fredag 25 april 2008

Better looking videos?

Do you want better video quality? Fix my movies is a really interesting new free web service that will help you improve the visual quality of your video files. The service is primary aimed at small video clips, for example the ones you can record with your cell phone. These types of small videos are also the ones that are in most need of improvement.

First you need to email or upload your movie to the service. You can upload directly from your cell phone which is nice. The video file size is limited to 15 Mb and the screen dimension limit is 352x288 pixels. This is less than normal TV resolution and it might sound small, but for videos shot with cell phones it’s usually more than enough.

After you have uploaded a video to the service it will automatically be processed. After a while you can download the new improved video to your computer again as ipod video, flash video or as a windows media file. You can also opt to share your videos directly with others.

The video processing does improve the image quality and reduces the typical blocky artefacts often seen in highly compressed videos.

Fix my movies also allows you to save single video frames from the video as jpeg images. Don’t expect miracles though, you will get images of higher resolution than the video frames but to call it high-res might be to stretch it a bit.

The video processing uses a sequence of images around each frame and can thus interpolate between the frames and even increase the frame-rate. This is good since cell phone videos often are recorded at a painfully low frame-rate and an increased frame-rate makes the video play smoother.

All types of video enhancement does depend on the original video quality, if you have a low quality video as source this type of service will make a huge difference. On the other hand if you start with a high resolution video source all automatic image-processing done on the video might actually reduce the quality or make it look strange. Also remember that after video processing you will in practice need to compress the video again and loose some quality.

If you want to capture video frames from high resolution movies it is better to use desktop software like FastVideoIndexer, then you save time since you don’t have to upload and download large video files. FastVideoIndexers batch video frame extraction will also save you a lot of time.

FixMyMovies is a good free service to improve the visual quality of your cell phone video clips and a good video sharing alternative, especially for small files.

torsdag 10 april 2008

Video sharing now on Flickr

As you might have heard, Flickr, one of the world’s largest photo sharing sites has finally on the 9/4 launched support for video sharing. According to Yahoo, the owner of Flickr, the site has about 46 million visitors monthly and there are more than two billion pictures shared on the site.

The new Flick video sharing is mainly aimed at sharing private videos. The great thing is that you can now share photos and videos shot with your digital camera in the same way and on the same site. Videos are limited in file size to 150mb and 90 seconds in length; this is supposedly to prevent publishing of copyrighted material, something that has been a problem on other video sharing sites like YouTube. Even though sharing of copyrighted material is a problem it is also part of the huge success of YouTube. Flickr on the other hand start from a much stronger position.

If you already have a Flickr pro account you should be able to upload videos to your account. The pro account is $25 a year and is required to add videos. Anyone with a normal Flickr account can still view videos on the site.

Videos on Flickr are placed among your photos and you can tag and Geotag videos just as you can do with photos. You can also play the videos right from the thumbnail list and searching for videos works just as it does for pictures, you can search titles and descriptions.

Flickr has a well developed programming API making it possible to use the site for videos on your site.

Videos on Flickr has so far only been around for two days but there are already a lot of interesting videos to check out:

A Great example of a video on Flickr.

A group with some of the best videos on Flickr

The video announcing video support on Flickr

How to download Flickr videos and how to capture video frames from them