Friday, June 15, 2012

Week 5 - Some Passive Value Before My Vacation

This week's report comes a bit early since I'm starting my vacation today.

I had two goals for this week. I wanted to get my programming project into a nice condition before my vacation. That went fine and I actually did not have to put much hours into it.

I also took Steve's challenge to create and publish something. I created my first video upload ever: Hands-on Video: Test-Driven Development - Java Application Skeleton

I am really happy that I took the challenge, because I learned so much doing it. It took me two working days to get my 30-minute video done. I had zero experience on videos so I started by downloading some tools and learning how to use them. Next I found out that I am not able to get everything on one take. I tried several times, but I always made mistakes in programming, stuttered or someone rang the doorbell. When I finally was able to get a longer piece of recording done, the recording application did not save it due to a restriction in file size! Finally I gave up and made my video in pieces. But that meant I needed to learn video processing too.

I thought doing videos for web is super easy, but I ended up with quite a crappy video. But it is my first so I think that is acceptable and I am really happy that I created it. After reading this article on uploading videos to YouTube and watching this video on how to make video tutorials for Blender I found out I did almost everything wrong!

The reason my video got blurry was the resolution. I should have recorded it using aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9. I also found out that YouTube resizes the video on upload and that I should have uploaded it in HD. Unfortunately YouTube limit for HD videos is 10 minutes and I already had split my video to 15-minute pieces. So I ended up uploading to Vimeo, just to find out that they allow only one HD video per week. I should have joined up the parts of my video before upload. Now the first part of my video is HD and the second part is not. But I can always re-upload the second part next week.

I used the following free programs to make my video:

  • Webinaria for recording (I also tried FrontCam, CamStudio and several others)
  • VirtualDub for editing 
  • MediaCoder for conversion (I also tried FormatFactory, but it crashed on .mp4 conversion)

Doing something little and giving it away for free is a perfect way to try out something and get comments. I had a totally different idea of how the end result would look like and I'm really happy now that I did not invest anything but time on this yet. I also have much better grasp now what it takes to make a product around videos.

Tip of the week

The 2012 Ultimate You Mindfest is starting in couple of days and it is free. I've been listening their paraliminal relaxation audio and it is really effective, so I'm looking forward to the actual fest.

I also got a recommendation for an interesting book that I'll probably buy when I get back:
The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development: A cheat sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany

So, I'm heading to vacation now. See you after two weeks!

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