Teaching Examples


Great video — but maybe not the best player
January 26, 2007, 1:50 pm
Filed under: storytelling, usability, video

I found this video by Angela Grant of the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News to be exceptional in its intimacy and focus.

I had a somewhat unpleasant technical experience with it, though, and I hope Grant will leave a comment and tell us why.

When I clicked to launch the video (on Windows XP Pro, using Firefox 1.5), I was flung out to an empty white Web page, and one of those scary Windows boxes opened up and said I was about to launch an external application.

If you were not expecting this request it may be an attempt to exploit a weakness in that other program. [I wondered: What other program?] Cancel this request unless you are sure it is not malicious.

I figured Windows Media Player would probably not commit any malicious acts on my Windows computer, so I went ahead and launched it. But what a daunting message, eh? Now, I’m wondering how many users see that message and just click “Cancel.” I bet it’s more than a few!

Take a look at my Flash video tutorial and break free of the scary warning messages!

If you can use WMP, please go and watch the video. I have seen a lot of online videos about soldiers who returned from Iraq with serious disabilities, so it takes a really good storyteller to get me to watch another one. This is outstanding.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thank you for the nice words!

And perceptive words. You’ve hit upon the most frustrating thing about work over the past three or four months.

Over the summer, we used Flash video for everything. It worked great. (I would have loved nothing better than using FLV for the Edwards story). About three months ago a coworker began producing weekly football videos that ran 10 minutes…The flv was about 45MB or more.

Our servers couldn’t handle it if more than one user tried to watch the video at the same time. The servers crashed.

We began looking for a Flash video streaming service. But in the meantime, the powers that be ruled that we’d have to use windows media video (we already have a wmv streaming service).

Switching back to doing things with flv has taken more time than we thought. And getting a REAL video player–with organized channels and all–that’s still sometime in the future.

Ack, technical difficulties are a bitch!

This is the first I’ve heard about that scary warning message…I’ll forward your post to the MySA folks and see if there’s anything we can do about it.

Thanks again!

Comment by Angela Grant

Thanks, Angela. I see the logic in the decision, from the organization’s perspective. You’d think they could get their hands on the Flash Media Server a little faster than that, though! Because (duh), you can simply DOWNLOAD it!

Comment by Mindy McAdams




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