Codecs

  • Windows Media Video
    Every modern Windows box should be able to play the more recent (late 2005 on) videos without extra downloads. I'm focusing more on producing DVD's for dive buddies, friends, and family. So you're looking at videos that tend to vary in size as my thoughts on the matter fluctuate. These days, everone should be on some form of broadband before downloading any of the vids; most recently, some of them average about 8MB/min.
  • Intel's Indeo 5 Codec
    Only some of the earliest videos on the site use this - unfortunately, Intel doesn't support it any more, and the new company doesn't offer it for free download. Dunno what to tell you. If you're lucky, it will autoinstall or already be installed for some reason.
  • DivX Codec (version 5)
    A lot of videos use different versions of the DivX Codec, but the most recent one (which, at the time of this writing, was version 5.0.3) should provide you what you need to view all of these (they're nice enough to do backwards compatibility).
  • XviD Codec
    The XviD Codec is under development as an Open Source MPEG-4 codec. My early tests with this show really good quality with a slightly smaller file size than the DivX codec, so there's a chance I'll be moving to this.
About This Page

Over the years, I've used many different codecs to encode the videos I store on my site. I've finally gotten around to making this page, which will help you obtain all (hopefully) of the codecs used, so that:
  1. You'll be able to view the movies
  2. You'll be able to make similar movies
Why Do You Bother With "Non-Standard" Codecs?

The issue with web publishing video is that you want videos that are quick to download but still have enough quality to make downloading them worthwhile. This is not an easy thing to figure out; it takes a lot of trial and error, and some snooping around. Without relying on a particular codec, there's only so much you can do to make the file size smaller:
  • Cut down the frame rate: This is problematic because eventually you get to a point to where the human eye will notice the individual frames.
  • Cut down the size: This gets to be a problem because, if you make it too small, it's hard to see; and though people can usually set up the viewer to zoom a little, a lot of video looks horrible and blocky when you double its size.
  • Cut down the length: I personally feel anything less than 15 seconds is too short for web purposes. I try to make my videos at least 20 seconds long.
  • Cut out the sound: I do this because most of my SCUBA videos have the stunningly interesting sound of me breathing. Only a few videos use sound, only when it's needed (like the video I have of a Damselfish attacking my housing ... because you can hear him *hit* the housing).
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