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Why I Won’t Be Using Heywatch.com

June 23, 2007

I was sufficiently intruiged by the idea of leaving transcoding issues behind that I tried out Heywatch.com. It is a video transcoding service that will transcode between many video formats for files of less than 45 minutes at a cost of $0.10 per file. The price is reasonable enough that I would be tempted to use it for certain tasks in lieu of Vegas 5.0 (my current video editing software).

But after trying Heywatch, I have decided I won’t use it regularly without a couple of features:

  1. The ability to do multiple uploads at once. Often I will want to transcode about 20 files at a time, e.g. videos taken with a digital camera.
  2. The ability to download transcoded files via RSS feed. The Heycast function appears to do this for Quicktime files, but not for other end formats. Ideally each individual would be able to have multiple feeds for different sources.
  3. —The ability to have Heywatch monitor an RSS feed for files and then automatically transcode them for me. For example I’d like to be able to have Heywatch monitor a video podcast feed, transcode whatever is fed, and then per my suggestion above, I would have the ability to pick it up from my own RSS feed.
  4. FWIW, I’d also like the ability to transcode VOB files, although I certainly understand why that is not something they are undertaking: (i) it seems to be hard to translate VOBs that are designed to create problems for transcoding software; and (ii) these files are long and the bandwidth and processing cost is likely to be higher than their typical YouTube video.

I also posted this on the Heywatch suggestion board so there may be useful followup there.

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