This newsletter has lots of pictures and links to explore
vimeo, one of many free online hosts, but stands out for a quality of
service that deserves a newsletter. It's a work in progress and looking
great at this point.
I signed up at vimeo in October, but it was only a
month or so ago that I got into it deeply enough to really appreciate how
well it's been developing and start using it.
John Lauwers started the Photo Story
'channel' at vimeo as a place to display high
quality Photo Stories and pass along tips about making them...
We do a lot of chatting about story and movie projects in forums
and newsgroups, but none of them support a gallery to show the work. This
channel at vimeo fills that need.
I joined John and the handful of others who
have subscribed to the channel so far. You and all are welcome.
There's a lot I like about vimeo, one of the
features being their 'widgets', players or active lists of contents
embedded in a website page. This one is for the contents of the Photo
Story Magic channel. It's embedded in my website's Photo Story 3 > Do
Amazing Things page. Click on it here to open a demo web page made for the
An album is a widget similar to a channel.
The 'widget' here shows the videos for our Europe 301
How does an album differ from a channel?
Looking at these two widgets, they're the same except the
channel says 'Newer' and 'Older' as you go through the videos, while the album
says 'Previous' and 'Next'.
A channel is similar to a TV station that
broadcasts videos as they are received.
An album, like your home picture albums and scrapbooks, can
be organized to show things however you want. That's perfect for my vacation
To the viewer, the widget with the channel or
album will look the same.
note from vimeo
At vimeo you can place any of your
uploaded videos in a channel or album, or both. Some of our
vacation videos are stories, and included in the Photo Story Magic
channel in addition to the Europe 301 album.
Before looking closer at vimeo, here's...
a couple notes...
Online video sites with high quality are sprouting up all over.
in addition to vimeo, there's...
opened its doors to the public this week
been around for a while. It's been over a year since I joined.
Places like Hulu and
brightcove are for those publishing or distributing
Back to the main
Making Movies and Stories for
Here's the vimeo guidance for making standard videos (standard 4:3 or
widescreen 16:9 aspect ratios), and my comments about the settings I use in
custom profiles when heading to the service.
Codec: wmv files from Movie Maker and Photo
Story work fine
Frame rate: NTSC 29.97 fps.
Keyframes: Using their guideline, I set the
custom profile to have one every second.
Data rate: 1800 seems to be pushing it.... I went
with 1000 for the video (the total bitrate ends up about 1400 when audio and
overhead are added).
Size: I'm using 800x600 for standard stories and
640x480 for movies. For widescreen movies and stories I'm using
Deinterlace: Movie Maker automatically
deinterlaces when saving movies in WMV format.
Sound sample rate: 44 kHz
Audio quality: I'm using the VBR Quality 98,
44 kHz, stereo VBR setting.
Similar comments on vimeo's suggestions for High
Definition movies. All the same with these differences.
Codec: CBR Mode, Windows Medial Video 9, with 80
for the video smoothness
Frame rate: The flash files that vimeo makes
for HD are at 24 fps. To align with them, I made a custom movie profile
to use that frame rate, something I'm experimenting with now. John
Lauwers made a couple custom profiles for PhotoStory, downloadable at the
Photo Story Magic channel.
Data rate: I set the video data rate at 2000
kbps... the total with audio and overhead is 2329.
Size: HD videos are widescreen 16:9. Using
1280x720 as suggested
Audio quality: CBR Windows Media Audio 9.2
with the highest choice, 320 kbps, 44 kHz, stereo
Uploading and vimeo Converting to
vimeo doesn't set limits for file sizes or
durations. The limit is a weekly one of 500 MB of uploads.
I've done all my Europe 301 videos this week and
still have half of my budget left. 500 MB is a lot of WMV files,
especially stories which are only a fraction the size of movies.
vimeo has lots of nice
vimeo is always providing feedback about the
status of what's happening. Here it's showing the progress of the upload. Let it
finish there, and then go to the video and it'll show the progress of
the conversion from WMV to flash format.
Conversion of most of my uploads started
within minutes... with about a 100% conversion success rate from stories or
movies. Others who upload high quality stories are sometimes not as successful,
something being studied by those who frequent the channel, with
support from vimeo.
After conversion, vimeo needs another few
minutes to make a set of thumbnail images for you to pick from. On busy days, I've seen it make just 3 for a video,
but go back when not busy to add more, so you have a bunch to pick
Here in the video settings is where you can
change the title, description, or add it to a channel or album.
Another great feature of vimeo is the choice to
When you see a spelling error in the movie
title or credits, or something else you want to change, and you've
already sent out notices with a URL to your friends and family, vimeo lets
you swap out the online video with a new version... and it doesn't
effect the URL. If you hurry you can fix the issue before too many viewers see
You can forward it as it suggests, or go down other
paths such as adding it to a channel or album, and embedding a vimeo
widget into a website page.
You saw samples of embedded widgets above.
vimeo sends an email when the newly uploaded video is ready
to view.... complete with the default thumbnail selected by vimeo, and the
Channels, Albums and Other Kinds of
There are lots of
privacy choices... Check the Private option to limit the viewing
to 'Nobody else', just yourself. Add a password and give it to only selected
people. I tend to open the viewing to anyone who wants to see it.
To download a copy of the original, when allowed, viewers
can scroll all the way down to this link in the lower
right corner of the page. This is on the vimeo page for the video, not
included in viewing from a Hubnut widget.
Here's the link to the 22+ MB wmv file I just
Another great feature of vimeo is letting others download a copy
of the original... which is usually better quality than the flash
When on the page for the selected video, you have options to add
it to an existing or new channel or album.
vimeo shows the channels and albums you already
have, so you can simply check the one(s) you want the video to appear
Uncheck it to remove it from an album or
Arranging an Album
Arranging the sequence of videos in an album is done by using the vimeo
main menu > Videos > My Albums > Select the album > Manage the album
Drag and drop any of the videos in the album to
where you want it.
Arranging can only be done for albums, not
channels. I mentioned it above but it's worth emphasizing.
You get the html code for a widget by starting with
the vimeo menu > Tools > Widgets. There are 3
types, Hubnut, Badge, and OSX Dashboard. I'll skip the OS X
Dashboard choice and show you the two that work in Windows...
I like the Hubnut with the slideshow option
checked, so it moves every few seconds to give viewers a clue that the
player is dynamic, with controls they can use.
A Hubnut can be customized to show all your
uploaded videos, subscriptions to others, a selected channel or album, and other
vimeo hosts fairly active forums with their
support people responding to questions and comments. I submitted a draft of
this newsletter this morning and received the note back within an
hour. It's a pretty upbeat place with lots of positive comments from users.
Yes, there are issues as with anything, which are taken well and responded
Conclusion and Closing... and What's
There are 8 subscribers to the Photo Story Magic channel.
I'm the one at the lower left. You can tell by clicking on me.
Photo Story and vimeo are not aligned when it comes to profiles. Photo
Story by design makes only standard 4:3 aspect ratio videos, and vimeo likes to
show off HD sized videos in full glory... at widescreen 16:9.
We work around it by using custom profiles and planned
distortions of pictures to make stories that are HD sized and widescreen, and
look great. The steps are easy but take some learning. The results are well
worth the extra steps.
The channel has places for posting messages, private
notes, forum chats, and downloads such as these 4 custom PS3 profiles from
John Lauwers. There are so many features that the channel becomes a
self-contained community for those who like making, showing and viewing high
Have a great week...