Flying M Air Video Podcast Now Online

It took me a while to figure it out.

Come Fly with UsI spent about 4 hours yesterday morning and another hour this morning publishing a video podcast for Flying M Air. Why so long? Because I couldn’t find a single how-to guide online to explain how to do it the way I wanted to get it done.

On Friday, I got back from a 3-1/2 day trip around the southwest with photographer Richard Noll. Rick and I took tons of pictures and video — much of which was from the air — of the places we visited. The goal of our trip was not only to perform a final check on travel, hotel, and tour arrangements for the Southwest Circle Helicopter Adventure, but to gather images I could use to market Flying M Air’s tours and excursions. I now have over 1,000 still images and 4+ hours of video to go through.

iMovie HD 6 and iDVD 6: Visual QuickStart GuideI spent some time early Saturday morning with iMovie and Jeff Carlson‘s excellent book, iMovie HD 6 and iDVD 6: Visual QuickStart Guide. The book has everything you need to know to create a great looking movie in iMovie HD, from choosing a video camera to building the movie with titles, transitions, and effects. It then goes on to discuss IDVD (which I’m not ready for yet). I learned a lot of things, including that I can reverse and slow down video clips — two effects I’ll need for my final project: a 20-minute promotional DVD.

Yesterday’s starter project was to build a slide show of images taken in the Phoenix area. The slide show would make good use of the Ken Burns effect to add motion to still images. I’d also included opening and closing titles, transitions, and music. It was a very simple project, and with Jeff’s guidance, I was able to knock it off in about an hour with about 15 slides. The final video is about 2-1/2 minutes long.

Although Jeff’s book discusses publishing a video podcast with iMovie and iWeb, I was not interested in using iWeb. It might be a great tool for Web publishing newbies, but it lacks the control features I need. (This might sound strange, but the software is so easy that it’s hard for an experienced user to use.) I wanted to publish a video podcast of this and future Flying M Air movies right on the blog-based Flying M Air Web site. This way, the videos would be available immediately to site visitors as well as by podcast to subscribers. I knew this was possible, but I couldn’t find any clear guidance on things like format (Was the export to iPod format the right one?), linking (Was it as easy as just including a link to the file?), and server settings (Did I have to modify .htaccess?).

Phoenix Tour ThumbnailI got the answers to all of these questions through Web research and trial-and-error. I got it working at about 5:30 AM this morning and was pleased to see the new podcast file being downloaded into iTunes. I then spent another hour tweaking the settings for Flying M Air’s WordPress theme files so instructions would appear onscreen when a site visitor checked the contents of the new Video & Slide Shows category.

Interested in seeing my first effort? You can download the m4v file (which can be viewed in iTunes or QuickTime) or subscribe to the podcast.

And if you’d like to read a how-to article that provides step-by-step instructions for publishing an iMovie project as a podcast with WordPress (rather than iWeb), keep checking in. I’ll write it up today, but Informit.com has first dibs. After all, I do like to be paid for my work.

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