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Authoring new outlets for video

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

I have recently, Feb-March 2004, had a video produced, and by accident found myself as a very early adopter of distributing this in (for academics) new formats: DVD, streaming video, CD, downloaded video files. I would recommend these formats, and here are a few notes on why for those at Glasgow University. I expect I will not update these notes and that they will quickly go out of date.

Firstly, this particular video was based on filming a lecture, and was done at rather short notice by Media Services, who were also very quick at editing the finished version. They also, having shot and edited in a mixture of analogue and digital, offered the result on any or all of a variety of formats, including VHS tape and DVD. I worked with Colin Brierly (

From the viewpoint of an academic and talk presenter, DVD as a format has the disadvantage that you can't integrate clips directly into a powerpoint presentation. On the other hand:

The video can also be converted for streaming video: where the video is accessed from a web page and played over the internet with little download delay before playing begins. This means you can offer it round the world and/or to students without sending disks. New staff machines are typically set up already for this. New student cluster machines have the power for this, but their configuration may need to be adjusted after negotiation with support staff. The file conversion to Windows Media streaming format was done by Steven Jack (, and then mounted on his server all within a day or two. The file conversion to Quicktime streaming was done by Colin Brierly ( and John Morrison (, and the streaming hosted by John McClure ( in psychology. In theory it is unnecessary to offer both formats, as any fairly new machine can be configured to receive both formats. In practice, machines are more likely to be already set up only for their "native" format: Quicktime on Macs, AVI on PCs.

It is also possible to convert the same video to either QuickTime (Mac; .mov) or Windows Media (PC; AVI; .wmv) format; and offer these on CD or for downloading on the web.

You can access some of these different versions of my video from here.

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