The fast and easy way to create high-quality, downloadable, iPod-friendly video files
While the Web Video Player is perfect for displaying Flash 8 FLV videos on your web site, there are times when you will want to offer another format so your visitors can also download and share your videos...
The FLV format is the right choice for videos played within a video player on a web site, but it's not easily viewed by itself if downloaded. There may be times when it makes sense to have a downloadable version of your videos available on your web site. For example:
- Try and "Go Viral" - By being able to easily download your videos, you increase the chances that your visitors will pass them around. The easier it is for people to share your videos, the more likely your videos will go viral find a wider audience.
- Low Bandwidth Solution - Internet users who don't have fast internet connections (e.g., people with dial-up access) will not be able to enjoy a real-time, streaming video experience the same as those who enjoy a broadband connection. By giving these visitors the opportunity to download your videos, you enable them to save the video files on their computers and watch them without the "hiccups" normally associated with low bandwidth video viewing.
- Podcasting and Portable Video - With so many video iPods and other portable multimedia devices being sold, video "on the go" has the potential to become mainstream (we're not quite there, yet). Whether for a podcast or not, you should make it easy for people to download and take your videos with them wherever they go.
And the best choice for a downloadable video is...
With so many different available formats, options, preferences and devices for viewing videos, this can be overwhelming. What is the best way to make your visitors happy without spending a lot of time and money by offering a download solution? The answer: MP4 files created using the H.264 codec.
H.264 is a standard for video compression, and is also known as MPEG-4 Part 10, or AVC (Advanced Video Coding). The H.264 codec takes advantage of the latest innovations in video compression technology, providing impressive video quality from the smallest amount of video data. The result is crisp, clear video and much smaller files, saving you bandwidth and storage costs. While lower bit rates usually result in smaller files and lower quality, with H.264 you get stunning video quality - but without the usual bloated, bandwidth-hogging media file.
Offering MP4 files created with H.264 simply makes the most sense. These files can be:
- Downloaded and viewed on any computer (Mac or PC) using QuickTime 7 or greater
- Uploaded to YouTube, Google Video, etc., with terrific results
- Made available to podcast viewers via RSS feeds, iTunes, etc.
- Viewed on most portable devices with no problems
Given the size, quality and above conveniences, no other video format even comes close. That's why we are now offering an MP4 option when you upload your video to your WVZ account. When you have your file converted to Flash 8 FLV for use with the Web Video Player, you can also have an MP4 version created at the same time. Watch the overview video below to see how simple it is to create MP4 video files:
Creating H.264 MP4 Files at The WebVideoZone
Creating a high-quality, downloadable MP4 video file is easy with the WVZ. To summarize, here are the four simple steps:
- Login to your WVZ Control Panel
- Click on "Upload/Convert a Video"
- Select "yes" where it says "Create Downloadable MP4 Version?"
- Copy and paste the generated code
That's all you need to do. Your MP4 will be generated at the same time as your FLV file, and will have the same frame rate as your original source file. The default bit rate for the resulting MP4's video stream is 720 Kbps, and 120 Kbps for the audio stream. For best results, video with this data rate should not exceed 640x480 in size. Larger videos may look pixelated and not play as smoothly.
The WVZ system will generate the MP4 link code such as:
PLEASE NOTE: Version 2 of The Web Video Player will have an optional "download this video" button built into the player. Coming in early 2008!
If your plan is to make your video available for the iPod, your source file should have an aspect ratio of 4:3 (e.g., 640x480). For more information on podcasts and creating videos for mobile devices, please refer to the articles below:
If you have a private, "members only" site and you don't want them to be made widely available for free, then it obviously doesn't make sense for you to offer an MP4 download option. But for everyone else, this option and format should be utilized, as it's a fast and easy technique that can help you find new viewers, prospects and customers. The video is already done - and that was the hard part. Now put it to work for you by making it available as a download, too! ; )