Video Essentials

Choosing a UGC Site, Part 5: WordPress


If you have a WordPress blog, you’ll find VideoPress’s integration with your blog’s Dashboard fabulous. Encoding quality was generally very good, and the price very attractive ($59.97/year), though the lack of a player that supports Apple iOS devices was a definite bummer.

Since it’s a paid service, you can pretty much upload what you like, though I’m sure copyright infringement is not tolerated. Uploads are limited to 2 hours in length and  2GB in size, which should be sufficient for most organizations. It doesn’t appear that VideoPress comes with additional disc space however, so if you upload lots of videos, you’ll incur additional storage charges for your WordPress site.

Introduction
YouTube
Vimeo
Viddler
Dailymotion
WordPress
Metacafe

When you upload your video, VideoPress encodes it into multiple sizes, and automatically embeds the optimal size into your blog. For example, I tested using an account provided by colleague Jeff Deuitch, which used 500 pixels for the main column. When I uploaded a 640×360 video, VideoPress produced two sizes, 400×224, and 640×360. When I embedded the video into Jeff’s blog, VideoPress used the smaller version, though viewers could click HD to watch the larger file. With HD videos, VideoPress adds a 720p file.

At the highest encoded quality levels, VideoPress encoded in H.264 format at the highest data rates in the group, and quality was exceptional. There were two noteworthy blips; as you can see in the figure, VideoPress flipped the video shot with my iPod Touch, and the service didn’t properly scale or deinterlace my DV video properly. Obviously, you can work around both problems fairly easily.

Oops! VideoPress flipped my iPod Touch video. Note the HD option in the upper right.

Embedding videos into your WordPress blog is simple; you click the Add Video icon, choose a video, click Insert into Post and you’re done. You can choose whether to make the HD option available to the viewer, and to allow other viewers to embed the videos into their own sites. You can also grab embed codes that allow you to embed the videos into other sites, though sizing options were limited to small and large windows, which is much less flexibility than is afforded by other services.

Surprisingly, though VideoPress offers an Ogg version of each encoded file that will play in some HTML5 compatible browsers (isn’t that special!), its primary player is Flash-only, and the videos wouldn’t play on my iPad, which is a very significant limitation that WordPress will overcome soon.

You can check out the embedded videos below.

HD Test File


SD Test File

Screencam File

DV File

iPod Touch File




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