Host the Smart Player on Your Own Website

Have you ever produced a video with Camtasia Studio 8 or Camtasia for Mac 2.2 and wondered, “What are all these extra files in my production folder?”

windows explorer showing files

I’ve got some good news: You only need to care about those extra files if you’re hosting your video on your own website and you want the video to play in our Smart Player. (If sharing via Screencast.com, you don’t need to worry about the files either–it will just work.)

You might ask, “But Mike, it seems like extra work. Why do I care about the Smart Player? I upload just the video file (MP4) and it seems to play fine for me.”

Good question sir or madam, and to that I reply with two reasons.

First, do you wish for people to be able to watch your video in virtually any browser, on Mac or PC or even on most modern mobile devices? If the answer is yes, you need the Smart Player. Second, if your video has any interactivity, and by this I mean a table of contents, hotspots, search capability, and captions, you need the Smart Player.

You see, those files are the bits and pieces that enable the look and feel of the player, but more importantly, they contain the information that enables your video to be interactive and play almost anywhere.

Tip: Whatever you do, don’t rename the files after you produce the video.

In this video (http://www.screencast.com/t/1YWOy7tlJ) I show how I show the process of taking the files from your hard drive, uploading them via FTP to a web server, and then checking to make sure everything works. Click the table of contents button on the player to jump to various points, and click full screen for a larger view. I also want to reiterate that this only works for sites under your control. It probably won’t work on something like a wiki or microblogging site.

Questions about hosting the Smart Player? It might be most beneficial for others if we take that conversation over to the thread that inspired this post.