Q: I’m part of an educational group that teaches real estate professionals. To become a certified real estate instructor in our group, candidates must submit a 50-minute video of themselves teaching a class.
But I can’t find a way for them to upload such a long video, because the video files are too large for services such as YouTube. Is there a way to buy some cloud computing service where candidates could drag and drop their video files?
Mark Barker, Wayzata
A: There is a way. But it might not be practical.
What you’re looking for is called a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service, which can upload and store big files in a remote data center. (Despite its mysterious name, “the cloud” is just made up of remote data centers.) Companies that offer FTP service include OpenDrive, Dropbox and SkyDrive. For comparisons of several FTP services, and tips on what to look for, see tinyurl.com/kzd26gt.
But here’s the problem. It takes a long time to upload a 50-minute video, even with today’s Internet speeds.
A 50-minute video shot at 1080p high-definition contains about 4 gigabytes (billion bytes) of data. If you have a fast home data connection, say Comcast service with 25 megabit (million bits per second) downloads and 5 megabit uploads, it will take about two hours to upload a 4-gigabyte data file. For a person with a much slower Internet upload speed, say 1.5 megabits, the upload time will be between six and seven hours.
It might be a better idea to have your students burn their 50-minute videos to DVDs and send them to you via U.S. Mail.
The most common DVD format is the single-sided, single-layer DVD that holds 4.7 gigabytes of data, just right for the 50-minute videos you want submitted.
Q: Are there any downloads available (either free or for a nominal fee) for creating return address labels?
I’m using OpenOffice, which does have an application for making labels, but the software makes it difficult to add clip art to the labels. (It places the clip art either above or below the address, not to the left of the address where I want it.)
Ron Bender, Richfield
A: Here are a few label-making programs I found at CNET’s Download.com, a database of software that has been scanned to make sure it contains no malicious code. All offer free trial periods.
• Label Maker Pro ($60) at tinyurl.com/nypa37j
• Easy Mail ($35) at tinyurl.com/kfxmles