Windows Movie Maker tips, tutorials, forums and more...

Visit the Windows Movie Maker forums

Community Forums
Downloads/Add-ons

Getting Started
Learn Movie Maker 2
Capture Video
Improve Video Capture
Saving Projects

Editing Video
Video Editing
Video Trimming
Video Effects
Using Transitions

Adding Sounds
Adding Music
Adding Narration
Multiple Audio Tracks
Controlling Volume

Photos
Taking Pictures
Making Slideshows
Advanced Titles
Photo Story 3

Exporting Movies
Saving Movies
CD-Rom Backup
Create a DVD

More Articles
All Articles
Movie Maker 2 Review
Movie Maker Tutorials
What are Codecs?
Streaming Video
Create a Movie CD
Using Photo Story 2

PapaJohn
MM2 Newsletter Archive

Download Windows Media Player 11

Digital Media BooksView Books about Digital Media

PapaJohn's Newsletter #66

neptune and mydeo... video hosting

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.

Pick List

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.


neptune

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

papajohn.neptune.com

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. 


Mydeo LogoMydeo 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...


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.

Persian Page

.... on to the main topic


neptune

The Distributing > neptune page of my website has lots of info about using the service...

Free Trial and Pricing

Neptune offers a 3-day free-trial service with 15 MB of storage....

Storage Level OptionsWithin 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.


Uploading Movies

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.


Bandwidth LimitsSharing Movies

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 drive.


mydeo

Free Trial and Pricing

I signed up for a free trial account... which expires at the end of December.

Mydeo - uploadingIt 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?

Basic package

£3

Up to 200

Medium package

£10

Up to 1,000

High package

£75

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.

Sample Pricing


Uploading Movies

Mydeo - Upload File

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.


Sharing Movies

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 look.


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...

PapaJohn

Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
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

theDVShowTheDVShow 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 edge. 

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.


Do Amazing ThingsBooks and Magazines

Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on www.papajohn.org), published 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  on my website as a file download.

Learning VirtualDub - published by Virtual DubPackt 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.


Websites

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.

PhotoStory 2 - www.papajohn.org/PhotoStory2/PS - a detailed tutorial about using it. It's not a problem-solving site.


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 SimplyDV.com

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -  microsoft.public.plus

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -  microsoft.public.windowsxp.photos


Weekly Newsletters

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:

www.papajohn.org

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 Archive Site 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.


Software

Add-On Transitions and Effects

Transition 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.

I routinely beta test the  Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and products.

Adorage

ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 provides an additional source of professionally developed transitions and effects.

Personal Database

Managing 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.


Online Gallery Neptune Gallery

An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the  'PapaJohn Expert Zone' at neptune.

Check it at Neptune  and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to use the service.


Training

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

If 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 www.papajohn.org

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  Jill-MarkWedding 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 countries.

 

About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler 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 www.PapaJohn.org. 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.

This 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

 

 

Download more Movie Maker Effects!



Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.