This is not the first time we have talked about this subject. Brandon wrote an excellent article on it. There are several tools, but none quite as easy as pwnyoutube.com. It does not require you to download any software or even copy a url. Simply add “pwn” before “youtube.com” in the url of the youtube video you are viewing and that takes you to a pwnyoutube site where you can right click and “save target as” for the .flv file and even the higher quality .mp4 file where available.
If you are looking for a good video illustration to use in an upcoming talk, try this blast from the past:
I am amazed. I have just spent the past several minutes toying around with what could be one of the most interesting tools I have ever found. It’s called Prezi. Saying that Prezi is about making presentations is like saying that Porche is about making combustion engines. It takes the idea of delivering screen-based presentations to an alternate, non-boring dimension where the creation of the presentation can actually be part of the creative process.
Basically, you take your content (everything from CAD drawings to video) rotate, scale, and place it, and then draw a path from one to another that automatically rotates and zooms the camera to fill the screen with whatever is being shown. Their site probably describes it best when they say, “Create a map of your ideas, images, videos, then show overview, zoom to details, amaze, convince, take the day. And it is very simple to use. ”
Simple is a gross understatement. They have developed an intuitive interface that allowed me to create this simple demo of an announcement presentation without ever reading or looking at a second of tutorial. Although it is a web app, your presentations are available to download so that you can still show them when you are in the middle of nowhere at a camp who still has dial-up internet access.
The best part? It’s FREE! There are premium versions that you can pay for that remove the Prezi logo, give you more storage and an offline editor, but free is good enough for me.
While I think this may be distractingly cool for talk notes, I plan on using it to attract attention to our announcements and maybe a song or two if we get ambitious.
Do you have young kids in your ministry or at home that are into video, photos or putting presentations? Apple offers free day camps for kids 8 – 12 to teach them the basics. Here’s how they describe them:
This summer, your kid could make a movie, create a photo slideshow, write and record a song, put on a show for everyone, and have a blast doing it all. At Apple Camp, kids learn how to do cool stuff on a Mac and discover their hidden talents along the way. Apple Camp occurs at every Apple Retail Store, and each free workshop lasts three hours. Sign up your kid today and get ready for an adventure.
All the camps are at their retails stores, and sure they are probably workshop / product promotion, but your kids could still learn some cool skills and it may encourage a budding artist. It could be a great way to start training some jr higher’s to lead your media ministry. My daughter is excited to take the photo class.
I have recently stumbled upon a service called Fliggo. It is focused on creating websites to share your videos. It can create a site that is more as gallery, or one more like a Vlog where each video has comments or as a video sharing community similar to YouTube where users can upload their own videos.
One of their best features is the ability to enter a YouTube video address instead of uploading videos from your computer. It doesn’t merely embed the videos in your site; rather, it rips the video from YouTube, saves it on their server and inserts it into your site. This is great because it removes the linked videos YouTube placed on the end of your video over which you have no control.
The service is free with a paid pro version in their ner future that adds custom domain support and some other options, but all the imporant features are available on the free version.
Yesterday Simply Youth Ministry and Worship House Media launched the Simply Youth Ministry Media Store, a new media store with a focus on media for youth ministry. It a huge collection of movies, backgrounds, countdowns, still images and software with youth ministry in mind. There’s also a great section of Easter stuff if you need any last minute videos or backgrounds.
They also provide weekly freebies that are great (check out the link on the homepage).
I have been playing with the Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder for a few weeks now, and I have to say, it’s one of the best gadgets I’ve got in a while. It is super easy to use: Turn the power on and hit the red button to record. It has a small zoom, but it’s not going to get you very close. The picture is really good for a camera so small (it’s about the size of an iPod), it’s HD (only 720, not 1080) and is superior to other flash based cameras I’ve tried. One of the things that makes this camera so easy though, is not how easy it is to shoot video, but how easy it is to work with it. It has a built in usb port that pops out of the side and plugs directly into the computer. Once it’s plugged in you can use the built in software to upload directly to YouTube, or into what ever software you use to edit with. I use iMovie, and the video imported right in and I was working with it quickly.
I think this camera is great for shooting quick little announcement videos, capturing highlights of an event, and an afternoon of fun. It stores up to 60 minutes of video so it’s plenty for most things, but over the course of a week at camp it might not be enough. One other improvement I’d like to see is the audio quality. It’s alright, but a jack to hook up an aux mic would be great. Another feature you should be aware of is it can only charge via a computer, so if you are on the road you’ll need you laptop to keep it powered up. I will say that I’ve found the battery life to be excellent though, I have yet to run it down, and even after a few days in my backpack, it’s held it’s charge well.
You can spend a lot more on a camera, but if you are looking for something small and easy to use it’s definitely worth taking a look at. It would be super easy to hand over to a student to film a video for you and you don’t have to worry about what they may do with you $1000 camcorder.
Here’s a short little video I shot a few weeks ago on a video shoot:
I launched our very own Twitter account for YouthMinistryGeek.com today. You can find us as YMGeek. Follow us for updates from the blog as well as breaking news, and other helpful tidbits. I plan I updating it with little software finds and other articles that I find interesting or helpful, but may not end up as a full blog post.
Here are a couple other tech news twitters that I find interesting are:
TUAW: Great mac news and updates from the TUAW site
If you are willing to spend a little more and looking for a more versatile resource you should check out Catalyst Filter.com. For $144 you get a one-year membership to online content from Catalyst. You will have access to downloads, audio and video from Catalyst, and some perks (like 10% off at the apple store – that is better than the educational discount). FILTER also includes the quarterly “Aqua Box” containing all types of resources (pre-release books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and more).