A Consuming Experience

Thoughts on my experiences as a consumer of products, services, people (well maybe not that last one...), from reviews to raves, rants and random thoughts - concentrating on technology, gadgets, software, product usability, consumer issues, customer service. Including some introductory guides and tips on various subjects (like blogging!) which stumped me until I figured them out. And the occasional ever so slightly naughty observation.

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Blogger in Draft: experimental playground; video upload screenshots

Thursday, June 14, 2007
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Blogger have introduced Blogger in Draft, a laboratory or sandbox where keen folk can try out new Blogger features which aren't quite ready for general release, and give Blogger feedback via comments - see Eric's post on Buzz. So clearly they've not rested on their laurels after rolling out the now feature complete fancy New Blogger, formerly known as Blogger Beta. I bet the JSON feed and widget making types will be happy. I'm not a real techie, but I'm still squealing with excitement. Really.

So how can you test out these whizzy new offerings? Just go to the Blogger in Draft site and login with your usual Blogger / Google Account details. The usual Blogger site still works, use that instead to get back the normal non-experimental version of Blogger.

There's also a Blogger blog dedicated to Blogger in Draft, appropriately called "Blogger in draft", which oddly enough isn't linked to in the Buzz post (but Kirk provided the link). That's where they'll announce new Blogger in Draft features and you can comment on them.

See also the Blogger in Draft FAQ.

Blogger - uploading videos

The first experimental feature you can test on Blogger in Draft is the ability to upload videos on Blogger and have them hosted on Google's servers (Google Video rather than YouTube, a seemingly odd choice given the greater popularity of YouTube but maybe it's a branding issue). Kirk saw this coming a while back.

Here's a screenshot of the Create post page (if you wonder why my post editor box spans the whole width of the page and you'd like yours to, see this post and this). As you can see, apart from a fancy new crosshatch background at the top, there's a new video upload button - outlined in red below:

And the video upload popup:

As you can see, you can upload videos in the standard file formats of AVI, MPEG, QuickTime (.mov), Real (.rv) or Windows Media (.wmv I imagine), with a maximum file size of 100 MB. I sure hope there's no time limit as well as file size limit like the 10 minute one on YouTube, which for me anyway involved the hassle of having to time things carefully to make sure I didn't exceed it.

While video sharing is all well and good, you'll notice you have to make sure you're not uploading anything that's "obscene" or in breach of someone else's copyright, and you have to tick a box to agree to the Google Video terms and conditions. Standard stuff, though what's on the right side of the obscenity or copyright fair dealing / fair use line isn't always easy to figure out.

See also the Blogger video upload FAQ.

I've not had time to try uploading a video myself yet, but there's a short one up at the Blogger in Draft post if you want to see it (cute doggie, all together now awwwwwwwwww).

Maybe it's just me but just plain image uploading seems a lot quicker now, I wonder if they've beefed things up generally on Blogger in anticipation of lots of video uploads?

And now, give her an inch I know I know, but I really do hope that Blogger will also introduce audio uploading and file hosting for MP3 podcasts (e.g. like the recordings I did of the Drupal event presentations, the attempts at uploading them to Ourmedia were fun and a half, not).

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