About Videos - Questions That have gone Around The Group

Over the years, there have been quite a few questions that have gone around the group regarding making videos, the copyright issues, the how-to, the whys and wherefores, much of it about YouTube, but not all of it.


This page discusses YouTube and copyrights, video equipment, producing a video, and video filesizes. We will add more to this page as we get more inputs from members.


If you want to learn how to extract audio from video, ask the group, or use a search engine; we don't have a page on that on our site yet.


You can scroll down the page, or use one of these links to go directly to the section you need:

YouTube and Copyrights

Many members of this group (and others) have asked the question, "If I post a video of my band playing a tune that's still under copyright, is that a violation? Do I need to pay some kind of fees somewhere?"


The answer is "Don't worry. YouTube has you covered."


Google (now Alphabet), the owners of YouTube, has a huge database of copyright owners/adniminstrators, plus they have a process where someone who owns the copyright to a tune and finds it on YouTube can submit a claim.


The bottom line is this: When Alphabet/Google/YouTube and/or a copyright owner finds a copyrighted tune posted on YouTube, YouTube gives the copyright owner their choice of three options. The copyright owner can tell YouTube to (1) Leave it up. No problem, we're glad to have the publicity for our tune; (2) Take it down. We don't want this video of our tune on the internet; or (3) Monetize it. Put ads on the video and share the revenue with the performer/poster. Most times, copyright owners opt for the third choice.


Monetizing Videos. You can monetize videos you post by putting ads on them. How to do that is outside the scope of this discussion, but you can do it.


Unfortunately, there are dishonest people out there who will claim copyright on your video when in fact they have no right to do so. I imagine they do this under the theory that many people won't notice or care, and so they'll make money even with bogus claims.


If you do monetize your video, watch it periodically in your video manager to see if someone is claiming copyright and trying to share your revenue. If you don't own the copyright, then they are probably legit, but if it's a tune you do own the copyright to, you'll need to submit a dispute. (I have successfully disputed two copyright claims in the last three years.)

Video Equipment and Recording Performances

Today's video cameras have amazing capabilities for the price. For only a few hundred dollars, you can get a videocam about the size of a soup can that will shoot 1920x1080 HD video in Dolby 5.1 surround sound and can zoom in on someone's face from a hundred feet away. They will also record an entire 2-hour performance in one "take," using just battery power. It should also have both digital and optical image stabilization, and some of them even include a built-in projector so you can immediately preview your vids.


Shop carefully, and be sure the camera will record to an SD memory card, NOT to tape or a disk or just internal memory.


If you have just one camera, also get a decent tripod, because there's no way you can hold the camera while you're out playing the gig. I set up my camera on a tripod in the balcony before a performance, turn it on about 15 minutes before the performance, and just leave it until the gig is done. If you have just the one camera, try to get it up high, enough so people in between won't block the band, and so you get a decent sound, and so people won't bump into it during the gig.


Your videos will have a much more professional presentation if you can also record the gig from one to three additional cameras. These cameras should be held by people, who can zoom in on sections or soloists, or record the band from interesting angles. The camera operators should definitely be familiar with your music so they'll know in advance where and on whom to focus and zoom.


I currently have only one extra person recording my gigs, but having that extra camera angle makes a huge difference in the final video.

Producing A Video

If you don't care about the quality of your video, if you're happy to just shoot it and post it, then you don't need to "Produce" your video. There are thousands upon thousands of these amateur videos on the web, all of them looking like Uncle Philip brought his new camera toy to little Margie's dance recital.


However, if you do want your video to look more professional, if you believe a video of your band reflects on the reputation of your band, then you should get and take the time to learn how to use a good video editing program.


There are a couple dozen good ones out there. You can use a search engine to do research on which one is best for you. My choice, several years ago, based on power and ease of used balanced with cost, is Cyberlink's PowerDirector Ultimate. At the time of this writing (early 2016), the retail price on that program is $230. A few times a year they have a big sale, so if you're interested, keep a watch for the sales.


With a good video editing program, you will be able to create header and trailer title graphics, fades, internal zooms, and actually use a separately-recorded audio track together with multiple camera angles, synchronize them all by the audio, and switch between up to four cameras just like a boss in a production booth. There are tons of effects you can apply, pretty much limited only by how much time you have to learn them.


But the bottom line is that if you want a solidly professional video to represent you and your band, you will need to produce it (or have it produced) using some good video editing software.

Video Filesizes

One of the biggest challenges I have run into is that most current video cameras produce a file in the m2ts format ("m2ts" stands for MPEG-2 Transport Stream). This is a container format that allows (multiplexing compressed audio and video streams, if you care) very high resolution video and audio at a fairly small file size.


Unfortunately, YouTube does not accept this format for upload. They accept AVI and WMV and MP4 and MOV and several other formats, but not m2ts.


The size of your video file makes a big difference in the time it takes you to upload your video.


I recently did a test on a recording I did for a Christmas medley I wrote for concert band (Christmas Magic), and here are the results:


FormatResolutionFile Size
m2ts 1920x1080 651MB
AVI 720x480 1.11GB
MP4 1920x1080 159MB


I have been unable to get PowerDirector to make a working MP4 file, but I found a free video converter (Miro) that did a great job of converting m2ts files to MP4.


So in the future, I will be producing my videos in the m2ts format then converting them to MP4 before uploading to YouTube.


This is all I have on videos at the moment, but if you have more you'd like to contribute, post it to the group and I'll see if I can spring time free to come update this page.



More to come as we receive well researched and well-written submissions.



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