I spent the past week producing a promotional video for Social Harbor, the new website developed by Ingenex Digital Marketing. Derek and I went to the Diag on UM’s campus last Wednesday to get some primary video footage. I took the tape home and used iMovie to import and edit the video clips. I found a song that was available without royalty fees on Incompetech.com. Kevin MacLeod writes and records all the music on there — and he only asks for optional donations.
Once I had the film cut to about 1 min. 45 sec., I exported the final product as a Quicktime Movie file in order to upload it to the web. We had chosen YouTube as the service to host and share the video. Of course we could put the video right on the Social Harbor home page using a flash player. But we want to be able to send a link in emails and embed the video on blogs and other websites. We also want people to be able to share the video on social bookmarking sites like Digg.com. YouTube offers all of these. In fact, it’s commendable that YouTube has maintained the “king of the hill” status for so long in the realm of web video streaming. Most Web 2.0 sites that got that big have sold out and gotten ruined (like MySpace, for example).
I did run into some problems with video resolution while uploading to YouTube. They broadcast at 425 pixel width, but iMovie exports at about 320 width by default. It was no easy task to get the ratio correct AND have the video streaming the way it’s supposed to. I had to find a tutorial to help with expert settings and export the video the correct way. Of course, I figured it out right when my brother — who just moved to LA to get into the film industry — told me that Vimeo is better for high resolution videos. They don’t compress your video so much, and you can even host a video in HD quality.
There are some negatives to Vimeo. First, you have a limit of 500 MB per week that you can upload. On YouTube, a single clip can be as large as 1 GB (1000 MB), and there is no limit to your total uploads. Second, you’re not supposed to upload any commercial content. Vimeo is intended for personal creations only — as in home movies and short films. That means I’m not supposed to load the Social Harbor video to Vimeo even if I want to.
The end result: The video is on YouTube, available for viewing by the general public: Social Harbor video.