How to create video for your digital editions that work on all devices

We’ve come a long way since the only choice in the video was beta or VHS. Now there is an enormous combination of devices, file types, encoders, players, bitrates, frame rates and filters. So how do you convert your video for your digital editions so it will play on different devices? This is a question we get all the time, and there are several answers, depending on your situation.

The first and easiest way is to use YouTube. YouTube does all of the conversion, device detection and delivery for you, has great bandwidth and sharing options and is free. The only drawback is that it has YouTube branding all over it, so if you want a professional-grade video delivery system that has no branding, you should consider a service such as Vimeo or Brightcove.

These are all excellent choices for when your readers are online, but what if you want videos that download in your apps as well? The key is that you need to ‘encode’ your video in a format that is friendly to all systems. The encoding is different to the file format and this makes for a confusing situation, so I’m not going to get into the technicalities, just show you how to get it going. The encoding needs to be H.264 and the best format is MP4.

So how do you get your videos into this format for your flipbook? There are plenty of programs out there, but one we use here that is very good, and FREE is called HandBrake. HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.

We won’t go into a ‘how-to-with-handbrake’ as it’s pretty simple with pre-set configuration options, the one you want to use is ‘Universal’ it’s the first one in the list. Select your file and click start – it doesn’t get much easier!

Download Handbrake and convert your videos before adding them to your digital newspaper or digital magazine in Realview and the videos can be watched online and be downloaded into your apps and can be viewed on iPad, iPhone as well as Android tablets and smartphones.

What video encoding software do you use? Have you found one that works well for you?