A quick one to express my frustration. For my upcoming post, I want to include a couple of videos. Now these are sort of unique videos, with a custom size – smaller than what you see on Google Video, YouTube, and are sort of hi-res (for that size). I mean, unless shown at that native size, they become grainy and it would be pointless to the purpose of including them.

Now WordPress.com, one of the most popular blog sites, allows you to link to YouTube, Google Video easily but offer not much control over the size of video. This irritates me to no end. It also opens the floodgates for other pet-peeves I have about WordPress.com. Apparently, their paranoid view of anything even remotely fancy (although some of which are well founded), is good reason to give highly restricted features. For example, you can upload images etc. but mp3s and audio? No. (unless you buy a space upgrade?) You can embed video, but cannot easily control size (unless you buy a space upgrade?). I think other blogs offer more by default. In short, with regards to these things, WordPress.com gets a D grade – euphemistically speaking!

Now after breaking my head over this, a lot of googling, and a lot of trial-and-error, I finally did figure out how to control the size:

  1. Upload to google video (after establishing an account) – in my case a flash video file (flv).
  2. Use the vodpod plugin to point to it as an external video i.e. do not use the “easy way” for Google Video (since that will not allow size control) .
  3. (Now this step is vodpod WordPress plugin’s part in this sorry game) Have vodpod create a draft blog entry, just so that you can edit that draft blog entry to the correct post,
  4. Adjust the width, height to what you want (actually cannot use the original video size, have to do some trial and error)
  5. Delete the draft. Seems silly doesn’t it? But all this because vodpod does not seem allow you to get Vodpod videos no longer available. link directly – it wants to create a post! Now, I hope I am wrong about this and I just did not know how it is done. Otherwise, now how boneheaded can you get to have this as the only work flow? How hard is to really to expose the vodpod link when you preview in vodpod?

The above works, but now my video would have to stored in Google video, and also there is also some sort of an entry in the vodpod system (the Vodpod videos no longer available. link has a unique id that vodpod knows points to my Google Video), so that I can get it on my blog. In essence, critical information is stored in 3 places – Google Video, vodpod, and of course my WordPress.com blog. Not exactly a good arrangement.

Now ideally, I want the information be in one place. My blog. I upload the video file like I do images, and I point to them from my blog. How hard is that? Sure space can be a premium, but that is my problem. Otherwise, the next best bet is to put it on a site of my choice, e.g. some place where I have complete control. Or at the least, allow control over the size of the !$#@$ Google Video and YouTube embedded control!

But all of this strangely beyond WordPress.com! Come on! This is not rocket science! I have done it myself, and apparently vodpod has figured it out. This should have done in the first version of WordPress that included embedded video support – i.e. many many months ago! I am puzzled as to how/why WordPress.com missed the boat then, and continues to do so! Extremely frustrating for me as a user!

PS: I know I can host my own WordPress.com site where I can have control. But that is not the point here.

PPS: In case I am wrong and there is an easy, I take back everything said above 😉 !

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