Silverlight Video and Camtasia
Date Published: 07 June 2007
Some (OK, nearly ALL) of the Silverlight demos shown lately at TechEdand MIX involve hosting videos. The flexibility and customization options that are available to construct branded and unique video player controls with these tools is really quite amazing, considering how small the download is and the fact that they run on IE, FireFox and Safari/Mac. I predict (and this is happening regardless of Silverlight so it’s an easy one) that we will continue to see more and more video presentation of technical content in the next few years, until it rivals and perhaps even surpasses text-only online articles. And of course I think the two will merge, so that many text-only articles wil include a video with a brief interview, overview of some interesting code, or demos.
While here at TechEd, I also had the opportunity to talk to Betsy Weber, Chief Evangelist for TechSmith, makers of the most excellent Camtasia desktop-capture movie software. Camtasia today supports a wide variety of output formats and codecs, one of which is a Flash/SWF format. I asked Betsy if they were working on a Silverlight output for Camtasia’s movies, and she said they’d had a few requests for that feature, but they hadn’t fully decided when that might be added. She suggested I blog it so that TechSmith could gauge how much community support there would be for this feature. So comment with your thoughts, please!
Now think about it. You’re a .NET developer and Camtasia user, and you see (in 12–24 months) that Silverlight is gaining some adoption and most of your audience (.NET developers) have it installed. So you decide you want to enhance your blog and/or articles with some screencasts. You can record them all using the usual tools, output to WMV or something similar, and then open up Expression Media to convert it to a Silverlight format, write your own XAML player, and finally add it to your page.
Or, when you’re finished with the movie and ready to publish, check the box to output to Silverlight, maybe pick from one of several template for the XAML player, and push the Publish button. Naturally you can tweak the XAML yourself later (and it would be great if you could select your own templates). I think that would rule — what do you think?
Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.