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Thread: Travel To Cuba Online (Video + Stills)

  1. #1
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Travel To Cuba Online (Video + Stills)

    Video Internet Premiere

    Watch the Intrepid Berkeley Explorer invade Cuba in "Copa Havana". This video features Cuban music & dance, Cuban art, classic cars galore, World Heritage Sites, monuments to the 1959 Revolution, and examples of the new Cuba.

    "Copa Havana" can be seen on the web if you have a high speed internet connection.

    This is a free, non-commercial, streaming video on the Windows Media Player. No ads and no strings attached. I still sell absolutely nothing.

    For a direct link to this video, which immediately starts to play, click on:

    http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/vid...CopaHavana.wmv

    Check out 40 of my other free travel videos from all continents at:

    http://intrepidberkeleyexplorer.com/Video.html

    With any modem you can view the Cuban still photo gallery at:

    http://intrepidberkeleyexplorer.com/Page41.html

    The planet is yours, including my Home Page giant galaxy of still pictures at:

    http://intrepidberkeleyexplorer.com/

    The Intrepid Berkeley Explorer

  2. #2
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    As a suggestion, why don't you start encoding your videos in a more modern format, like MPEG4 instead of WMV ? .mp4 or .mkv would be great, these days some of the most popular browsers (Chrome) won't even open .wmv links, they try do download them.

    Just an idea, I've enjoyed some of your videos.

  3. #3
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Philip,

    My videos began streaming at 350 kb/second back in 2002. Now they are upgraded to 3 MB/second, including the Cuba post. Picture quality is quite good at this high speed, even with the video screen enlarged using a mouse.

    I believe there is nothing wrong with continuing to use the Windows Media format. It is offered by every video editing program I have. Speed, not format, is what counts.

    As to rejection of WMV file streaming by browsers such as Chrome, I'm unfamiliar with this problem. To me that would be a browser defect, since Internet Explorer plays my videos perfectly.

    Even if you are correct, it would take an incredible amount of time to change formats. The upgrade to 3 MB/sec was just completed, a monumental task given my 45 travel videos now online.

    So I hope you are able to watch "Copa Havana".

    Dave
    The Intrepid Berkeley Explorer

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    It's something we recommend you put on your roadmap Dave,
    Microsoft is dead ending Internet Exploader..I mean...Internet Explorer. IE 11 is the "last gasp of air"...and as you may notice with Windows 10....Edge is Microsofts new browser that is focuses on. Yes IE is still "in" Windows 10...but you have to manually launch it, and it will not be further developed.
    Edge Browser has the same behavior...to look at your video, it wants to download it, instead of play/stream the video within the browser. Not a defect in Chrome, which is a preferred (and safer more secure) browser by many users.

    That said...thanks for posting, always enjoyable pics and videos.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  5. #5
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    I'm unhappy facing the new problems you outline. With Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11 everything works fine. My decision was to avoid Windows 10 for as long as possible.

    Originally only Quicktime improperly tried to download streaming video rather than play it. Now it's unfortunate if Edge and Chrome act like Quicktime.

    Given my ignorance of Chrome and Edge, could you please help me understand them.

    1. Do they immediately play, rather than download, certain formats, other than WMV, which you can identify?

    2. Among these is there one or more you would recommend if I'm forced to replace WMV?

    3. Do Edge and Chrome begin streaming videos such as mine before completing their download?

    4. Can you conveniently watch one of my videos, such as this original post of "Copa Havana" above, using Chrome and/or Edge?

    Your answers would educate me, and, being non-technical, I am badly in need of education.

    So far I know that two people on my Cuban tour watched and liked the new video. I've received no recent complaints about obstructions to viewing "Copa Havana" or any of the 44 other Intrepid Berkeley Explorer videos now online.

    SpeedGuide alone raises warning flags. I'm totally in the dark, with only you and Philip trying to explain a serious problem. Please describe it further by answering my questions. I will make the maximum effort to understand what you are attempting to tell me.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    To answer your questions:
    1. They would immediately play .mp4 (and possibly .mkv files.. I'd suggest MPEG4/h.264 video encoding)
    2. I think .mp4 is a bit more widely accepted container (it shows more media info in Windows Explorer as well)
    3. No, they just treat them as any other downloadable file, like a .zip file for example.
    4. Only after you download the whole movie and play it locally (in a few minutes, when the download completes).


    In reality, it is not just the download speed and size/volume of the video file that matters, the compression/encoding algorithm is what makes a huge difference. MPEG-4/H.264 video and and either AAC, AC3 or MP3 audio currently produce the best picture/audio qualities per Megabyte, they are very efficient and are widely accepted/adopted by most browsers/Operating Systems/mobile devices. H.265 is the next generation encoding, but I don't think it has caught on yet to be worth worrying about.

    MKV, MP4 and WMV are just "container", or "wrapper" formats. What it means is that they can contain a MPEG-4/h.264 video stream in them already, or, other types of video/audio streams. The difference is that MP4 and MKV are widely accepted by most devices and Operating Systems, including Android, PlayStations, mobile devices, etc., while WMV is Microsoft proprietary container that no longer plays on many modern browsers, even the add-ons for Chrome no longer seem to work.

    Here are some tools that can help:

    Handbrake (converts to .mp4/mkv, it is a great free tool): https://handbrake.fr/
    Fast conversion from most formats to mkv: https://mkvtoolnix.download/
    Microsoft Windows Movie Maker (Free): https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...maker-download
    Conversion to MP4 (havent used this one): http://www.videohelp.com/software/MkvToMp4
    GSpot (it can identify the video/audio codecs in the current wmv container format, if you are interested): http://www.headbands.com/gspot/v26x/index.htm

    I hope I haven't caused more confusion, I do realize how time-consuming re-encoding can be. I like using Handbrake, one can add multiple input video files and just let it run.

  7. #7
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Philip,

    Thanks for the effort you have made to explain this extremely complicated subject. Educating me is unfortunately quite difficult. Video editing I've learned how to do after much practice. But without practice, I'm a dunce, lacking any understanding, besides what has worked in the past.

    I associate MP4 with Hollywood movie Blu-ray High Definition DVDs. Yet my trusty old camcorder shoots in Digital8, putting me at the MP2 level. Perhaps I can only reach MP4 by getting a new High Definition camcorder. That probably fails to help my existing 45 Windows Media travel video online files recently upgraded to 3 MB/sec.

    Testing uses my Cuba video at 3 MB/sec, a 440 MB WMV file as the imported source.

    So far 4 video editing programs on my computer fail to even offer "MP4" by that name as a suffix. Two are Vegas Movie Studio High Definition (9.0 & 11.0), also AVS Video Editor, and the Microsoft Windows Movie Maker. They all can produce much larger/faster files than my source , including ones called "High Definition" (HDV), with greater speeds than 3 MB/sec. Vegas 11.0 will do HDV 1080-24p. Yet to try that setting, but now have a High Definition file at 5 MB/sec, a whopping 1.8 GB in size, AND STILL WMV.

    I remain totally confused.

    1. Are you saying that a WMV high definition file, such as the 5 MB/sec, 1.8 GB version of Cuba, would or would not be normally streamed by browsers that instead first download my 3 MB/sec, 440 MB WMV file? Does 5 MB/second or even faster as High Definition make any difference to the browsers, so long as all I have are WMV files? Or I could ask, comparing the two files, does size matter?

    2. Is any of this related to picture quality?

    On my monitor the pictures are identical, except that at 5 MB/sec it starts at full screen, while at 3 MB/sec it's easily expandable to full screen. Would a newer, high definition monitor be required to see the difference?

    3. Must the browsers have an MP4 suffix, regardless of High Definition speed and quality?

    MP2 files are used by me over 25 years to create standard definition travel video DVDs. I never thought MP files were intended to be streamed online. I can play MP2 files on my computer, but not on my DVD Player, which rejects them in favor of WMV DVDs. MP files are thus a means to an end, apparently the building blocks for DVDs (standard, High Definition & Blu-rays). It's unclear whether you are saying that High Definition files, which these existing programs will create, and I can upload (with a friend's server help), are doomed to be downloaded, rather than streamed online, if lacking that MP4 suffix which seems impossible for me to obtain?

    I sincerely wish this was all easier for me to understand?

    Dave

  8. #8
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Hello again Dave,

    To answer your questions first:

    1. As long as it is a WMV file, regardless of whether it is high definition, regardless of how many MB/sec it is, one would have to download the whole 440 MB WMV file to watch it, unless they are using IE.

    2. No. The fact that modern browsers don't play WMV files is not related to video quality. It is related to the fact that they do not support the proprietary Microsoft WMV format. (Also... a 1MB/sec MPEG-4, h.264 .mp4 file will also most likely have much better video quality than 1MB/sec WMV file).

    3. Yes... There are a couple of other possible extensions (maybe .mkv), but not .wmv

    Now for the fun part:
    You don't have to change your camera.
    You can convert even standard definition/old video files to .mp4 (MPEG-4, H.264 codec), you can encode them to a couple of times smaller size and retain about the same video quality !

    You can do it using Handbrake.. Or I believe with Windows Movie Maker, "File -> Save movie -> ...mp4" The size of the file would depend on the frame size, i.e. 720p for example for 720 lines resolution.

    P.S. Older DVDs use MPEG-2, but newer DVDs use MPEG-4/H.264 I believe.

  9. #9
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Gary,

    Thanks for the extremely favorable review. I'm glad you were able to watch, hopefully stream, some Intrepid Berkeley Explorer travel videos.

    Given format problems discussed above, it would help to know which combination of operating system, browser, and media player allowed you to watch the films.

    Dave
    The Intrepid Berkeley Explorer

  10. #10
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    really enjoyed the videos... waiting for more

  11. #11
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Philip,

    I am now returning to this problem. I have downloaded and tried Handbrake as you suggested. My attempts at using "Source" to capture the Cuba WMV file cause Handbrake to crash every single time. The trouble shooting information Handbrake provides about presets is incomprehensible to me. While Handbrake claims to accept WMV files, this may not be true. The alternative of dropping a file into Handbrake’s main window is not available because there is no main window.

    Do you have any further advice for me about how to successfully use Handbrake?

    Dave

  12. #12
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    I just dropped your "AnyPortol.wmv" video file I downloaded from the website into Handbrake and it seems to convert fine.. I can also choose "Source > Open singe file", and open it this way into Handbrake. You should be able to drag/drop the source file anywhere into the HandBrake window. If that same source file crashes it for you, there must be some other issue on your end ? If only some files crash Handbrake, there could be some encoding issue in those particular sources ? I am just guessing here.

  13. #13
    Member IntrepidBerkEx's Avatar
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    Cuba in MP4

    Due to technical difficulties, not just mine, it has taken a long time to offer my Cuba Travel Video, "Copa Havana", in the mp4 format originally recommended on this forum back in 2016.

    But I believe this has been accomplished. Please give it a test drive at: http://adventurepics.com/IBE/video/CopaHavana646.mp4

    I am interested in knowing whether it plays properly, at least on desktops with the browsers that would have downloaded the prior WMV file.

    Any other information would be most helpful, such as whether it plays on specific kinds of mobile phones.

    Reviews of the content are also welcome.

    I appreciate having been told here what needed to be done in abandoning wmv.

    Dave
    The Intrepid Berkeley Explorer

  14. #14
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    All modern Web browsers now support HTML5, the latest standard. HTML5 has a <video></video> tag for embedding video into a Web page. The HTML5 supported video formats are MP4, WebM, and Ogg. Thus, even if you do not embed the video in a Web page and just link to the video, if it's one of those formats, the browser will load the video directly in a browser window and launch its built in HTML5 video player. No browser plugin is needed. The advantage of using MP4 is that all HTML5 browsers support it across all operating systems.

    For conversions, almost all of the open source free conversion tools use ffmpeg to do the conversions. Once you learn the basic commands it's pretty simple to use, and you can really tweak and adjust the quality and compression of the different formats.
    No one has any right to force data on you
    and command you to believe it or else.
    If it is not true for you, it isn't true.

    LRH

  15. #15
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    Intrepodberkex,

    As stated above, I don't think you have anything to worry about. But to answer your question, I'm using Chrome in Win 10 and I can view your video just fine.

  16. #16
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Works great in Chrome on desktop, and on Android mobile devices as well Dave, thanks for sharing

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