Tag Archives: video-recording

What Does the Community Want From Video?


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I record videos for YouTube – and other outlets – on our live stream. I’ve been doing this for awhile now. Since I was using standard definition in the past, I could only eke out a few frames per second. This is nowhere near what I can do with these HD videos in 720p. I got an email the other day from Acer_Lover, asking if I could go back to recording videos through the live stream camera again.

I’m throwing this out to all of YOU. Even though it’s not HD recording… the frame rate is jerky… and the quality isn’t as good… would you rather see us recording videos the old way? Chat would once again be integrated into the video stream, and the angle would go back to where it was.

Or, do you prefer the better quality of the HD videos? What do you think? Should I stick with this current format (HD)?

Most of my videos in my YouTube account were done the old way, absolutely. I thought it would be better if I switched to recording in HD, to up the quality.

Perhaps I chose unwisely? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Video Formats and Codec Confusion

James wonders why there’s such a fuss over digital video formats:

I had been watching you on Ustream since last summer. I was browsing around Youtube and Ustream looking at the videos you made over the past few weeks. After watching your video titled: Digital Camcorder Incompatibilities Insanity, it leaves me with some questions.

In your video, you said camcorder manufactures make there cameras to work on certain formats that may be incompatible with video editing software such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere and force you to use whatever software that shipped with the camera. Now I would understand what you said and possibly agree with you when you are talking about digital point and shoot cameras that has video recording capabilities where there is many of them and record in many different formats, but where I don’t understand is camcorders.

Is there not already a general format for a digital video recording in camcorders? Isn’t the standard camcorder format MiniDV recording at AVI-DV? As far as I know, AVI-DV works with all the major video editing software out there. In fact, based on my knowledge it’s the best raw video format to work with.

Now I know MiniDV is standard definition and camcorder manufactures are trying to move consumers into using high def camcorders using miniDV tapes or hard drives. I am not quite sure on this area because I am not in the market for an HD camera as of yet. But based what I know, they record on Mpeg 2 or Mpeg 4 and those formats are terrible to edit.

So what is your say on this? Is AVI-DV the standard camcorder format for standard definition cameras or if not, what would it be? Also, If there is no true standard for HD format recording good for editing and used for rendering, which format would be good as a standard why?

Thank you for taking the time to read my email though I understand you have many to read. I look forward to your response and having a better understanding on what you where trying to say in that video.

Let me put it to you this way: I purchased a digital camcorder that records in AVC-HD, and I’ve yet to be able to use that format because the software (on either Windows or OS X) has yet to become reliable enough. People, inevitably, will want to change one format to another – so I’d rather deal with a more accepted format, and if I know I’m going to compress down to MP4 anyway…

I just record as MPEG-2 if I can – if I even use the digital camcorder at in the first place. Generally, I rely on my digital camera’s video recording feature (good enough for most Web videos these days).

I hate messing with video codecs – I just wanna record or watch video, that’s all.

Video Call Recording and Capture (Skype)

I’ve never been a huge Skype fan, although it seems I’ve had an account forever. More than anything, I just don’t like accepting random calls from folks. Of course, I realize that I could limit my contact list and privacy options – but that’s next to impossible for me, as I know a lot of people and am always online (in some form or another). Plus, I envision using Skype to further enable communication for future programs – but not yet.

If you try to call me on Skype and I’m not expecting your call, I’ll likely never pick up. Moreover, you can watch me ignore your call. It’s not that I’m a cold-hearted communicator – it’s just that I’d never get anything done if I spent all day long having conversations that led nowhere, or got tied into discussions that could have been handled in text chat or email instead.

In other words: the “neat” factor of talking with someone with VoIP software is long gone. Not since I first played with Netscape’s CoolTalk (1996?) have I ever been giddy with voice communications over the Internet. It’s only become easier to do, but the power has also become more fragmented.

This is what’s interesting to me. Recording an answer to a question:

I thought Pamela was the end-all / be-all of recording Skype calls. Then receiving another answer to my recommendation:

Here’s Bwana’s take:

Now, if you upload your own suggestion(s) in video form – to any video network of your choosing – I’ll update this post to include your embed code. Any takers?

Beginning of a New Network: UndoTV

Okay, it’s been a while since I’ve bothered to mention it – but PikSpot has finally released into public beta their community content platform. It’s certainly evolved since I first looked at it a few months ago. Before you fade out and assume this is just another network, let me give you a few of the more unique features these guys have offered the ol’ TechTV community-at-large:

  • Vetted talent can have pre-defined RSS feeds consumed and included in the player automatically.
  • You can place comments in an embedded piece of media – so long as you’re logged in.
  • If you’re not logged in, you can do so from within the embedded media.
  • If you don’t have an account, you can sign up for one from within the embedded media.
  • Comments automatically show up wherever that media is visible – on the site, or through any embed!
  • You can jump to any point in an audio / video file with little-to-no wait time (instant scrubbing).
  • When jumping to a point in the timeline, you can set a Marker description (not unique to the Pikspot platform, but awesome nonetheless).
  • Tags can be added by the community to any piece of media from within the embed.
  • You can ea… oh, just look at the darn thing already:

That’s one of my favorite sessions from Gnomedex 6.0 (and as a reminder, registrations for the next Gnomedex in August are open – and seats are filling up quickly). Not sure I’m completely sold on the information architecture of the site or embed (in general), but that’s not going to keep me from really helping these guys with feedback and support. This is less about becoming a YouTube and more about enabling communities to create and organize original content.

Now, you should also know that PikSpot is working on:

  • PodTrac integration
  • a way to link off to vetted talent from within the embedded flash
  • a way to surface more data through the embeds
  • a way for original authors to edit metadata from within the embed
  • ways to surface usable stats to media authors

Seems as though Blip is the only network capable of handling “HD” video streams at this point? Won’t be too long before everyone does – or should – support that type of media. Of course, I’m also under the dillusion that people will starting consuming more new media on-demand through affinity searches rather than through specific subscriptions.

And I’ll tell you right now, with all of these various networks and embeds and services and… zOMG! What I think the world really needs at this point is a single embed to share on their own terms. That is to say, a Flash embed within which you might be able to embed anything you wish (which isn’t quite the SplashCast model, but close to it). We’re having an absolute blast with our live video efforts – and I hope to have the more interesting moments and interviews archived and pushed out to all these video networks (and on our own site) within a relatively short amount of time.

Yeah, I’ve really been liking live lately. Really.

Video Voicemail – Help?

Okay, so the idea is taking off… and I think we’re doing something different enough (video calls, not just audio calls, distributed across a variety of online video networks). The interactivity of it is what’s compelling to me – finding ways to make it easier for people to ask questions by webcam and become a part of the program. This doesn’t and shouldn’t replace anything that anybody else happens to be doing, mind you – but there’s a reason I started this on YouTube. We’re trying to prove that online video can be more than a string of insipid pixels, trying to prove that the power of video doesn’t stop after the encoding process.

The geeks already know what’s going on – but the vast majority of YouTubers have never heard of TechTV or G4 or TechCrunch (for that matter) or anything of the like. That’s the audience that needs our help the most. So, if you have a question, suggestion, tip, trick, etc. – I’m going to try using this EyeJot widget to receive your video. You only have 60 seconds to say something. Just press the Reply button in this widget.

If that works, I should receive your video recording as an MP4 attachment in iTunes (or whatever news aggregator I choose to use). The kicker is that no registration is required to give ‘er a whirl! Please, if you have a webcam, give ‘er a whirl. Even if you don’t have a video recording device connected to your computer at the moment, I do have a few questions for the general community:

  1. What is this thing called?
  2. Where should we upload it?
  3. How frequent is too frequent?
  4. What else should we do?

I think we’re limited (because of YouTube’s time restrictions) to 10 minutes per upload – so, realistically, that’s about 4 questions every time – not too shabby. With the right workflow and setup, I bet we could turn around three (or so) per week. Maybe we do an extended version through UndoTV when that launches? Let’s play – it’s our chance to (re)create it.

Oh, and… I think I can get Cat to play along…

TV Didn't Want Call for Help: Do You?

I can’t wait to see UndoTV spring to life in a few months. Every few days, I’ll get an IM from a PikSpot team member (Scott) asking me for feedback. I’ve seen their next-gen design and it looks amazing – though I’m not sure it’s going to make it into v1.0 of the product. Still, beta testers like long-time Gnomie Mike Chandler are using it already. In preparing for our upcoming launch, I came up with a wacky idea that might not have worked a few years ago.

Let’s take the idea of “Call for Help” online?

When I was hosting the show (after and before the god-like Leo Laporte), we received our fair share of both accolades and admonishments. We seldom took more than three calls per show, aired live in the afternoon when most users were at school or work, and were constrained to a traditional television production and schedule.

Now, before I go any further – yes, this is exactly what we plan on undoing on UndoTV. The goal there is to mix your favorite personalities with the new community personalities that deserve just as much of our attention. But, there’s a lot to be said about getting the idea out there sooner – and YouTube certainly has the world’s attention (I bet every single person reading this entry has a YouTube account, or will at some point in the future). Here’s the idea:


The “Call for Help” name is pretty much dead at this point, and even Leo’s continued television efforts will be under a different name soon enough. I guess I’ve gotta scout for the video networks that make it easy to respond to video with video comments, record the Q&A, upload those recordings to the various video networks, then rinse and repeat.

When UndoTV launches, that’ll be the primary distribution point for new segments (and promoted as such). Until then, does anybody care to record a video response for the above clip?