iView Media Pro then to upload the clips to a gallery. However, I've had to provide stand alone clips in my blogs, e.g. Habitatnews readers have been capturing dolphin sightings even by handphone! With more and more clips available for teaching and blogging, it has been important to figure out video sharing and formats.

Distribution options
I have no problems seeing my own videos - so I can use those in class, sure. Since I would like others (especially educators) find this material, happily there is Google Video (great upload performance) and YouTube (usually chokes, hmph) where the wider audience searches for content. A niche audience uses TeacherTube. There are even more services that allow tagging and annotations (see Kevin's "YouTube and Beyond" seminar) but the videos I provide are short clips to be used to pepper teaching presentations.

Speedy editing with QuickTime Pro
Since I do have server space at my disposal, I was wondering if I could host the videos myself - it'll be as fast as I blog. I can then mirror the clips to a 3rd party host later for a batch uploading job on the faster network in campus.

I like simple tools, since I am not technically proficient with image and video. E.g. I still just drag and drop photo folders from the camera to my desktop and use Graphic Converter to batch rename, delete, adjust and resize. It's fast and suitable for my blogging and teaching needs.

The video equivalent is QuickTime Pro. I have used it to trim and export my camera-taken video clips, and its great for that. I do hear iMovie '08 has been dumbed down for mainstream users, but I'll explore that later and it apparent ability to upload the end-product directly to YouTube.

Reducing size
I have to generate smaller versions of the original large movies for easier viewing and downloads. To do this, I have to export the clip out to a different format. This is where it gets tricky. Not everyone can view every format, and might not know to download and install the relevant plugins. There is some suggestion that the H.264 codec would help in a .mov container. For You Tube, a frame rate of 30fps and size of 320 x 240 is fine.

But no one can see or hear!
Often, I lose the sound during export. E.g. the cycling mpg file when I attempted to export it to mp4, the settings say there is no audio track detected. But there is sound in the original. Its fine if I export to an mov file but that doesn;t help as the 36MB file does not reduce in size.

After embedding, others say sometimes they can't see the images! E.g. see this - I see it fine but no one else apparently! Usually I crawl back into my hole and forget about it for a few months or years.

Trying again
I need to get this figured out and am up and at it again - now testing video embedding using this clip of the Swimming Sea Anemone, Boloceroides mcmurrichi taken by Ladybug usng her simple her Casio camera - and she is the first to provide such video, not bad! This was originally posted on Habitatnews with accompanying explanations.

Alvin on his iBook and Dongrong on her PC have been providing feedback, and veteran QT user John Larkin has been suggesting solutions. Html from

  • embed src, width, height (set at 480 x 360)
  • autoplay="false"
  • controller="true"
  • type="video/quicktime"
  • scale="tofit"
  • pluginspage="

DivX, DVI ADPCM, 640 x 480, 10.3MB - This original format worked on my MBP, but nothing else. At best the others can hear the audio. Even after downloading the file, John Larkin could not play it. What codecs did I install that allowed me to see this? Was it has something to do with the DivX Pro license I got recently?

H264, Apple Lossless; size: 480 x 360, 8.49MB.

AVI: 480 x 360, 6.6MB.

MP4 (ISMA): 352 x 288, 1,008kb: MP4 video, AAC, MP4 SDSM/ODSM (huh?)
No point trying a larger video size with mp4 as its grainy already at this size. But the 1MB filesize is a significant reduction. Great for preliminary, critical videos needed by a third party who is not net savvy and on a slow connection. I could email it!

Posted at 5:29AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .