We now have hundreds of videos of past BriForum sessions online and freely available. They’re all in the “videos” section of BrianMadden.com which is accessible via the red menu across the top of the page or via the direct link of www.brianmadden.com/videos.
All the BriForum videos are posted with their original recording dates, so if you click back through a few pages you’ll start to see them. (Actually, I still think we have a few more 2007 videos to post, so if you don’t see what you’re looking for right away, check back on Monday.)
All the videos from BriForum 2007 and newer are posted via our custom side-by-side player that shows the video of the presenter and his or her screen at the same time. Notice there’s a “swap” button which lets you instantly flip back-and-forth between which video is in which frame. There’s also a “full screen” button to the left of the play/pause button. BriForum 2005 videos we shot with a normal video camera on a tripod in the back of the theater, so those videos are just single-camera videos.
The only videos that aren’t there are our side-by-side videos from 2006 (both US and Europe). 2006 was our first attempt at the “side-by-side” thing, and we used some weird software that could actually embed two streams into a single QuickTime .MOV file. Unfortunately it’s not possible to transcode those to the FLV format we need to stream them, we don’t have the original source videos anymore and we can’t get our hands on that software to re-encode the videos in some other format. So it’s possible the 2006 videos will never end up online. I guess worst case we can just post the .MOV files as attachments for people who want to download them.
Watch the videos. Find out how scalable our system is! :)
We used to host the videos via 1and1, but they seriously throttled our connection and we couldn’t have more than a few people watching them at the same time. But now we’ve moved them to one of our own servers at our datacenter, so I don’t think performance will be a problem for us anymore. I guess we’ll find out soon enough though!
What about BriForum 2009 videos?
BriForum 2009 ended less than a month ago, and already we have most of the videos posted for attendees. (Hey, it only took us seven BriForums to get this down!) Attendees can watch the videos online for free via the BriForum 2009 group page on BrianMadden.com.
For those who did not attend BriForum this year who would like to watch the 2009 videos, we’re going to be selling them for $450 (the same as years past). The only difference this year is that we’re not going to offer the DVD option. So when you pay the $450, we’ll add your BrianMadden.com user account to the BriForum group and you’ll be able to watch the videos online. If you’d like to purchase access, send an email to Meaghan Donlon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she’ll work out the details with you. (And again, that’s only for non-attendees. BriForum 2009 attendees get access to the videos for free.)
Also similar to years past, we’ll eventually release the BriForum 2009 videos for free. We’ll probably do something like one video per week, starting in a month or so.
Our future: No downloads. No DVDs.
So just to be clear, starting this year the only option for watching the videos is to stream them from the site. It’s not possible to download them for offline viewing, and we’re no longer making DVDs. In both cases the decision was made because our side-by-side player is a Flash app that needs to start and stop and jump around the videos, and there’s no way to do that via a file on local disk. (We have a little PHP proxy that lets it happen via HTTP.) In the past we figured out some goofy workarounds for the DVDs, but that was literally weeks and weeks of manual labor to make happen, and in the end we’d only sell like 20 DVDs. So now that our player is fully integrated into BrianMadden.com and we have good video performance from our own datacenter, we feel confident selling online access instead of DVDs.
If you’re one of the 20 people who bought a DVD, I’m sorry that we don’t have an offline option. Maybe we can build a 100GB BrianMadden.com video virtual appliance? (And yes, we do actually have 100GB of videos up there now!)