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Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?

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Peter Morris
Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:41:57 am

Ok, so essentially I'm looking to sell an HD video download of my movie, preferably as an mp4 with h.264 encoding.

I have a store front and online distributor lined up too.

I've mastered the video download using Quicktime Pro (again MP4, h.264). My concern is, although I've tested the film on various players and PC's, am I taking a big risk here?

In terms of potential customer playback issues, I worry I might be risking a nightmare scenario, where people might have issues, can't get the video to work, etc., and I'm stuck being tech support.

The other potential problem is, due to the bandwidth and my set up, if I do have to offer refunds to a lot of people, I will actually lose money since that bandwidth can't be refunded, and I'll have to pay out of pocket.

Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.


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Daniel Low
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:40:20 am

[Peter Morris] "I've mastered the video download using Quicktime Pro (again MP4, h.264). My concern is, although I've tested the film on various players and PC's, am I taking a big risk here? "

It's a risk. You could take the view that if those on Windows want to watch your movie enough then they'll make sure they have the right stuff installed to view it. You might also be polite and offer it up in a PC friendly format like WMV or VC-1





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Peter Morris
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:21:45 pm

Yeah, I was wondering if it would be too much to ask people to download VLC player or something...

There's so much more you can do with an mp4.

As far as actual playback, I'm also concerned, would it be 'safe' to actually sell a video encoded from Quicktime Pro? I've heard random things from random people, but I actually think it shows my video well.

But, I'm not expert when it comes to codecs and the like, and I'd like to ensure as pain free experience as possible.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 2:55:39 pm

WMP12 on Windows 7 should be able to play H.264 .mp4. Obviously that's not going to help Windows XP users. Ultimately you may have to decide your market. That is, who is mostly going to download the video. Is someone who hasn't upgraded their computer in 5 years a likely purchaser/viewer? Is the ROI worth making a lower quality version as well?



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Peter Morris
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 2, 2010 at 1:23:22 pm

@Craig:
Yeah, I've been considering a lower quality download as well.

@Daniel:
In regard to the x264 Apple plugin, I've heard using it risks increasing compatibility issues with people who don't have it installed in Quicktime.

I guess my primary concern still is, is it safe to assume, at least as reasonably possible, that selling video generated by something like Quicktime Pro, will run reasonably well for most people with the proper players and computer hardware?

Again, the nightmare scenario is some situation where I discover that thousands of purchasers can't play the video properly (but should be able to) due to some unforeseen issue, and I'm stuck playing tech support or losing money on refunds.

Are issues like that common? Perhaps I'm just being paranoid...





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Daniel Low
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 2, 2010 at 1:32:11 pm

[Peter Morris] "In regard to the x264 Apple plugin, I've heard using it risks increasing compatibility issues with people who don't have it installed in Quicktime. "

Only if you use levels and profiles out of the capability of Quicktime.

[Peter Morris] "I guess my primary concern still is, is it safe to assume, at least as reasonably possible, that selling video generated by something like Quicktime Pro, will run reasonably well for most people with the proper players and computer hardware? "

Unless you go for full HD at crazy bitrates you should be pretty safe.

[Peter Morris] "Again, the nightmare scenario is some situation where I discover that thousands of purchasers can't play the video properly (but should be able to) due to some unforeseen issue, and I'm stuck playing tech support or losing money on refunds. "

Best thing to do would be to create a free test clip and make that available to as many people as you know to test, obviously ask for feedback!



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Peter Morris
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 2, 2010 at 8:14:09 pm

Daniel, you're always a great resource.

Thanks a lot!


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Daniel Low
Re: Selling a video download independently. Am I asking for problems...?
on Jun 1, 2010 at 3:12:29 pm

[Peter Morris] "I'm also concerned, would it be 'safe' to actually sell a video encoded from Quicktime Pro?"

It's worth pointing out that default Quicktime will deliver possibly the lowest quality H.264 out there. Download the x264 plugin from Apple.com and you'll get much better results.



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