How to create a YouTube Mashup

Note: Before beginning this project, you may want to read the tutorial: Getting Started with Web 2.0

There are *many* ways to create a video mashup. Do not feel limited by the instructions here. These are just a starting point.

These instructions are primarily for my Digital Ethnography students, but I thought others might find them useful as well. Ten students are starting the class this Thursday (January 17th). Most of them have never worked with video before. By next Tuesday all of them will have created their first video by following these instructions. This is all part of a video contest we use to kick off the year. Each student has three weeks to create a YouTube masterpiece. We will then track the videos to see who can get the most views.

Last Year’s Winners:

Those of you who have never edited video before, take heart: the following videos were created in three weeks by students who had no previous experience with video-editing.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/a5ekkDBnOoE" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

“How to make a video sure to impress the ladies” by Robert Hinderliter
This was the first video to reach 1,000 views and was featured as part of a video by Jeffrey Young for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/YDAjO9jnccc" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

"The Internet has a Face" by Becky Roth
This video eventually attracted over 9,000 views and parts of it will soon air on the AT&T Tech Channel.

Step One: Familiarize yourself with Fair Use laws.

Good news! You *can* use copyrighted materials *if* you use them appropriately. The U.S. copyright office summarizes fair uses as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” (more) For a fantastic overview of fair use, read the recent report from Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi at American University: Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video. (This is required viewing for my Digital Ethnography students.) If you want to use non-commercial content from YouTube, contact the creator and ask for their permission. They almost always say yes.

Step Two: Download the material you need.

Video: Unfortunately, many content providers such as YouTube make it difficult to download video. But there are several work-arounds. Currently, Download Helper is the most reliable. Vixy.net is a convenient online solution that also converts the file into a more common video format, but it does not always work.

Audio: You cannot use copyrighted music as a background track unless you are spoofing or criticizing the music you are using. A good example of a valid fair use of copyrighted music is the use of the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Recut” by Robert Paneco:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Xu80vwfXzGs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

If you are not using the music as part of the spoof or criticism, you need music that is not under copyright. Music with a Creative Commons license that allows for remixing is ideal. The best resource I know of is Jamendo.

Step Three: Prepare the video for editing.

Most online video sources use Flash video (with the .flv extension). Many video editing programs will not accept this format, so you will need to convert the video you download into a more common format. SUPER is a free encoder that can convert flv files into almost any format. For more information on how to convert files using SUPER, check out their help section or read Adam’s tutorial. I have generally had good luck with the following conversion settings (when using Sony Vegas for editing):
1. mov
2. H.264
3. AAC
30 frames/sec
1248 kbps
Hi Quality
Audio 128 kbps
NOTE: If you have problems with the audio, try changing setting 3 to WAV

Step Four: Edit the video.

Follow the tutorials in your editing program. In my experience, Sony Vegas has the best tutorials and is the easiest to learn of all the upper-end video editing programs. All in-class demonstrations will be with Vegas.

Step Five: Render the video.

Save your project often, but note that saving your project is not the same as making (rendering) your video. You need to render the video if you want it to play on other computers. Follow the tutorials in your editing program for details. Your program may refer to this step as “Make a movie,” “Render your video,” “Publish,” or some other term or phrase. Ideally, try to render your video as a 3 Mbps Quicktime or wmv file. We will discuss the ideal settings for posting to YouTube later.

Step Six: (For Digital Ethnography students only) Put your video on a USB drive and bring it to class.

We will watch them on Tuesday. You can also send me the video using mediafire. Of course, you are welcome to upload your video to YouTube or any other online video site, but this is not required … yet.

Good luck!

Wesch

Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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15 Responses

  1. Colin Morris says:

    Prof. Wesch,
    Ever use SendSpace? Thoughts on how it measures up against MediaFire? Fickle Internaut that I am, I’m ever a potential convert.

  2. Paul Hodgson says:

    It appears that the vids have been removed – is there an issue?

  3. Prof Wesch says:

    The vids should be up and working now.

  4. I’d prefer reading in my native language, because my knowledge of your languange is no so well.

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  6. xdxd.vs.xdxd says:

    .. or you could try to mah up everything live by using this:

    http://www.artisopensource.net/mashinema/

    :)

  7. Your blog is very interresting for me, i will come back here..

  8. Hello, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  1. January 15, 2008

    [...] Wesch and his Digital Ethnography class at Kansas State University a couple times in the past (here, and here). His class, and especially the videos that have been produced as a result are a wonder.latest post is a wealth of information related to putting together a YouTube mash-up. There is so much good information here, and it starts with a link to a great tutorial on Web 2.0. Moregreat resources include the article Recut, Reframe, Recycle from American University’s Center for Social Media. He mentions one of my favorite tools, Video DownloadHelper, a Firefox plugin that assists you in grabbing/downloading YouTube videos (and other media!). He puts a plug in for a video conversion site called Vixy.net that does media conversion. I’ve used that one, but I’ll put in my vote for another site called Zamzar that performs a similar service and adds, document, image, and audio conversion as well. He also mentions using music with a Creative Commons license, and provides Jamendo as a good place to find some CC tunes. [...]

  2. January 15, 2008

    [...] I’ve talked about Professor Michael Wesch and his Digital Ethnography class at Kansas State University a couple times in the past (here, and here). His class, and especially the videos that have been produced as a result are a wonder. The good professor’s latest post is a wealth of information related to putting together a YouTube mash-up. There is so much good information here, and it starts with a link to a great tutorial on Web 2.0. More great resources include the article Recut, Reframe, Recycle from American University’s Center for Social Media. He mentions one of my favorite tools, Video DownloadHelper, a Firefox plugin that assists you in grabbing/downloading YouTube videos (and other media!). He puts a plug in for a video conversion site called Vixy.net that does media conversion. I’ve used that one, but I’ll put in my vote for another site called Zamzar that performs a similar service and adds, document, image, and audio conversion as well. He also mentions using music with a Creative Commons license, and provides Jamendo as a good place to find some CC tunes. [...]

  3. January 15, 2008

    [...] I’ve talked about Professor Michael Wesch and his Digital Ethnography class at Kansas State University a couple times in the past (here, and here). His class, and especially the videos that have been produced as a result are a wonder. The good professor’s latest post is a wealth of information related to putting together a YouTube mash-up. There is so much good information here, and it starts with a link to a great tutorial on Web 2.0. More great resources include the article Recut, Reframe, Recycle from American University’s Center for Social Media. He mentions one of my favorite tools, Video DownloadHelper, a Firefox plugin that assists you in grabbing/downloading YouTube videos (and other media!). He puts a plug in for a video conversion site called Vixy.net that does media conversion. I’ve used that one, but I’ll put in my vote for another site called Zamzar that performs a similar service and adds, document, image, and audio conversion as well. He also mentions using music with a Creative Commons license, and provides Jamendo as a good place to find some CC tunes. [...]

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