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Saturday, April 30, 2011

How We'll Layout Websites in 2016

Great video created by London Web Standards over on Vimeo called "How We'll Layout Websites in 2016". It's only a 7 minute video that you can find over on Vimeo (link to video). Basically, it talks about 3 upcoming methods for page layouts.

How We'll Layout Websites in 2016 from London Web Standards on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zencoder - A Fantastic Online Encoding Tool

Ever run into a situation where you need to encode a bunch of different videos to a bunch of different formats?

I ran into just that situation recently when I was working on www.barrydonlevy.com.  I needed to have a variety of formats for an HTML5 video site with Flash video fall-back.  I tried encoding on my own computer using one the many free online applications you can download.  Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time with my code because I didn't realize that my encodings were not working properly with certain browsers.  Looking into the issue more, I realized it wasn't an issue with my coding, but an issue with the actually encoding program I was using and I was pointed towards Zencoder.


Zencoder is an online encoding service that lets you upload your videos for encoding.  You have a slew of options to choose from and a variety of outputs to choose from.  Options range from file size and resolution to upscaling options and compression levels.  Output file types consist of .webm, .ogv, .avi, .mp4, etc...it covers all the HTML5 and "common" variants.

You upload your file, select the settings you want, and then click "create job".  You can have the site send an email when the encoding process is complete, create more jobs, or just wait for your job to complete.  A 5 minute video only took a couple of minutes to encode.

Now, they do charge you for this service, but I have to say that it is absolutely worth it.  At $0.05 a minute of encoded video, you get an outputted video file that is assured to play everywhere you can think of.  Consider it the cost of "peace of mind".  For all the videos I encoded (about 10), I believe I was charged about $1.50. Just for the amount of time this service saved me, it is absolutely worth the price.

Great service, great website.  I absolutely recommend it for any and all encoding jobs you may have.