Sharing pictures on Internet photo albums has quickly become popular among camera phone and digital camera owners. And why not? It's fun to let friends and people on the other side of the world see our pictures, and maybe get feedback from them. It's not a huge surprise that we might want to share our video clips as well. Maybe it's even more fun. Let's take a look at techniques for posting camera phone videos on YouTube.
Use your camera phone as a camcorder.
There's an almost overwhelming selection of photo-sharing services available on the Internet that are ready to store and display your pictures for free. Now, a number of video-sharing services have become available as well, including the following:
Sharing photos is one thing, but sharing video clips is another thing entirely, because of the following:
- Even a short video recording can become a large file. The size of the file depends on the image size and how much the video software compresses images. For example, a 50-second clip captured in tiny 176x144 (QCIF) resolution in phone-specific 3GP format results in a 500 KB file. Digital cameras can capture video in higher resolution, and they typically don't compress images as heavily as camera phones do. For instance, a 320x240 (QVGA) resolution video clip about 60 seconds long and saved in AVI format takes about 10MB of memory space in a digital camera.
- Many video-sharing sites allow posting of video clips only from an Internet browser. Consequently, you can't send videos from your camera phone by email. You have to first copy the recordings to your computer.
- Practically all digital photos are stored in JPG format, but there are many different and incompatible formats for digital video. Often, it is difficult to view videos recorded by other people, or for you to share your videos. You can't be sure if other people can watch the videos at all.
- Usually, you need additional software for watching videos. For example, YouTube requires Macromedia Flash Player software - but practically no mobile device comes with the software.
A video recorded in 320x240 resolution looks fine in YouTube.
YouTube solves some of these problems. You have to use a computer for uploading and watching videos, but you don't have to worry about video formats.
Here's what you have to do when you want to share your camera phone video recordings on YouTube:
- Before you record new video clips on your camera phone, make sure it is saving images on the memory card. You can change this setting by activating the camera, opening the menu, and changing the default storage device to memory card.
- Record your video. You can find tips for shooting video on a camera phone here.
- Remove the memory card from your camera phone and insert it into a memory card reader. Copy the video clip from the memory card to your computer's hard disk. If there's no memory card on your phone, use Bluetooth, infrared, or data cable for transferring the video to your computer. Remember where you saved it.
- If you want to improve your video's attractiveness, edit it in a video software application, such as Windows Movie Maker, Apple iMovie or Adobe Photoshop Album. Video editing applications allow you to change the format and resolution of your home movie. YouTube recommends MPEG4 video format at 320x240 resolution with MP3 audio for best viewing.
- Don't worry. You don't have to do anything to your video before uploading it to YouTube. The service will do the necessary format conversions. We tested several different video formats and resolutions, and they all played fine on YouTube. For example, a video in 3GP format in 176x144 resolution, an AVI video in 320x240 resolution, and an MPEG4 clip in 320x240 resolution all played fine. The only problem we had was with a 3GP video that lasted 10 seconds. YouTube played the audio the way it was recorded, but it could only show three frames.
- Launch the Internet browser application, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer, on your computer and logon to www.youtube.com. You have to register to the service befroe uploading videos.
- Once you have signed up, click the Upload tab. Fill in the required forms and wait for your video to be copied to the server.
- Check how your video plays on YouTube. If the video looks mosaic, click the small box with a square around it on the lower right-hand corner of the video. It will resize the video to its original size and make it sharper.
Resizing a small 176x144 resolution video to its original size makes it look better.
Then, take a deep breath and wait for other viewers to rate and comment on your masterpiece.