But today’s high speed Internet brings a new problem to the video distribution world: video compatibility. There are many ways and devices that you can use to access video on the net but each requires a specific format of video. If you have videos that you want to share with the world, transcoding them to be compatible with all the devices and browsers out there could be a very tedious process.
Meet vid.ly, a web service that promises to do all the hard work for you, so you can concentrate on producing great videos to share.
One Link To Rule Them All
The basic workflow is this. You provide a video, vid.ly will transcode it into several versions, store the results on their server, then give you the link to the video for you to share. Vid.ly will detect every browser and every device that visits the link and then matches them with the appropriate video format.
You can see on the table the various formats that are supported by vid.ly. Not only browsers and mobile devices, vid.ly also supports video streaming to game consoles.
Before you can use vid.ly, you will need an invitation code as the service is currently in beta. The developer has been kind enough to give MakeUseOf readers an unlimited invitation code (thanks, Jeff!). The code is HNY2011. Just enter that code into the box provided on the main vid.ly webpage.
Then after getting access to the service, click “Start” on the right.
You will be asked to locate the video that you want to convert. You can provide the link to videos stored on the web – either in FTP or HTTP, Amazon S3 services or another cloud service. You can also upload any video stored inside your hard drive. Click “Next” and that’s it.
The next step is to wait. Provide vid.ly with your email address so that you can be notified via email when your video is ready. Click “Finish” after writing down the address.
If you want to know the progress of your video conversion, you can monitor the progress status box where the service logs each and every step along the way.
If you choose to upload video from your hard drive, you can also see how vid.ly utilizes almost all the screen area as the uploading progress bar.
Sharing The One Link
After the process is finished, you will get a video link. You can share this one link to your friends without worrying about the technicalities.
There are many sharing methods supported by vid.ly including several major social networks.
If you prefer to share the link directly to your friends’ mobile, you can send them a text message by entering their phone number and clicking the “send sms” button.
You can also embed the video to your blog or website simply by copying and pasting the provided script. If needed, you can change the video size by proportionally modifying the width and height tags in the script.
For those who still utilize legacy flash players on their site, vid.ly also has your back by providing a method to do direct FLA plays.
After The Links
Aside from making your own videos available, you can also utilize vid.ly to transcode interesting online videos that you stumble onto so that those videos are also available for your other devices and can be shared with your friends. All you need is the direct address of the video (the one that ends with the video format). Unfortunately, this method does not work with YouTube videos.
Please note that the success rate of the transcoding process during my experiment is not 100%. Maybe it’s because the service is still in the beta stage. Hopefully everything will be tuned to perfection for the final stage when they open their doors to the general public.
I would like to point out one other thing. Even though the invitation code I provided above ( HNY2011 ) should be enough for everybody, there’s the possibility that the code will be expired. So I would like to ask for help from those of you who have already got in to share your own invitation code using the comments below (you can view your invitation code by emailing them to yourself).
After you have tried vid.ly, please share your thoughts and opinions about the video compatibility service using the comments below.