Viddler Waves Good-Bye to Personal Accounts

Viddler, a service that aspired to be a stand-out competitor to other video hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo, announced yesterday that, effective immediately, they are going to stop allowing users to sign up for their free personal accounts. All existing personal users of Viddler will be able to maintain their accounts (for the time being, at least), but all future registrations will have to be premium accounts. Following is the announcement that was sent out to existing personal account holders:

Some Handy YouTube Tricks

I’m sure there have been times when you’ve wanted to link to a particular part of a YouTube video but, if you’re anything like me, you had no idea how to go about doing so. Well, you have two options:

  1. You can link to the video on YouTube and specify the minute and second at which you want the video to start playing.
  2. You can embed the video and specify the second at which you would like the video to start playing.

YouTube’s New Transcript Feature

A few weeks ago, YouTube unveiled a new feature that allows you to upload a transcript of your video and have YouTube automatically analyze it to figure out how to turn it into timed captions. I had the opportunity to test this feature (which is still in beta, and only available in English right now), and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the results. I had a handful of Powerpoint presentations that I converted to videos using Camtasia Studio. I then added the narration tracks and produced the videos as MP4 files.

I uploaded the new videos to YouTube, adjusted my settings accordingly and then went to the “Captions and Subtitles” tab for each video. To my surprise, I noticed that the “transcript” feature was now available, so I decided to test it. I opened the script for each narrated presentation, saved it in txt format (for best results, if you have your transcript saved as a Word document, save it in MS-DOS txt format and enable character substitution so that it automatically replaces the fancy quotes, dashes, etc. with the standard versions) and decided to test the transcript feature.

MIT World: “A High-Impact Video Portal”

I am now attending a session about MIT World and how to utilize this video portal to maximize the impact of video on educational Web sites. We are beginning with Laurie Everett discussing the initial reasons behind creating MIT World and the goals of creating the portal. She explains that she was recruited specifically to work on the project, with a goal of sharing information freely and openly.

The site began in 1999 using RealPlayer to broadcast the videos. As time went on, it became obvious that Flash was the video plug-in of choice for the Web, so they began producing videos in Flash around 2003. They produce and publish approximately 110 video projects each year on MIT World.

Flash Enabled in Chrome on Linux?

I downloaded and installed the latest version of Chrome for Linux on my copy of 64-bit Linux Mint 7, today. Thinking nothing of it, I went on with my normal procedures. Then, Michael Klurfeld posted a Digg link to one of TechGeist’s stories. At the top of the story was an embedded YouTube video. Fully expecting it to show a big blank space as Chrome on Linux always has where a YouTube video should appear, I went on with reading the story.

I then looked up and noticed that the YouTube player had loaded and was showing the first frame of the video with the standard “Play” emblem in the middle of it. “This must just be a screen shot or something, like YouTube uses on their home page,” I thought, at first. Just for kicks, I decided to click the video anyway.

Much to my amazement, it started playing.

Embed YouTube Videos With Valid Code

If you’ve ever tried to embed a YouTube video on your Web site, you may have noticed that the code they provide is not valid XHTML. I came across two blog posts today while doing some research that offer some alternative code that allows you to post YouTube videos on your site with valid code. Check them out if you are thinking of posting videos on your site or even your blog.