Tag Archives: youtube

Embedding youtube videos in Powerpoint

Thanks to changes in Powerpoint 2010, Microsoft has made embedding a youtube video in a slideshow simultaneously easier and impossible. Back in the olden days of PowerPoint 2003, embedding a video required manually editing the URL of the video, opening the control toolbox, manually creating a Shockwave Flash Object, and pasting in the edited URL. Not easy, not especially intuitive.

In newer versions, Microsoft has made the process easier by creating an option to insert a video from the web and asking for the embed code for the video:

Easy-peasy, right? Except that PPT only works with the old embed code, which youtube no longer makes available. D’oh!

No problem–I’ll just go to someplace like pwnyoutube and download the video using a handy web service. Oh wait, those don’t work anymore because Google threatened litigation.

What’s a fellow to do? I found two solutions. First, via Google’s youtube product forum, I found that you can manually fill in the blanks to create the old embed code by hand:

<object width=”560” height=”315“><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/NUjbKaUcxeA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/NUjbKaUcxeA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”560” height=”315” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed></object>

Just substitute the character string that follows “watch?v=” in your youtube URL for the red text and change the numbers in blue to set the size of the video. Works fine. Unless . . . the video has embedding “disabled by request.”

That’s where option number two comes in. Just install Easy Youtube Video Downloader plugin for Firefox. You don’t even have to restart Firefox after you add (but you will have to reload the youtube video page). Now you’ll see a Download button below the video that pulls down a menu listing download options:

You’re not quite done, though, because none of the video options are in a format that PPT recognizes (thanks a lot, Microsoft). You’ll need to use a video converter to change it into something that PPT will¬† play.¬† I like WinFF (which despite its name also works in Linux as well as Windows; sorry Mac folks, you’re on your own*). which even has a PPT preset.




*Let’s face it, if you’re a Mac person, you’re probably shouldn’t be using PPT anyway.

Life without Google: youtube edition

Among other things, I’m trying to find a streaming video substitute for youtube. Ideally, in the spirit of Project Reclaim, it would be self-hosted. Since I’ve got unlimited storage and bandwidth, why not?

Videopress looks interesting, and has nice features, but despite being open-source, it doesn’t look like there’s an easy way to install it on my hosting account and save video locally. Instead, it requires a $60 annual fee and a wordpress.com account to host the actual video files, with a 3 GB storage limit (expandable for a fee). Today’s daily update was 12 MB for 30 seconds; even if I only do daily updates, I’d burn up my 3 GB in less than a year. So much for videopress.

Next, I tried JW player for WordPress. It’s free, and it stores video locally. I ran into several problems with this one: first, my hosting account has a default upload limit of 10 MB, which is less than 30 seconds of video. I had several “500 Internal Server” errors trying to upload a post before I figured out it was a php error, and then had to figure out how to change the php configuration. Not for the faint of heart. After all that, the video wouldn’t stream. I’ve spent too much time futzing around already; so much for JW player.

Finally, I’ve installed All-in-one video pack from Kaltura. It’s open source, and it’s free, both plusses. On the other hand, my video isn’t hosted on my site (it’s not entirely clear where it goes–somewhere on one of Kaltura’s servers) and the video resolution isn’t great. But the biggest feature: it works without configuration or futzing around on my part. It doesn’t seem to work with the WordPress android app, though, so I don’t know that it will be a solution for posting ephemeral videos.

The search continues.