Creating app promotional videos

I’ve received a few emails over the last week on how I created the in app videos for my apps To Do Today and Left to Spend so I thought I’d go over the process I used.

To capture the video I used the Expression Encoder Screen Capture tool that comes as part of Expression Encoder. I then drew out the capture area to just the emulator screen without the chrome. I then ran through the demo of the app (multiple takes due to miss taps), once happy with the recording I then transferred the recording to Expression Encoder itself.

I used the following settings for encoding the video, the first time I encoded one I also specified a player which I’d use for all the videos. The settings for the player are included below.

Now that I have the video and player I need the static chrome for the phone. I pulled this image out of the Metro guidelines photoshop templates and use CSS to wrap the player element with the chrome as a background image.

I’m also using JQuery to embed the Silverlight with a technique in a previous post of mine Using JQuery to emebed Silverlight.

$(function () {
    $("#phone-slider-slides").silverlight("/clientbin/phonemediaplayer.xap", {
        width: 240,
        height: 400,
        enableGPUAcceleration: true,
        initParams: "playerSettings = <Playlist>" +
                        "<AutoLoad>true</AutoLoad>" +
                        "<AutoPlay>true</AutoPlay>" +
                        "<DisplayTimeCode>false</DisplayTimeCode>" +
                        "<EnableCachedComposition>true</EnableCachedComposition>" +
                        "<EnableOffline>true</EnableOffline>" +
                        "<EnablePopOut>true</EnablePopOut>" +
                        "<StretchNonSquarePixels>StretchToFill</StretchNonSquarePixels>" +
                        "<Items>" +
                            "<PlaylistItem>" +
                                "<Title>To Do Today : Compiled Experience : .NET Development in New Zealand</Title>" +
                                "<Height>400</Height>" +
                                "<IsAdaptiveStreaming>false</IsAdaptiveStreaming> " +
                                "<MediaSource></MediaSource>" +
                                "<VideoCodec>VC1</VideoCodec>" +
                                "<Width>240</Width>" +
                                "<AspectRatioWidth>0.6</AspectRatioWidth>" +
                                "<AspectRatioHeight>1</AspectRatioHeight>" +
                            "</PlaylistItem>" +
                        "</Items>" +

Overall it’s a pretty simple process once you have the tools in front of you. Hope this helps people start creating web pages to showcase your Windows Phone apps.