Finding and playing video

Now that you've put your content out there and told people about it they need to be able to find it and play it. In some cases this might simply be a matter of watching it embedded in your website, but they could also subscribe to your video podcast feed or use free software like VLC to play the videos downloaded. Elsewhere in this toolkit you can find out how to subscribe to video podcasts using Miro.

There are millions of videos out there and thousands more added each day. How do you find what you are looking for or content you might be interested in? Luckily this is a well known problem so quite a bit of work has been done to help you already.

The resources below will help you find footage to use in your own film, aggregate videos from a variety of sources and help you build up a broader picture on an issue you're campaigning on.

Searching for Open/Free Content

You can find video that you can re-use by looking for material using open content licenses through the Creative Commons website. After choosing whether you want to search for works that are available for commercial use or works that can be modified but are only for non-commercial use, you can choose what kind of material on the basis of the various search engines and websites available.

On finding content that you require, you will usually find the license (or a link to the license) at the bottom of the page, or when you click to download the image. On doing this you will get the required information about which sizes of the image are available for download (original, medium, small) and a link to the human-readable license.

If the material is licensed under a Creative Commons license, then the link will lead you to the human readable version of the license, that tells you in simple non-legal terms what you can and can’t do with the work.

For instance, the Share Alike license will tell you that you can use, modify, distribute the work, as long as any work you make is also licensed under a CC license.

Other than the CC search engine, you can also directly use the Google search engine, that provides a search under Advanced Options (expand the date, usage rights, numeric range and more option) to look for materials based on the license.

For more see the Guide to Open Content Licensing and WITNESS's Guide to Finding Video Clips for re-Use.

Aggregating Video

The Miro Player is a great way to subscribe to video feeds and search channels of content. Because Miro is an aggregator it can bring together videos from a range of different sites all in one place. Miro also allows you to search for videos on popular sites by author, title, keyword etc, and download them.

If people publishing their video have added enough information to describe their video effectively you should be able to find a reasonable range of stuff.

You can visit and search the big centralised video hosts like Youtube and Google Video for films referring to your area of interest. You should also visit the various non-profit video publishers, where you should be able to find an interesting range of material from one or more of these sites.

With the new generation of video sharing sites, you do not have to visit each of these sites in turn. Most video sites will output an RSS feed of the content they produce which you can aggregate in Miro or subscribe to in an RSS reader like Google Reader, Sage, Bloglines, etc.

For more on how to use Miro to subscribe to feeds see the Miro Guide.

Additionally there are 'Video Feed Aggregators' sites that pull the most interesting videos from across the net, allowing you to search material from a range of video publishing sites, 'aggregated' in one place and presented in your web browser. Websites like and 'suck' a range of critical media feeds, and search among all the content they suck from across the net and display according to your searches.

If you have a website of your own, you can display in your own site the videos from the issue or region specific feeds. You can use content management software like Drupal or Planet to set up your own version of this free software tool, and aggregate, moderate etc video feeds to display a channel of videos in your own area of work and interest. If you are interested in using Drupal you might want to check out these modules.