A couple of weeks ago, you might remember me asking for some beta testers for the next version of my Video Plugin for Windows Live Writer. The reason I did this was because I was rewriting it from the ground up, I was no longer building on the already existing plugin, and when you do that, there’s always a chance of you missing something .
So, enough of the jibber jabber, let’s get on with showing what Version 3 is all about. Well, for a start there’s the new interface (which you saw an early version of in the beta testers post). Why did I go for a new interface when the old one worked fine? Well, basically, it’s a new version, brand new, and unlike Windows Live Messenger, I’m not going to use a rehashed version of the old one (oh yes, I went there… ). So what does the final interface look like? This:
As you can see, it’s very different from the previous versions. There are now a lot more options included in this version, and all options are configurable and you can set the defaults for them (more on this later). So let’s have a look at these new options:
- Enable preview – Pretty self explanatory, it shows you the preview of the video, and lets you play it to make sure you’re putting in the right one;
- Open link in new window – This option is only enabled if the embed type is Image + Link or Plugin Decides, and will set whether the link to the video page will open in a new window or not.
- Enable video transparency – This is mainly seen when embedding videos from MSN Soapbox, you can set whether the video frame has transparency or not.
- Include title with video (my favourite new feature) – This tells the plugin that you want the video title to appear with the video, and best of all, it gets that information for you just from the link you supply. Do note though, this does not work for MuveeMix or MySpace Videos, it will just say the video provider, but the link will send you to the correct video page.
The new interface also shows you what the size of the video is going to be, this is based on either the video provider’s default size, or the custom size defined in the options.
Ok, so that’s the new interface. Now, once you hit insert you will get the embedded video (or the image, depending on which option you chose), all this should look familiar to previous versions of the plugin, with one main exception now:
Notice the resize handles on the corners; videos can now be resized on the fly from within the blog entry, just by dragging one of the corners, and it will keep the aspect ratio, so you don’t have to worry about that either. In the above screenshot you can also see the link underneath it that shows the video name.
Next we come onto the Sidebar in Live Writer:
<<< Here we have a link to the video, this will open straight in your web browser
<<< Here you can change the way in which the video is to be inserted in your blog entry
<<< Set whether the links open in a new window
<<< Set whether transparency is on or not
<<< Set whether the video has the title underneath it.
All the settings in the Sidebar will happen instantly, so you can an instant preview of what it will look like in your blog entry.
Now I mentioned earlier about configurable options, so let’s take a look at the options window (Tools > Preferences > Plugins > Options):
Here you can see the options you have, they are basically the same as the ones you see in the main window, but these options determine what the main window’s options show by default. These options will also be the options used if you paste a video link into the blog entry. From this window you will also be able to see some of the testers that were involved in helping me with this plugin.
As with previous versions of the plugin, you can still paste the video link into your blog entry and the plugin will pick that up and get all the relevant details. Doing this will use the default settings mentioned above.
One final thing to add is that I have added support for another site: www.myvideo.de.
You can download the new version of the plugin from Windows Live Gallery by going to the Video Plugin page. Please note, you can download the plugin only from Live Gallery, I will not be making it available from my site like I have done before; I will also be removing the other zip files from my site, but don’t worry, if you link to the files, I will be putting a redirect in so that anything that goes to those files will get redirected to the relevant Live Gallery page. This goes for all of my plugins.
Any comments, feedback, or bugs you find with the plugin, please leave them as comments on this blog (regardless of entry) or email me at wlm[at]scottisafool.co.uk.
Important Note: If you go to the Live Gallery site and you get an error when trying to download the plugins, see my guide on how to fix this, which should alleviate the error.