First, I want you to know that I created a video for my seventh song, “Drink In”. It is my first exploration of fractal animation. This allows me to create cool visuals. The process takes some time and lots of computer power.
I think the visual results are very interesting and lend to the dream image rather well. I’d enjoy knowing what you think.
But I was also curious to see what happens to the display of the animation and the sound of the song recording when it is played on various video platforms.
Everyone is familiar with YouTube. It is the Google video platform and allows advertising beside, before, and in front of the videos that are played. Facebook has its own video system now and — like its entire platform — has advertising alongside of them.
Somewhat lesser-know video platforms reportedly have higher quality capabilities and no noticeable advertising. The two I’ve selected are Vimeo and Bandcamp.
I uploaded my “Drink In” animation to all four of these sites. I’m particularly interested in audio differences in these platforms if any exist. All of these are from the exact same source file.
With the resources of Google and many years in the making, YouTube is certainly a platform to consider. The advertising options can offer some musicians additional income if they can get enough viewers. Though there is some dithering (blurriness) in the lyrics, I see no major issues with the visuals compared to the original and the soundtrack is intact: the sound level seems to match the original and there are no obvious anamolies.
Though FaceBook also has significant resources, their video platform seems to take shortcuts. The animation is nearly a match with the original with occasional dithering (looks digital or blurry) in the lyric font and when the path through the internet becomes congested. Even worse for musicians, the audio differs in volume/intensity — probably compressed — and the stereo spread does not match the original. Still, if most or all of your fans are on this social network or you’ve set up a storefront here, you will want to consider it anyway. (Post-publish note: there appears to be some limit to the number of embedded plays allowed as I often get reports of this error later in the USA day. I’ve never received any comparable complaints about any of the other platforms.)
Drink In from Stan Stewart on Vimeo.
Well known among professional videographers, Vimeo seeks quality over popularity. There is no discernible variation in visual or audible content from the original on this platform. If the Internet becomes congested, you will just have to wait to see and hear.
Though I am a strong advocate for the BandCamp services, their inclusion of song movies seems like an afterthought. There is definite blurring of the visual content especially if your internet speed is somewhat slow. Additionally, I sometimes hear aliasing and “thinning” of the audio in order to keep it streaming. At the same time, a big plus for musicians: buy now and hear more links are present right below the video.
For musicians, your choice of video platforms will depend on where your fans are and what you’re looking for. You want the most exposure? YouTube and FaceBook are likely choices. If you want quality in all regards, pick Vimeo. For you who don’t want your audio messed with, you may need to avoid FaceBook. Regarding sales channels, BandCamp and FaceBook have strong tie-ins. You can add your own buy links on any of the platforms, but these two have direct access to shopping carts.
Listening and watching are very subjective, so my takeaways may be very different from yours. What do you hear and see?