Monthly Archives: February 2010

Link To A Specific Time in a YouTube Video

Have you ever wanted to share a video, a long video?  But didn’t want your friend to have to listen or scrub through to the spot you wanted him to hear?  Well, have I got something slick for you!

Now, I’m assuming you know how to get the URL of a video on YouTube. Know how?  Good.

There are two ways to do this.  The lazy way.  And the harder way.  The harder is more time consuming way where you could type in the code and could possibly type something wrong.  (That’s probably what I would do . . .)

Let’s start first with the hard way.  No?  I don’t blame you.  Why do it the hard way when there is a super easy way.  Here’s the easy way.

First go to YouTubeTime.com.

Paste in the URL of the video you want to link to.  Then type in how many minutes and seconds where you want your link to start.  Then click ‘Get Link.’  Voila!  You have the necessary code that you can use.  If you want, you can click to preview the video to make sure it starts at the right place.

Now comes the part that can stump you if you’re not careful.  This code is for a LINK.  Don’t use the code as you would to embed an actual video on your site.  This is code for a LINK.  (Sometimes people get confused thinking they use that info to actually embed the video on a site.  If you do this, it won’t work.)

Now, copy the URL that YouTubeTime gave you and paste it in as a link on your site.

Here’s an example. This link starts almost one minute into the video. (See, that’s a link — not an embedded video.)   It’s of Mrs. Hughes, the comedienne.  She is so funny.  In fact, I think you really ought to see this video from the beginning and watch all 8 minutes of it.

So there you have it.  An easy way to share a link to a specific spot in a video.

Have a fun time playing with this wonderful site!

Design Your Own Twitter Background

twitter graphicI just discovered a great site for creating a free theme for  my Twitter account.  Sweet.

I love it when I have the option to change the theme, design, or look and feel of things.  I’m not a graphic designer at all — but I sure like to play around.

If you are a Twitter user, check out Free Twitter Designer.  It’s easy to use to jazz up your Twitter theme.

First, you’ll have to decide whether to sign into the site with your Twitter login info, or use the site without signing in.  If you don’t sign in, all you will be allowed to do with your completed theme is to save the image.  Then, you will have to personally log into Twitter and upload the design that you just created.

If you choose to log in with your Twitter info, when you are finished Free Twitter Designer will automatically upload your theme and save it in your Twitter account.  You don’t have to take the time or have any hassle uploading your new theme.  (I really like this option.)

In creating a background, Free Twitter Designer has 11 background styles that you can use. If you don’t like what you see, you can start with a blank screen and create your own design.

Once you have selected a theme, you can then accept it as is — or modify it.  You can add text, shapes, or an image.  You can change the color of the shape or add a filter (glow, bevel, shadow).  You can change the background color, the color of links, the color of the text, and the color of the sidebar.

Even though this is a fairly simple designer, you can create a fairly sophisticated design — assuming that you have design skills.  Even if your skills are novice, you can still create a theme that looks nice.

After you get your theme tweaked just right, you generate the image.  After the image is generated, you can export it to Twitter.  You can also save the image.  You never know when you might want to use the same image . . . on your blog, your stationary letterhead, or business card.

There is one caveat, though.  If you are a Firefox user on a Mac (like me) the design elements won’t show up.  They do show up in Safari and in Flock, however.  Just not Firefox (which happens to be my browser of choice). Rats.

Your design will show up in Firefox on a Windows machine.  Sigh.  Is there no justice in the world?   🙂

Most Useful App for iPhone

The iPhone app, AutoPark, was awarded the Most Useful App at the iPhone Developers 2009 Camp.  I can see why.

Parking in a metered spot?  Not a problem.  Keep track of your metered time, find where you parked and even find nearby services like gas stations and banks.  I wonder how people back in the 70s ever lived without this cool little widget.  It’s sweet, sweet, sweet.  (How in the world did we ever live pre-iPhone?)

Here are some of AutoPark’s features:

  • keeping track of time left on the parking meter
  • finding your parked car
  • finding your car in a multi-story parking structure or at sprawling shopping mall (this is fabulous!!)
  • locating nearby gas stations, banks, and public restrooms
  • taking a picture of your rental car to help you remember what it looks like
  • sending an e-mail to remind yourself where you parked before leaving on a long trip

It costs $5 — which is really cheap when compared to paying a parking ticket!

AutoPark’s tag line is:  You won’t want to leave home without it.  Even though that is a play off of American Express,  I agree!

Needed to Know This Long Ago

Why is it that when I learn about some technology, I find that it’s been around forever?  And why is it that I could have used it over, and over and over again — had I only known about it?  Sigh.

Such it is with Backdrop.

Backdrop is a simple FREE utility that fills your desktop screen with a solid color (or an picture).  This is great when you are taking screen shots for tutorials or whenever you need to capture a portion of your screen but NOT all of the clutter that is residing on your desktop.

You can select your background color in the Preferences.  Sweet.  I like not being tied to a color that someone else thought was good.

If you prefer a background image instead, simply click on the Browse button to find the picture that you want.  If you don’t like how the picture looks, click the Clear button.

If I had a dollar for every screen shot that I had to redo because of some unwanted thing in the background, I would be a millionaire.  Or at least have an extra ten bucks in my pocket!

Of course this is a Mac app.  Of course.  Windows folks couldn’t come up with something this wonderful on their own . . .

Check it out.  And please consider a donation.  John Haney deserves to have his palm crossed with silver for all of his wonderful efforts!