Tag Archive: YouTube


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How do you set your YouTube thumbnail…again?

According to this seemingly complicated formula, this is how YouTube sets frames in its videos:

X = Video length in sec.Y = X divided by 4 or X/4 in sec.

via How to Set Up The Right Poster Frame in YouTube.

Okay—admittedly, there’s more to it than that—I just cut it down to that for simplicity’s sake…maybe I should say, for “complexity’s sake” because I thought the Squidoo lense where I found this information had perhaps a bit too involved a way of explaining all this.

So, how do I figure out what video frames YouTube uses as its poster frame?

A simpler (or at least different) way to express that would be to put your poster frames at the quarter marks (1/4, 1/2, 3/4).  But then they make it even more complicated by adding statements about “you’ll have to experiment a little bit.”  Well, which is it?

How do you figure out how to set your YouTube keyframe?  Is it this super-exact formula, or is it “just fool around until you figure it out?”

[If the latter is true] In which case, why did you bother making an article (in this actually a Squidoo lense) about all this?

Video Compression Likely Affects Thumbnails

….but then I surfed a bit more and found these comments in response to a related YouTube video that they had posted:

well i tested this out on my video, “winter longboarding edit” – verdict: doesn’t work. my video is 4:07 long, meaning a thumbnail every 61.75 seconds; while each is Roughly at the minute mark, my first thumbnail is at 0:54, 2nd at 2:00, 3rd at 3:00 – by your calculation they Should have been 1:01, 2:03, 3:05. have they randomized it a bit now?

via YouTube – YouTube Thumbnail Timer Video.

I think the answer is that there is a segmentation used in video compression, where the only actual real “frames” somehow are located at the boundaries of those segments.  This means that for things like DVD chapter (start points) and, I’m guessing, these YouTube thumbnails too, the salient single frame of video must occur at that boundary-mark.   Probably YouTube aims for the 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 (quartermarks) but only can come in as close as possible.

Where (and what) are thumbnails?

These thumbnails are, practically speaking, small JPGs stored on the YouTube server.  So now that you know how to set thumbnails for your YouTube video—where do you find those video thumbnails, once they’re set?

According to the Squidoo lense, you can find them here:

YouTube thumbnails are built like this:
http://img.youtube.com/vi/[video-id]/1.jpg

In this instance, “1.jpg” is only the format…the other thumbnails will be “2.jpg” and “3.jpg” in the same root directory.

Building these Thumbnails into Your Scripts

I have the distinct feeling that, like everything online, this quarter-mark policy will eventually change.  So, you can count on it (roughly) for now, but I’d recommend not making a huge deal about writing your scripts around these special numbers.

Just be aware, things change.

Conclusion regarding this Video Lense

Probably, with a hope to monetize, this lense also included a reference to an eBook you can buy about YouTube marketing.  This book posits that you can do your YouTube marketing taking only “an hour a day.”  A few notes about that statement:

  1. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot from one perspective .
  2. This is actually probably an accurate statement (from that same perspective)
  3. It is not a whole lot from that same perspective.
  4. From another perspective, that is a lot of total time to be invested (think about how many hours that is across five years!)
  5. And, well, see below…

Though I can’t comment on the value of this product, I will go on to say that I did find a great free many, many page report about YouTube marketing at RapidVideoBlogging.com, which seemed extensive (if not exhaustive) and also pretty accurate from what I could tell.

(No, I’m not an affiliate for either of these sites, but I thought I’d just share them anyhow—I just thought there were valuable and thought I’d share them anyways.)

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The first thing I’ll point out is that video is beginning to become more than just the “hot” new thing; it’s a “keeping up with the Jones’ thing” now for business.  YouTube, I hear, is the second largest search engine—and is used for posting not only video, but audio (without real video with it) or even text-based things (with information textually in the description only).

More and more companies are offering their services for web-based video construction.  Let me highlight a couple.

1. Epipheo Videos

The business creates videos for businesses on the web, using an animation style, and with a focus on a solid-core nugget of an idea.  So much focus is put on this central nugget, that the name of the company is actually an amalgam of video and epiphany.

2. iScript

This one doesn’t rely on voice-synthesizers, but takes your screenplay, and has (real) actors record it into a listen-able mp3 which you can then send to Hollywood script reviewers who will supposedly be more apt to listen to your screenplay than read it (even though the latter is faster) because they’ll take it with them when they go jogging and such.  I’m one to take advantage of spare moments doing menial tasks listening in to podcasts and such, but I really am not sold that “Hollywood is listening” as their tagline asserts.

 

3. Xtranormal | Text-to-Movie.

This is sort of silly—but it allows users to make movies with pre-made talking avatars, 3D, basically, with ability to create scenes of dialogue, with what look to be pre-defined accents, poses, characters, settings, etc.—all read by a speech synthesizer which shows how technology is becoming uncannily better.  I’ve seen a couple of these before I realized what they were, but first sat up and noticed when this was posted on a friend’s Facebook:

Another funny one on the site, was this movie, about a woman held captive—in a action-movie-style parody.

 

Unfortunately, I haven’t tried any of these—but just came across them, so don’t consider anything I say an endorsement, or even a critical review: it’s really all just a flag/alert to some interesting new ideas out there.

Roomba‘s and apocalypse: former schoolmate Rachel Zylstra…a musician singer-songwriter with a YouTube channel called “Advice Music.”

Roombas, Captchas and the End of the Age

Roomba Eats People. Enter Captcha.

A song entitled “reckoning (rhetorically) with robots” deals an answer to a tongue-in-cheek query:

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Marissa Mayer

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Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google — interviewed by TechCrunch.com about the Google Instant new feature:

Google, long being the dominant force of seemingly everything web (well, not really, but it sounded cool to say) has been ousted in one arena by another key-player, Facebook.
According to a survey of web-usage times reported in a recent article, people are spending more time online using Facebook, than they are searching on Google.  Not surprising to me, as the Facebook platform is hosting more and more content in-house, almost as a subset, parallel or secondary internet all of its own! 

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Today is a test day for a new service that may make cable companies obsolete.  With new streaming services via sites like Hulu, Netflix, and more, the web is fast becoming the place to watch video, even live video.

YouTube is putting to test the last remaining bastion of old-timey TV—live news and sports.

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The blog article “Bye-bye TV?” asks us just what will happen in the future…and tells more details about this breakthrough project.

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