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How to view video on LeftClick (and elsewhere) when you have format choices

By Dave Riley

Watching online video is complicated by the many formats and codes used to condense video files for web publishing.

The most common way to 'watch' video on the web is in flash video format . YouTube and Google Video for instance convert uploaded video files to FLV -- flash files-- which are viewable in online screens.

Often if you download videos from these sources you have to then convert them to other file formats so you can watch them on your desktop. The visual quality , however, is often terrible.

However, I think, and many video bloggers think, that the best format to view online video is in Quicktime (.mov) format (--using the H264 codec)

When I now edit and publish a video I also make it available online also in .mov form. While the videos present as video flash screen you also have the option of playing or downloading the same video in Quicktime (.mov) format. This is a much richer viewing experience for approximately the same size file.

Colours are sharper, syncing is cleaner and clip fades smoother

There's two ways you can watch .mov 'on the web'
  • one way is to install Apple Quicktime. When you do-- you need to only click on the .mov file and the video will play in another tab or window. *
  • another way is to copy the link for the video url ( the .mov file link) and import that into your desktop player such as the versatile VLC Media player which will play .mov files. ( Go to Media/ Advanced Open File and paste the url into the Network window).
Do this and you'll be amazed at how much better sound and picture quality can be.

You can also right click on the .mov file and download it for later viewing. Quiktime .mov files are of such quality that they will play reasonably well for a public screening if downloaded and later projected. So if you want to share a movie keep that option in mind.

If you create videos and want to increase your sharing options and offer better video quality don't just upload them to YouTube. Use a site like BlipTV and convert you file to .mov using Quicktime Pro.

So when people come looking for videos you may have created -- as they often do from RatbagMedia -- you only need to refer them to the location of the uploaded .mov file.

That way you get more mileage from your video efforts...


* Fortunately you can install Quicktime without having to sintall iTunes.

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