We’re going to learn some tips and tricks that will help you maximize your use of the video training time throughout the Thirty Day Challenge. Let’s take a look at Ed’s video below…

Tips For Watching Thirty Day Challenge Videos

It’s the pointy end of Preseason and this will be one of the last of the technical videos. This one promises to be an easy one.

There are various ways to view and use the training videos for this year’s thirty day challenge. It’s quite possible that you don’t know every way you can utilize these videos. Let’s go through all of the available options. Remember, part of what we’re learning about involves YOUR work flow – let’s explore these options and find the one that works best for you…

Here’s a typical preseason training page:

30DC Preseason Training Page

30DC Preseason Training Page

The actual Thirty Day Challenge Training pages will look basically the same. There may be some subtle changes to the look and feel of the pages going forward. But the overall design and functionality should remain the same.

The first element we’ll look at is the “overview” video in the upper left quadrant, below the header. Speaking of quadrants and headers – have you noticed the design of the Thirty Day Challenge Site? I’ll bet there are reasons things are laid out the way they are…

30DC - Overview Video

30DC - Overview Video

During preseason, this video hasn’t always been an overview video. Sometimes it’s been an update or a Thirty Day Challenge TV episode. Regardless, it usually comes from YouTube.

During the actual Thirty Day Challenge, this video will be a kind of introductory video. And they may be coming from some pretty interesting places. I’m assuming that means they may not always be coming from YouTube – put on your “noticing caps” and keep an eye out for alternate places to upload video. If you’re into that sort of thing ๐Ÿ™‚

You can expect to get an idea of the materials that will be covered that day, maybe some goal-setting – or some tips to help you avoid potential hurdles.

Below that video, there is a link so that you can download the video to your computer.

30DC Videos - The Download Link

30DC Videos - The Download Link

If you right click on the link – a menu will pop up, and you’ll be able to “Save Link As…” – from there your download dialog will pop up and you can download the video.

Ed recommends, and I second the motion – create a folder for your Thirty Day Challenge downloads – you can create subfolders to further organize content as you download it. For now, it’s been almost all video – but there may be PDF files to download and other file types as well. Here’s an example of how my folder structure is currently organized…

30DC - Folder Structure

30DC - Folder Structure

I can create additional folders and organize as we go for easy reference later on. In the meantime, if you at least have a separate folder to download 30DC materials, that’ll be good.

Over on the right hand side – these are the core videos for the day. There may be one, two, three…..Did I just hear him say 75???? Okay, he’s just kidding, whew!

Regardless, we have a few options here, so let’s explore them.

30DC - Right Side Video Options

30DC - Right Side Video Options

The first link will take us directly to the YouTube version of the training.

30DC Videos - Link to YouTube Video

30DC Videos - Link to YouTube Video

So far, when I’ve used this option I like to either right click and open it in a new tab or open it in a new window…I’ve found that if I have the YouTube video opened up in a second Flock window (not a tab) – while I have this blog editor opened up next to it – that works pretty well for me.

I’ve experimented with ScribeFire, but in Flock it seems to mess with the YouTube playback. They’ll probably take care of it with an update soon enough. So for now, I’m doing it this way. Here’s a look at my desktop while I’m working on this blog post. I’m taking it right now.

30DC Videos - My Workspace

30DC Videos - My Workspace

I don’t know how readable that will be – hopefully, you can see what I’m doing. I have the YouTube video up on the left side – and the blog editor open on the right. I’ve marked up breaks in the text for images. It’s a work in progress…

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is – you can watch a video and work on some aspect of the training. I pause the videos, rewind, and replay many times to make sure I’m understanding everything Ed is teaching.

Using YouTube also allows for the possibility of watching the training by way of AppleTV and Tivo – you just have to “subscribe” to Ed’s YouTube channel. If you need a refresher on that process, it was covered in the “Using YouTube” lesson.

Another benefit of using YouTube allows people with YouTube enabled phones (like iPhone, etc.) to watch the training from those types of mobile devices. If you have the bandwidth – another great feature available from the YouTube page is the “High Quality” option. The picture is sharp, very clear. And if you do go to Ed’s YouTube page – please make sure to take a moment and give the video a rating. ๐Ÿ™‚

One last cool thing about the YouTube videos is – the ability for people to use them in their blogs – like me. Man, I like YouTube!

Back to our preseason page – take a look at the SD and HD buttons:

30DC Videos - SD and HD buttons

30DC Videos - SD and HD buttons

The SD button more or less stands for “Standard Definition.” It’s a lower quality file that has been optimized for an iPhone or iPod – and it looks fine.

The HD button is the High Definition version. It’s the Rolls Royce of the video files. If you have the bandwidth and the space – the HD version is the way to go.

In any case, you can right click on the link or button of your choice and “save file as” to download the video training to your computer.

Let’s look at http://www.revver.com/ – this site displays the high definition version of the video.

30DC Videos - Revver

30DC Videos - Revver

There are ads playing along the bottom – but you can click the little “x” button (next to “Ads by Google”) to get rid of them – you’ll still be able to play the video. You can also download in Flash and Quicktime formats (buttons along the bottom left) from revver (for your own personal use.)

Now, don’t go downloading these and try selling them on eBay – that would be a no-no, big trouble…

Why have the videos available in so many formats from so many sites? Some places in the world block access to YouTube and some other video sharing sites. This way you have some options and a way to get the training no matter where you are.

If you’re having trouble getting or viewing the videos – you can always ask a question within the Thirty Day Challenge Forums or leave a comment/question here.

That covers the basics of our video download options. So now what?

One of the easiest ways to manage the video content is to use iTunes. iTunes works on MAC or PC – and it’s free to download iTunes. Once you’ve got iTunes opened up – you can create a 30DC playlist within iTunes.

From there, you can either drag and drop the file into the main iTunes window – but the most effective way to do this is to drag and drop the file right onto your 30DC playlist. You’ll see there that the file you just downloaded shows up in that playlist.

Now, if you connect an iPhone or video iPod up to your iTunes – you can sync your 30DC playlist to the device and have your training videos with you wherever you go. Well, wherever you take your video device.

If you’re new to iTunes, you may get confused by how it handles video. This little box down in the left corner controls your viewing…

30DC Videos - iTunes

30DC Videos - iTunes

You can display the video down in the lower left corner (the hide/show button) – you would probably want to double click within the actual video preview window to expand it for better viewing.

So – iTunes offers one way to easily view and manage your video content.

Another video option is available from VLC media player.

30DC Videos - VLC Media Player

30DC Videos - VLC Media Player

It’s a simple but robust media player – and it’s free! It might be an excellent alternative for people with older computers and/or minimal system resources. Just click on the link for your operating system to go to the download page.

30DC Videos - VLC Download

30DC Videos - VLC Download

From here – left-click on the one of the download links. I don’t know that it makes much difference which one your click – I’m in the USA, so I clicked on the link located in the US. I saved it to my desktop so I could install it later…Sorry, no screen shots of that process at this time…

The VLC interface may not be quite as user friendly as iTunes, but it WILL do the job…and the price is right!

That’s really it for video tips today – you can play around with YouTube, iTunes and VLC media player. Decide what works best for you and for your system. Because of the way things are organized this year – you should be able to find the tools that work best for you.

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