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Thread: I'm in need of some patient help - i'm clueless about web videos

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    I'm in need of some patient help - i'm clueless about web videos

    We currently use Vimeo to host our video for our website (www.belesprit.net). Hate the player look, want to have the video on an auto loop, without any url host name, etc.

    First question - which is better: using an outside host for a video and then embedding it, or putting it on your website yourself.

    Second question - If I use an outside host, is there one that will allow me to do away with any of the player stuff - just simply have the video, no play buttons, no host name, etc.?

    If not, how do I go about putting the video on my website myself? Right now the site is done in Dreamweaver, but we are slowly moving to Microsoft Visual Studio (right now 2005, will be upgrading). And where's the best place to find the code for this - have a source for code, but being clueless, don't know if it's the best...

    Sorry for the rather dumb questions, but this is new territory, and we want to include more videos, so I need to learn.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I don't know if this is the best way, but I have done it line this, on my own server and is seems to work fine

    <embed type="application/x-mplayer2"
    pluginspage = "http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/MediaPlayer/"
    Has no controls and it loops, Up to you weather you host it on your server; I personally would, than everything easily edited from one place.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    In my opinion for a commercial sites like yours to use an outside host for the video...well, it's like saying, "we can't afford to host our our video, but buy from us anyway". Not the way to go for a business site.
    Host your own. If bandwidth becomes a problem, get a better host. There are lots of good, inexpensive hosts with lots and lots of bandwidth.
    Your current video is in the Flash video, .flv format, a very good choice for cross browser compatability. The code listed above is for the Windows Media Player and will not play your current version of the video. Also not playable on as many browsers as the Flash format.
    Google for free Flash .flv video players, lots out there and most will come with code to embed in a Web page or use .swfobject to place the player on your page.
    But you'll have a much more professional looking page by hosting your own rather than by advertising for some hosting company.
    Best wishes,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Thanks so much for your help!! And another question...

    Absolutely agree with you that hosting the video myself is much more professional. Do NOT like the way the video looks when embedded from an outside source.

    Found a player I can download that has good instructions for the challenged. My question is - where do I put the code for the player on my page.

    (The video will be put in an always-visible layer on our website (done in Dreamweaver). The video will "disappear" when people mouse over links. A layer with an explanation of the link will appear over the video. To keep page placement exact and make sure the video doesn't peek out, we have it in a layer.)

    Do I put the code for the player in the layer with the embed code for the video, or can I put the code for the player pretty much anywhere in the body of the page?

    Thank you for your help! We're redoing our site, and we want the video to look great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    So are you going to use the Flash .flv video format? and your player is a .swf file which will play the .flv videos? or are your videos some other format?
    I’m really not sure what you mean by:
    The video will "disappear" when people mouse over links.
    To keep page placement exact and make sure the video doesn't peek out, we have it in a layer
    Typically you would use <div> and CSS to position things on a page. The video itself is not actually placed on the page, but a link to the video is set as one of the parameters of the player or is internally set in the player (as to an xml playlist). The code to place the media player on the page is set in your <div id=“video_player”> or whatever you call it.
    Here is sample code to place a Flash .swf player on the page
    <div id=“video_player”>
    	<object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
    width="320" height="240">
              	<param name="movie" value="videos/Flash player.swf" />
              	<param name="quality" value="high" />
    	<param name="wmode" value="transparent"/>
              	<embed src=" videos/Flash player.swf "
    Position this <div> on the page with CSS in the exact position you want. This places the PLAYER on the page, not the video. This player will have a link to the video(s) as a parameter or built into the actionscript of the player.
    A better way to place Flash players on a Web page is to use swfobject, a small javascript that also allows for alternate content:
    Here is an example of placing a Flash media player on a page using swfobject.

    View the code source to see the alternate content as well as how to place the <div> code on the page. Positioning is done in the CSS.
    Take this project one step at a time and you can produce a well designed site with high quality video.
    Best wishes,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Thank you so much for help!! Sorry I didn't explain this too well. The site is designed in Dreamweaver. The layers appear when you place your mouse over a link. In this case, I have a bunch of links on my homepage, and when someone places their mouse over a link, an explanation of the link appears over top of the video we currently have embedded.

    To make sure that the explanations exactly and completely cover the video when they appear, we put the video in a layer that is always present. (Since the layers are divs, as you so explained so nicely, the position of both the video and the explanation is exactly the same.) My question, and I think you answered it, is whether or not I can put the full embed code in the layer, like we have now with the Vimeo video, or if we have to put the player code somewhere else in the code and then put the link to the video in the layer.

    I think I understand from your great explanation that the player and the video link are all in the same code, so I can put it all in the layer. Unless, (I'm really slow at this...) since the player/video code is a div, this means I can position it exactly and then position the explanation layer exactly over it?

    Thank you for being so patient!!

    (I have to start making my website dynamic to add other features we need.....OH GOD!!!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    It seems like you are on the right track. I think I understand how you plan to lay out the page with layers and positioning. As for the code for the video player, yes, it will go inside the <div>.
    Just a couple of questions, what appears on the page in that video player space when no video is playing and no link is hovered over? Is it just a blank space or does an ad appear? Will the one player play all the different videos? So the links are essentially a playlist?
    When hovered over and the explanation shows, how does a viewer get the video to start? So hovering shows the explanation, does clicking it start the video or just reveal it? How will you create that action to uncover the video and also start the video? Or will the viewer have to click the start button on the player? I would think the best action would be to start the video if the link is clicked, not expect the viewer to also have to click the start button on the player.
    As for an explanation showing up over the top of the player, seems like a good idea but there has been some discussion here in the Forum about problems z-indexing Flash. Seems that some browsers always put the Flash on top, meaning you cannot but something else above it. I’m not sure if this is the case but you might want to test your layers in a couple of different browsers to verify that it all works as expected.
    If the linking action or the z-indexing seems to be too big a problem, you could do the entire thing, links, explanation over the video, etc. all in Flash and that could easily solve that issue.
    Best wishes,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I was going to have the video play continuously. No start or stop. The video layer will be in the primary position (Z-1), and the other layer will appear on top of it when the visitor puts their mouse over a link. I may just do away with the layers altogether if it's a problem. May not be worth it to have that feature... It's not vital.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    OK, now I've got a better picture....The page opens, the video starts, and then if a viewer hovers over a link, the exact space over the video is covered by an explanation. Otherwise the video just keeps playing. Correct?
    There may be some way to do this with z-indexing and javascript or something like that, but (coming from a Flash background) I know that incorporating both the link buttons and the video into one with Flash would work.
    A non-Flash alternative would simply be to use images for the link buttons and use the alt="...." and/or title="..." tag to provide an explanation. Or use rollover images, the second image being the explanation....or..????

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    >which is better: using an outside host for a video and then embedding it, or putting it
    >on your website yourself.

    Youtube is good if you want to save your bandwidth cost. But there is no reason to redirect your visitors to another website during their visit? You can't stop Youtube from showing other 'related video' as ads which might distract your visitors.

    >If not, how do I go about putting the video on my website myself? Right now the site
    >is done in Dreamweaver

    You can embed flash movie (.FLV) into your website using an Adobe control .Or you can try A4Desk video player software -- which can convert WMV AVI etc into .FLV, and let you choose a video player skin, and will then automatically generate the HTML code for you to insert into your Dreamweaver HTML page.

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