Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Convert Video Inside Google Drive for iPad Viewing

Ever need to reduce the file size or viewing size of a video?  Ever needed to convert a video into a specific format for your mobile device? Finding a free and powerful video converter can sometimes be tricky.  You no longer need to search for such a tool.  Convert-video-online.com  (from 123apps.com) is already connected to your Google Drive.

First login to your Google Drive and then upload your video or drag it on top of your Google Drive window in your web browser.  (This works best with Google Chrome!)  After your video has fully uploaded, double click the video file in Drive to open it.

Once your video is open, click the Open selection window just above your video. Select Video Converter in the Suggested Apps list and that website will open up.

The website will open with your selected video already entered for conversion. In the second section, you can select the converted file format, resolution quality and desired file size for the end product.  The third section requires nothing more than clicking the Convert button. 

The video will start being converted and you'll see a progress bar slide towards completion.  Once done, you'll be given an option to download your converted video.  Unfortunately, the 'Save to Google Drive' option didn't work in several different browsers we tried.  The Download button worked flawlessly, however.  Once downloaded, you can upload it back to Google Drive or YouTube for easy streaming.

Classroom application? Creating classroom videos using some devices will create video files that will not stream or play on a mobile device easily.   Now, use your Google Drive to convert the video to the .mp4 format and then upload it back to your Google Drive.  From your iPad's Google Drive app, search for your new video file and click on the 'i' icon for Details. Clicking the 'Open In' icon will let you 'Save Video' to your iPad.  Now students can watch your video on the classroom iPad from the Photos app.

What are some other reasons for converting videos in Google Drive?  Share your ideas in the comments below!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking for music for that video project or presentation? Try Jamendo

Creating video product is a great learning experience for students and teachers alike. The process of digital storytelling is a robust topic in and of itself; one I hope to address in a future post.

Now for the topic at hand - Finding music that is properly licensed for classroom video projects. Like many classroom teachers, my personal video projects have a pretty tight licensing budget (usually around $0.00, give or take a nickel). Over the years I have tried several things to address music in my videos most of which cost me money or time in one way or another.

I recently found Jamendo through a Creative Commons search.

"Jamendo is the largest platform for free music in the world. It allows independent artists to showcase their creations and to find new fans looking for new music. The Jamendo catalog is published under Creative Commons licenses that allow artists to publish their music and to preserve their rights, while providing users the freedom to download and share it."

The Jamendo Search allows the user to search by musical genre, instrument focus and mood. Results can be filtered further by country of origin, language and Creative Commons License type.
Each of the three examples below are licensed for non-commercial use as long as you give the artist credit. The third example has the added stipulation that you "Don't alter, transform or build upon this album".

Need some "Happy Electronic" music? Try:

 Maybe your student has a science fiction story to tell. Maybe this will do:

 Maybe the story calls for a "pop jazz rock" tune? Hmm, maybe Diablo Swing Orchestra?

Tan Lines Of The Next Generation - just enjoy the silly

A few weeks ago, this bit of silliness crossed my path via a link from a friend who is determined to undermine my attempts at evening productivity.  On the plus side, it encouraged me to use email filters in Thunderbird for more than just spam.
Lemons meet lemonade.
Don't over-analyze. Just enjoy the silly.