“Thank you for sharing that.” When was that cloying, sarcastic phrase trendy? The 80’s? Well, ‘sharing’ is back big time as part of our interconnected world of social media. It’s now embedded as a must-have feature in ever expanding types of devices and software.
This especially applies to media players. They are at the intersection of playing, storing, converting and uploading media, helping to drive growth in this arena.
WHAT’S ON THE WEB, MAY STAY ON THE WEB
Sometimes it seems like some people want to share everything in their lives with everyone else. Social networking sites enable that. They range from huge general video posting sites, to small topic-oriented, to business networking. Be careful out there. Your profiles and things you enter can be viewed by almost anyone. Before you post your videos online, make sure you know how to do it safely and how to protect your identity.
More and more people are using video to communicate through social and video posting sites because they can reach so many other people instantly in such a powerful way. Whether it’s video already on your computer, or something new you shoot with a camcorders or smart phone, you can post your videos online almost instantly.
Say you’re out at a party celebrating the completion of a major project with your associates from work. You want to capture the moment, and share it with friends. So you shoot a short video through your smart phone.
You could upload and post your videos directly to your Facebook Wall with the smart phone. But before that, there are some photos and other video on your home computer that you want to edit into this clip first, to make it a more complete piece before uploading. Once that’s done, you can upload and share the video with whomever your permissions allow.
Whether your interest is posting your own video or sharing others, this new era of video social networking makes it possible.
SHARING VIDEOS ON SOCIAL NETWORKS AND VIDEO POSTING SITES
Uploading your video to share on social websites is simple, especially with RealPlayer.
RealPlayer has built-in, direct access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace. Using the Library as the interface, hover the cursor over a clip thumbnail to reveal a pop-up menu with the option to Share. Click on Share and a submenu with the websites and email are presented.
You can also select the video in the Library, and then click on the Post to Facebook menu on the far left Library menu.
I’m uploading my sample video, the 0:52 MP4 trailer of “Sintel.”
After clicking Facebook as the destination, you’ll either get a login request, or if you’re already online with Facebook, a dialog box appears to confirm if you do want to Share the video or cancel the upload. A progress bar is displayed showing how long it takes to complete.
When Facebook has processed your video, it will appear on your Wall.
That’s it. You and everyone visiting your page, and has permission, can now play the video. You’re sharing!
Facebook has several options to connect the video to individuals, groups or the public.
LINKING YOUR VIDEOS – HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM SHARING?
OK, we’ve just ‘shared’ a video by uploading it to Facebook. So now what exactly is linking a video?
Linking IS sharing. It entails essentially the same steps described above for uploading a video to a social website, but instead of all the bits and bytes from the actual video being sent to the site, a link, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is sent instead. Basically, it’s sending a video download link, not the actual video.
It’s an electronic address for the location of a particular page on a particular server on the Internet. That page is where the video is found and will be played from. Here’s a URL link to the “Sintel” website, where you can play the full movie online. But what’s really happening is you’re linking to YouTube to watch the video.
LINKING IS SHARING – BUT UPLOADING ISN’T LINKING
Nearly every video you download from the Internet will have a URL embedded within it. Videos you shoot yourself don’t. Those converted to other formats from the original download may not have a URL because of metadata lost in the conversion.
When you upload a video to Facebook that was initially downloaded from another video posting site, odds are that what you’re sending to Facebook is the link, the URL, for that video. Not the video itself.
It’s easy to tell which is which. If you’re uploading the actual video, a progress bar will be displayed, and it will take from a few seconds to several minutes to complete the upload. If it’s a URL link, the process is almost instantaneous.
It’s also obvious on your Facebook Wall, as linked videos won’t have a thumbnail image and a play button, just a description and the link to click on.
Linking is also the way it typically works when using the email to send videos. The files are often so large; your mail server will balk at passing such a large amount of data anyway. Sending a link solves that.
CAVEATS TO ALL OF THIS DOWNLOADING, SHARING AND LINKING
Some videos simply can’t be downloaded due to access, copyright or technical restrictions. Sharing videos is straightforward with RealPlayer, and you don’t necessarily know up front if the actual video is going online or a URL link. Linking it great because it’s fast and takes up far less space.
Note that on your computer, you cannot Share or Post your video from your RealPlayer Library to Twitter, MySpace or through email unless there is a URL Link embedded in the video from the original source to be shared. That’s because those destinations only accept links. They don’t upload the actual video as Facebook and YouTube do. No URL, no link.
There can be hitches at any of these steps along the way. None of it is perfect.
Pleas let me know if you have questions about sharing or posting your videos online.