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February 2008 Entries

Adding Videos to web page using Silverlight

Well, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you would have noticed that I have recently uploaded a few videos on Visual Studio and ASP.NET AJAX, powered by Silverlight.  A lot of you might want to upload your videos into your web pages, web logs, site etc., and would be wondering on where to upload the videos, how to host it etc.,  Also, some of you might be waiting to use Silverlight in your website.  Well, this post (inspired with my own experience) helps understand on how you can achieve both (use Silverlight as well as host videos on your webpages) together. 

The first thing that you would require to upload a video, is obviously the Video.  You may want to start recording a screen capture of a simple "How-to" technical article or even on a yummy recipe that you tried.  You could record the video using any screen capture tool or can try the free Windows Media Encoder Series

Once you are done with recording a decent size video (say of size 3-4 MB), you are all set to start publishing the video.

Encoding your Video for Windows Live Streaming using Expression Encoder

1. Download Expression Encoder for free

2. Open Expression Encoder, select "File - "Import" and chose the location where you have your recorded video

3. It shows the Imported Video under the Media Content section

4. Select Settings in the right and under Profile adjust the Video and Audio to reduce the size.  Typically anything more than 25MB is going to have issues when using Silverlight Streaming.  So adjust the settings accordingly.

5. Switch to the Output tab and under Job Output - Template - chose a template for the video.  I chose the Silverlight Template which looks cool.

6. Once you are done with the above, click Encode to encode the video file for streaming

7. The Encoded file is typically stored in Documents folder under Expression\Encoder folders.

8. A folder is created for every encoded video

9. When you navigate to this folder, you might find the following files

i. BasePlayer.js

ii. Default.html

iii. Your WMV Video file

iv. MicrosoftAjax.js

v. player.js

vi. player.xaml

vii. PlayerStrings.js

viii. project.csproj

ix. Silverlight.js

x. StartPlayer.js

10. We need to add a Manifest file to the above files. 

11. Create a simple .txt file and rename it to manifest.xml.  Open it using any text editor and copy paste the following contents

<SilverlightApp>
<version>1.0</version>
<loadFunction>StartWithParent</loadFunction>
<jsOrder>
   <js>MicrosoftAjax.js</js>
   <js>BasePlayer.js</js>
   <js>PlayerStrings.js</js>
   <js>player.js</js>
   <js>StartPlayer.js</js>
</jsOrder>
</SilverlightApp>

Save this file

12. Secondly, you may not want the video to start playing automatically since it might be a little annoying for your visitors, particularly if there are more than a single video.  To avoid this, you can edit the StartPlayer.js file and navigate to the section where it says autoPlay.  It is set to true by default.  Change it to false. This would make the video play after users click on the same.

13. Once you are done with the above changes, select all the files mentioned above (contents of the folder for this particular video) and Zip them.  You would need to ignore the following files while zipping

i. Default.html

ii. Silverlight.js

iii. project.csproj file

14. The zipped file is what you would require to host your video

Silverlight Streaming

Silverlight Streaming is a free streaming resource provided by Windows Live Services  It allows you to host upto 4GB Videos for free streaming and is an innovative approach since we take care of the streaming and hosting part.  All one requires is a silverlight player installed on the client side to render your video.

You can get a Silverlight Streaming account for free from http://silverlight.live.com  Once you create an account, visit the
Manage Applications section and select "Upload a Silverlight Application" link

You would require to provide a name which has no space (little annoying) without hyphen (even more annoying if you are used to using hyphens) and there after Browse to upload the zipped files.

Once you are able to upload the zip file successfully, you would get an URL with an iframe tag and the required properties.

Adding it to your website

Well, all you have to do is to copy the iframe URL provided in the Silverlight Streaming site and paste it into your blog template (switching to HTML View) / website.

Thats it, you could see that your videos are playing powered by Silverlight Streaming.

Happy Silverlight Streaming !!!

Heroes Happen Here - Microsoft India Launch Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 & Windows Server 2008

Heroes Happen Here !!!  Yeah that is the theme we chose for this launch.  After all, arent you guys the Heroes, going out and solving the customer problems that keep creeping in day-to-day? 

I had in my earlier post talked about the Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 and the sessions I am delivering over the same.  Also, we have a community launch that happens across 14 cities.  The agenda for the same should be out shortly at the Heroes Happen Here website, keep checking for the same.

Meanwhile, we also have an 80 City launch that would be delivered by our partners (you see, we can't be everywhere )  We are in the process of putting up the content, tracks and the venues for all the cities.  Rest assured, its not fun, planning this event, but delivering this is going to be fun because, we are going to reach out to all the small cities and towns where we always encounter brilliant minds.  Much as we presume that the IT Folks are from tier-1 cities, there are many cases, when we encounter experts from small towns.

The agenda for the 80 city launch, should also be up shortly in the website.

Post these events, we are going to have a virtual launch during which there will be day long webcast sessions on each product, one each for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008, that would happen.  You can check for the agenda and registration at http://www.microsoft.com/india/webcasts  The pre-launch webcasts are happening right now and if you missed my webcasts on Visual Studio 2008, Web Development and RIA development, you can download the recordings from http://www.microsoft.com/india/webcasts/ondemand.aspx

So, rest assured that you wouldnt miss the action and can always catch up with one of the above events.  If you are attending any of these events, we would be glad to meet you and hear from you, your experiences.

Cheers !!!

Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008 & SQL Server 2008 Launch

Yes, we would launch three in a row!  Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Launch would be happening on March 4th, 5th and 7th at Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi respectively.

This launch marks one of the biggest launches we have ever done and we are working hard at it.  There are a flood of events planned starting with our pre-launch webcast series happening starting next monday.  You can register for the same at http://www.microsoft.com/india/webcasts/  (check the Visual Studio 2008 Webcast Series), and I am speaking on two of the web related stuff.

The next important dates to note are

March 4             Bangalore Launch

March 5             Mumbai Launch

March  7            Delhi Launch

I am speaking at all the above cities on Visual Studio 2008

Then there is the community launch happening in 14 cities across the countries.  If you are a part of the UG in any of these cities, you must have received information regarding this.

You can register for all the events at http://www.heroeshappenhere.co.in/Register.aspx

For more information check http://www.heroeshappenhere.co.in/

Cheers !!!

You may receive the error "An authentication error occurred while communicating with the web server. Please see Help for assistance"

When working with Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Vista and create web applications running out of IIS 7, you need to perform a few steps before getting it work.  I had blogged about it, in my earlier post

However, after performing all the above, you might still get "An authentication error occurred while communicating with the web server. Please see Help for assistance" when trying to create a website / debugging a website created using Visual Studio 2005 running on a Windows Vista with IIS 7.

There is a public hot fix available which can be downloaded for FREE.

The Web Dev Tools team put up a nice post on this http://blogs.msdn.com/webdevtools/archive/2007/06/20/downloadable-hotifx-f5-debugging-using-iis-fails-on-vista-home-editions.aspx

Also check http://mvolo.com/blogs/serverside/archive/2006/12/28/Fix-problems-with-Visual-Studio-F5-debugging-of-ASP.NET-applications-on-IIS7-Vista.aspx which provides better explanation with visual steps.

Cheers !!!