A few years ago, YouTube was just a fledgling video site. Then Google took it over. And now, it is a phenomenon, throwing up its own celebrities, bands, storytellers and movie makers.
Inexpensive digital cameras and even mobile phones are capable of shooting decent videos these days. Who knows there could be a superstar in your family?
This week, we guide you on how to make it in video’s new opportunity and set up a YouTube channel of your own. We also show you how you could even get to make money doing this.
Step1: Choose your device
Before the advent of the digital arena, video “camcorders” recorded visuals on tape. If you still swear by one of these, you wil need to get an analog to digital signal converter like Aver Media C039 for your computer.
This lets you connect an old video camera to your computer. But we would really prefer a camera that stores this on an SD card so you can have a plug-and-play environment. Cellphones also offer this facility.
So once you have the video, be it of your daughter at a music fest or a son shooting a goal in a football match, the game begins.
Step2: Edit your video
If you have a Apple Computer (A Macbook, iMac or a MacBook Air) you will have iMovie installed on it already. If you have a Windows PC (Windows 7 and above) you will have Windows Movie Maker installed on it.
You can get the movie file on to your PC and use one of these software apps to do the basic editing, which could include introducing titles, slapping on a sound track and stabilizing the video.
Or you can get a more expensive application like the Pinnacle Studio 16.
If you are on an iPhone or an iPad, iMovie is available at Rs.550 for the iOS platform and you can edit the movie right from your phone.
If you do not want to invest in all these, or they seem complex to use, YouTube offers you its own free editor software (http://youtube.com/editor). This will let you trim videos, modify sound tracks, and add text effects.
Step3: Setting up a YouTube account
If you have a Gmail id, then you are one step ahead already. If you don’t, get yourself an all-purpose Google ID by visiting the site (https://accounts.google.com/signup) and filling in a form.
This covers a range of services from Google.
Once you have that, you can simply click on the YouTube link on the top right or log in (at http://www.youtube.com) with your Google/gmail ID and start uploading.
In case you shot your video using your cellphone, and your cellphone has a YouTube application (most smartphone platforms enable you one), you can sign into your YouTube application with your Google account and can also upload the video you shot directly off the phone.
Remember, video files are larger and will take time to upload, and may also use up bandwidth beyond your quota in the data plan that you bought from your ISP. This may increase your bills.
Once your video is uploaded, YouTube will start processing your video to fit into its format. It will request you to fill in information – such as where it was shot and who all are in it.
Once the video processing is complete, YouTube will send you a mail with a link to watch your video.
In case you want to use the YouTube Editor, you can upload the video first. However, if you want to use Apple’s iMovie, or Microsoft’s Movie Maker or other such software, make you sure you edit your video before uploading.
Once done, you can share the link with through social media or email.
Step 4: Starting your own channel
Your YouTube username is your channel’s name by default. However, if you want to change this, on your PC browser, click on your name in the top right within YouTube.com, go to My Channel and change details in settings.
Now that you channel is up, you may be able to make money with it – for which you need to become a YouTube partner. Sign up for this at http://www.youtube.com/yt/partners/.
To qualify for this, you need to be eligible under some conditions. YouTube evaluates your videos and let you know if you are good enough.
If you qualify, Google helps you “monetise” your feed. That’s another story.