Monday, June 14, 2010

Why use PowerPoint 2010 to insert videos?

If you've ever inserted videos in your PowerPoint, you must have felt the pain when your friends or audience reported that video didn't play in the slide show you shared on email. Those who are well versed with PowerPoint know that video files are always linked. This means that PowerPoint always play the video file from the path it was lying when it was inserted. Smart PowerPoint users have been following the practice of keeping the PowerPoint file and videos in a common folder, zip it and share the zip file on email. This way the video inserted always refer to the path of the folder.

Lately, PowerPoint users have started using online PowerPoint sharing websites to share their presentations. Tools like authorSTREAM Desktop, which automatically ship video/audio along with PowerPoint file to their servers make sure that the online version of PowerPoint (Flash output) plays the video and audio. However, original PPT if downloaded, still fails to play the video inserted.

PowerPoint users have always longed for video embedding feature, similar to audio embedding. Finally, Microsoft has fixed the video insertion issue in PowerPoint 2010. With PowerPoint 2010, you need not to worry about the video file path or annoying "Cannot find the specified file.." errors at audience end.

Embed video files in PowerPoint 2010

In PowerPoint 2010, videos inserted from hard-disk are embedded directly into the presentation unless you deliberately choose to link. You just need to insert videos and forget about the rest. PowerPoint 2010 has also got some nifty features of optimizing and editing videos inserted.

Compatibility and Optimization of the file size

As the video files are contained in PowerPoint itself so PowerPoint size can be a major issue when it comes to sharing on the web. Also the non availability of video codec at audience end can be an issue. Optimize Media Compatibility feature of PowerPoint 2010 and Compress Media button takes care of codec and file size issues. Click optimize media compatibility on the backstage to get rid of codec issues. The compress media button available on backstage compresses the media file(s) thus reducing the total size of the PowerPoint file.

Video editing in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 provides many ways and means to edit the video. You can recolor videos, change brightness and contrast, set the bookmarks, change the shape and design of the video inserted. You can also trim unwanted portions of a video which you don't want to show up in the slide show.

Simply insert a video, and select the “Trim Video” option on the Playback tab. Set the “Start Time” and “End Time” either from the time-line or enter the values in respective text boxes. Trimming helps you crop unwanted stuff from the video.

Trim video

So now no more zip folders, no more video file missing errors. No matter how you insert, what's the file size, what video codec you used, with PowerPoint 2010, your videos are gonna play everywhere for sure.

PowerPoint 2010 also lets you insert Flash embeds of video sharing websites like YouTube, Vimeo. Such embeds just store the reference of path and player they are hosted on and require Internet connection to play during sideshow.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

SlideShare launched Pro accounts!!

SlideShare the online document and video sharing platform has launched Pro account subscriptions. SlideShare is yet to announce it officially on their blog. However, SlideShare users can see an upgrade banner on their profile page. SlideShare already offers two premium services for businesses; LeadShare and AdShare. Users with pro account  will be able to view stats like visitor geo locations, how many users viewed  their SlideShare content?, what search keywords and referrers made them land on their content?, how many people embed/download/comment on their presentation?

Pro users can customize channels and can upload unlimited videos. Unlike authorSTREAM, which also offers premium service, Pro offering of Slideshare has nothing special for PowerPoint users and is just focused on businesses.

Slideshare has kept the monthly subscription fee for the basic plan as $19.99. Pricing for the custom plan is not disclosed yet. Opening same link in Internet explorer 8 reveals that Slideshare also intends to offer some special discount if yearly payment is done, though the price displayed is $49.95. May be the pricing was initially decided to be $49.95 a month which might have been re-fixed to  $19.99 at a later stage.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Best video of the week contest @Slideshare

Image representing SlideShare as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase
Slideshare has come up with yet another contest but this time it's for videos. Slideshare has recently allowed video uploads on their website. The contest is open for Professional videos only (e.g., talk presentation, screencast, demo, webinar) in a category such as Business, Technology, Education, Health or Non profit.

Slideshare will give away one iPad every week to the Professional Video of the Week.

How to enter the contest

To participate in the ‘Best Professional Video Of The Week Contest’, your presentation*  should have been uploaded to SlideShare after Monday, 31st May 2010, 00:01 AM PST and entered into the contest by Tuesday, 29th June 2010, 11:59 PM PST. The decision of SlideShare regarding eligibility of contest presentations* will be final and binding for all.

Upload a professional video (e.g., talk presentation, screencast, demo, webinar) in a category such as Business, Technology, Education, Health or Non profit.

Entertainment or humor videos are not qualified to enter. You should own the copyright to the video or have permission from the owner.

Step 1: Choose the dropdown “Enter Best Professional Video contest” while uploading.
Step 2: Tweet out the short URL to the video that you will receive by email.

"I am entering “Video URL” to the video contest on @slideshare. Vote for me by retweeting this. "

 You can find more details at contest page on Slideshare.

* Seems a typo. Guys @Slideshare, shouldn't it be 'video' ?

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