Review: StreamCity Magic Publisher
Most OVPs allow you to select player resolution directly, and they provide lots more customisability. Granted, StreamCity’s implementation is exceptionally easy to use, which will appeal to many users. However, in addition to easy sizing, it offers the ability to add a logo, simple password protection, and the ability to add timed tags to the video file that identify content viewers might want to jump to directly. For example, if your video covers three main topics (football, rugby, and cricket), some OVPs let you set tags at the start of each section so that viewers can jump directly thereto. This lets viewers see what they want to see more quickly so they don’t get frustrated and leave.
Beyond ease of use, StreamCity’s killer feature is the campaign, which is perfectly named and perfectly implemented. I’ll explain. One test scenario involved posting five videos to promote an upcoming music festival, GrahamFest 2009. Using most OVPs, I could post the videos separately on a page, which would consume lots of real estate and make it more challenging for bloggers to add the content to their pages. I could also post a band schedule and directions to the venue on the page that I create to host the videos, but these wouldn’t be accessible if the videos were embedded elsewhere.
Figure 3. The GrahamFest campaign
Simply stated, campaigns let you present one viewer window (Figure 3) for multiple videos and add downloadable content that follows the campaign wherever the campaign is embedded. When the viewer hovers the cursor over the individual video thumbnails, the metadata associated with the content shows in the player—though as you can see in the figure, the text could be a bit larger. If you click the thumbnail, of course, the video loads into the player along with all the playback controls. Creating campaigns—as you would expect by now—is exceptionally easy.
You can create a custom player for each campaign (which is nice) or use your standard player. To build the campaign, you work through the four-tabbed interface shown in Figure 4, where you choose your player, select your videos and preview images, and upload other downloadable content, such as the PDFs for the schedule and directions. Then, you complete the title and description, choose some simple playback-related options, click Save and Close, and you’re done.
Figure 4. You create a campaign by working through the tabs on the upper right and then completing the text fields.
Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it should take less than 1 or 2 minutes to create a simple campaign. After uploading a video, you can also create single video campaigns with a single click of the OTP (one touch publishing) button, which creates an embeddable campaign using the default player and other default settings.
Magic Publisher presents all campaigns on the lower left of the main interface, as you can see in Figure 4. If you click Get Code in the campaign window (Figure 5), the system delivers the code necessary to link the campaign into your webpage.
Figure 5. Click Get Code in the campaign window to get the embed codes.
If you enable the share option in the player, viewers can click the Share button to get codes to link to the video, send an email with the link and a message, or embed the song directly into their website or blog (Figure 6).
Figure 6. These are the sharing tools available to help your videos go viral!
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