Category Archives: YouTube

Video Summaries for YouTube Videos?

Applying old things to new platforms has become common in recent times, here’s my contribution. I recently developed a video summary tool based on FFMPEG and Lire for a friend … just to test if common approaches are usable in a specific domain. Video summarization – especially of small videos – is a rather easy thing. You just need to find a number of frames with maximized pairwise difference, to cover a maximized visual range of the video. I applied my tool on YouTube and got the following summaires for the “hippo bathing” video:

Based on the CEDD descriptor the most important keyframe is really chosen well – just watch the video to know what I mean 🙂

With the auto color correlogram feature the dog is not explicitely part of the picture. However the first frame chosen (the big one) gives a good impression on the “bathing” part.

With the Gabor texture feature the dog gets prominent in the first place. Noite that the result is quite the same as the result kwith the Tamura texture feature not shown here.

With the most simple feature (RGB color histogram with L2 distance) the summary also looks appealing. There is a frame featuring the dog, one showing the whole scene and one for the hippo.

All in all I think the results are quite appealing. The runtime of my implementation is a fraction of actual video play time. Perhaps I’ll find some time to present the whole thing tomorrow at the barcamp 😉

Enhancing the YouTube Experience.

:en:YouTube :en:headquarters at 1000 Cherry Avenue in :en:San Bruno, California. YouTube moved into this building in October 2006, after outgrowing their previous headquarters in a loft above a pizzeria.Image via WikipediaLifehacker recently gave two tips on the use of YouTube. The first one targets at watching videos from outside the region where they are allowed (mainly US 😀 ). You just need to change the URL and everything works fine.

The other one features a bookmarklet for downloading the mp4 files of the videos. You just need to add it to your bookmarks and on click it will add a download link for the mp4 file.

Furthermore there is a “Better YouTube” Firefox plugin, which already does a lot of the things the articles describe.

Presenting MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 Videos on the Web with Flash 9

While Adobe Flash (former Macromedia Flash) managed to take the top position of WWW based tools for watching video it was stuck with these flv video files for a long time. With version 9 now H.264 (or AVC as it is called in context of MPEG-4) encoded videos are supported along with popular container formats like mp4, mov or 3gp. Or in short words: Flash can now play iPod and PSP videos.

Now for the meat: How to get your AVC files into a web page?

  • ipod-extension-mediacoder.pngEncode your video file. Use MediaCoder or any other tool to create an iPod or PSP compatible video. Take care that you select AVC for your target codec. It’s called MPEG-4 AVC in the PSP as well as in the iPod extension of Mediacoder for example (see screenshot).
  • Download the FLV Mediaplayer and unzip it somewhere.
  • Create a website where your video should be played and move the FLV Mediaplayer along with associated files and the video in a subdirectory of the page’s directory.
  • Use the setup wizard to create the code for embedding your player.
    • Select “Mediaplayer with a single FLV”
    • Source: [relative subdirectory]/mediaplayer.flv
    • Fill in width & height (you chose it in your encoding tool)
    • Put down the path to the .mp4 file
  • Copy the resulting code to your web page and test it in a browser

That’s the easiest way to present a video. More sophisticated methods include streaming or configuring the player with JavaScript. You can also add playlists, show a logo and jump to timepoints.

Related Links

YouTube’s 2007 Roundup: Most popular Videos 2007

I found it rather late, but it’s still interesting: YouTube brought a round up of the 10 most popular videos in 2007 (actually I only found 9) based on comments, views, reponses, etc. Especially interesting in my opinion is the Battle at Kruger video: The video length is 8:24, so its a rather long video and the actual storyline is rather boring in the beginning. How could this video ever be buzzing? I’d have stopped it at 0:30 at last, so popularity is an interesting concept in my opinion 🙂

However I grabbed the stats and prepared the following visualizations giving you an impression on the popularity of those videos in quite impressive numbers (click to see them full size):


Fig. 1 – Number of views


Fig. 2 – Number of ratings


Fig. 3 – Number of comments


Fig. 4 – Number of times favorited

If you want to take a look at the numbers yourself: Find the data here: youtube-top10-2007-data.csv

Video on the Web: Who is Who?

Searching for statistics on video usage on the internet I found rather interesting stats for web based video usage at comscore. In their latest press release focusing on video stats they state that in the U.S. 28.3 % of watched videos in September 2007 are delivered by Google sites (mainly YouTube).

Some other facts from the press release: In September 2007 9 billions of videos were watched by internet users in the U.S. 3 of 4 U.S. internet users watched at least 1 online video and they watched 181 minutes in average.

While this is surely interesting I’d like to see some figures from other areas and countries too.

YouTube Videos for Mobile Phones

Having tested the YouTube Mobile portal I wanted to get the videos downloaded for my mobile phone. Unfortunately two facts hindered me from doing this: (i) Getting the video from an RTP stream is not that trivial and (ii) YouTube has only parts of its video converted for mobile access. Therefore I needed a way to get YouTube videos to my mobile phone 😀

  • First of all you need to get the actual video from Youtube. Surf to the video you like and dowÅ„load it using e.g. YouTube Downloader. Do not forget to rename yourvideo to .flv.
  • Then you will have to convert it to 3gpp. FFMPEG will do the trick. On Linux you might have to compile it yourself (as no AMR and AAC encoder are built in in many precompiled packages). On windows you might use precomiled binaries, e.g. from here.
  • Then let ffmpeg do the job for you:
    Windows: ffmpeg.exe -i .mov -acodec aac -s 352×288 .3gp
    Linux: ffmpeg -i .mov -acodec aac -s 352×288 .3gp

This command line shown above encodes the video to H263 with a bitrate of 200 kbps and AAC with a bitrate of 64 kbps. The video needs to follow the constraints of 3gpp and is therefore changed to resolution 352×288. This is the maximum possible with 3gpp. Alternatively one can also use the AMR audio codec. But this one has a rather low quality.

A ‘really strange approach’ for those of you running Linux, but not willing to compile: You can run the precompiled Windows with Wine ;-D

YouTube Mobile

screenshot-realplayer-video3gp-1.pngAround last weekend the YouTube mobile interface was opened. As I’ve paid for a 100 MB / month never really using more than 20 for mails and some chatting I really had to test it 😀

The interface is clean and simple. It works like a charm with the Opera mobile browser (not the Opera Mini, I haven’t tried with this also with Opera Mini – tested by Daniel Goldman, thx to Daniel) . The videos are provided with RTSP in 3GP format. So one can also watch the videos using Realplayer (see screenshot). Some further information on the used streaming format: The video I tested was encoded with 40 kbps with H263. Taking a look at the RTSP communication reveals that there is a Darwin Streaming Server working:

Received PLAY response: RTSP/1.0 200 OK
Server: DSS/5.5.3 (Build/489.12; Platform/Linux; Release/Darwin; )

The only thing about mobile YouTube: You’ll need an UMTS connection or better 😉