File Wars Episode IV: Any Hope?
As an instructor, you try to be as clear as possible when asking for files to be saved in a compatible format for grading. This task can sometimes stump the best of us. Fear not, my friends, for you’re in good company. Here’s what’s up:
Most browsers have the necessary powers to view the most common formats. For example, the MPEG format (Motion Pictures Expert Group),is a good choice for quality video. However, there are many options. The point is to be sure it’s compatible, and the necessary plugins are clearly available if not previously installed. If you’re going to be watching any video (which of course you are) on your computer, you should definitely be prepared to play/accept WMV, FLV, MP4, MOV and SWF. Confused? Check out the list below for brief definitions:
- .3gp – the most common video format for mobile phones
- .asf – (ASF is a shell, which enables any form of compression to be used; MPEG-4 is common. Video in ASF-containers is also called Windows Media Video (WMV))
- .avi – Audio Video Interleave – a shell that enables any form of compression to be used; MPEG-1 and a variant of MPEG-4 are common)
- .flv – Flash video played through a .swf file.
- .m2v – MPEG-2 Video file
- .mov – Quicktime video; enables any form of compression to be used; Sorenson codec is the most common.
- .mp3 – MPEG layer 3 audio;
- .mp4 – MPEG-4 Part 14. Most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams
- .mpeg, .mpg, .mpe – Moving Picture Experts Group
- .ra – Real Audio
Even if you haven’t figured it all out yet, lighten up. You can actually upload almost any video, as long as it’s in a compatible format. Many players will accept multiple file formats, so you can use one app for all video. But no one expects you to know everything at any time. Just what’s best for that particular file. Do your homework.
Now that I’ve completely confused the crap out of you, don’t sweat it. Have a cookie. The oracle says “as soon as you leave this post, you’ll feel right as rain”. But just in case you get a stale cookie, this will surely lift your spirits.
Have a better one, folks.