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Videos :: Uploading, Storing on the Web (Free Hosting), Posting to the Blog

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Videos in Web Pages  
 
You can bring life to your blog posts using videos. You do not need to be an expert videographer to post videos to your blog. You can use any of the lakhs of videos being uploaded daily to free video hosting sites.

You can also create a video using the web cam on your computer and upload that to the web server and use it on your posts. If you are using windows, you can make use of the windows movie maker program for this.

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Uploading Videos to Blogger  
 

• Processing the Video

Videos displayed on web pages are mostly in flash format with their own customised player. Most of the web sites providing free video hosting services like, google, yahoo, youtube, blogger use this format.

Whatever may be the format of the file that you have uploaded to these servers, they would be converted to the flash format to enable their display on web pages.

» Why Flash Format ?

You can embed and display video in any format in a web page. However, for the video to be capable of being viewed by the reader of the web page, a related player associated with the browser should have been installed on the readers computer. A Video in apple quick time format embedded in a web page, either apple quick time or itunes player should have been already installed and associated with the browser on the readers computer.

Nealry 95% of the web browsers have the flash player installed and associated with them. Thus a video in flash format is assumed to be capable of being viewed by almost all readers.

After your video has been uploaded it has to be processed to convert it into flash format. This processing would take some time. The time taken depends on the processing capacity of the server and the number and size of videos to be processed in the pipeline.

• Save a Draft and Carryon

During the upload process, you can save a draft of the post and carry on with your other work.

» Don't close the Window/Tab

Even after saving a draft of the post, you should not close the tab/window displaying the progress of the upload process. Closing that would result in cancellation of the upload process.

For the uploaded video to be displayed on the blog's webpage, it's processing has to be completed. While the video is being processed, you can save a draft of the post and carry on with any other work. You can even logout of blogger, come down later on and publish the post.

Once the upload process is complete, you can be sure that the video is there.

• Publish

You have to publish the post to make the video appear on your blog post. You can publish anytime after the processing of your video is completed.

Including Videos hosted on other servers in your blog Post  
 
The videos hosted on most of the free video hosting services can be included in any blog post using the HTML code displayed near the video.

To post the video to your blog, include the videos HTML embed code within the HTML code relating to your post.

The HTML code with the label "Embed" can be used to embed the video within any web page (blogs, forum postings if they are allowed, regular web pages etc.). The videos on this page are such embedded videos.

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Where to insert the Code  
 

• Insert the Code in HTML Mode

For videos which are hosted on servers other than blogger and are being included in the posts using the embed/object code, the relevant html code (for embedding the videos) is to be included in the text area where you include the post content when in HTML Mode.

• Videos uploaded to Blogger

For videos being uploaded to blogger, the code is automatically inserted into the blog post content. The code for videos uploaded to blogger is a bit different. You can assume it to be masked code.

This imposes restrictions on your ability to use the video on any other website. You can either play the video from within blogger blog or in an external player using the link displayed in the "Enclosures" box.

Immediately on clicking the "Upload Video" button, you can find the HTML code getting inserted into the text area (if you are in HTML mode) or a video player image getting inserted into to the text area (if you are in Compose mode).

Whatever may be the position of the cursor at the time of starting the upload process, the code/player would get inserted at the end of the post content. You may reposition the video by changing the location of the code/player.

Preview of the inserted Video  
 

• Videos uploaded to Blogger

For videos uploaded to blogger, a preview of the video can be viewed in the compose mode itself.

• Embedded Videos are not Displayed in Compose Mode

Unlike videos uploaded to blogger, Videos on other servers which are being embedded do not show up when in Compose mode. To have a preview of the video you need to change to the preview mode.

You should take note that the preview is not an exact replica of the post in its final form. The preview enables you to ensure that the video is working.

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Aligning the inserted Video  
 
To set the alignment options for the video, place the HTML code relating to the video or the video player within a division using the <div> tag before the code and </div> just after the code. Set the alignment option using attributes align="center/right/left" within the opening tag.

• Videos Uploaded to Blogger

Since videos uploaded to blogger are displayed in the Compose mode, you can select the image representing the player and choose alignment options using the tool buttons on the toolbar.

You can use CSS properties for the division just like for any other division on a web page.

Link to the Inserted Video  
 

• For Videos on Other Sites

You can use the url available near the video, to create a link to the page displaying the video from your blog post. This link would open up a web page on the youtube.com web site to display the video.

• No Link to the Video File

For videos uploaded to free hosting sites, you cannot find a URL directly to the video file. You have to view these videos either on pages on their web site or on any other web page by embedding them.

Viewing these videos in other players would not be possible unless you have a special software programs MIRO which enable you to download those files on to your computer.

Once the files are downloaded, you can view them either in the same format using special players for that format (flv players) or by converting them to some other format and using a compatible player.

• For Videos uploaded to blogger

You can embed videos uploaded to blogger only on blogs created using blogger.

However, if you have the links field enabled for your blog, you can find a URL to the video included in a separate section labeled Enclosures in a text box, along with the blog post content.

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Podcasting, Enclosure, Mime Type  
 

• Podcasting

In simple terms, podcasting in the process of delivering a list of audio/video files (like a play list) using feeds.
  • Podcasts = A series of one or more digital media files on the internet made available using feeds.
    Each media file is called a podcast or an episode
  • Podcasting = The process of transmitting podcasts is called podcasting.
    [The word Podcast is often used to mean both the media as well as the process]
  • Podcaster = The host or author of a podcast.
Podcasts are meant to be played on portable media players (ipods, mobile phones with multimedia player included, etc) and personal computers. Programs which are capable of handling the feeds and collecting the urls of the media files are used for this purpose.

The term "podcast" is derived as a combination of the words "iPod" and "broadcast".

• Podcast : Play List

The podcasting feed contains a list of the URLs for the media files along with the related information.

You can use a free open source program like MIRO to handle these feeds and create a playlist out of the urls.

For the purpose of understanding you can equate a podcast feed to a playlist on your media player. The files in a play list being physically present on your computer, the files on the podcast existing on a server connected to the internet (in most cases).

Podcasts technically may also involve media Files available through peer to peer sharing, using BITTORRENT protocol (meant for sharing files on P2P networks).

• Enclosure

Enclosure = inclusion, attachment

This facility is to post links to content that can be podcast.

The files you include here can be any file that is available for access on the internet. You need to mention the URI (not jus the url) i.e. you need to mention the protocol to be used for accessing the resource indicated by the url/file.

Podcasts being feeds may also contain text, urls of - images, files, or any other file type. However, in such cases, if the program handling the podcast feed is not set to handle content other than audio or video file links, you may have to use a normal feed reader program for viewing the other content in a podcast .

Since podcasts are included in feeds, these links are not visible on (accessible from) the blog pages. They are only displayed when the feed is displayed using a feed reader.

You may include urls to any resource on the internet that you think would be relevant and useful to the readers of your blog who access your posts through feeds. The URL would be formatted into a link and indicated as an attachment on the feed reader that can handle media feeds.

Sample RSS feed XML code of an item (indicating a post). This includes a video within the post along with the url of the video being added as an enclosure to the post.

<item>
<guid isPermaLink='false'>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2312227617126399248.post-6249763531290422762</guid>
<pubDate>Mon, 24 Sep 2007 15:42:00 +0000</pubDate>
<atom:updated>2007-09-24T08:47:16.723-07:00</atom:updated>
<title></title>
<description>
<object width="320" height="266" class="BLOG_video_class" id="BLOG_video-23d5f2428503ee70" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvp.video.google.com%2Fvideodownload%3Fversion%3D0%26secureurl%3DqgAAAO3T1daHheEeH3ZcEQIwEb9iuYBHTaK1H4WykNeyZ-At4a-eg7UJ_ruD2b2WhaHpk_WqeQVQtmziRBuQk0puWX61e1T0-QNKl3Jdt4luZTcMU9fQ6irtS-TUnahKXHVQi6CVXoAvjqyFhsZqAVFphUUX2ouV-eDKJ3Y1IrFVAEOZcpyN1lCPtBPsKh_PGnTZildCBs7X-puLrCRw2VaqiC0sO0SyAcVJdVH4LcWxJN80%26sigh%3D5rH-EfMTXqMXp6Wdb_XhPrBB8eA%26begin%3D0%26len%3D86400000%26docid%3D0&amp;nogvlm=1&amp;thumbnailUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2FThumbnailServer2%3Fapp%3Dblogger%26contentid%3D23d5f2428503ee70%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw320%26sigh%3DGyilpuaEOm-X1qve_6yd7OaKC9Y&amp;messagesUrl=video.google.com%2FFlashUiStrings.xlb%3Fframe%3Dflashstrings%26hl%3Den">
<param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF">
<embed width="320" height="266" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvp.video.google.com%2Fvideodownload%3Fversion%3D0%26secureurl%3DqgAAAO3T1daHheEeH3ZcEQIwEb9iuYBHTaK1H4WykNeyZ-At4a-eg7UJ_ruD2b2WhaHpk_WqeQVQtmziRBuQk0puWX61e1T0-QNKl3Jdt4luZTcMU9fQ6irtS-TUnahKXHVQi6CVXoAvjqyFhsZqAVFphUUX2ouV-eDKJ3Y1IrFVAEOZcpyN1lCPtBPsKh_PGnTZildCBs7X-puLrCRw2VaqiC0sO0SyAcVJdVH4LcWxJN80%26sigh%3D5rH-EfMTXqMXp6Wdb_XhPrBB8eA%26begin%3D0%26len%3D86400000%26docid%3D0&amp;nogvlm=1&amp;thumbnailUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2FThumbnailServer2%3Fapp%3Dblogger%26contentid%3D23d5f2428503ee70%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw320%26sigh%3DGyilpuaEOm-X1qve_6yd7OaKC9Y&amp;messagesUrl=video.google.com%2FFlashUiStrings.xlb%3Fframe%3Dflashstrings%26hl%3Den" type="application/x-shockwave-flash">
</embed>
</object>
</description>
<link>http://chubby-chikky.blogspot.com/2007/09/blog-post_9974.html</link>
<enclosure type='video/mp4' url='http://www.blogger.com/video-play.mp4?contentId=23d5f2428503ee70&type=video%2Fmp4' length='0'/>
<author>आम आदमी</author>
</item>

• Mime Type

MIME = Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

This is an Internet Standard that was originally invented to extend the format of e-mail to support text and header information in non ASCII character sets (Eg: UTF-8), non-text attachments like images, etc. Almost all the e-mail content on the internet is transmitted via SMTP in MIME format.

The browser and other devices following HTTP, identify the format of the content in the file returned by the web server with the help of the MIME type specified by the server by including the Content Type : __ header in the file.

The file name extension in the URL is not used to determine the type of information that the file returned by the server contains. URL aliases, default file being sent by the web server when a request for a folder is made (no file name is mentioned in the url) are instances when the browser would not at all be able to collect the file name extension from the URL

MIME types thus also help the browser to associate files types with the related applications that can handle them.

Some common Mime types we would be able to identify

Content Description File name Extension Mime-Type/Subtype
HTML text data (Web Page) htm, html text/html
Cascading Stylesheets css text/css
Portable Network Graphics (Image type) png image/x-png
JPEG (Image type) jpeg jpg jpe image/jpeg
Macintosh audio format (Apple) aif aiff aifc audio/x-aiff
Microsoft audio wav audio/x-wav
MPEG audio mpa abs mpega audio/x-mpeg
MPEG video mpeg mpg mpe video/mpeg
Macintosh Quicktime qt mov video/quicktime
Microsoft video avi video/x-msvideo
Flash Movies swf application/x-shockwave-flash
Adobe Acrobat PDF pdf application/pdf
application/x-pdf
MS word document doc application/msword
PowerPoint (Microsoft) ppt application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
application/ms-powerpoint
DOS/PC - Pkzipped archive zip application/zip
PC executable exe application/octet-stream
Javascript program js, ls, mocha text/javascript
application/x-javascript
VBScript program text/vbscript

The above is only an indicative list and not an exhaustive list. Almost all file types have a MIME type defined.

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Publishing a post from the website hosting the Video  
 

• Setting up your blog for direct posting

HTML Code of Videos included in a Web Page  
 
A file that is to be handled/processed by the browser using a plugin is included within a web page with the help of the HTML tags <object> and/or <embed>.

The OBJECT tag is for Internet Explorer 3.0 or later on Windows 9x/2000/NT/ME/XP platforms or any browser that supports the use of ActiveX controls. The EMBED tag is for Netscape Navigator 2.0 or later, or browsers that support the use of the Netscape-compatible plugins.

Sample HTML code is given below to give you an idea.

<object width="425" height="350">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5P6UU6m3cqk"></param>
<param name="wmode" value="window"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5P6UU6m3cqk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="window" width="425" height="350">
</embed>
</object>

The <object> or <embed> tags are like any other HTML tags. They are used to create an embedded HTML element. The attributes used for these would include related information like the program that is to be used for processing the file and other formatting options. Just like other HTML elements, the style properties also can be used to format these elements.

• Nesting <EMBED> within <OBJECT>

To ensure that the most browsers will play the Flash Player movies being included, the EMBED tag should be nested within the OBJECT tag as above. ActiveX-enabled browsers will "ignore" the EMBED tag inside the OBJECT tag. Browsers using the Plugin technology will not recognize the OBJECT tag and will read only the EMBED tag.

Embed/Object tag Attributes for Video

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Including Sound in Web Pages  
 
Including sound in Web Pages is almost similar to including videos in web pages. We use the same <embed> element to include audio in web pages.

Sample HTML code to give you an idea

<embed src="/media/sound/salaam.mp3" volume="40" height="60" width="120"> </embed>

• Background Music

Including background music in your web pages can be achieved by using the following combination of attributes » autostart="true", hidden="true"

The loop="__" or playcount="__" attribute may be used according to the duration for which you want the background music to be played.

Embed tag Attributes for Audio

Uploading and Storing Videos  
 
If you want to use a video filed stored on your computer, you need to upload and store it on a computer connected and accessible through to the internet (web site). For this you can use the services of free video hosting services provided by sites like youtube.com, photobucket.com, vides.google.com, etc.

For understanding the process let us consider youtube.com (a google company). To store your videos on this web site, you need to have a user account. Create your free user account first. You can start uploading your videos by logging in to your user account. All the links that you would need are available at the top on every page.

  • Click on the upload link within the main menu.
    A page displaying options to upload video files is displayed.
  • For the video you are uploading
    • Enter a title, description; and keywords (tags);
    • Choose the category you want the video to be included in;
    • Choose the relevant language
  • Click continue.

On the subsequent page that is displayed

  • Choose the file to be uploaded from your computer
  • Choose whether you want to make the uploaded video file public or keep it private (to be viewed by only those whom you permit)
  • Click "upload video" button at the bottom of the page.

This starts the uploading process and while the file uploading is in progress, a page with a progress indicator is displayed.

On completion of uploading, a web page to enable you to choose additional options in relation to the uploaded file is displayed. Choose the additional options as you think appropriate and click on the "update video info" link to save the information.

At the bottom of the page you will find the HTML code to enable you to embed the video within a web page.

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Uploading Videos from Mobile Phones  
 
To upload videos from mobile phones you need to set up your account to receive videos from Mobile phones.

• Youtube.com

On youtube.com you create a profile wherein you would be allocated a unique email id. The videos sent to this email id from your mobile phone would be automatically stored in your account.

You can create and use upto two profiles within a user account.

Browser - Plugins - Activex Controls  
 
Everything that you store on your computer exists in the form of files. There are basically two types of files, program files that work on their own and data files which work only with the aid of program files.

Video files are data files that are to be opened in programs which can edit or read video files. In most cases we find video file readers. Windows media player, Apple Quick Time movie player, Flash Player etc are some examples of these video file readers.

You can notice the video files being handled in two different ways. One is by opening the file in the program window separately and two from within the browser window.

• Browser's Capabilities

A browser program is capable of parsing HTML code, formatting and displaying textual content in the browser window. It is also capable of bringing up images from web server, embed and display them within the text based on the location of the <img> tag and the attributes within it. It can also display only image files.

In Web pages, we do see, videos being played, games using flash players, shockwave players, java applets, etc. Isn't the browser doing all these? Isn't the browser playing the video, audio, flash files? Not really.

• Adding Functionality to the Browser

Whatever we include within a web page, which the browser cannot process with its inherent capacity, is an object for the browser. videos, java applets, flash files, sound files etc are some examples of objects that we see in browsers.

To deal with i.e. process an object the browser needs additional support which is provided in the form of plug-ins or activex controls.

• Plugins

A plug-in is a small software module that adds a specific feature to a larger software program.

In web browsers the plug-ins allow the user to deal with a large variety of files from within the browser without the need to open the program. You will also see plugins used in Adobe programs (photoshop, illustrator etc).

From within the browser window, to enable the browser to

  • Play flash movies/games embedded in web pages, Shockwave flash plug-in.
  • Play audio and video files made in apple quick time format, QuickTime plug-in.
  • Display the PDF files within the browser window, Acrobat reader plugin
  • Play audio and video files made in windows media format, Windows Media Player plug in

Browser Plug-ins are not full-fledged software applications; they require the browser to run. They may also not have the full functionality of the actual stand alone programs. Say the acrobat reader plug in may not be having the full functionality of the Acrobat Reader Program.

Many of the most commonly used plug-ins conform to the "Netscape Navigator standard." Because Internet Explorer supports the Netscape standard, most common plug-ins work with both browsers. We usually install plug-ins separately for each browser. Many times the plugins are installed automatically while installing the stand alone programs.

• Activex Controls

ActiveX controls, used within browsers, have the same functionality as that of a plugin with the difference that it has full access to the Windows operating system. This gives them much more power than Java applets to which they are similar. But with this power comes a certain risk that the ActiveX control may damage software or data on your machine.

The utility of an ActiveX control is not limited to the browser. It is much more than a simple plug in. All Microsoft applications (Word, Excel etc) will be able to function using the ActiveX control that is installed as an add on to Internet Explorer.

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Parsing and Validation  
 
The act of splitting up information into its component parts is Parsing (it was extensively used in learning language/grammar [gone in this 4u, btw age]).

‘Raghu plays football’ is parsed as

  1. Raghu = Subject;
  2. Plays = Verb; and
  3. Football = Object.

• Parser

In computing, a parser is a program/script/API which identifies the component parts by analysing files. Common parsers that web content developers come across are HTML Parser (included within the browser program), an XML Parser, etc.

» Example

XML applications (say your feed reader program) contain a parser which reads XML, identifies the function of each piece of data within the XML file and makes the information available in memory to the rest of the program.

While reading an XML file, a parser checks the syntax (angle brackets, matching quotes, etc) to ensure that the content of the file is appropriately formed.

The parser reports any errors/violations based on the XML Specification.

• An XML File

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<course_list>
  <course>
    <name>Computer Applications</name>
    <fee>$25</fee>
    <description>
      Enables you to create a fundamental understanding on using computers
    </description>
    <duration>3 weeks</duration>
  </course>

  <course>
    <name>Basic Computer Programming</name>
    <fee>$50</fee>
    <description>
      Enables you to get an introductory understanding
      to computer programming using C Programming Language
    </description>
    <duration>5 weeks</duration>
  </course>
...
...
</course_list>

This XML file content is parsed as

  • Element course_list containing ...
    • Element course containing ...
      • Element name
          containing text Computer Applications
      • Element fee
          containing numerical 25
      • Element description
          containing text Enables you to create a fundamental understanding on using computers
      • Element duration
          containing numerical 3
    • Element course containing ...
      • Element name
          containing text Basic Computer Programming
      • Element fee
          containing numerical 50
      • Element description
          containing text Enables you to get an introductory understanding to computer programming using C Programming Language
      • Element duration
          containing numerical 5
  • ...

• Every Application Program includes a Parser

In every application that reads input, there is some kind of parser included, which enables it to understand the information.
Eg: 01. When you open a word document (a file with the extension .doc), a parser included within the Microsoft Word program checks to ensure that all the hidden codes existing in the document are identifiable and related.

If the parser is unable to parse the document, an error message is displayed, like in the case of a corrupt file.

• Validation

Some programs may include an additional parser for validation. Validation is something done after the first stage parsing.

The validating parser compares the component parts identified by the primary parser with a pattern laid down to check that they confirm to the standards. In XML these standards are called DTD (Document Type Definitions) or SCHEMA.

The validating parser, during the process of validation, may add default values, data types (if specified) to the data that has been placed in memory by the primary parser before it is handed over to the application for processing.

Author Credit : The Edifier ... Continued Page 22

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