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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Try Wistia for Video Hosting and Conversion

Wistia is a video hosting company that I wrote about back in June when they launched their free hosting plan. Until this week I never needed it. This week I needed it because I had some massive video files that I wanted to make available for streaming to people in my Google Drive and the Common Core course. The videos were way too large for YouTube to accept. And even if YouTube would have accepted them, I really wanted a cleaner and more professional-looking solution. So I turned to Wistia this week.

Wistia is not like YouTube and similar video hosting services. It's purpose is to give you complete control over how your videos are found and seen by others. You can't search Wistia for funny cat videos. In fact, you can't search it at all. The way to share your videos is to embed them into your own website or blog. You can control who does or doesn't see your video even when it is embedded by requiring an email address for viewing.

A bonus aspect of Wistia that I didn't know about until I used the service this week is that I can download my videos into a format that will play on the computer that I'm using at the time. I discovered this when I uploaded a WMV file from my Lenovo ThinkCentre then downloaded the video from Wistia to my MacBook Pro as a MP4 file. Pretty sweet, I thought.

Applications for Education
The Wistia free plan is limited to three videos at a time. That's not much, but if you want to have complete control over the distribution of your videos, Wistia is an excellent option. If you have a pre-K or elementary school event that you want to record, but want to have control over the distribution, Wistia might be a good option for you.

Here's Wistia's product intro video.

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