A New Site is Born…

Well we’ve gone and done it. Fellow Inkscape screencaster heathenx and I have spent the last month or so putting together a home for higher quality versions of our screencasts. You can see the fruits of our labour at http://screencasters.heathenx.org.

About 6 months ago I uploaded my first Inkscape screencast to YouTube and soon after heathenx started doing them too [he does nothing but copy me ;)]. We’ve had plenty of views on YouTube, but two things always bugged us. The quality/size of the video, and the 10 minute/100MB limitation on uploads.

So while we won’t be abandoning the YouTube posts, we’re going to be putting our screencasts over on the new site and likely posting versions to YouTube in tandem with that.

We’ve got all of our 23 episodes up on the site right now. We decided to encode them in flash format (.swf files) for two reasons really: ubiquity of the flash format and easier streaming capability. You can download the swf files to your local machine and view them in your browser or any flash capable media player, or watch them right on the site in your browser. The site also has an RSS feed which will serve mainly as a outlet for announcements – ie. not as a video blog per se, at least for the time being.

Call me a masochist, but I have to say that the hurdles and challenges we had to overcome to get the site the way we wanted was the most fun I’ve had in a while. Both heathenx and myself are engineers and because of that, I think that we’re pretty much in our element when stuck with a problem and left to our own devices. The fact that we share the same dry and sometimes childish sense of humour didn’t hurt the fun factor either. A quick check of the About page will illustrate that fact quite clearly. πŸ™‚

And that’s really the whole motive behind it. Fun. Sure, we could easily use the site to make millions (after all, we developed a completely custom-built content management system for it – in 80 lines of python [cough cough]), but we’re far too modest for that. πŸ˜‰

So if you’ve enjoyed any of our past screencasts, or want to check them out, head on over to the site at: http://screencasters.heathenx.org

We’d appreciate your feedback to help improve the site, so if you’ve got any comments or questions, you can comment on this post, or email us at: screencasters AT heathenx.org

And of course, if you like the site (or hell, even if you don’t) spread the word to your screencast and/or Inkscape loving friends.

5 Responses to “A New Site is Born…”

  1. Ian Says:

    Site is looking nice. The only two minor things I’d suggest is just a little bit of padding on the h1’s and perhaps break the “by” lines (e.g., “By: heathenx – Posted June 19, 2007”) after the author and put the Posted XXX XX, XXXX directly below. That might look awkward though with that h1 bigger than the episode to the right. Maybe the date could be below the episode number or name?

    When viewing a video, I don’t see the “The streaming content will need at least a 10% buffer before playing” message until after that much has buffered. Seeing that message right away and maybe a percentage indicator would be nice.

    I’m not a fan of flash, but the movie player does work well.

  2. heathenx Says:

    I told Richard to do it that way but NOOOO! Everything had to be done HIS way. What a jerk. If he lived closer to me I’d punch him in the face. πŸ™‚

  3. RichardQuerin Says:

    oops.. I forgot to add “crappy ass html hand-coded by heathenx” to the footer on the site. My bad. πŸ˜‰

  4. Will Says:

    Great site guys. /me is currently sucking down all the inky screencasts he can.

    Think about adding a return to home button on each flash player page so when a poor sap like me finishes viewing how to make an iPod, he can easily get back to the screencast list if I accidentally close the the original tab.

    How are you guys dealing with the bandwidth issues. Who’s paying for all the terabytes of downloads you must be experiencing?

  5. RichardQuerin Says:

    Hey Will,

    heathenx said he’d pay for everything. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. He’s loaded anyway.. You can tell by his beach picture on the About page.. πŸ˜‰

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