Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Upload a Video to YouTube, Easy Right?

When I got married, I had expectations of what a husband does. One of those expectations (reasonable or not) was that anything technology related would be his responsibility. For the most part Stewart has met these expectations. He sets up all the computers, he debates the benefits of Wireless G v Wireless N routers, and connects all our devices to our wireless enabled printer. Of course, sometimes he unexpectedly exceeds those expectations by installing an "upgrade" to our operating system without telling me, which creates havoc in my brain because I have a hard time with new things. The difficulty arises when I need to do something technology-related when he is not here. And right now he is on a business trip to Korea--as far away from being able to help with my tech issues as he could be. Who knew that uploading a video to YouTube would be so difficult?

Let's take it back to the beginning. Last Friday, I got an email from my friend Helen asking me to record a talk at our next MOPS meeting (Mothers of Preschoolers). I said sure, thinking I could get the whole thing on my flip video. Just to make sure we were good to go, I tried to turn it on Sunday night. The tiny white video camera would not turn on. I put the USB port into the computer thinking that would charge it. After an hour, it still didn't turn on. Ok, let me google that, "how to charge a flip video." Turns out, you don't charge it, you change the AA batteries. After I read that, I remembered Stewart had told me that before, another case of mommy brain. I changed the batteries. I was all set for the next day.

Monday morning, time to go to MOPS: get the kids up, feed Baby E, put donations for the food pantry in the car, pack the boys' snacks for their lunch bags, drop H at school, then drive to the meeting. Of course, I am halfway there when I realize I've forgotten the flip video. It'll be too late for me to go back and get it so I go to the meeting and try to think of how to record the talk for Helen. First I ask if there is a wireless connection at the church where we're meeting. Yes, there is, but the signal cuts in and out. One of the Mentor Moms who works in the church office gets me the password anyway. They were right, it doesn't work very well so doing Facetime with Helen is out. I search for a recording app on the app store; there are many but they aren't free. I don't have time to research which is the best or most reliable so I'm not about to spend money on an app. Ok, so then let me try making a movie with my iPhone. My biggest concern is that there is not enough memory to get the entire talk. The topic is how to mother as a Christian without anger so I don't want to get to the point where the speaker reveals the big secret and the iPhone cuts off.

Never underestimate Steve Jobs. I record the entire talk successfully. Stacie Wood, the speaker, really hits me square in the eye with all the damage I've been doing whenever I yell at the boys out of anger. The talk is entitled, "The Mom in the Mirror" and it's true, if I can imagine a mirror to my face whenever I'm crazy yelling, I think it'll make a difference. So next step, get it on my computer so I can upload to YouTube and share this great talk with Helen and the world. I've never done this before but I'm expecting it not to be too difficult because people do it all the time. Ten year olds can do it, so it should be something I can do, right? Not so fast. I think my first mistake was downloading the files to my PC. I didn't use the iMac because my parents are visiting from Chicago and the best way for them to hold Baby E for hours on end is by watching Korean drama on the iMac. Downloading to PC means I need to prepare the files for viewing on Windows Movie Maker. This takes two hours. Then I hit save movie, which thankfully is much quicker, only half an hour. But finally I'm ready to go. I create a YouTube account. Upload the movie. Three and half hours later, it's finally done. My parents were sleeping with the covers over their heads to shield their eyes from the computer screen (the PC is in the guest room), but now I can turn it off.

But no, I'm not done. Because the file is longer than 15 minutes, YouTube has rejected my movie. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I didn't know there was a time limit. Lately I've been attaching previews to the recs I make on Wikets and I've found videos on YouTube to attach that are much longer than 15 minutes. I google this problem. It turns out you can attach videos longer than 15 minutes if you have a verified account. Nice, I can do that! I'm doing all this in between coming and going to the kids' schools and activities. Now it's Tuesday 5:30 PM. I get the Google verification code on my cell phone and verify my account. I know it'll take me a long time to upload the video again so I decide to upload from the iMac. I'll just drop the file into a Dropbox folder, easy peasy. Dropbox is a great program that lets you put files into a folder on any computer, tablet, smartphone and you can access it from anywhere else you've set up the program and also online. I download Dropbox onto my iMac, thinking that the end is in sight. Fail. Because the free version of Dropbox has a 2 GB size limit and this movie is 2.47 GB. Will this process never end????

Thankfully one of the perks of attending blogger events is that usually at event you will get a USB drive with the press materials. I find one that is 8 GB. I put the movie on the USB and bring it to the iMac. Ok, where are the USB ports on the iMac. Download iMac basics for dummies. Page 28, photo of where to insert USB drive and where to find it on the desktop. Under the Macintosh HD. I had no idea what that was this whole time, but of course that makes sense! Now, I'm finally ready to upload. Yes, really. It's 7:30 PM. Click upload. Four hours later, all 46 minutes of the video are uploaded and I can go to sleep.

Like I tell H when he complains that playing piano is not easy, anything you want to do well takes practice. You do it again and again and then you will be really great. So the next time I upload a video or need to share a document via Dropbox, I will be better at it. I had to write this blog post because I hope it can help you tackle the task if you've never done it before. Also I needed to document it IN CASE I FORGET HOW TO DO IT NEXT TIME!!!! Here is the video, I hope there is nothing wrong with it. If it seems shaky that's when I have to switch hands to restore blood flow. 

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