takes a special working arrangement with Microsoft for a hosting service to show
up in the drop-down list in the Movie Maker 'Save Movie Wizard'. You can
trust that whatever service is listed is a reputable and quality
Since day 1 of the initial release of Movie Maker 2,
neptune was the only choice in my list... until
mydeo surprisingly appeared a week or so ago.
Although I had some advance info about it from Microsoft, seeing it in the drop
down surprised me... I thought they were working in other countries
but not the US.
Emails and posts that I read from others who didn't even have one
option led me to think that neptune was only available in the United
I worked on this newsletter, I learned the two services are
really choices for many people using different language versions of Windows XP
and in many countries. Neptune, being more established at this point, is
available in 60 countries. If you're using Movie Maker in Taiwan, you can use
neptune in traditional Chinese characters.
been working with neptune for a long
time. When I flipped the priorities of my website upside down at the start of
this year, I added a link to his service on the main page
of the website.
flesh it out a bit, I added the Distributing > Neptune page to the site,
and they setup a PapaJohn Gallery at neptune.
All galleries are available for open viewing but it takes a member to
Here's the link that takes you directly
into the videos I currently have there... 22 of them at the
The topic of sharing movies via such an online service
fits perfectly with my current priority of doing amazing things with Movie
Maker... it's my normal method of distributing my
Mydeo is the new service in the pick list. I have a new page
on my website for it, which I'll be expanding... Distributing > Mydeo. I
don't much there yet, so I'll go into some detail here.
It supports or will soon
support 11 languages and 34 countries.
To check it, I took out a trial
subscription and posted the same Grand Canyon video I have on
neptune, so I could compare the two. I posted a link to it on the
newsgroup and a forum.
I ran the viewing count up to the free trial limit of
50 to see the automated notices you got when you're getting close to
or at the limit.
There are some significant
differences and the choice will depend on your needs... and you could subscribe
to both services and use the appropriate one of a particular
Neptune uses a file downloading
process and its own viewer, while mydeo streams the video to your Windows
Neptune has a fixed fee for a
period of time while mydeo is more a 'pay per view'
Anyone can save a copy of a
video from the neptune service, but not from mydeo... ease of distribution
on one hand versus protection from unauthorized copying on the other.
... before getting
into them more, here
are a few notes...
finished moving the website from my son's server
in the Lansing, Michigan area to the 1&1 service in London,
U.K. The change went without a blip and I've gotten feedback of
much faster access. With the move, I changed from the domain
forwarding service of Domain Direct to the domain maintenance service
of 1&1... the name and the website server for
papajohn.org are now together for the first time.
There's another new page on
the site... Editing > the Persian Page. It's only
been a month since the Persian Poet Gal joined the forum at
WindowsMovieMakers, and in that short time her 75 posts show that she
has high computer skills, a
deep knowledge of Movie Maker, a zest for learning about the amazing
things that can be done with xml code, and an energy applied to helping
others learn about that specialized area...
The page is a joint one... but mostly
hers. We'll be trying to bridge the gap between Movie Maker users who are
seriously interested in the WOW factor that custom XML code offers
and learning about doing it themselves.
.... on to the main
The Distributing > neptune page of my website
has lots of info about using the service...
Free Trial and
Neptune offers a
3-day free-trial service with 15 MB of storage...
Within a minute of applying, you'll get an automated
email welcoming you, and inviting you to upgrade to
one of the normal storage level plans.
I have the 1 GB service and my 22
videos are using 625 MB of it.
You can use the picklist in the saving movie wizard
of Movie Maker to upload a newly rendered movie directly to neptune
... or you can log into the service, select
the upload feature and use either 'easy upload' or 'single file
Your storage space is the only constraint. You can
upload movies and stories of any size and quality (bitrate).
When I started with neptune a few years ago, I
was using the 300 kbps bitrate level as my rule of thumb, but
I've moved it steadily upwards to a current level of about 750
As more and more of my viewers are using
broadband, the older 300 kbps needed 320x240 pixel sized movies to look good;
today the 640x480 ones at the higher bitrates play fine.
Once they are online, you can share or not share
You and anyone you give your access link to can see
them all. To share one beyond that, you need to create an album
for it. It's one video per album.
Although the price per year is fixed by your
storage space option, there's a limit on viewing usage... bandwidth. Here's a
copy of the current table of limits.
My 1.0 GB storage limit account has a daily limit
of 2 GB of bandwidth and a monthly limit of 4 GB. I've never seen a notice about
being close to a limit, so I can't share what it looks like or
Saving a movie from neptune isn't
an intuitive easy process, and you need your Windows Media Player in
addition to the neptune player. I just added this info to the website page the
In the window where you view an album, the control panel
includes an option to 'Save Video'... it'll be grayed out and
non-functional until the video is fully downloaded (watch the buffering progress
under the monitor).
Once fully down, the 'Save Video' option changes to
being bright and functional. Selecting it opens your Windows Media Player
and starts the video playing in it...
With it playing in WMP, use File > Save As to
place a copy on your hard drive.
Free Trial and
I signed up for a free trial account... which
expires at the end of December.
It allows you to upload a .wmv video encoded at less than
1000kbps, up to 5 minutes in duration, and gives you 50 free streams.
I tested it with a copy of my Grand Canyon PiP
video on August 8, posted the link to a forum and newsgroup, and
looked at it a number of times myself. Within the first hour of my testing,
the meter was up to 10 views... by August 18 it was at 34
To see the automatic notices that mydeo sends
out, I drove it up the rest of the way to 50.
Here's an extract from mydeo's website about
its 3 pricing packages for this Grand Canyon video, with some guidance
about who they are appropriate for. The prices are in pounds and a pound is
about $1.81 U.S.
||Up to 200|
||Up to 1,000|
||Up to 10,000|
NB: If your video is compressed above
550Kbps the number of views allowed per package is halved.
Mydeo’s Basic package is ideal for assigning to
videos that are likely to be seen by just your friends and family. The package
allows more than enough views for even the most popular home videos and you
keep your costs down because the package price is the cheapest.
Medium package is ideal for small businesses who may want to distribute
a promotional video to several hundred customers, or who have websites that
generate good numbers of hits each month. The medium package will allow
hundreds of viewings each month and the cost will work out cheaper than buying
hosting and bandwidth directly from a network, and you don’t need to sign a
Mydeo's High package allows thousands of viewings
of a video each month. This package is suitable for content that is intended
for distribution to as many people or customers as possible. An example of
this might be an amusing viral email campaign.
When my Grand Canyon sample video reached 50
streams, the limit of the free trial, I looked at the options... how much
would it cost to keep this almost 5 minute video online? Here's
the monthly rates in pounds, with US dollar figures annotated.
Uploading a video is done
by logging into your account and selecting the 'Add video' tab.
Browse to the file, give it a name, and add personal notes
about it. The notes are for your use, not seen by viewers.
Once uploaded, you need to assign a package of terms and
pricing to apply to it. The free trial package choice can be used once and
will be in the drop down list of choices if not yet used. If a package
isn't assigned within 2 days, the video is deleted from the server.
Once online, you can use these options...
per mydeo info:
Generate link - If you would just like the
link to your file you can use the 'HTML link' option. This will give you a
simple link to your file which you can use as you wish. You might want to send
the link in an email or you can use the link on your website.
an HTML email - The 'email' option will create you an HTML email, including
a thumbnail from your video, which you can customise with your own message and
signature. The email will be sent to the email address given by you at
registration, you can then forward this email to as many people as you like.
Easy code - Easy code will generate you code which you can use to
create a pop-up window to play your video, or code which you can use in your
webpage to embed the player - for that really professional
Saving a movie from a streaming server such
as mydeo can't be done. The process protects you from unauthorized
Conclusions and Closing
The two services are
different... I could extrapolate a hypothetical 'what if', but I
won't. Everyone's distribution needs and goals are different. I just want to
give you enough background info to use when making the choice...
pricing standpoint, neptune is more like a cell phone... you
subscribe to a service and get lots of usage over the course of the
subscription period, with total usage limits that usually suffice. Mydeo
is like a pay phone, a good bit more per call or minute, but less if you
only use it once or twice a year.
downloading of neptune lets you truly distribute your videos to
others, for online or offline viewing, or for further distribution.
The streaming of mydeo limits viewing to those online and
protects you from unauthorized distribution.
For viewers with less
than broadband connections, higher quality videos can be downloaded and viewed
when playing back locally... the playback experience of streaming video is more
determined by the connection speed. Those without the newer faster broadband
connections can't experience the higher quality, no matter how new or powerful
The quality differences
can be considerable. Contrast the suggested 340 kbps of mydeo to the 750 kbps of
neptune. If the viewer's connection isn't sufficient they could be seeing
nothing when video is streaming... waiting a bit longer is
all that is needed for a downloaded file.
Mydeo guidance suggests
using 320x240 pixel videos for a good viewing experience... neptune
guidance is for higher quality 640x480 and pushing the quality (bitrate)
You would like to think
that streaming gets the viewing started quicker, but it isn't the case. Both
will start playing when their buffer is satisfied, and the buffer for the
download process is smaller than for streaming. Mydeo's website
suggests that 'streaming' results in being able to view a video right away,
without having to download it first... my experience and info from neptune says
that the file download process starts quicker, unless you choose to fully
download it first before playing locally.
If streaming, only those
with a download bandwidth equal or higher than the video bitrate can watch the
video. If you ever try to watch a streaming video with a bitrate too high... you
get nothing, no matter how long you let the video buffer.
The neptune service
includes photos in addition to video... the mydeo service is limited to
video. Although not a factor when considering mydeo, it's a plus if you consider
neptune for more than just video.
Neptune includes public galleries to exhibit your videos... with viewings
in the galleries not counted as part of your limits. If you have a video that
becomes a sensation, the millions of viewers won't be running up your
... and my final
comment... I typically put my videos on my own website server. These two hosting
servers are not the only options you have.
Have a great week...