Saturday, 24 March 2012

Trying to record a video

I spent most of this morning trying to get Camstudio to work so I could record a tutorial video. At first the video quality was rubbish and jerky. Various info suggested installing the K Lite codec pack to add the Xvid (and other codecs), but I installed both x32 and x64 versions, and reinstalled Camstudio (trying different versions) multiple times with no difference.

Eventually I found a recommendation for a codec called Lagarith, and once installed, this did show up as an encoding option from Camstudio. But then I had more problems with the cursor just being recorded as a pointer, and also the filesize quickly reaching 4GB and then the video becoming corrupted. (My C: where the video was being recorded to is NTFS, so I don't think there is actually a max 4GB filesize).

I couldn't work out to fix those problems, so I downloaded a demo of Camtasia, which worked perfectly. Thankfully, the trial version doesn't seem to have any limitations, and lets you save your video with no annoying watermarks or anything. While the trial version was good for doing this video, I don't really want to pay £200 for some software I will only use very occasionally.

If they offered a basic version that just records the screen, but doesn't offer adding captions or editing the final video, and sold it for about £30, I would probably purchase a copy right away. It would be like Camstudio, except that it works.

In the afternoon I recorded, edited, exported, and uploaded my video using Camtasia. Then most of the afternoon I spent in the garden. I pruned back some hedge style plants near where the blackbirds are currently building a nest. There was a nice frog that jumped in L's burning tin, and got a rusty nose. He jumped out of the tin, but later he jumped back in it, so I took the tin over to the pond. I had to give him a bit of encouragement to jump in the pond though.

In the pond there was also a tadpole with legs and feet. It must have overwintered as a tadpole. We have some frogspawn laid a few days ago in the pond as well.

In the evening I had a look at using the Photoshelter API. After doing a bit of this, I wondered if anyone else had already made a Photoshelter PHP class. When I searched for this, I came across a blog post mentioning a similar service to Photoshelter I'd not heard of before - Photo Deck. Checking their website, they seem to be very similar to Photoshelter except that they don't offer prints, and they don't take payments either. But they do manage the shopping cart, licensing, and code side - you give them your paypal details, and the actual payments would be processed directly by paypal. So Photo Deck makes no commission on any transactions (unlike Photoshelter).

The main benefit (for me) of Photo Deck would be that you can link directly from your website to the image licensing page on Photo Deck. They also offer an API, which appears to be slightly better than Photoshelters (looks like you can update image descriptions etc, which I don't think you can do with the Photoshelter API).

But Photo Deck only does one thing I can't easily do myself - extensive rights managed licensing pricing. Whereas Photoshelter does this, plus provides payment processing and prints from labs in the US and EU. Pricing appears to be pretty similar ($30/m for Photoshelter standard a/c, £20/m for Photo Deck).

After this I looked for more Photoshelter alternatives. Fotomoto offers prints and licensing, but only 3 levels of RF licensing, not RM licensing. LicenseStream only offers a licensing solution, no prints, and costs the same as Photoshelter ($30/m). I also found this software you can install on your own site - gallery and licensing only though, and $600 - PhotoBox.

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