TTFA2: Uploading Media to the Internet
Producing and Publishing Media to the Internet
The video-sharing website YouTube suspended the account of a prominent Egyptian anti-torture activist who posted videos of brutal behaviour online. Wael Abbas said some 100 images he had uploaded to the site were no longer accessible to users due to "complaints about the content". Abbas, who has won international recognition for his work in opposing the use of torture, claims the clips depicted police brutality, voting irregularities and anti-government demonstrations. But a message on Abbas's YouTube user page now reads: "This account is suspended". http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/nov/27/egypt.world
This chapter will cover;
- 'Issues about using corporate Media sharing sites like YouTube
- How to edit and upload Images, Audio and Video using free, open and independent tools
The Problem with YouTube (and similar services)
Corporate media sharing YouTube has vast potential audiences and are rich in features. However that potential doesn’t necessarily translate into actual audience. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that are viewed by hardly anyone. If you put in effort and networking to get people to view your content you could just as well build an audience in ways which do not rely on a network service that could suspend your account at any time.
Features of Media Uploading
There are different levels of independence and features that you may want from a video or audio sharing service.
- Can you edit and remove your content completely?
- What licence are you releasing your video /audio under?
- Can you view video in a streaming player, download a file and embed this player into other websites?
- What formats can users download your media file in? Do you want to support open formats?
- Does the platform support RSS feeds that can be used in podcasts?
- Is it possible to post and view videos and audio anonymously?
There are quite a few corporate 'Web 2.0' services that offer a lot of functionality and provide a high degree of usability. However, none of the commercial services can be relied upon to offer anonymous posting and/or viewing.
Many who people use Facebook and the highly criticised licence are horrified when they find out what that licence allows Facebook to do with your images.
If you use alternative image sharing website like Flickr and Indymedia to upload images you are able to choose your own licence. You may also want to try out a WordPress blog to upload your images. There are many themes specifically designed for uploading images (also know as Photo Blogging).
Editing and Encoding video and audio
Audio editing and encoding: Audacity are audio editors that can import, edit and export audio in a number of different formats. Audacity is a great starting application that is very suitable for short audio reports or recording music mixes. Ardour is aimed at multi-track recording and or longer audio reports with many tracks.
Video encoding: There are several Free Software applications which are great for encoding videos. HandBrake is a cross platform encoders which can convert DVDs and other videos files so that they are ready for archiving and uploading to the Internet.
Video editing: For free software the situation is much worse for video editing. On Linux our recommendation is Kdenlive which is making great steps towards being stable. On Windows there is a bundled video editor Windows Movie Maker and on Apple iMovie which work great for short videos. However, if you are trying to create a long video then the getting hold of a computer which runs Final Cut Pro or Premiere may save you a lot of time.
Video & Audio sharing services
Archive.org contains thousands of digital movies ranging from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts. All these movies are available for download, often in very high resolution, and are freely licensed. You can embed the video into other websites, but you ca not create an RSS podcast there. They support open formats like Ogg video. You cannot upload content anonymously.
VisionOnTV is not a service where you can upload video. It does however help to promote Grass roots video reports and provides tips and training on how to make short videos using low cost tools. Get in touch with them if you have videos to share.
[uploading-media-to-the-internet/engagemedia.org Engage Media] specialise in video from the Asia-Pacific region but are open to international video as well. They fully support and promote subtitles and open video formats.
Running your own Video sharing site
There are a number of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) web Content Management Systems (CMS) that offer specialised video functionality - such as Plumi http://plumi.org/ and various Drupal and Wordpress modules targeted at handling media. There is a network of groups and individuals called Hacktionlab, who share knowledge about media activism and would be happy to help on their email list.