Image by pollyalida via Flickr
With the easy availability and free storage offered by multiple online applications, it’s almost silly to store stuff on your own hosting service or school server. For many videos, slideshows, audio recordings, and other multimedia, you can use any number of free online tools to display your creative side. Remember, one of the key elements of these services is in their interactivity and sharing. Viewers can comment on your videos, either through text or video, you can view statistics, and can really publicize your presence.
Here are a few of my favorite video storage, sharing, and presentation services:
- Screencast (http://screencast.com) This service keeps getting better and better, but I especially like its integration with Jing (http://jingproject.com) and Camtasia (a screen recording software and PowerPoint plugin (Windows only for the PowerPoint plugin feature). The basic service is free, but if you find you need more storage, the upgrade isn’t too expensive ($99.95 per year with 2 months free for 25BG of storage space). The quality of the videos are excellent, you can grab the embed code and put the videos on your website, and best of all, screencast provides an automatic RSS feed for items you place in folders. It’s easy to use and especially nice how you can upload your video you’ve created in Camtasia or Jing directly to your screencast account.
- Blip TV (http://blip.tv) Again, this software has developed from an upstart online video hosting service started in 2005 to a major player distributing multimedia content. I was turned on to this service a few years ago, when I was trying to locate free storage space for audio files attached to a blog to create a podcast feed and still like it. I especially like their Learning Center, where they go through step by step the process of creating multimedia content, answering your questions about tools and how to produce and publish your content: http://blip.tv/learning. Blip TV will host your content free of charge and again, provide all of the code you will need to embed and distribute your content. You can add audio files to your blip account and then attach those to your blog posts, creating an automatic podcast feed.
- YouTube (http://youtube.com). The ultimate and probably best-known video service in the world. You can upload just any any format of video and create your own channel. Statistics provide detailed information on who is viewing your video, videos are now viewable in High Definition (HD), and most importantly, YouTube now offers autocaptioning. It’s a huge step forward to enable creation of accessible multimedia content. If you are using Camtasia, you can also upload directly to YouTube, another plus. YouTube videos are limited to 10 minutes in length, however, so you’ll need to find another video service if yours is over this time limit. Which takes me to my next pick . . .
- Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com). This is another video sharing and presentation service, that offers HD and a place for longer than 10 minute videos. I really like the quality of the videos on this service and how clean the interface looks. So, try out vimeo if you need a place for longer videos and again, free storage.
So, start storing your audio, video, and other multimedia presentations on online storage spaces. It will save you time, help you publicize your content to the world, and save space on your own servers.
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