I have been toying with the idea for a while now and while the storms battered the hell out of the garden yesterday, I decided to execute the idea and was quite surprised at the results. I recorded a short video tutorial on how to use the new MediaBrowser functionality here at Blog-City.
I got out my trusty Panasonic DV camera and hooked it up to the laptop and after about an hour of false starts I nailed the opening sequence (I would have recorded straight into Magix, but my desktop PC doesn't have a firewire connection on it, so I had to use my laptop as a proxy firewire connection).
In all honesty the problem was one of self awareness - getting use to not only hearing but seeing yourself. No one likes to hear themselves at the best of times, but seeing yourself also, adds a whole new dimension. It's one thing to get snapped doing an activity and being yourself, but its another thing talking straight into the camera trying to be natural. I am not quite sure I managed it.
I then took all the snippets of video and pushed them into Magix Movie Maker, which is a really sweet piece of software. It allows for a wide range of editing allowing you to do a whole host fancy stuff. In many respects the challenge is not to use them and come up with something that isn't too cheesy and watchable. After producing a final version, I then prepared it for upload to YouTube.
YouTube only want videos of less than 10 minutes and under 100MB. My video of 5 minutes was sitting at 170MB, so some encoding had to be done. Fortunately Magix Movie Maker has a host of export codecs and finally opted for the YouTube recommendation of MP4 320 wide pixels. This took the video size down to 18MB with no major loss of clarity. I then uploaded it to YouTube not realising that YouTube takes some time before its made public; some 6 hours in my case.
The whole experience was fun, and successfully ate up most of Sunday afternoon. Most of that time could be considered playing and getting comfortable watching and editing myself! Lots of wee things I would do better the next time, including more lighting and a better camera position.
But it was fun and hopefully it will help people get more out of their blog.