In my last blog post “Delivering Video From Moodle” I posted about some discoveries I had made whilst trying to find the best way to deliver video from a Moodle site.
Whilst doing this I made a couple of none Moodle discoveries that I though it would be worth posting.
The first was discovering the software Freemake – http://www.freemake.com/. This software provides video conversion but does it in a clean and tidy way. It also contains lots of presets for various devices. It was this software that I used to create the HTML5 ogv and webm videos when I was testing. Since then I have used it for converting videos for my phone and to rip a clip from a DVD with subtitles to MP4 (most software does not burn the subtitles into the video).
The second was regarding the MP4 video format. From a web perspective MP4 is encoded in a way that means that you should not have to download the whole video before you are able to play it. But… to be able to do this the video must contain some technical information at the start indicating the length and other important stuff. Unfortunately most video conversion software places this important information at the end (as it does not know it all until it has got to the end of the conversion process). To get a video streaming from the internet you must move this information from the end to the beginning.
To achieve this I found the software qt-faststart – http://multimedia.cx/eggs/improving-qt-faststart/ it can take an mp4 and move the information around to make it start streaming when played from a website.
I have contacted the developers of Freemake to suggest that the MP4 for web output is reordered in this way.