Tech Support

Rob Ayoub has a computer science degree, and is also an market research manager, a musician, a podcaster, a Catholic and he's here to help. If you have any kind of question about anything technology-related, email Rob and he'll do his best to get the asnwer for you.

Email your questions to [email protected].


Transferring Video To a Website

Question: I have a DVD of a video of my song. How do I get the video transferred to my web site?
MS, Parkland, MD

Another great question, and another one that’s not trivial to answer. Again, knowing what YOU the readers want to know helps me determine what kinds of articles and advice I need to post – so THANK YOU!

There’s three basic steps required to get your video from DVD to the Web

1) Transfer the video file to your computer and create the clip you want to post (you don’t want to post the whole DVD)

2) Upload the video

3) Create the link

Let me go through each step, but remember there are many ways to do this!

Step 1

Depending on your computer and software, there are many ways to do this. Movie Maker for Windows is free and most Apple computers have iMovie preinstalled. Both of these programs should let you open your DVD and create a clip of video. Once the clip is created you will save it as a video file.

Step 2

Uploading the video depends on where you want it to live. If you have the space on your web server you might want to just load it there, just like you would a picture. You might also want to post it on YouTube or another user video site which makes it easier for others to find your video.

Step 3

You create the link just as you would create a link to a picture on your website. Sites like YouTube will give you the code so you can embed video directly.

I hope this helps. As I said, there’s many ways to accomplish this and in future articles I’ll be happy to post some of the alternatives you have.

Thanks!

-Rob

Email your questions to [email protected].




Can't View Things Properly on a Website

Question: I've gotten some complaints from people that they can't view things properly on my website. Those same things look fine on my home machine, what's going on? What can I do to fix it?
Thanks!
CH, Victoria, TX

That's a great (and challenging!) question This is a very common question and its a frustrating issue for even seasoned website developers. There's a lot of different reasons for websites being inconsistent and its a much broader question than I can answer in a single response. For now, lets just saw that there's a lot of reasons why all sites do not look the same.

The short answer is that not all browsers do all things the same way and not all users have the same equipment. One user viewing your site may have a old Pentium and a 13" monitor and one may have the latest 24" iMac with all the bells and whistles. One user may be using Internet Explorer and one Safari. There's a lot of variation in equipment and browsers and while there are standards for how the web is suppose to work - differences exist.

The best thing you can do is to make sure that before you send that website link out to your list - that you have tested it. If you have a web development person creating your site for you, you should still make sure you're asking if they are testing against different browsers. A list of market share for browsers can be found here. What you will see is that the top 4 browsers cover more than 98% of users out there with the top two. In fact Internet Explorer and Firefox alone cover 90% of the users out there. Since the browsers are all free downloads, I would suggest that you download each (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera) and test your site in each browser. You might want to test under different resolutions. You should also test anytime there's a major upgrade of these browsers.

Some artists told me that they got a set of fans together that were willing to provide input and set them up as beta testers. These "early users" could provide you with invaluable feedback about your site BEFORE you send it to the world. In most cases it only cost them a CD. In my mind that's a cheap price to ensure some quality.

In future articles, I'll try to talk about the differences between certain browsers and give some more ways around some of these challenges.

-Rob

Email your questions to [email protected].