How To Compress Video Before Uploading To YouTube

Recording videos and uploading them to YouTube to share is a common practice nowadays. However, most video sharing websites limit the video by either length, file size or both. Therefore, compressing the video before uploading it is important. It also shortens the uploading time.

For example, recording an 8 minutes video (320 X 240 pixels and 30fps) on my digital camera took over 200mb. After compressing the video, the size was reduced to 60mb. That is roughly a 70% reduction.

I am currently using eRightSoft’s SUPER to compress my video files. To download the software, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on one of the four links that says “SUPER © setup file”.

I notice a problem with the audio when I first compressed a video using its default settings. It sounded like “chipmunks” talking instead of a human (ie. Fast and high pitch tone). I tweaked the settings a little and it solved the problem. Below is a screenshot of the settings I am using. It may not be the optimum compression so post up your settings if it is better.

Modified settings for SUPER

Do you have any other suggestions for software with better compression quality?

3 Methods To Optimize The Size Of Pictures Before Uploading To Blog

If you blog, chances are that you have uploaded a picture file into your blog in the past. I noticed some bloggers do not optimize the size of the pictures before uploading them into their blog. Failure to do so not only increases the uploading time of the pictures but also increases the downloading time and bandwidth of the server.

The 3 methods to optimize the size of the pictures are:

Method #1: Image Resizer (Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP)

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP is packed with a tool called Image Resizer. It enables a user to quickly resize an image by right-clicking on the image and selecting “Resize Pictures”. Image Resizer can be downloaded here.

Examples on how to use it can be found here and here. This tool requires Windows XP to run. I do not know if it works on other OS.

Method #2: Picasa from Google

Select the file you want to resize and click on the Export button at the bottom right of the program.

Export the image

Insert the number of pixels you want to resize the image into. Set the “Image Quality” to “Normal” or the desired setting you want. Click OK to export the image.

Export settings

Method #3: Adobe Photoshop

This is a two step process. Firstly, resize the picture to the desired size by selecting the menu (Image –> Image Size) or Ctrl+Alt+I. Select the “Constrain Proportions” checkbox to ensure the image is resized with the original ratio.

Resize image

Next, further optimize the size of the image by saving it to web quality. You can do so by selecting the menu (File –> Save for Web) or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S. Select the “Optimized” tab. Check out the size of the image if it were to be saved as gif or jpg as circled at the bottom left in the screenshot below. Depending on the image itself, sometimes saving it as gif will result in a smaller file size, or vice versa.

To get the best quality for jpg, select the “JPEG High” preset option. To get the best quality for gif, select the “GIF 128 Dithered” preset option. Save the image.

Save for web

Blog Second Major Outage

The server where my blog is hosted suffered its second major outage yesterday. The first one happened 2 months ago when the harddisk busted after one month of operation. The cause of this outage is not identified yet. It could be due to the harddisk or the server itself.

My hosting company didn’t want to gamble on the same server anymore. A new server was bought to replace the old (3 months old) server. Below is the specification of the new server:

Intel Quad Core Xeon 5310
320G HDD Western Digital (Say no to Seagate)

Do you notice the “Say no to Seagate” notice? I guess the previous harddisk was from Seagate.

Anyway, they have done a good job backing up the harddisk before replacing the old server. I didn’t lose any posts or comments. However, some comments that I replied were not restored. I guess I’ll just have to reply to the comments again. *deja vu*

How To Schedule WordPress Posts To Publish In The Future

I’ve come across a few bloggers mentioning that they scheduled their posts to be automatically published by WordPress in a future date. After going through my WordPress menu without finding a “schedule future post” option, I searched for it at Google and found two articles that helped:

To write a post and have WordPress publish it in a future date, all you need to do is to edit the “Post Timestamp” option before publishing the post as shown in the screenshot below.

Edit post timestamp to schedule future post

Right after completing your post, look for the “Post Timestamp” option on the right. Check/select the “Edit timestamp” checkbox. Select the future date and time you want the post to be published. After that is done, click on the “Publish” button like how you would normally publish a post.

I’ve scheduled this post to be automatically published at 25/6/2007 at 2:00pm. I’m publishing this 2 and a half hours earlier. If everything works accordingly, this post will only be visible at the scheduled time.

How To Display Related Posts In Feeds

Some bloggers include wordpress plugins like WASABI related entries or Ultimate Tag Warrior to display related posts after each posts. This enables readers to quickly identify other posts that may interest them.

I have been using WASABI related entries for quite some time now. It works great in my blog but I notice the links to related posts doesn’t show up in my blog feed. Just recently, I stumbled upon ST Add Related Posts To Your Feed plugin at CincauHangus’s plugin list. It is suppose to show the related posts in the blog feed after installing it. I have tried it and it works.

Below is a screenshot of a blog feed that doesn’t display other related posts.

Feed without related posts

Below is a screenshot of a blog feed that displays other related posts after installing the plugin.

Feed with related posts

You will need to install either WASABI related entries or Ultimate Tag Warrior for this plugin to work. I notice that the related posts links does not display immediately in my blog feed after installing the plugin. They appear only after I published a new post in my blog.