neptune and mydeo... video
It takes a special working arrangement with Microsoft for a hosting service
to show up in the drop-down list in the Movie Maker 'Save Movie Wizard'. You can trust that whatever
service is listed is a reputable and quality one.
Since day 1 of the initial release of Movie Maker 2, neptune
was the only choice in my list... until mydeo surprisingly appeared a week or so ago.
Although I had some advance info about it from Microsoft, seeing it in the drop down surprised me...
I thought they were working in other countries but not the US.
Emails and posts that I read from others who didn't even have one option
led me to think that neptune was only available in the United States.
As I worked on this newsletter, I learned the two services are really choices
for many people using different language versions of Windows XP and in many countries. Neptune, being
more established at this point, is available in 60 countries. If you're using Movie Maker in Taiwan,
you can use neptune in traditional Chinese characters.
I'd been working with neptune for a long time. When I flipped
the priorities of my website upside down at the start of this year, I added a link to his service on
the main page of the website.
To flesh it out a bit, I added the Distributing > Neptune page to the site,
and they setup a PapaJohn Gallery at neptune. All galleries are available for open viewing
but it takes a member to submit one.
Here's the link that takes you directly into the videos I currently have
there.... 22 of them at the moment
The topic of sharing movies via such an online service fits perfectly with
my current priority of doing amazing things with Movie Maker... it's my normal method of distributing
my personal videos.
is the new service in the pick list. I have a new page on my website for it, which I'll be expanding...
Distributing > Mydeo. I don't much there yet, so I'll go into some detail here.
It supports or will soon support 11 languages and 34 countries.
To check it, I took out a trial subscription and posted the same Grand Canyon
video I have on neptune, so I could compare the two. I posted a link to it on the newsgroup and a forum.
I ran the viewing count up to the free trial limit of 50 to see the automated
notices you got when you're getting close to or at the limit.
There are some significant differences and the choice will depend on your
needs... and you could subscribe to both services and use the appropriate one of a particular movie.
Neptune uses a file downloading process and its own viewer, while mydeo
streams the video to your Windows Media Player.
Neptune has a fixed fee for a period of time while mydeo is more a 'pay
per view' service.
Anyone can save a copy of a video from the neptune service, but not from
mydeo... ease of distribution on one hand versus protection from unauthorized copying on the other.
... before getting into them more,
here are a few notes...
I finished moving the website from my son's server in the
Lansing, Michigan area to the 1&1 service in London, U.K. The change went without a blip and I've gotten
feedback of much faster access. With the move, I changed from the domain forwarding service of Domain
Direct to the domain maintenance service of 1&1... the name and the website server for
papajohn.org are now together for the first time.
There's another new page on the site... Editing > the Persian Page.
It's only been a month since the Persian Poet Gal joined the forum at
www.WindowsMovieMakers.NET , and in that short time her
75 posts show that she has high computer skills, a deep knowledge of Movie Maker, a zest for learning
about the amazing things that can be done with xml code, and an energy applied to helping others learn
about that specialized area...
The page is a joint one... but mostly hers. We'll be trying to bridge the
gap between Movie Maker users who are seriously interested in the WOW factor that custom XML code offers
and learning about doing it themselves.
.... on to the main topic
The Distributing > neptune page of my website has lots of info about using
Free Trial and Pricing
Neptune offers a 3-day free-trial service with 15 MB of
a minute of applying, you'll get an automated email welcoming you, and inviting you to upgrade to
one of the normal storage level plans.
I have the 1 GB service and my 22 videos are using 625 MB of it.
You can use the picklist in the saving movie wizard of Movie Maker to upload
a newly rendered movie directly to neptune
... or you can log into the service, select the upload feature and
use either 'easy upload' or 'single file upload'.
Your storage space is the only constraint. You can upload movies and stories
of any size and quality (bitrate).
When I started with neptune a few years ago, I was using the 300 kbps bitrate
level as my rule of thumb, but I've moved it steadily upwards to a current level of about 750 Kbps.
As more and more of my viewers are using broadband, the older 300 kbps needed
320x240 pixel sized movies to look good; today the 640x480 ones at the higher bitrates play fine.
Once they are online, you can share or not share your movies.
You and anyone you give your access link to can see them all. To share one
beyond that, you need to create an album for it. It's one video per album.
Although the price per year is fixed by your storage space option, there's
a limit on viewing usage... bandwidth. Here's a copy of the current table of limits.
My 1.0 GB storage limit account has a daily limit of 2 GB of bandwidth and
a monthly limit of 4 GB. I've never seen a notice about being close to a limit, so I can't share what
it looks like or says.
Saving a movie from neptune
isn't an intuitive easy process, and you need your Windows Media Player in addition to the neptune player.
I just added this info to the website page the other day.
In the window where you view an album, the control panel includes an option
to 'Save Video'.... it'll be grayed out and non-functional until the video is fully downloaded (watch
the buffering progress under the monitor).
Once fully down, the 'Save Video' option changes to being bright and functional.
Selecting it opens your Windows Media Player and starts the video playing in it...
With it playing in WMP, use File > Save As to place a copy on your hard
Free Trial and Pricing
I signed up for a free trial account... which expires at the end of December.
allows you to upload a .wmv video encoded at less than 1000kbps, up to 5 minutes in duration, and gives
you 50 free streams.
I tested it with a copy of my Grand Canyon PiP video on August 8, posted
the link to a forum and newsgroup, and looked at it a number of times myself. Within the first hour of
my testing, the meter was up to 10 views... by August 18 it was at 34 viewings.
To see the automatic notices that mydeo sends out, I drove it up the rest
of the way to 50.
Here's an extract from mydeo's website about its 3 pricing packages for
this Grand Canyon video, with some guidance about who they are appropriate for. The prices are in pounds
and a pound is about $1.81 U.S.
Price per minute of video uploaded
How many times can it be viewed each month?
Up to 200
Up to 1,000
Up to 10,000
NB: If your video is compressed
above 550Kbps the number of views allowed per package is halved.
Choosing your package
Mydeo's Basic package is ideal for assigning to videos that are likely to be seen by just
your friends and family. The package allows more than enough views for even the most popular home
videos and you keep your costs down because the package price is the cheapest.
Mydeo's Medium package is ideal for small businesses who may want to distribute a promotional
video to several hundred customers, or who have websites that generate good numbers of hits each
month. The medium package will allow hundreds of viewings each month and the cost will work out cheaper
than buying hosting and bandwidth directly from a network, and you don't need to sign a long contract.
Mydeo's High package allows thousands of viewings of a video each month. This package
is suitable for content that is intended for distribution to as many people or customers as possible.
An example of this might be an amusing viral email campaign.
When my Grand Canyon sample video reached 50 streams, the limit of the free
trial, I looked at the options... how much would it cost to keep this almost 5 minute video online? Here's
the monthly rates in pounds, with US dollar figures annotated.
Uploading a video is done by logging into your account and selecting the
'Add video' tab.
Browse to the file, give it a name, and add personal notes about it. The
notes are for your use, not seen by viewers.
Once uploaded, you need to assign a package of terms and pricing to apply
to it. The free trial package choice can be used once and will be in the drop down list of choices if
not yet used. If a package isn't assigned within 2 days, the video is deleted from the server.
Once online, you can use these options... per mydeo info:
Generate link -
If you would just like the link to your file you can use the 'HTML link' option.
This will give you a simple link to your file which you can use as you wish. You might want to send the
link in an email or you can use the link on your website.
Create an HTML email - The 'email' option will create you
an HTML email, including a thumbnail from your video, which you can customise with your own message and
signature. The email will be sent to the email address given by you at registration, you can then forward
this email to as many people as you like.
Easy code - Easy code will generate you code which you can use to create a pop-up window to
play your video, or code which you can use in your webpage to embed the player - for that really professional
Saving a movie from a
streaming server such as mydeo can't be done. The process protects you from unauthorized distribution.
Conclusions and Closing
The two services are different... I could extrapolate a hypothetical 'what
if', but I won't. Everyone's distribution needs and goals are different. I just want to give you enough
background info to use when making the choice...
From a pricing standpoint, neptune is more like a cell
phone... you subscribe to a service and get lots of usage over the course of the subscription period,
with total usage limits that usually suffice.. Mydeo is like a pay phone, a good bit more per call
or minute, but less if you only use it once or twice a year.
The file downloading of neptune lets you truly distribute
your videos to others, for online or offline viewing, or for further distribution. The streaming
of mydeo limits viewing to those online and protects you from unauthorized distribution.
For viewers with less than broadband connections, higher quality videos
can be downloaded and viewed when playing back locally... the playback experience of streaming video
is more determined by the connection speed. Those without the newer faster broadband connections can't
experience the higher quality, no matter how new or powerful the computer.
The quality differences can be considerable. Contrast the suggested 340
kbps of mydeo to the 750 kbps of neptune. If the viewer's connection isn't sufficient they could be seeing
nothing when video is streaming... waiting a bit longer is all that is needed for a downloaded file.
Mydeo guidance suggests using 320x240 pixel videos for a good viewing experience...
neptune guidance is for higher quality 640x480 and pushing the quality (bitrate) up.
You would like to think that streaming gets the viewing started quicker,
but it isn't the case. Both will start playing when their buffer is satisfied, and the buffer for the
download process is smaller than for streaming. Mydeo's website suggests that 'streaming' results in
being able to view a video right away, without having to download it first... my experience and info
from neptune says that the file download process starts quicker, unless you choose to fully download
it first before playing locally.
If streaming, only those with a download bandwidth equal or higher than
the video bitrate can watch the video. If you ever try to watch a streaming video with a bitrate too
high... you get nothing, no matter how long you let the video buffer.
The neptune service includes photos in addition to video... the mydeo service
is limited to video. Although not a factor when considering mydeo, it's a plus if you consider neptune
for more than just video.
Neptune includes public galleries to exhibit your videos... with viewings
in the galleries not counted as part of your limits. If you have a video that becomes a sensation, the
millions of viewers won't be running up your meter.
... and my final comment... I typically put my videos on my own website
server.. These two hosting servers are not the only options you have.
I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:
Windows Movie Makers.net
Have a great week...
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 - www.photostory.papajohn.org
Products and Services
I'm involved in many things that support users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly.
Some are free and others reasonably priced.
Radio and Podcasting
is the only weekly Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production
than anywhere else on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases,
tutorials, business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make
everything easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting
Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516
The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files.. The June 19th
2005 podcast included the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2.
Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on
by Microsoft Press
Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum
Friends of Ed
MaximumPC's winter 2005 quarterly special... had a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie with
Maker 2'. The special edition of the video made for it is now
my website as a file download.
Learning VirtualDub - published by
Publishing, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the first chapter about downloading
and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth. I've been reading the other chapters on
my trips to the beach this summer.
Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
- the site's 3 goals are: an online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, a detailed tutorial for
PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.
Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups
Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to
post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.
I'm a regular on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:
Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at W
indows Movie Makers
Movie Maker 2 forum at
Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup -
Photo Story 3 newsgroup -
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is
on the main page of my Movie Maker website at:
Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):
#67 - August 27 - Use Movie Maker to Make an Audio Track for a Photo Story
#68 - September 3 - open
#69 - September 10 - open
Older newsletters (more than 6 issues ago) are posted by Rob Morris to an
at his Windows Movie Makers website. Links from website pages to specific newsletters make it easier
for the website viewer to see the content of both while browsing a topic.
Drop an email to suggest a newsletter topic... I can use more requests rather than fewer.
Add-On Transitions and Effects
Maker 2 (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom
transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself.
Version 2 was released a week ago and I'm still working on updating the online tutorial.
routinely beta test the Pixelan
packages and think very highly of their people and products.
ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally
developed transitions and effects.
your personal information is more of a challenge as hard drives get bigger and the internet more robust.
My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others.
Info is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and in the database package itself.
It's available free to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request.
To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.
An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the
'PapaJohn Expert Zone'
Check it at Neptune
and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to
use the service.
in conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions
about Movie Maker, an intro session and a workshop. The upcoming scheduled sessions are:
Monday - September 19 - 6-7:30 - Intro to Movie Maker
Monday - October 10 - 6-7:30 - Workshop
Other fee-based services
you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and
I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the
parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't
work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of
Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $50 per hour - send
an email - PapaJohn@CharterMi.net
and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.
Wedding combo website/video packages - starting at $2,500 + travel expenses. See
or the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online
portion of the package.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other
About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
||John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online.
An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter
of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award
from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive
website about Movie Maker 2 at
He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides
support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer
by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert
by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about
Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his
advice in the
Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows
Movie Makers Forums.
newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information
may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this
information "AS IS" with no warranties.
Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo
Story 2 Newsletter Index