Web video for beginners

Frequently Asked Video Questions

Frequently asked questions with all the answers

Welcome to our frequently asked video questions page, where we have the answers to all the most common video related problems.

All the questions are in bold, with the answer below. The chances are your question has already been asked before, so just spend a minute going through them all, and the chances are you'll learn something new and useful as well in the process.

Can't see the answer to your video questions? Use the search box on the right or Click on the "Ask A Question" link in the left hand column or click VIDEO QUESTIONS to ask Mr Video! He will send you the answer by email and post it on this page to share with everyone else.

Video Questions: I have spent hours & hours (& some money) on trying to make a DVD of an anniversary photostory I made. I am very frustrated and finally came across this area. Please tell me how I can put my finished photostory 3 project onto a DVD which will play on my parent's DVD player as they don't have a computer. I anxiously await your reply. Berri

Video Questions Answer: Hi Berri, you need to use a DVD Authoring program to create DVDs. I personally use Sony Architect (Comes included with Sony Movie Studio editing software), but there are some free options available, which you can find HERE

Windows Vista Premium & Ultimate also come with a free DVD authoring tool as well, which you can also use.

Pete :-)

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Video Questions: Hey Pete! I have a quick question for you. I am finally in a place with the time to focus on launching my new site and plan to start shooting videos this week and working through the discounted DVD workshop I bought from you.

In addition to a lot of high quality content/articles, I plan to make complementary videos to accompany a lot of articles on my site. I plan to use SBITUBE too.

I am trying to wrap my head around how to strategize the release of a lot of video on my site. I guess the one central question is that if you were going to launch a content rich site with lots of video would you plan on featuring those videos on a wordpress blog or not? If you have a minute to answer I would appreciate it. Matt

Video Questions Answer: Hi Matt, Your strategy should be two-fold.

[1] Create lots of short (1-3 min) promo, teaser, 'tip of the day/week' type videos and add them to video share sites, itunes, blogs etc. The key here is volume. One a day is ideal and optimize the video using keywords in title and description, and don't forget a link to your site in the video and on the video share site. This drives the visitors to your site.

[2] Create longer (3-5) videos to add to your website that offers unique content not found anywhere else, and goes into more detail than the videos in [1]. This keeps the visitors on your site when they arrive. Again, make sure you optimize the web page for your video theme using keywords etc. as normal.

Pete :-)

The Easiest & Quickest Way To Add Video & Audio To Your Website

Video Questions: I am selling an ebook and want to add videos as a Bonus. I think I also want to sell the videos as a separate purchase at a cheaper price. So, I have a couple of questions:

I am an SBI owner and I use ejunkie to sell the ebook. What's the best way to add the videos and/or sell the videos. It's an algebra site, so there will be about 10 videos about 5 minutes each.

I'm using Cam Studio and a pen tablet. The videos look and sound pretty good, but for some reason, I can hear my voice when my headset is on, but I can't get the sound to work through my speakers when I try to play it back on Windows Media player.

I'm also not sure how to save these files. I've played around with windows movie maker.

Basically, I am a beginner with video and I've figured out the screen capture part, but now it's trying to figure out how to save and upload/sell the product.

Any help that you can provide would be appreciated!

I don't know if SBI Tube would be the answer to my problems or not. Karin

Video Questions Answer: Hi Karin, I haven't personally used ejunkie, so cannot comment on how to use that service, but I'm guessing using it to sell a digital video is the same as selling a digital ebook.

As to what video format you use, I would offer both WMV (For Windows users) and MOV (For Mac users) versions for total compatibility.

Not hearing the video on your computer probably means your audio output has been muted for some reason. Check your audio settings on your computer.

Your screen-capture video should be AVI, which you can then edit & encode to WMV and MOV using suitable video editing software (My personal recommendation can be found Video Editing Software).

For some tips on producing great quality screen-capture videos, go Screen Capture

SBITUBE makes adding professional looking video to your website easy and quick, as well as hosting the video for you as well. Your customers can watch videos you have uploaded to SBITUBE on your site using the embed code provided, or going directly to the video on SBITUBE, where they have the option of downloading the video if you want them to.

Hope that helps and give me a shout if you require any more video help.

Pete :-)

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Video Questions: I have been working on video for about a year now. I am a professional kayaker and unfortunately I make all my own movies for my blog. I post them to vimeo. should i own some different lenses to get a better shot? When I'm done editing how should I save to have super high quality on my vimeo page? I really appreciate any help you have. Ross.

Video Questions Answer: Hi Ross, why 'unfortunately'? ;-) I'm guessing you are shooting in HD and rendering your edited video to HD as well? The video quality is as good as you're going to get with your camera (Which is very good by the way). You would need to consider buying a semi-pro camera offering full 1080i HD to get better results.

The only lens you would would probably need is a telephoto lens, but the more zoom, the more shake, so you would need a tripod or stabilizer. Always get a UV filter as well to prevent glare and it protects your main lens. Hope that helps. Pete :-)

Video Questions: Hi Peter, I'm trying to embed a live feed from a Panasonic BL-C30 network camera on a webpage. I've come across TenM3.com which is for that very purpose, but may be expensive, and so far not able to setup. Do you know whether there's another way? Do you know of any reason why I shouldn't try to do this? Thanks for a great site. Geoff

Video Questions Answer: I recommend you check out www.camstreams.com Geoff, which is a free service and comes highly recommended. I notice there is a bee cam on there, so no reason why you can't do the same. Not sure how it can be incorporated onto your own site, but there must be a way. Looks like the easiest and cheapest option. Best of luck, Pete :-)

Thanks very much for all you help Pete, I've got the feed up and running now. Check it out at www.bees-on-the-net.com/wvd Geoff

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Video Questions: I have not been able to save my movie to DVD for some time. I have tried all types of CD's and DVD's, but none of them work. Can you help me save my movie to a CD or DVD? Mari

Video Questions Answer: Hi Mari, Do you want to create a DVD you can watch on your TV or are you just having problems saving a video file to your CD or DVD? If it is the former, click how to make a DVD If it's the latter, then the issue is with your DVD Writer and computer settings. Pete :-)

The Easiest & Quickest Way To Add Video & Audio To Your Website

Video Questions: Hi, I had a "professional" start filming my yoga video for me, where we actually did two. Neither were usable in their entirety, so I planned on taking parts of one and including it in another, editing out bad shots. He dropped the ball and never completed the project. I now have his mini DV's and several rough cut DVDs. I want to finish the project and know nothing about how to, or even if I can on my own. I planned on making copies of the DVDs and selling them on my website. Any suggestions? I am looking through your site now, but maybe you can streamline this for me, or tell me if it would be better hire someone else. Thanks, Giselle

Video Questions Answer: Hi Giselle, If you ever hire a 'professional' videographer again, make sure you always ask them for a 'show reel'. If they say 'What's that?', then you know they're not a professional. A show reel is simply a demo DVD of the video work they've previously done. Also get the name and contact details of their last customer and speak to them about what they were like to work with.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or hire another videographer depends on how quickly you want the job done and how much money you want to spend. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you learn the skills yourself, you'll always have complete control over your video projects and save a bundle of money, but it will take time. If you hire a real professional to do it, it will get done quicker, but it will cost you more money and you are dependant on another person. The choice is yours.

If you want the very best training on how to make your own instruction or How-To DVDs, then you will want to check out the DVD Workshop by clicking HERE as it is the definitive guide from the World's top How-To Video Producer (Bill was my personal mentor and got me into this industry.)

If you do decide to order this 10 DVD set, contact me first before you do and I'll give you $50 off the advertised price. Doing it this way may take a bit longer, but you will have a very valuable new skill at the end of it that will benefit you for years to come.

Whatever you decide to do, the very best of luck with your video project.

Pete :-)

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Video Questions: If adding tutorials (which are free) onto my website is a great idea, what would be left to offer in a DVD that is for sale? In other words, why would someone purchase a DVD for $40 if most of what would be on the DVD is available on my site for free? Thanks a bunch for a great site! Brad

Video Questions Answer: Brad, your free online video content could just be the basics for example, and you can then offer more advanced tuition as 'pay per view' online video or a DVD (Or better yet, a series of DVDs!).

Also, most niches have hundreds of suitable topics, and you may decide to keep some of the more juicy ones for your DVDs. You could have the first two chapters for free on your site, and your visitors would need to buy the DVD to watch the rest.

And just because you have a dozen free videos scattered around your site, not everyone wants to watch them online in a small video window. Lots of people would prefer to watch them all together on a DVD sitting in their favorite armchair on their widescreen TV having a beer ;-)

So in reply to your 'why would you?', I would say 'why wouldn't you?'

Pete :-)

The Easiest & Quickest Way To Add Video & Audio To Your Website

Video Questions: What is the best and user friendly video camera/system for less than $300 USD for making website quality videos. Larry

Video Questions Answer: If you are planning on making video an integral part of your website Larry (and you should be!) and are maybe thinking about making a DVD to sell on your site at a later date, then I recommend you stretch your budget to $500 and buy one of the camcorders I recommend Cheap Camcorders.

But if you are planning to make ONLY short 'head & shoulder' type videos for your site, then you could get away with buying the Flip Ultra HD for $180 which produces good quality video (under the right lighting conditions), but doesn't have the all important mic jack fro great audio.

The good news is new models are coming out all the time at the moment, and Kodak have just announced the Zi8 (Released on Sept 1st), which has full HD, large LCD screen, face-tracking, image stabilization AND (drum roll please) a MIC JACK!!!

About time too.

The Zi8 looks exactly like the Flip UltraHD in size and shape, but now has the mic jack to plug in an external lapel mic (radioshack $35) for great audio. You can pop it on a tripod and you're good to go.

These types of cameras will never offer the video/sound quality or the features of the $500 camcorders I recommend (it doesn't have any optical zoom for example and you NEVER want to use digital zoom), but may be a good place to start.

The Kodak Zi8 is also $180 and looks like good value for money. I'll be getting one for producing 'quick' videoblog type videos in my studio instead of a webcam.

Hope that helps.

Pete :-)

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Video Questions: Hi Peter, I have a sony hc52 camcorder and I thought it was the one that had everything I needed, but one problem...I do not see a place to plug the mic. What would I need for this type of recorder? Rachel

Video Questions Answer: What you need is a new camcorder Rachel ;-) Unfortunately, if your camcorder doesn't have a mic jack or a 'shoe' connector on top of the camera as yours doesn't, there is nothing you can do I'm afraid. If video is going to be an important part of your website, I strongly recommend you get a new camcorder with a mic jack. Click on the 'cheap camcorders' link on the left to see the cameras I recommend. Pete :-)

Video Questions: A couple of years ago I purchased a Sony Handycam DCR-HC28. Unfortunately, it does not have an audio in capabilities. This is a problem since I would like to record a short video for our church and have it distributed.

Are there any work-arounds to this problem? I have full audio equip here at the church am unsure about my options. Michael

Video Questions Answer: Hi Michael, Not really I'm afraid. The only real work-around is if your camera has a hot-shoe adaptor which allows you to attach a separate audio jack. Trouble is the Sony Handycam DCR-HC28 doesn't have one.

The other thing you can really do is make sure everyone is very close to the camera when they are speaking and make sure you minimize all other noise.

If you are planning on making a number of videos, I recommend you consider buying a new HD camera with an audio jack. For my personal recommendations and best buys, click Cheap Camcorders.

Pete :-)

Video Questions: I have a JVC minidv camcorder that I want to use for making short how to videos for my site. All well and good so far.

The problem starts with my 10 month old laptop. Apparently it does not have a firewire port. to connect with my camcorder. It has the usual usb ports.

I have seen in other forums that this seems to be a common problem. I can't understand in this day and age why they don't have them built in or the option to easily install one.

Is there something I can do other than buy a new laptop. Hope you can point me in the right direction. Best regards, Lee

Video Questions Answer: You'll be pleased to hear that this is an easy and cheap problem to sort out Lee.

All you need to do is buy a Firewire PCMCIA card, and pop it in your laptop's PCMCIA slot.

Here's some typical fire wire cards:

Just make sure the one you get is compatible with your laptop's PCMCIA slot (See your laptop documentation for details). Firewire cable can be 6 pin or 4 pin, so again, make sure you get the right one for you (Some cards have both and a couple of USB ports thrown in for good measure).

Also make sure your laptop is up for the job, as video editing is very resource intensive and gobbles up hard drive space.

Regards, Pete :-)

Video Questions: Hi Pete. Thanks so much for your great website. Quick question: What is a remote control on a video camera useful for? We can't really be the actor and cameraman simultaneously, can we? Albert

Video Questions Answer: The remote allows you to be exactly that Albert - the presenter and the cameraman. I always do it like this when I shoot video I am presenting. It makes life a lot easier not having to use another person and cuts down on your production costs.

The ideal setup is to have your camera on a tripod about 4-6ft away from you and have a TV or monitor directly below the lens facing you.

Connect the monitor to the camera so you can see exactly what you are shooting.

Have your set ready, check sound, lights and white balance, and get into position. By watching the monitor, use the zoom on the remote to frame the shot and hit the 'record' button when you are ready to start filming (Remember to keep the remote out of shot).

You can also turn the LCD screen on the camera to face you and use that, but you need good eyesight and it doesn't always show the full recording area.

Obviously, if you are running around doing a sports video outside, this isn't going to work very well and you'll probably need someone to operate the camera, but you can use this set up effectively for most indoor video shoots.

Regards, Pete :-)

Video Questions: Hi Peter, I am trying for the first time to load up a video for a client who is also using SBI. The file that we have is not supported by Riva- being WMV9. Are you able to change the format of the video so that it can be uploaded? Alternatively what fee would you charge to upload it for me using your own software. Thanks, Nicole

Video Questions Answer: Hi Nicole, You can buy some budget FLV encoding software that will do the job, like Flix Standard ($30), but then you need to encode the video, upload it to your server and host it, download a FLV video player and then upload that to your server and host it, create the HTML video embed code and add it to your site.

Or you can go to SBITUBE, where all you have to do is upload your WMV video and they will convert it to high quality FLV, host the video (so no strain on your site!) and provide you with the HTML embed code.

All you have to do is copy and paste the code provided and you're done.

They provide the FLV player, and you can add all sorts of professional looking extras, like logos, links, preview image and player 'skins'. They have video tutorials showing you how to do everything.

24/7 support and all for less than 7 cents a day!

Try it out free for 7 days at SBITUBE

Pete :-)
P.S. Don't forget to check out what the members think of SBITUBE by clicking on the 'testimonials' link.

Video Questions: Hi Pete, I was introduced to you at the recent SBI conference in San Diego (I'd love to watch the longer video again, that you provided for us, if that's available.)

My question is about which video camera to buy. I'm going to be making web videos of me doing movements, so I'll need whole body shots from a bit of a distance. Plus I guess I'll want a boom mic or a wireless, so I can talk while moving without being tethered to my camera.

Amazon has the Canon HG10 AVCHD High Definition Camcorder with Optical Image Stabilizer for $499. Seems like a good deal. And since I'll need the mic and editing software too, I want to spend as little as possible while still getting high quality.

Do you think I'm right to go with the HG10, or is there another camera you think would be a better choice for me? Thanks, Natalie.

Video Questions Answer: Hi Natalie, Thanks for your email. Glad you liked the video. It's a bit long for online really, but I'll have it's shorter brother making money with web video very soon.

The Canon HG10 is a great camera with all the right connections. Just make sure your computer has the processing power to handle HD and that your video editing software can handle AVCHD.

Amazon seems to currently have it at $540. A MUCH better deal IMHO is this one HERE for $520 and has over $100 worth of essential accessories included and free shipping. I also have a coupon for you as well. Just add LOYALTY10 when ordering, and you'll get an extra $10 off.

Check out my camcorder microphone and videoing editing software recommendations by clicking on their links in the left hand column.

Happy videoing. Pete :-)

Video Questions: I never thought I could put my own video on my site until now.

This is a wonderful site. Believe me. No one can leave this site without getting some valuable info from it. I feel like you have made this site for me only. I have acquired so much of knowledge from just watching your videos.

Coming to my question. I have a sony full HD 1080 SR 10 E handicam. It doesn't have a input audio port/jack and it makes wider video. How to convert the wider video into normal one? and how can I dub my videos? is there any free dubbing software? Going a little too far .... my English accent is that of Indian English. At global level that might be a problem for people watching it. Can I dub some computer software voice in my video having UK accent. Pawan www.child-discipline-with-love.com

Video Questions Answer: Hi Pawan, Thank you for your kind words and I'm happy to hear this site has been of some help to you. May I use it as a testimonial please?

Your HD camcorder shoots in widescreen, so the video aspect ratio is 16:9 instead of the normal 4:3

The free video player included at SBITUBE is set at 4:3 (because widescreen is still not yet the most widely used format), but it can easily be changed to fit widescreen video.

As you are already a SBITUBE members, simply go to www.sbitube.com and login. On the home page are all our video tutorials. Select the 'How To Change The SBITUBE Video Player Size' tutorial and follow the instructions.

For widescreen video, change ALL the player size settings to width="470" height="260"

If you now find you have 'black lines' above, below or on the sides of the video, you will need to play around with the video player size settings to get it to fit perfectly.

If the video almost fits the player, then you can simply add &stretching=fill to your HTML video embed code and it will stretch the video to exactly fit the player. This is really only for videos that almost fit the player, because it can cause a loss in video quality as it changes the original video aspect ratio.

If you have any problems with this, just contact me and I'll help you out.

If you are close enough to the camcorder, the audio recorded will be fine. If you want to record your narration separately, then I recommend Audacity (PC & MAC), which you can download for free at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

If you choose this route, you must get a good USB microphone to record with, or the audio quality will be poor. I recommend any of the Plantronics USB headsets.

I'm not a big fan of the 'automated' voices as they still all sound like robots ;-) Maybe this would be a little impersonal for a child orientated site? Have a go doing it yourself first. The Indian accent sounds great, and is universally recognised now I think. Pete :-)

Video Questions: Can you tell me how I can get my video thumbnail images to open with the full version on the same page - so people can have a choice which one they want to open up? I want to put these if possible in the right hand column. Thanks, Jon.

Video Questions Answer: Jon, if I understand your question right, just add some still images to your page (Maybe using screen-capture images of your videos) and link each one to another page with the video embedded on it.

If you want the video to play on the same page, then you need to get all snazzy and use a 'greybox' or 'lightbox' script, which does exactly the same thing, but the newly opened page with the video on it looks like a pop up.

You can put the images anywhere you want on your page.

Video Questions: I'm really new at ALL of this. My new site will be offering local businesses a full page ad FEATURING their business in a video.

I saw one of your posts in an SBI forum and Ken Evoy said you were offering something unique .

I certainly consider myself a web video dummy. I thought that the "video part" would be easy to master. I don't even know what most of the terms mean!

PRIOR to ordering SBI I bought a Panasonic HDD camcorder and I thought HDD might mean some "super" high definition. Now I know what it means because I browsed your site ;-)

I don't want to spend days/weeks figuring out how to shoot a video of a local business and post it. I NEED to monetize NOW!

I haven't even installed the software that came with the camcorder I bought because in your site you mention downloading some software from your site. So I just held back.

Can SBITUBE help me out? I don't even know what the right questions to ask are. I think you found yourself a REAL video dummy here. Roberto

Video Questions Answer: Roberto, it sounds like you need to spend time practising with your camcorder and editing before launching your service.

I recommend shooting a few trial videos of some local businesses for free to get some practise in.

You will need a tripod to keep the camcorder steady and keep close to your subject if you record any interviews as the built-in microphone won't work very well if you are more than 3 feet away.

You then need to edit the video you shot. I recommend getting Sony Movie Studio 9 ($60).

When you have produced some short web video ads (1-3 mins), you then need to add it to your webpage....and this is where SBITUBE can help you.

Simply upload your video to www.sbitube.com and we will convert it to FLV for you, host it and provide you with some HTML code which you copy and paste on your SBI! page.

SBITUBE includes a free video player, and the video will show on your website.

This may all sound over your head now, but it really isn't a difficult process. If you start practising now, you will have the basics covered within a week.

Thank you for clearing the path for me regarding my video question. I have no choice but to follow your instructions to the letter. Should I install the software that came with my new camcorder? I can't thank you enough for your help. Roberto

Video Questions Answer: Roberto, go to the 'Video Editing Software' page by clicking on the link on the left to read my recommendations.

Video Questions: The videos that I have snagged from Youtube have a intro on all of them and I wonder is it possible to edit them somehow and cut that out of them? John

Video Questions Answer: John, you are allowed to embed or download a video from YouTube if the uploader gives their permission (WARNING - Just because someone uploads a video to YouTube, it doesn't necessarily mean they are the copyright owner, so please use your own judgement).

But you cannot edit the video in any way without the express permission of the video owner, as this breaks International copyright laws and you could face prosecution.

Even if you do get permission, I would ask the video owner for the original video in AVI video format, as you cannot edit FLV video without converting it first, and that always results in very poor video quality.

But it's always best to create your own unique videos.

Video Questions: I've just returned from the San Diego SBI conference, we were all blown away by the DVD of your we saw. I've just bought a Canon D10 digital still camera which can record video. I want to dip my toe into video for my site by making some short 'how-to' type videos. Is it feasible to add the audio afterward as a voice-over since I don't have an external mic socket? Could I also do some talking-head pieces with my webcam? I've taken note of what you said in the DVD about the inevitability of buying more equipment once I get into it. Geoff from Bees-on-the-net.com

Video Questions Answer: I'm glad you enjoyed the 'monetising with video' presentation I created for the San Diego SBI conference Geoff. Now, down to business...you can use a digital camera and a webcam to shoot video, but I don't recommend it due to inferior quality video and audio quality and a whole host of other technical reasons. Remember that first impressions count, and a poor quality video may give people the wrong impression of you and your website.

Having said all that, I appreciate you already have a camera and just want to 'have a go' with what you've got. My top tip for using a stills camera is get a tripod, frame your shot and don't move or 'zoom' the camera around whilst shooting for best results. Webcams can give good 'head & shoulder' results if the subject is well lit (Top Tip - Never have the main light source behind you when shooting any video, such as a window etc., or you will get 'dark face' syndrome!).

Plan your video well, and you can add narration to the video whenediting. This is probably the best thing to do anyway for audioquality, but make sure you have a good microphone and audio recording software (I recommend any $30-$60 USB Plantronics headset and Audacity - Free at http://audacity.sourceforge.net). Some video editing software allows you to record narration, but the quality won't be as good.

So yes, you can do it, but as my old Dad always said "You'll make your life a lot easier if you have the right tools for the job".

If you are serious about using video on your website, I stronglyrecommend you get yourself a camcorder with a microphone jack, tripod and external lavalier (lapel) microphone as soon as possible.

Hope that helps and happy videoing.

Pete :-)

Video Questions: What do you recommend for getting your video submitted to lots of video share sites? Rachel. Texas. USA.

Video Questions Answer: Rachel, the best free option for multiple video submission to video share sites is www.tubemogul.com It will submit your video to all the major video share sites, but remember you still need to go and join all the sites individually first. It won't do that for you ;-)

Video Questions: I have a camcorder it is the flip video will this work ok for making my videos? Rachel. Texas. USA.

Video Questions Answer: Rachel, The Flip camcorder is great for making short 'talking head' type videos for the Internet, where you are close to the camera to pick up the audio.

It has no focus, manual settings or microphone port, so it is no good enough for making longer videos with more movement or creating video for DVDs.

For that you will need to get a DV camcorder with a microphone port. Check out the 'What camcorder?' and 'Buying a camcorder' pages on this site.

Video Questions: Video shows in Firefox but not in IE - I can't figure out why my slide show displays in Firefox but not in IE. Could you take a look at my page. http://www.perfect-wedding-dress-finder.com/red-wedding-dresses.html The video shows up fine and plays in Firefox but in IE the player only shows up. Could you help me find out what the problem could be?

Video Questions Answer: I just checked your web page in both Firefox and IE, and you'll be pleased to hear your video is playing perfectly in both.

The reason you (or anyone else for that matter) who can't see it is simply because you haven't got the latest Flash player plugin for your IE browser.

Go to http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/ and download the latest version now. Make sure you are using IE to do this, as the site automatically identifies what browser you are using and offers you the correct plugin.

I also recommend you always have a short message under your videos telling people to do the same.

Video Questions: How do I get rid of the 'black lines' on each side of my video? - I have added a video to my site and it seems to be playing okay, but there are black lines on both sides, is there any way to get rid of them? Bev

Video Questions Answered: Firstly Bev, may I say you should be congratulated for embedding your own video in the first place. That already more than most people do...Grandmothers or not ;-)

There are various reasons (and fixes) for the dreaded 'black lines' on a video. It may be your video isn't the same size as your player. Solution: Make the player the same size as your video by changing the settings in the embed code or if it is only a small difference add &stretching=fill to your video embed code and it will force the video to fit the player screen (Warning: If the size difference is a lot, it will look distorted).

If the video is a slideshow of still images and the images are different dimensions to the video, they will have black lines on the side. Solution: Change the dimensions of your still images in Photoshop to match the video size e.g. 320 x 240

In your video, the black lines are caused by your still images not being the same dimensions as the video, which is 320 x 240.

Any 'vertical' still image, like the preview image you have on your video, will never fit a 'horizontal' player, hence the black lines. Always take or use images that are horizontal and then 'resize' them in Photoshop to 320 x 240 (or whatever size video you are using).

To do this in Photoshop, you select 'Image' > 'Resize' and change the image dimensions.

If the image is vertical, you can use the 'crop' tool to select the upper half of the image and change it to a 320 x 240 horizontal image that way (The image must be of high resolution to start with though, or image quality may suffer doing this).

Check out the video tutorial showing you how to do this on this site (Click on the 'Video Tutorials' link in the left hand column).

Video Questions: How do I create a video slide-show from still images? - I own an SBI site and I recently downloaded a slide show from a friend of a beautiful garden in Amsterdamn and of course you just click on it and gives the slide show.

I would like to put it on my site but since it is not a video and is just a series of still pictures,I don't have any clue about how to put this on one of web pages. Advice would be appreciated. Fred

Video Questions Answered: Fred, If you have a bunch of still images and want to make a video slideshow, you can either do it yourself manually using a video editing software program like MovieMaker or iMovie (Simply import the still images into your video editing program and add transitions, special effects and music), or you can use special video slideshow creator programs like Microsofts excellent Photo Story 3.

PS3 is Windows only and you can download it for free at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/PhotoStory/default.mspx

It's a breeze to use and creates great looking video slideshows.

Video Questions: Importing MPG to iMovie and FinalCutPro? - I have been sent many movie clips which are not great quality but they certainly get the story across, from my aunt in South Africa of the latest blanket sewing and distribution. They are mpg files.

Anyway I am a MAC girl so I thought I could put them together in imovie and edit them a bit, join them together etc to make a bit of a story with a few stills and a title which could then go on the site as well as You Tube perhaps.

Sadly I cannot open them. I can get hold of Finalcutpro, but perhaps it will be the same problem. I have attached the best one. Perhaps you could let me know if there is a way in which I could open these files? Sandy

Video Questions Answered: Sandy, iMovie (and FinalCutPro) have trouble importing MPEG2 video files, so you will need to first convert the video file to the AVI format in order to edit it on those programs.

I haven't used it myself, but I've heard good things about Streamclip which does the job and is free! Go to http://www.squared5.com/svideo/mpeg-streamclip-mac.html and download the Mac version for free.

Streamclip offers a choice of video formats to encode to, but I recommend you use the AVI format, as it is not compressed and you will maintain the best video quality.

If the video quality your Aunt sends you isn't great, maybe you could ask her to also take pictures (which are normally better quality) and you could create a 'slideshow' style video in iMovie.

Video Questions: How to make a .mov file ready for download? - You replied to my question on the SBI forum about converting an .avi file to the right format for download. Turns out it wasn't an .avi file. I converted the video to a .mov file so what do I do now? It's 1.2 GB, very large, and I don't know where to go from here.

By the way, your site is awesome! I need ALL this info! :-) Eunice

Video Questions Answered: Eunice, You have a HUGE mov video file and you want to make it available for download.

Firstly, is there an advantage to getting your site visitors to download the video rather than view it on your website (If they stay on your website, you have more chance of them clicking on an Adsense ad or purchasing products from you).

Either way, you must make the video file size a LOT smaller, and the best way to do that is by encoding it to FLV.

Click on the 'Add Video To Site' link on the left or go to https://www.webvideoforbeginners.com/addvideotoyourwebsite.html for full details.

I know you've had a look at my tutorial on SBI!, so have you tried to encode your video file using the free Riva FLV Encoder (See 'Add Video To Site' link on the left for link)?

If not, try that. If you have and it didn't work, then it isn't supported and you will need to buy some FLV encoding software. Flash is great, but very expensive.

I recommend you try out On2 Flix Standard (PC or MAC) at http://www.on2.com/index.php?387 for $39.

Thanks for the reply. I plan to sell my video through Clickbank or e-junkie. Would your advice still apply? Or is there another step I should take? Eunice

Video Questions Answered: What video format you use really depends on your end user. If they are primarily PC users, go for WMV. If they are primarily Mac users, go for Mov or MP4.

If you don't know or it's a bit of both, go for FLV, as it is the most compatible with all users and it offers small video files sizes, yet maintains great video quality.

If you go down the 'download' route instead of showing it on your site as a membership option (my personal choice), then make sure you provide a link to a free FLV player (Riva) so they can download it in order to watch it on their computer.

Thanks, now it's all crystal clear! I appreciate you advice and recommendations. Excellent site! Eunice.

Video Questions: What is the best lapel mic for a canon hv30? - I have to conduct some interviews - both simple head & shoulder shots but there might be some walking around too. What lapel mic would you recommend? Billy

Video Questions Answered: Billy, You don't mention your budget because 'best' and 'affordable' are two completely different things as I'm sure you would agree ;-)

What I'll do is run you through some options with recommendations for sub $200 products. You also mention you will be walking around whilst shooting, so there are other things to consider here as well.

Firstly, let's look at the wired lavalier lapel microphone. The advantages to this are great audio quality as it's always physically connected and low cost.

I recommend looking at the RadioShack or the Sony ECM-CS10 lavalier microphones, which will both cost you about $40-$50 each.

The trouble with a wired mic is if you are walking around, you are always limited to the length of the connecting cable and you may have some problems getting tangled etc.

For more freedom of movement whilst shooting, you need to think about getting a wireless lavalier microphone or a 'shotgun' microphone. I recommend the Azden WMS-Pro and the Audio_Technica ATR288W wireless microphone systems. Both will cost you around $130-$170 each.

A 'shotgun' directional microphone, which offers the ultimate freedom of movement, as the presenter has no microphone connected to them at all.

The 'shotgun' mic is directional, which means you need to be pointing the microphone at the subject you are recording at all times as it will not pick up surrounding or 'ambient' sound (Which is a good thing). I recommend the Rode VideoMic, which costs around $150.

All the microphones I recommended do a great job, but your final choice will really depend on what type of shooting you will most often be doing (Ideally, you will have several different microphones for different situations).

That´s great, thanks. I have most of those mics already, which is great. Just wanted to make sure they go well with the Hv30. Thanks again for the help! Billy

Video Questions: Getting text to wrap around embedded video on website - I have embedded a You Tube video to my site (SBI) and I want the text to wrap around it but it seems I can only get the text to be either above or below it. I have offset the video to the left, and wanted the text to wrap to the right... (currently there is a nice "white space' to the right of my video. Do you have any idea how to assist?

Video Questions Answered: Jayne, this is a common problem and it is easily sorted out. You need to add an 'image table' to your web page.

To have a look at an image table in action, I have a demo page for you at www.howtovideobusiness.com/sbi_video.htm

Go to the bottom of the page, and you will see how I have placed the video to the right of the page and added text on the left.

This is easy to do. Just 'right-click' on that page and select 'view source'. You're welcome to copy the code which relates to the image table and paste it into your webpage where you want the video to be.

If you want the video to be on the left hand side of the page, simply change the align="right" parameter to align="left"

Your text will then appear on the side of the video. Increasing or decreasing the value of the cellpadding="10" parameter in the above code will increase or decrease the gap between the video and your text.

Video Questions: How do I put videos on my website without using YouTube? - I have DVDs and some videos already on my computer which I want to upload to website. How can I do this without using Youtube? Ashley

Video Questions Answered: Ashley, The very first thing you really need to do is edit your videos into shorter 'chapters' (3-10 mins max).

There are a couple of reasons for doing this;

[1] Firstly, any longer than this and your viewers will start losing attention (Personally, I would try and keep your videos about 5 mins long)

[2] The size of your video is crucial for web video. The bigger the video file, the longer it will take to load on your site, and the more likely the viewer will experience pausing and buffering.

As you already have the videos on your computer, you have done the hard part. All you have to do now is import them into your video editing software and get to work cutting them up into shorter segments! (I recommend Sony Movie Studio. From $45 at Amazon)

For web video I recommend exporting or 'rendering' your finished videos as WMV 640 X 480 3Mbps 22000mhz 16bit mono

Then all you have to do is upload the videos to SBITUBE (www.sbitube.com) and they will convert it to FLV and provide you with the embed code to add on your website.

SBITUBE hosts all your videos, so no need to worry about putting any strain on your website.

They also have video tutorials on the home page at www.sbitube.com that show you how to use all the great features offered at SBITUBE.

Video Questions: Guitar playing video tutorials. Lapel mic best? - I switched the audio on my Canon ZR500 from 12bit to 16bit. It definitely gets a pretty good sound especially on my guitar. It seems good enough!? Better than the 12bit setting.

I could see how a lapel mic would definitely help with my voice quality(I speak while demonstrating specific techniques on guitar)but would it work well to pick up both voice and guitar?

I speak then play then speak a bit then play. Not at the same time. But on the same clip.

I have pro audio for recording music and pro mics; but that would mean a separate narration track. I prefer to keep it as simple as possible!

BTW, I am taking your tips on lighting; am making practice runs in my studio right now to see what works. Also downloaded your script. Great stuff! Thank you! Dave.

Video Questions Answered: Dave, firstly, congratulations on getting started producing your own videos. I hope to see a DVD out soon ;-)

The Canon ZR 500 is a decent budget miniDV camcorder with the all important mic jack, but unfortunately there's no accessory shoe on which to mount an external mic, like the RODE shotgun mic (which is what I would have recommended for you.

You can of course get fancy with some rubber bands and sticky tape, but it's not ideal.

So I recommend getting a cheap lavalier (lapel) mic and playing around with it to find the best position for recording the guitar and your voice.

Do you have RadioShack in Canada? If you do, pick up their US$35 lavalier mic, as it produces very good audio. If you don't, see if they do mail-order or check on Ebay.

Video Questions: How to display Powerpoint presentations? - I just cannot find a way to make them appear on my site. G.W.Oddoux

Video Questions Answered: If you want to add a Powerpoint presentation to your website George, you are going to have to first convert it into video.

This type of software will convert a PPT file into a video file and you can then embed it on your webpage as instructed on this site. Just Google 'powerpoint to avi' or 'powerpoint to flash' to find lots of options.

Video Questions: How do I get better audio quality for my videos? - I have a Sony SR35, camcorder, but it doesn't have any mic output and the sound from the built in mic is very poor...Is there any alternative that allow me to get a better sound? Magaly

Video Questions Answered: Magaly, A lot of people are in your situation, as they already own video cameras and now they want to start producing video for their websites and even DVDs, and they realize their camera is not really up to the job.

The biggest problem people will find is their camcorder doesn't have a microphone jack, and cannot therefore connect an external lavalier microphone (Which is essential for great audio).

You have a couple of options open to you;

[1] You continue to use your current camcorder, but make sure you are always within 3 feet of the camera when recording any narration.

[2] The second solution is to film using your current camera again, but don't record any audio. You add a voice-over or narration during the video editing process by recording audio using an USB Plantronics headset and the free audio recording software Audacity.

Some video editing software also allows you to record directly during editing, but I find the former option gives much better results.

[3] (My personal recommendation) Buy a new camcorder that does have a microphone jack. I recommend the Canon HV20, HV30, HV40 or the Canon FS10 or FS11 if you prefer a tapeless camcorder.

You can buy a very good lavalier (lapel) mic from RadioShack for $30 which produces excellent audio quality.

Video Questions: video coaching enquiry - Do you offer video coaching or can help me put video on a website? I have my video converted to .flv (I think) and I downloaded the player, but I am having problems putting the video on the website. If you do private coaching how long do you think it would take (to teach me, so I can do it myself) and how much would it cost? Elizabeth

Video Questions Answered: I charge 1c per day per video Elizabeth? Does that sound like a bargain or what? ;-)

Go to our sister site at www.sbitube.com and click on the 'Free Trial' button at the top of the page.

Fill in your details, click on the confirmation email and upload your video (Just like at YouTube). Watch the video in the top right of the home page that shows you what you need to do to register.

SBITUBE converts your video to HQ FLV, and gives you the HTML embed code to add your video to your web page (You can also upload audio and embed that on your site as well!).

Just copy and paste the code and you're done!

We provide a free FLV player (and audio player) and there are dozens of free video tutorials on the home page to show you how to use all the great features SBITUBE has to offer (Check out the FAQ page as well).

You can also contact the Support team any time if you need any more help.

You can even try us out for free for 30 days to see if the service is right for you.

SBITUBE is the easiest and quickest way to add professional looking video to your website, and at 1c per video per day, it's also pretty good value.

Video Questions: Windows Movie Maker Tutorial - I think I want to start with Windows Movie Maker because it's free. I am completely new to all of this video stuff .

As of RIGHT NOW , ALL that I want to accomplish is to get a 3 minute video in decent shape so that I can put it in SBITUBE then into my site . All I want is to learn the basics of Windows Movie Maker preferably with a video tutorial.

Can you recommend a source for a REAL video dummy? Roberto.

Video Questions Answered: Mr Video says: Click on the 'Movie Maker' link on the left Roberto to watch a beginners guide to using Movie Maker to edit your videos.

That videos helped me SO much. I think I learn much faster by SEEING it done. My site will depend heavily on videos. I will be using SBITUBE for all of my videos. VERY gratefully yours, Roberto.

Video Questions: How do you film without a video camera? - I want to build a webshow but I don't have a video camera. How do you film without a video camera? Leyani

Video Questions Answered: I guess the obvious answer is you can't, but that isn't quite true!

You can't shoot live video without a camcorder, camera or webcam, but you can 'shoot' what is happening on your computer monitor without one.

This is called 'screen capture' which does exactly what it says on the tin ;-)

It records everything that is shown on your computer monitor (or just parts of it) and then converts it into a video format, which you can show on your website or add to a video share site like SBITUBE or YouTube.

These types of video are excellent for creating video tutorials, showing someone how to do something. Some of my bestselling DVDs are made up of screen capture videos, with a little footage shot from a video camera.

The best 'screen capture' software is called Camtasia (PC). Find it at http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp

It is what I use for creating my screen capture videos, but it does cost $300 (But worth every penny in my opinion!).

However, there is a cheaper alternative. In fact, it's free! CamStudio Find it at http://camstudio.org/

It obviously doesn't have all the features of Camtasia, but it is a good product.

But I do recommend you consider buying a camcorder at some point, as it will open up a World of new opportunities for you.

Any digital (DV) camcorder will produce excellent video quality, but I do recommend you buy one with a microphone jack on it, as the on-board microphones do not do a very good job of recording audio.

Click on the 'What Camcorder?' link on the left for more information.

Video Questions: Video encoder failed - I am using windows movie maker to make my videos. I am making a slideshow of how to pictures from my daughter's digital camera and putting in writing with windows movie maker.

When I try to encode it, it says encoding failed. How do I fix this? Elizabeth

Video Questions Answered: Elizabeth, unfortunately, the free Riva Encoder doesn't yet support WMV9, so there is little you can do about that, but there are some other low-cost options for you.

But before I mention them, if you are creating video slideshows, have you considered using the excellent and free Microsoft Photo Story 3 program? Find it here at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/PhotoStory/default.mspx

It is designed just for that job, and is brilliant.

Anyway, back to the question. Here are your best options;

[1] You can buy a budget encoder that does support WMV9. I recommend getting the On2 Flix Standard (PC & Mac) for $39. Find it at http://www.on2.com/index.php?387

[2] Got to Hey Watch and encode your video online. Costs 10c per encode with a $10 minimum account purchase. Find it at http://www.heywatch.com

[3] You can use SBITUBE at www.sbitube.com which allows you to upload your video (Just like YouTube) and it converts your video to FLV, it hosts the video for you, and it provides you with the HTML embed code.

All you have to do is copy the code and paste it on your site and you're done. The video will show on your website.

SBITUBE also provides a free FLV player, customizable logo, preview image, redirect, color, skins, video tutorials and 24/7 support.

You can try out SBITUBE for free for 7 days to see if you like it and membership starts from only $1.99 per month (That's less then 7 cents per day!!).

Just go to www.sbitube.com and click on the 'Free Trial' button and get started immediately.

Video Questions: Putting video on a website - I downloaded the Riva encoder. Then I downloaded the Free JW Media Player for internet explorer. When I try to open the Media Player a box comes up that says Windows cannot open this file. Windows needs to know which program created it. I thought I might need adobe flash so I downloaded that, but I still get the same message Windows cannot open this file. Elizabeth

Video Questions Answered: Elizabeth, the Media Player you downloaded is a SWF file, which is a kind of 'light' version of FLV and used for creating short videos that don't have much movement in them and things like video player skins etc.

There really isn't any reason for you to be opening it to be honest. You can't use a SWF player to play FLV videos on your PC. You will need a FLV Player like the one Riva provides for free with their Encoder to do that.

The SWF video player is for online video, and all you have to do is upload the Media Player SWF file to a directory on your server and then add the file location URL e.g. http://www.yourwebsite.com/yourplayer.flv to the video embed code as described in my tutorial.

Video Questions: I need to place a 5.5 minute (.mov file) HD video on my SBI Homepage (www.MassageIsTherapy.com) as well as compress (4) other DVD's that I already sell as physical product DVD's into Instant Downloads on my web site. I've tried Riva Encoder set to your parameters and each time it says "Failed Encoding". How can I place my 5.5 minute RealTime video on my SBI homepage AND how can I compress my (4) other videos, ranging from 22 min's - 52 minutes into Instant Downloads all for FREE please? I am $3,000 over budget at this point. Dr. Tim Reischman

Video Questions Answered: Tim, The reason your video is not being encoded with the Riva Encoder is your video file type is not currently supported.

You have several options open to you;

[1] Buy a budget encoder. I recommend the On2 Flix Standard for PC or Mac for $39 at http://www.on2.com/index.php?387

[2] Use an online encoder. I recommend HeyWatch! at https://heywatch.com/site which charges 10c per encode with a minimum balance of $10 (Good conversion quality but slow depending on your Internet connection. You need 10MBPS Broadband at least to make this work properly).

[3] Join www.sbitube.com and from only $1.99 per month (No minimum tie-in), you can not only upload your video and have it converted to High Quality FLV, but the price includes hosting, video player, video embed code, tutorials and email support.

There is a 200MB minimum video size limit at SBITUBE, so I recommend you first convert any HUGE video files using the free Windows Media Encoder at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx and convert your videos to WMV9 (320x240 1Mbps Stereo 64000mhz - These are the settings I use for my videos).

I would also consider breaking up your larger videos into smaller clips, or they will take forever to download.

Thanks Pete! I will try one of these options today and let you know how it all comes out. I appreciate your advice. Dr. Tim

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