First Video Online
We just uploaded our first video. Link and back story follow.
A Change in Platform
We started working towards doing videos the end of last November. In tests at that time it was clear I needed a teleprompter, which finally came together at the holidays.
10 days ago we recorded our first full video. We were pretty happy, and started the process of uploading to Youtube.
Because I was concerned about my own health in that video we stopped and cast lots over the video. Was it OK to upload? The answer was strange. The problem was not my performance, but Youtube as a platform. We were asking for a king who would fight our battles.
The lot also said to do this in our "own house" where visitors had to come to us. This meant we had to host our videos from our own web server to pages on our own website.
This change has some important consequences. Our videos will never be seen with advertising. There will never be any "click aways" like what ends every Youtube video. These links go off site and interfere with exploring our own website, and reduce total visitor time on websites.
Joshua, instead of Youtube, will bring around whomever he wants to see our stuff.
Finally, because Youtube has started banning just about everyone not doing cat videos, we'll never be banned by them.
We last looked at self-hosted videos years ago, when the Internet could not really handle video. In 2019 things have radically changed. Essentially all the parts just need to be turned on.
That said, handling relatively huge video files in our own development environment was the first problem. git-lfs fixed that problem after some tough configuration issues. We can now easily keep backups and pass files around as we work other problems.
The next problem was encoding for various users. Apple devices use a different format than everyone else, which requires 2 different versions on the server. Another issue is minimizing bandwidth in order to minimize what will be our own costs for delivery. With many tries, we figured out the settings for good compression without much noticeable loss of quality.
We also had to work out the uploading parts of our tool chain. I had planned for media files when I worked out our current system, and so far things are looking good.
The last step was website updates so videos would have their own pages in a natural way cataloged on our own website. This still requires work, but, is good enough for a first try. We will be doing more website work soon.
I re-recorded our first video earlier today. I'm finally getting over a lingering cold, and had much more energy today than 10 days ago.
The subject is our view of the history of the Bible and key issues surrounding the problem of recovering the Testimony from the Bible.
We had fun with it, and hope you do too.
The link is...
Because there is a bunch of new (to us) technology to get this to work, I would be grateful if you have any problems that you let me know. Please include what device you were using when you had problems.
I have NOT turned on a Content Delivery Network, so there is some limit to the number that can be watching at the same time. I doubt we hit that limit any time soon. I will monitor the server for hitting capacity limits, turning on a CDN when needed.
We're figuring out how to do a series of videos, perhaps 1 per week. There is much we can cover. We just need to figure out what people might be interested in.
Feedback from the group included questions about listening to the audio alone. This is a popular way to use drive time in order to keep up on podcasts.
We might still do this as an independent thing, but I found when messing with my Android Phone that these videos can play on the phone's lock screen, audio alone, without any help from us.
If you need audio alone, and have an Android Phone, please mess around with this phone feature. It seems good enough for now. (I'm not sure exactly how I triggered the feature. There is a download button in the video's lower right menu... start there.)