Get ready for video podcasting


You can argue about whether to call it ‘videocasting’, ‘vodcasting‘, ‘vlogging‘, ‘vblogging’ … But you cannot argue about the surge in buzz about it: John Q. Public is getting ready to create his own movies and show them to the world.

The creation
Just as with podcasting, the barrier of entry for producing content is dropping. With video capability being embedded in digital cameras, mobile phones and webcams, it looks like soon anyone will be capable of recording footage. That movie is then transferred to a PC, maybe edited with Apple iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, encoded into a fitting format and ready for consumption. The definition of ‘a fitting format’ seems to boil down to: Quicktime (.MOV/.MP4), MPEG-1 (.mpg), Windows Media (.WMV) and Audio/Video Interleave (AVI), which should bring the output in the 150Kbps-1Mbps bandwidth range.

The hosting
One might think that, since video uses higher bandwidths than audio, the average video podcast file would be way bigger. Fortunately the average DIY film director seems to limit himself/herself to movies of less than 10 minutes. A podcaster can easily talk for an hour each week (which produces a 30MB file at 64Kbps), but the complexity of acting, editing and producing video makes a 4-minute piece already a considerable accomplishment. Four minutes of video requires only 4 to 20 MB.
There are a number of players that offer free video storage and streaming services.

The audience
No point in making your own movie if no one is going to see it. So you

  • make the formal promise to create a new movie every day/week/month,

  • upload your works of art onto one of the services above,
  • set up your own video blog site, with an RSS feed with enclosures,
  • maybe use the Feedburner Smartcast service to add the Yahoo! Media RSS and Apple iTunes extensions, and
  • register your vodcast in a vodcast directory like vodcasts.tv and loomia.com.
  • make sure your content is well indexed and referenced so you show up in video search engines like Google Video, Yahoo! Video or Blinckx.

And maybe, if you make a documentary that’s good enough, you upload it to Channel Four’s FourDocs and you cross over to the ‘old’ media.

FourDocs is the place to upload or download four minute documentaries. Anyone with a story to tell or an opinion to voice can submit their film to FourDocs.

Also check out their excellent “How-To Make A Documentary” Guides!

(Thanks to Ine for hitting me with the videopodcast hammer until my scepsis gave way for moderate optimism)

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