Saturday, May 24, 2008

DIL: Compressing my screencast into a format for YouTube

Having spent all morning to make a Camstudio screencast, the next task to address was to compress the file into a size that can be uploaded to YouTube or my blog using Windows Movie Maker (WMM).

Learning styles
How long I persevere at working my way through 'problems' depends on what mood I'm in and what other jobs I am trying to avoid. Today I was trying to avoid housework and playing golf with my husband, so I decided I could not wait until the next DIL workshop and would try to work out how to compress the video file myself.

I dragged my husband out of bed to help me but he just annoyed me, and I know I annoyed him because I kept interfering. He has a slow but methodical approach to sorting things, but I just want to barge in and not take time to read and think. Suffice to say, he was right about what to do but by that time I'd worked that out, I'd sent him on his way.

Resources I used
First of all I had a play with WMM to see how intuitive the program was. It was intuitive to a point but then I had to seek help. The WMM 'help' section wasn't much help at all so I turned to YouTube and watched several videos, but they didn't get me too far. Then I did the 'man' thing and blamed my tools - my computer and the WMM program, but it appears I have the latest version. Eventually, I found a great blog post by Caffeine for Bloggers that made me understand about file size and walked me through each step, using pictures.

Are we there yet?

Along the way I experimented with different file sizes but none were being accepted by YouTube. Eventually, I sent out a plea to Twitter for advice and Sue Waters replied that I needed to aim for:
  • less than 20MB
  • less than 10 minutes
  • Broadband 514 kps., I am not there yet, but I have learned it is important to keep my screencasts under 10 minutes if I want to post them on YouTube.

Back to drawing board
I went back to WMM and had another play to try and reduce the video length but had to admit defeat because of time restraints. I think I'll start again with another completely new screencast and see how I go with that.

Aim for next DIL workshop
Have a play with WMM and learn how to edit and add special features like effects.

Image: 'A view to a kill' kurafire


Sue Waters said...

Wondering if now is the time I pipe up and say I use Google Video since there is no time constraint (hoping this doesn't earn my blog or twitter rant LOL). Meanwhile here is my "how to" for MovieMaker and CamStudio.

Sarah Stewart said...

Took your advice and uploaded on Google Video which was a lot easier than YouTube. Thanks.