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Charles French September 25th, 2003 07:20 PM

Web Page?
I want to start a web page and be able to show video and music files. My server is bellsouth, can this be done through them or do I need to look elsewhere? I don't know diddly bout this, so any help would be greatly apprerciated.

tks, charles

Robert Knecht Schmidt September 25th, 2003 07:46 PM

Well, as with any hosting, the two considerations are space and bandwidth. How many media files do you want to make available to your visitors, and how big will they be? Further, how much can they be compressed, so that they can be more quickly downloaded?

Most short video clips at small resolutions are several megabytes. If you want to host a few 30 minute productions of yours, along the lines of the Lady X Films, you're going to need several hundred megabytes of hosting, and your hosting provider should be capable of at least 256 kbps upload (more preferably, 512 kbps or 1 Mbps).

Charles French September 25th, 2003 08:11 PM

Most video files will only be 1-2 minutes. I want to start with 4 or 5. What I want to do is some footage on some people doin art and craft's & music ,maybe a short video and link to pics of their work. I'm really shooting in the dark on this idea and trying to learn while I go. I want the viewer to be able to view this in windows media or real, I just dont know how to go about setting this all up. Or how!


David Hurdon September 26th, 2003 07:25 AM

Take it in small pieces Charles. For example, start by creating a short piece in the .wmv (Windows media video) format, using an export template from your NLE or a stand alone Windows Media encoder (version 7 or 9), which is a free download from Microsoft. Upload it to your site, and see how it plays - just type your URL plus /myvideo.wmv, where myvideo is the file name. Keep it to 8 characters. The proper way to do this step includes making a .asx file, which contains the web address of the video. The .asx tells the viewer's computer what software to load (WMP) and the content of the .asx directs the player to the file. So your URL would have /myvideo.asx added to the end. With a little digging you can learn the HTML for embedding the player rather than having it pop up, or you can allow both. To see the coding view source on any one of the links from my video page at www.contentshop.tv/myvideo.htm
Select any stream and you'll reach a launch page where you can play the file embedded or pop up. With a pop up option the viewer can select a screen size - even full screen with WME9 encoding for high speed, say 500-700 kbps. Mine are lower bit rates to save disk space on the shared host server I pay for.

David Hurdon

John Locke September 26th, 2003 08:04 AM

...or Quicktime (keep in mind it doesn't exclude anyone whereas media files for the newest version of Windows media can't be viewed by many Mac users)

David Hurdon September 26th, 2003 11:00 AM

I love good Quick Time video, John, but I've never been able to make it. I've used QTPro, Raptor Video, Premiere and Cleaner EZ and never once had a file with the same quality to size ratio I get for free from Microsoft. I don't like it but that's my experience. I've even read reviews of Sorenson Squeeze that weren't complimentary about the QT output and that's hundreds of dollars worth of software!

David Hurdon

Robert Knecht Schmidt September 26th, 2003 11:55 AM

David, what's your preferred codec? WMV?

BTW, I would stay away from DivX encoding, since the DivX codec is no longer open source and even downloading the free decoder requires installing some unpleasant adware from Gator. Xvid is the new alternative open source MPEG4 encoder, but its development is still in the early stages and it is not completely user friendly as yet.

David Hurdon September 26th, 2003 01:06 PM

For the web, Robert, my favourite codec is wmv and the WME9 encoder does amazing work. I generally stick with 7 for compatibility reasons but I've noticed that a year down the line from the release of the WMP/E-9 suite it seems that version 7 players are able to download the ver. 9 video codec if set to do so automatically, so there is less of a problem now with access. For CD I'm still a big fan of well-made MPEG-1 files, and there you do have true PC/Mac compatibility.

David Hurdon

Charles French September 26th, 2003 10:12 PM

It's me again. You have to keep in mind I'm lost in LaLa land, having never done this. As far as designing a web page , do I need something like Microsoft Front Page? My OS is ME. If so what version. Then if I ever get this done , a web host? I've looked at Ready Hosting, 500mb space & unlimited d/l $99 yr. Sorry but I'm just trying to find someone to kinda walk me thru this.

I want to be able to stream some 1-2 minute video files and also audio. This HTMl thing has got me confused tho. Do I have to write these or is there a way around this to link to my files? My head is starting to hurt, maybe I need professional help!

tks, charles

Robert Knecht Schmidt September 26th, 2003 10:51 PM

Charles, if you're new to web design and you've never made a web page before, this probably isn't the best forum to seek help, but here are some of my favorite links.

Jonny's HTML Headquarters - here's a great place to start learning HTML.
Compact Index of HTML Tags - quick HTML index, though some tags are obsolete.
XHTML quick reference - XHTML is the new standard, replacing HTML. HTML still works on all browsers, but use XHTML if you're a stickler for proper coding.
Adam's Advanced HTML guide - a great place to brush up on advanced topics once you've learned the basics of HTML.
Introduction to CSS
Tips for detecting media players in your web page
Windows Media Player reference - how to embed WMP in your pages. Explore all of w3schools.com - there's a lot there.
Here's how to create a Favorites icon for your web page.

You don't need FrontPage to create a web page, all you need is a text editor like Windows Notepad, and probably also something to edit graphics in, like Adobe Photoshop or (my favorite) Corel PHOTO-PAINT.

I recommend you start by learning HTML (or its stricter replacement, XHTML) and FTP (or its more secure successor, SCP), that way you can author and upload your web pages from scratch. WYSIWYG editors like FrontPage are nice for when you're in a hurry, but when it comes down to getting a page to look exactly like you want it to look, there's no substitute for editing raw markup in a text editor.

One more tip. When you want to make a really great web page, do what the masters do--STEAL. Go to your favorite web sites and View Source to see their magical inner workings. No sense reinventing the wheel when it comes to web layout.

Charles French September 27th, 2003 06:35 PM

I can't believe it. I DID IT. Well at least my wife and I got something started in Notepad. We got the header and background color and a paragraph wrote in html. Wow! We got a long row to hoe tho. It will probably take a couple of years to get a page done. But boy what gratification. Thank everyone for all the help.


John Locke September 27th, 2003 07:15 PM


When friends ask me "how can I make a web page?" I always point them to Elated.com and tell them to download one of the free site templates (called "PageKits" on their site). With minor "text" changes, this allows them to get a site up and running almost immediately.

Then, the next step is to start playing with that same template to test their wings at HTML and to customize further...changing the background color, the rollover graphics, etc.

And then finally, I suggest that they download all of the templates and find the differences between them and to see if they can combine and customize one into something they've had in mind but didn't know how to make before.

I've always appreciated Elated.com for their generosity in offering these and other freebies.

Charles French September 27th, 2003 08:36 PM

John, so should I put what we've done on the back burner or can I use this in conjunction with what I've got in notepad? Writing html is a pain in the head!

tks, charles

John Locke September 27th, 2003 08:52 PM


The PageKits at Elated.com consist of tables and nested tables, so it would be a simple thing to just copy what you've created and then paste it into the proper table cell in the Elated template. Just make sure to copy only the code for your content (avoiding accidentally "grabbing" some table code or what-not) and then paste between the <td> and</td> tags and you should be okay.

Some tables are designed to "stretch" while others are designed to maintain the same height and width regardless of what you put in them (but will wrap the text as in a newspaper column). So the only thing you'd have to look out for would be pasting graphics that are larger than the cell size and causing the overall page design to become disjointed.

I got started in web design before editors such as GoLive, FrontPage, and DreamWeaver came out, therefore I learned how to code with simply a text editor such as NotePad (SimpleText in my case). Let me tell you, that IS a pain! Plus, it's time-wasting and completely unnecessary now that these WYSIWYG editors (What You See Is What You Get) are available. They aren't cheap, however, and might be overkill unless you're planning to serious pursue developing your own site.

If you don't want to invest in a big gun editor because of price or because it is confusing for a beginner, check out some downloadable programs such as CuteHTML (costs $19.99 for just the program, $37.99 with support options). Maybe something like that will work better for you.

If you decide to use an Elated kit and to customize it a bit, but run into trouble, feel free to e-mail me and I'll see if I can help you out.

Good luck!

Charles French September 27th, 2003 09:11 PM

My problem is I don't know what I need. I know what I want to do. I want to be able to stream audio and video. 2-3 minute video that I've done with my camcorder. I want to present artist , potter's and crafter's and be able to show their work in a photo presentation and be able to take credit card orders for this. I'm really winging it right now. I don't know exactly what steps to take to get this goin. I know I need a web page and a web host and I'm unsure about where the ftp fits in.

I know video takes up a lot of space on my PC. naturally I would start off needing less space than i will eventually need to get started.. We worked 4 hrs just to get a header aligned and put BG color. There's just so much I don't know, like how to link to photos and video's I have on my PC, or if I need to somehow rename the files with an extension so I can put them on the web page. I beginning to think I may be over my head and it would be worth the cost to pay someone to set this up for me.

tks, cf

John Locke September 27th, 2003 09:51 PM


To get something professional-looking up and that includes e-commerce capabilities, you really might want to consider paying someone to get you up and running. Sounds to me like you'd only need a main page, a gallery or galleries, an "About us" page, a "Contact Us" page or simple link, and then the ability to accept payment either through PayPal or an e-commerce provider (both of which require coding to link to their systems). That would be a rather small site, so it wouldn't cost you too too much to have someone do it for you.

Cafepress.com. allows you to sell photos and "data" disks, so that might be an economical way to start out. If you pay for their "Premium" shop plan, you can customize the page so that it matches your site. Customflix.com. only charges $50 per title and will allow you to sell DVDs and VHS tapes on their site, complete with professional packaging and printing. Either of these will work if your products are photos and videos of arts and crafts. But if you are wanting to sell the art and crafts themselves (such as pottery) then you'd have to go with something like PayPal or another type of e-commerce provider (FYI: non-PayPal e-commerce providers require that you qualify first for their services, then require a fee and/or percentage on sales).

There are lots of things to consider besides just linking photos and videos...which encoding to use for video segments (or how to offer video segments for a variety of players), how to compress with minimal loss of quality, how to setup links to interact with your e-commerce choice, etc. etc.

P.S. By the way...FTP means File Transfer Protocol. FTP programs allow you to upload your site and contents up to the server that will be hosting you.

David Hurdon September 28th, 2003 05:43 AM

I'm with John, Charles. It's taken me seven years to go from turning on my first PC to operating three web sites and running a part-time video/digital content creation business. If I'd known where I was headed I'd have hired help. I don't regret any of the learning, and it's all useful to me today in one way or other but if I had intended to sell products or services when I began, time would have been of the essence and time disappears like cash in a casino once you start trying to teach yourself everything. Concentrate on your strengths and hire into your weaknesses. Have you got time to teach yourself to be a talented graphic artist, so that you can design your own logo?

David Hurdon

Federico Dib September 28th, 2003 08:32 AM

<<<-- Originally posted by Charles French : I've looked at Ready Hosting, 500mb space & unlimited d/l $99 yr. Sorry but I'm just trying to find someone to kinda walk me thru this.
Beware of the "unlimited" word in hosting.... specially if you are going to have video and/or audio... Be sure to read the small print in their Terms Of Service, as Ive seen quite a few "unlimited space or transfer or both" that will block you if you "abuse" the space... and Video and Audio sure consume a lot of resources... and the "abuse" term can be quite subjective.

So if youre going to hire hosting space.. ask your hosting to be sure...
Also I will reccomend to go for the hostings that Tell you exactly how much resources are you allowed to use... even some of those have restrictions on AUdio and Video.. so ask first..

I tell you this, because Im in the difficult process of finding a host like the one you need myself... and It sure is taking a lot time and research to find one that fits my needs and is not runned by a 15 year old who will drop out of business in a few months.

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