I've put together an instructional video lesson program and want to give my customers immediate access to the lessons and permanent ownership of the videos. I'm having trouble finding a way to deliver the lessons without days of downloading files.
My best thought so far is to give customers immediate access to a password-protected page (Wordpress) with embedded video (FLV) for each of the lessons. Beside each embedded video I'll offer 2 download options - one lower quality and one higher. The password would then expire after giving the customer sufficient time to download all 15 videos. But the file format/size is still an issue.
I edited/rendered the video files in Movie Maker at the 720p, 5.9 MBPS bitrate (WMV, of course - the only option with WMM), 1280 x 720. The video episodes run 10-15 minutes and are around 500 MB in size. Even one is a big file to ask customers to download, but this is a set of 15 videos, and I'm looking for options.
I can achieve immediate accessibility to the lessons via embedded video in the web site, although I'm having trouble playing the wmv files. I tried running them through a PHP script but the "buffering" stage was endless and the video didn't play. I'm assuming that's because either my script was wrong (I did get it to play a video from someone else's site) or my bitrate is too high. I've already been successful running some free lesson/promo videos on the site by converting them to FLV and running through a player. On these I used bitrates ranging from 800 to 1600 kbps. Can't say that I see a lot of difference in quality, & I'm not sure about speed of delivery. But I get decent play after just a short buffering time & it's good enough for the free content.
My issues are
- I don't mind giving customers immediate access to the videos embedded on the web site, but the product is not a membership format and I can't promise the customer long-term access to these videos. Also this format is too easy for unscrupulous customers to share the URL and password access to the page with potentially everyone online.
- Size of downloadable files. Creating .RAR files seems to compress the file just a little, but I still have huge files that take a long time to download.
Any suggestions regarding the specifics of my issues or even ideas about the general approach are greatly appreciated.