Tag Archives: YouTube

How to Embed YouTube Video Without Related Videos

There are times when you don’t want related videos playing in a YouTube video embed. I know, because a few minutes ago I had that very need!

It’s actually quite simple to embed a YouTube video by way of their on-site forms these days – and they’re bound to change the options by the time I post this how to article. The good news is: if you’re having problems trying to get your YouTube video to embed without displaying any related links, please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond with updated directions (and update this description, too).

Don’t worry – if you’ve already embedded the video, you can very easily turn off the related videos from showing up. This might be important if you only want a page’s visitor to see that single video. Take a look at the HTML code you copied from YouTube originally.

So, in essence, you’ll want the end of the video to look like this screen shot – giving the viewer no other option other than to replay without seeing related videos (from you or any other YouTube viewers):

You’ll see a couple of “youtube” URLs in there – the links which tell the web page which video needs to be played. To the end of these URLs, we need to add a simple parameter:

&rel=0

So, for example, if you see a URL like this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/X1Wn-iKadvE?version=3&hl=en_US

And turn it into this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/X1Wn-iKadvE?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0

This way, when someone goes to view the video, no related videos will show up. You can see a living example of this code in action on our current business services site. You could also click on the YouTube links above to see the differences between viewing a video with or without the related video option.

Good luck with your embedding. If you have any questions about YouTube, don’t hesitate to ask!

Five Things to Avoid When Producing Web Video

There are a million guides out there that will tell you what frame rate, bit rate, codec, and editing software to use. These tips are excellent and should be followed to create as professional a broadcast or podcast as possible. Unfortunately, there are some common traits among amateur web video that find their way in to otherwise perfect productions. Here are five things to avoid when producing web video:

Clutter
If you’ve got a camera on you, it’s also on everything behind you. As a rule of thumb, everything the camera is or might be pointed at should be treated like a movie or television set. If you film out of your bedroom, take five minutes prior to hitting the record button to make the bed and arrange things around the room to look as open and uncluttered as possible. What may be a typical room to you will look like a terrible mess on camera. Viewers have a tendency to imagine the whole room based on the little section they see. If that little piece isn’t right, the whole space may as well be a cluttered mess.

Constant Movement
Video made for the web is compressed and compression does funny things to video. If you have a habit of holding the video camera with your hand and pointing it at yourself or your subject, break it. Invest in a tripod or mount that keeps the background as still as possible. This will not only improve the way your video looks after compression, but it will also improve your subject’s appearance. Each frame is given a certain allotment in terms of bits to generate the image. If little has changed from the frame before it, those bits can be used to make what is moving in the shot look smoother.

Bad Lighting
Lighting is essential to good web video. If you use a low-watt table lamp that looks alright in person, you can bet the video will prove otherwise. It’s better to have lighting that is a bit too bright than a bit too dark. Artifacts, which appear as colored specks or scattered snow, show up much more in a dark shooting environment. Give your subject some light, and if you want to make things look dark and dreary, you can do it in post using a video editing program.

Low or Inconsistent Audio
Most decent video editing programs out there will include audio controls. If you can’t actually affix a virtual audio processor and/or compressor to the audio track, take the time to normalize the audio to a reasonable volume. Audio normalization is one of the fastest and most effective ways to turn mediocre video in to something more professional. If you have the means, work out a system to mic your subject to get the best audio possible. Built-in microphones on smartphones and camcorders can work, but you are far more likely to get good results with an external mic. Because many viewers actually listen more than watch web programs, poor audio may be one of the most important things to avoid when producing web video.

Bad Camera Placement
The subject you are filming should be front and center on screen. If your web video has someone’s head at the bottom of the frame with a large space between the top of their head and the ceiling of the video, you should consider repositioning either the subject or the camera. As a rule of thumb, allow no more than 10% of the total height of the video to show space over the head of your host. If you film at a wide angle from across the room, make sure that it’s clear the person doing the majority of the speaking is the focus of the shot. No mater how cool your set is, your production will suffer if it doesn’t revolve around the subject.

Using Semantic Search on Video Sites with Semex and Media Globe


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Semantic search attempts to improve accuracy – and your search experience – by understanding contextual meaning of terms. Being able to use semantic search within multimedia is an issue that all video sites are working hard to solve. Think of it this way: you can head to YouTube and perform a simple search for a person without having to use any type of description of keywords. The search would then bring up every video that person appears in – and ONLY those videos.

Try finding every video related to a specific location, function or your favorite sports teams. It can be frustrating, to say the least. Semantic search is needed to make all of these things possible, and Media Globe is promising to deliver.

Media Globe was demonstrated during ceBIT 2011 by Nadine Ludwig and Jorg Waitelonis. The ultimate goal is to make the quickly growing amount of digital media easy to find and use.

The project aims to develop more effective approaches to digitize data and then combine that data with metadata. This is an important step on the path to true semantic search – and the simple navigation of large audio-visual collections, such as found on YouTube.

The semantic media explorer isn’t ready to ship yet, but man is it awesome. It’s a sort of intelligent video search engine. They are doing video analysis using optical character recognition and speech recognition within a video and its audio stream. From all of the extracted metadata, you will be able to detect people, events and places within the video transcript. This makes it a snap for you to filter search results in an intelligent way.

Using an existing video archive, Jorg did a simple keyword search. The software immediately asked him what it was he meant. It asked whether he meant to look for a person, state or venue. Basically, it’s asking for the meaning of the search term. Instead of typing in a word with an ambiguous meaning and receiving millions of results which don’t match, you’re going to get exactly what you’re looking for!

The company looks for this to ship sometime late next year. I’m thinking this is definitely something that Google should look into buying for its YouTube property.

Users Cry Foul Over New YouTube Home Page

Once again, YouTube has made pretty big changes on their home page. And once again, people hate it. Reading through the comments on the official announcement and seeing what’s being said on Twitter has been nothing short of a train wreck today. Some of the brutal things being said are just impossible to look away from – or disagree with. Users aren’t happy, and they aren’t keeping quiet about it.

The company knows that the home page as it was just wasn’t working for most of us. However, it appears that it was much more preferred than this new iteration. They feel as though what they have come up with puts more emphasis on videos we want to see. I don’t know about you, but this just isn’t working for me. Let’s take a look at the new “enhancements”:

  • Increased focus on videos that matter to you (subscriptions, friend’s sharing, recommendations)
  • You can easily filter your homepage to show only the latest uploads from your subscriptions
  • Don’t miss anything; if a channel uploads four videos in a day, you’ll see all four – instead of just the latest video
  • Quick access to the inbox when you have new messages or comments
  • Knows what you have seen (videos you’ve watched are grayed out)
  • Remove any video (hover and click the “x” button)

If you take the time to read through the comments after the post, you’ll see things such as “It’s all crowded, it’s like looking at the homepage and getting bombarded with crowded information of all sorts” and “I didn’t switch to the new homepage because I didn’t like it. I’m not keen on having it forced on me. I liked seeing my recent subs’ videos, an the “Recommended For You” section, and that’s it.” My personal favorite, though, is:

Honestly I don’t really want to know what my friends liked and favorited, I don’t want to know what they have watched, I don’t want recommendations and I definitely do not like the new subscription box, it’s pointless to change the homepage if in the first place the old one was working just fine.

These posts sum up the general feelings that many users are having. The home page is too crowded and confusing now. Nothing about the new layout is “simpler” or “easier to navigate” as the site claims. We want to discover videos and content, yes. Shoving things in our faces that we aren’t interested in is NOT the way to convince us to consume more things on your site, folks. That’s going to do nothing more than drive us away to your competitors.

YouTube Video Limits


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Someone asked recently what my thoughts are concerning the new limits that YouTube has placed upon content producers. They raised the length of video allowed to fifteen minutes for many of you. The problem is, though, that many of us don’t watch anything more than ONE minute.

Do you watch fifteen minute videos? Does anyone you know sit through clips that long on YouTube? I can understand the need to occasionally upload something longer than ten minutes – I’ve done so myself a few times. But realistically, I know that it’s very rare to have someone sit through the entire thing.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that YouTube did a good thing when they raised their upload limits?

Christmas Unboxing Geek Style


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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good haul! This happens to be my favorite holiday, even when I happen to be celebrating it alone. I’m very glad to know you’re here with me (even virtually, in homes of your own).

I bought myself a very cool Boba Fett hoodie this year. I’ve been wanting one forever, so I decided to go ahead and splurge!

I received several really cool gifts from various friends, including some great new LEGO and Star Wars stuff! Thank you to all of you.

I also bought myself a Panasonic DMP-B500 Portable DVD Player. Gosh, how did I ever figure out what it was I really wanted?

YouTube sent a gift to some of the producers, as well. We were asked to go to B&H Photo and Video and choose a few things we knew we could need/use. I chose wisely, knowing I will be broadcasting live soon from CES 2011. I’ll be in the Grand Lobby, and uploading all of the resulting videos to my YouTube account. Thanks so much to the folks at YouTube for these goodies.

ThinkGeek also sent me a nice care package. It was sitting downstairs for at least a week, and I’ve been dying to open it. They sent me the new Bluetooth Keyboard and iPad Case that I’ve had my eyes on for a while now. I also recieved the USB Classic Atari Joystick, the Star Wars Dark Side Coffee, an Otamatone, a Not Here to Make Friends shirt (which I WILL wear in public frequently!), the FML shirt (which again – I WILL wear often!!) and a few other assorted goodies.

What’d you get for Christmas this year?

How to Watch YouTube Videos in HD


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Patrick Norton from Tekzilla joins us this week to share the secret to watching everything in YouTube at the highest quality possible. A special Chrome extension does all the work for you instead of toggling the quality setting and restarting the video you already loaded!

YouTube offers several different resolution options. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it always be HD, instead of needing to change it each time and reload your video? Patrick is showing off a Chrome extension that will make sure you are always watching the latest viral vid in the highest quality possible!

Chrome Extensions are little browser addons that help make your web experience even better. The one you’ll need to play YouTube videos in the quality they were recorded is called Auto HD.

When you first install the addon, choose your resolutions in order of preference. It’s quite simple to use, and you’ll never need to configure anything ever again.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks from the gang at Tekzilla.

New YouTube Home Page

Beginning today, you can opt-in to take part in the brand-new YouTube home page. According to the press release, this new layout offers a homepage that has a real emphasis on a personalized video browsing and watching experience. It’s quite different looking, definitely. The question is – is it something we really need in order to have a better experience on the site?

So, what’s in store with the new shiny page? Plenty, according to the powers-that-be:

  • Combined list – Merges your subscriptions, friend activity, and recommendations into one easier-to-scan list (and a “Subscription uploads” tab if you only want to see subscriptions)
  • Don’t miss a video – If a channel uploads 4 videos in a day, you’ll see all 4 – instead of just the latest video
  • Delete anything – Hover over any video you don’t want to watch and click ‘x’
  • Or just grey it out – Videos you’ve already watched will be grayed out – so even without deleting, you’ll know where you left off
  • Help me re-find stuff I just watched – Your homepage will include your recent likes and favorites so you can easily get back to them
  • Easy inbox – Links to your inbox (personal messages & comments) are front and center

My question is, though, is all of this eye candy really necessary in order to improve my experience while visiting the site? It’s a well-known fact that YouTube has tried too hard in the past to “fix” things – only to make them worse. What do you think? Is this new home page a step in the right direction – or not?