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How We Process and Upload Videos Hosted in Techrights

Video download link

Summary: With ffmpeg as the Swiss army knife (and various other utilities/programs 'in between') it's possible to automate much of the pipeline associated with video production and self-hosting

THE past few weeks were spent working on self-hosting our videos and producing new videos in a way that's both fast and easy to navigate (e.g. monthly archives with animated previews). Some weeks we produce 20 or more videos (compared to just one audio episode, at most, per week), so automation -- where practical and doable -- is a priority. Those videos are also presented (or listed) over Gemini protocol -- something that cannot be done so easily with centralised disservices such as YouTube (Google already dominates the Web; it doesn't want substitutes to it, e.g. gemini://).

"Let's face it, the Web is quickly becoming more censorious and at the same time more centralised, which is a toxic combination."Some of the tools we use and the way they're assembled were explained here before, but the video above shows how they're glued together in a simple script which takes as input the video slug/title, then does the rest, including editing, watermarking, merging, upload, HTML, and checksums. This is still work in progress. For more details and for commands worth replicating see:

Nothing is infeasible. Almost.

Eventually, if all goes according to plan, we'll be able to package it all up rather nicely for use by other people who aren't familiar with internals of ffmpeg. We want to see more and more people self-hosting their videos, ensuring they're robust or resistant to censorship (or find a way deter self-censorship, i.e. people gradually feeling more comfortable to express their opinions openly if not bluntly).

Let's face it, the Web is quickly becoming more censorious and at the same time more centralised, which is a toxic combination. It gives very few companies infinite powers over the speech of billions (they also control what people can see) and their standard of what constitutes "acceptable" speech varies over time. The only long-term solution to all this is de-centralisation, at least to the degree affordable.

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