The easiest way to watch, save and share your videos.

Sharing Holiday Video Cards Using RealPlayer and Facebook

by Tom Volotta on December 18, 2012

Trimmer-HandlesThe holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate your traditions and express your  love, appreciation and warm wishes to family, friends, and associates. Mailing cards is a time-honored way of sharing these special times. More and more, people are turning online to share holiday video cards.

Many websites have long specialized in still or animated e-cards that you can send to fit nearly every occasion. Some let you upload a still photo to insert into a template with a holiday theme. We’ll show you how to take the next step and make your own, custom holiday video cards. All you need to share your greetings is a camcorder or smartphone, RealPlayer Cloud and a Facebook account.


Even if you’ve shot video for a while, much of that may have been at events or gatherings capturing the moment spontaneously. Making a holiday video card is a bit different. You are creating a specific message and have more control over the setting and content of the video. If you’re not sure what to put in the holiday video, do a video search to see what other people have done.

Here are some of the considerations you should decide in advance:

1. Who will be in the holiday video card?

2. What will they wear?

3. Are you making different videos for relatives, friends and associates?

4. Will you shoot the video inside or outside?

5. How will you light the video? Be aware of bright lights or backgrounds behind people.

6. Will your video setting be day or night?

7. Who is going to say what and when? Is everyone going to say, “Happy Holidays … “ simultaneously, in turn or deliver special messages?

8. Is the camera’s built-in microphone adequate?

9. Do you want background music

10.  How long does the video need to be?

Shoot a test to be sure you can create good quality images and sound. A little time spent planning before pressing the record button will pay off in efficiency and will make the process more fun for everyone. Keep in mind you need to capture the video in a single shot.

RealPlayer Cloud is a terrific media player, downloader, and file format converter, but it is not designed for video editing. However, you can use the RealPlayer Trimmer tool located in RealPlayer Cloud to delete unnecessary video from the head and tail of the video. Don’t let that put you off though. One shot is all you need for a video card. Shoot as many “takes” as necessary, and then select the best.


The assumption here is that no one is actually operating the video camera while recording. Everyone will be in front of the camera. It’s a locked-down shot. Just let the video recorder run and simply do another take if needed. Using a quiet countdown of “1-2-3” will help everyone start on time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating your video card:

Create a “Slate.” If you plan on making more than one holiday video card, list the people who will be receiving it and what to say to each. If there are several recipients, write their names in big letters on a sheet of paper. When you are shooting the video for each person, hold the paper so the camera sees it, and say the name, lower it, and then begin your message. This acts as a homemade “Slate,” making it easier to identify which shot is for which person. You can also number the “takes” if that method works better for you.

Eliminate a Shaky Shot. Compose the shot. Keep the camera steady by placing it on a tripod. Tiny desktop tripods are available. If that’s not possible, secure the camcorder or smartphone so it’s stable.

Lighting Goes A Long Way. Be sure there is enough light on the people in the video. Especially if there are lights behind them or the background is bright, such as a sunny day in the snow. You don’t need to buy expensive lighting kits, you can just rearrange the lights in your house to make sure everyone’s face is well-lit and doesn’t have dark shadows under the eyes.

Add Audio Ambience. It’s possible to include background music with your video card. Place a speaker near the microphone and play the music while shooting. Be sure you’ve tested this before, so the music is at the right level. If it doesn’t work, forget it. Your family and friends want to hear you most of all.

Testing, Testing, Testing. Shoot a test with everyone in place, then stop recording and check the playback to make sure everything is as it should be.

Roll with It. Once you start shooting for real, keep recording. If someone makes a mistake or flubs a line, just start again.

Do the Filming in One Sitting. Shoot as many versions for as many people as you want.

Check the Footage. When finished, check the playback again to make sure everything was recorded correctly.


If you don’t already have RealPlayer Cloud, you can download it free by clicking here. It has all you need to trim the video and share it with friends and family on Facebook. After importing the video into the RealPlayer Cloud Library, and use the Trim option found under Edits to make sure you have only the footage you want. Simply,  right-click on the thumbnail image for the imported video in the Library, and select “Edit,” then select “Trim…”


The entire video you shot opens in the RealPlayer Trimmer. Now, play and/or “scrub” through the video to find the specific segment you want. Just grab and move the “handles” at the head and tail to pick the part you want. Then, press the green “play” button to see and hear just the selected segment of the video. Continue to adjust the head and tail as necessary until you have the video card you want.

RealPlayer video trimmer

When you have it, click “Save Trim…” A new window opens, prompting you to name this clip, and save it in the RealPlayer Library. This is a “non-destructive” process. A copy of that segment from the original video is made. Nothing happens to the master version of the video. As many different clips as you want can be made without altering the original.


After all your holiday video cards are created with the Trimmer, it’s time to upload, post, and share them on Facebook.

In the Library, find the thumbnail for the clip and hover the cursor over it. A menu pops up. Click “Share” and the sites you can send the video to are listed. Click Facebook. RealPlayer opens a Facebook login window.

 Once you’re signed-in to Facebook, you’ll see a thumbnail of the video and a field where you can enter a title. Then, click “Share.”

post video card

A progress bar and timer will display the upload progress. Your holiday video cards are likely to be short. Thirty seconds – a minute – or maybe three minutes max. Facebook currently has a 1 GB size and twenty-minute limit on what you can upload.

If you’ve done this before, you know — but if you haven’t, don’t worry that the video you are uploading to Facebook is being broadcast instantaneously to everyone on the planet when you click “Share.” It appears on your Timeline (aka Wall), and by default, is locked in the “Only Me” share setting. No one will see the video until you authorize it.

Facebook holiday video

To share more than one video card with specific people on Facebook, repeat the process of selecting, naming, and uploading the clips. Then go to your Facebook Timeline to set the sharing for whoever you want to see what. “Custom” allows naming a specific individual(s) on Facebook who will receive video. You can of course also share with everyone on your Friends list or the Public – only for people with Facebook accounts.

video privacy

Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s privacy settings and procedures to know exactly who will be seeing your posts.


Video and social websites were just made for each other. Both are accessible by more and more people everyday. They combine to create a unique type of communication that is personal and compelling. And, those messages can be private, shared with specific friends, or available for the public to see. It’s simple to make your own video cards this holiday or for other special occasions.

Have you sent a holiday video card to anyone? Have you ever received one? Let us know in the comments below.


Download RealPlayer Cloud now for all your holiday video card-creating fun!


 Article updated November 21, 2014.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

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Thanks for the writing compliment. The blog design is not my doing. You have the RealPlayer Blog Team to thank for that.

As for the “paid topic – customized” question: Yes, I am compensated for writing the piece. The topic was assigned, and I did the research, writing, graphics and processing to illustrate how to upload and share video cards on Facebook.


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Yes, we use WordPress.

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You should know there are two versions of WordPress. and They differ in rules for user operation and support features. Study each carefully and contact the directly to be sure which is best for your needs. They are two different services, with different features and technical requirements.


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Thanks for the compliment on the blog. Lots of people are involved in putting all the pieces together so it’s informative and interesting.

As for my personal technique for getting geared up to write, it’s really quite simple. I have a good stiff shot of Rye Whiskey to start the creative juices going. NO – NO – NO — that’s a joke!

There isn’t any special routine I go through to write. No meditation, mantras or attempts to empty my head for inspiration to magically have the piece materialize. Here’s how I go about it.

The assigned topic typically has a focus or particular slant targeted for the reader. I almost always immediately form an image of the attitude and approach the piece should have from the parameters of the assignment. Depending upon my level of knowledge of the subject, I’ll go into a research mode to learn more and fill in gaps.

My method for doing his is to creat a special folder in my browser for that topic, get comfy on the couch, and use my iPad to search the Internet for pertinent material. I quickly scan the content on a given web page to see if there’s anything useful. If so, I bookmark into that topic folder. It’s not uncommon to list several dozen pages. Not all are in agreement, but that’s good, as it helps compare contradictory information to better determine what’s accurate and given me countering points of view. I then sync the iPad with the regular Mac I write on, to pull all those URLs into that browser. That’s where I review that material in detail, and often use as external links to support elements of the story.

Once I get an overall picture, I write a one-page, bullet-point outline, covering the basic who, what, when and where that need to be covered. Those bullet-points also act as sub-headings for the body of the piece.

When that’s done, I come up with a hook, a catchy or controversial statement, or pose a question that is on point, and will draw the reader in to at least read the next sentence. My goal here is to peak the reader’s interest with something that is both on the subject, but more importantly, strikes a cord with them that (hopefully) motivates them to continue.

From there, I draw upon the outline, modifying and making iterative changes as the story develops. There is a certain element of the story writing itself, as long as you’ve done your research and allow the facts to flow with its natural progression, and your focus.

Many writers use a similar process, but everyone has their own variations on the steps.

Regarding your 10 – 15 minutes of unproductive time — consider yourself fortunate. I can easily be stymied for hours before finding the nugget that is the core of the piece – even with all the research and prep.

It’s also great that you enjoy writing. You’ve already won half the battle. Writer’s Block is real. Sometimes you just can’t break through. What you must NOT do is simply wait for divine intervention to magically turn on that lightbulb, filling you with inspiration, ideas and energy. The blank page, or now, the blank computer screen can be incredibly intimidating. The best thing to do is WRITE. It may turn out to be crap, but at least you’ll know not to use that path, and you’re getting the junk out of your mind.

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It’s not a problem having problems writing. Everyone does at one time or another. If you’ve got something worth saying, it will come to you, and you’ll get it written.

Oh, make sure you have a good editor working with you. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself falling in love with your own words just because you wrote them, thinking they are God’s gift to your readers. Writers often can’t see the forrest for the trees.

Now, after all that sage advice, know that for me, writing is a slow process that is very often a drudge. I may know what I want to say, and can blast out endless numbers of words that makes sense to me, but it’s not ME who’s going to be reading the piece. It’s a constant battle of allowing your individual style come through, while delivering a message the reader will understand, and even be persuaded to agree with your position.

Before taking too much of what I’ve said here to heart, visit a local bookstore for works and advice from writers who are far, far better at the craft than me.

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You’re welcome. It really is very simple to make the video with RealPlayer, and then use RP’s built-in connection to Facebook to upload and share it with your friends. One of the nicer features is being able to log onto FB directly from RealPlayer, upload all your videos, and then make all the settings for who sees what. Nice integration of both products.


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85 Tom Volotta January 31, 2013 at 7:31 pm

It’s not just you, and it’s not everybody else that’s having problems. We do get some gripes once in awhile about text running off the screen. I’m betting it’s your browser, especially if you’ve got some off plug-in that tries to deal with graphics. We did have some issues in the very early days (over a year ago) when the blog was still in development, and engineers were perfecting the code. I personally use Safari on a Mac, and except for a very unusual circumstance where were experimenting with colors, have never had any problems.

This is a long-shot, but the computing community seems to be abandoning Java (at least Apple has advised it be removed from ALL Macs) for certain security reasons. It’s possible Java is having graphical display issues. What browser are you using? Is this happening a lot with the same browser, or are you experiencing this problem with others too? Chrome was giving RealPlayer fits, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with displaying the blog pages. Nothing works perfectly all the time. It could be you’ve picking up bits of code from other websites that simply throw a conflict with the RealPlayer Blog on occasion. I don’t have a great support resource to help track down you (browser) problem, but try this for starters.


86 ADIPEX January 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I
clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Anyways, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

87 Tom Volotta January 31, 2013 at 7:02 pm


Well, thanks for the attempt anyway. You are not alone. If it’s of any solace to you, the same thing happens to me a lot. My response is a bit more profane than “Grrr” however. There’s something odd with WordPress where clicking on (whatever it is, I haven’t figured out) and the whole comment you just labored over goes up in a puff of smoke. I don’t worry about short responses like this, but for detailed ones, I actually write in TextEdit so I can be sure I’m saving the whole thing. Then I just copy and paste it in. It does wonders for my peace of mind.

Thanks again, for reading the blog, and trying to forward a compliment.


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