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Inspiration Lab - General Technology Skills

This guide is home to a few tutorials for basic skills that will be useful for patrons of VPL's Inspiration Lab.


To store and share your projects online look into sites with social media and display platforms designed to share digital projects with the internet while storing them. These sites are more likely to be content specific, meant for sharing particular kinds of projects. Before sharing your media or using other people's media please read and understand the terms of agreement of the sharing site you are using and, more generally, copyright and creative commons licences.

Storing and Sharing Video Projects

YouTube logo

YouTube is the largest video sharing site online, that can also assist with video projects from beginning to end. Using YouTube Capture and YouTube Editor, simple videos can be shot, edited, and uploaded straight to your YouTube channel. Videos edited using other software can also be uploaded directly to YouTube.

By default, videos uploaded to YouTube must be less than 15 minutes long. This limit can be extended to 128GB (approx. 11 hours long) by verifying the account using a mobile phone account.

To use YouTube, you must create an account and maintain a channel. If you already have a Google account (Gmail, Google Drive, etc.) YouTube will connect to your Google account without additional information.

Videos uploaded to your YouTube account can be uploaded and downloaded from your account as needed, so it can act as an online storage tool as well as a sharing platform. Videos can be made public, private, or accessible only by those given a direct link to the video.

YouTube will put ads before some videos to offset free account subscription and upload costs.

Another video sharing option is Vimeo – a service that does not put ads in front of videos, but offers a freemium subscription model (basic account is free, but users can pay a fee to upload more content and have access to more advanced features).

The Vimeo Basic (free) account allows users to upload 500 MB/week or up to 25 GB/year.

Vimeo does not have recording or editing tools and only acts as a storage and sharing platform.  Like YouTube, Vimeo allows you to decide who gets to watch videos that you upload (public, private, shared link only).

Storing and Sharing Photos and Images

There are sites specifically for uploading and sharing pictures online. One of the most popular is Flickr, others include: Snapfish, Photobucket, and Shutterfly. All of these services offer various levels of storage space and sharing features. Some also offer printing and delivery services.

Flickr allows up to 1 TB of photos and short videos (up to 3 minutes or 1 GB) to be uploaded to a free user account. These uploaded files can be made public or private and can be protected by a number of licensing and sharing options.

There are several sites designed to share non-photographic visual art projects with a community of users. DeviantArt is the most popular option with 32 million registered users. Other options are ArtriftShadowness, and the CGSociety.

Storing and Sharing Audio Projects

There are a number of sites dedicated to storing and sharing audio projects. Some of these sites focus on music, while others allow a variety of audio projects (podcasts, spoken word, slam poetry, etc).

Users who wish to create and sell music may be interested in services like Bandcamp that allow artists to upload tracks and full albums to sell downloads of their work. Uploading creative content to Bandcamp is free, but Bandcamp will keep a percentage of proceeds (a commission) from those sales. There is also a "Pro" account that offers more features like a domain name for your band, batch uploading, and ad-free listening for your fans.

The most popular site for audio sharing of various formats is Soundcloud. With a free account, creators can upload up to 3 hours of content. Soundcloud allows for audio to be integrated and shared in websites via widgets and has access to a large community of users who upload and share content.

Some other options for sharing audio projects are Mixcloud, Mixcrate, and Grooveshark.

Sharing - YouTube, Soundcloud, Flickr

The sharing and social media sites all have similar interfaces when uploading projects. Many of them will allow for drag and drop like the general storage sites. Some also have options to create video or audio projects straight on the site through external microphones or connected cameras. Again, these project files can often be quite large, so make sure that you are monitoring your upload. Do not disconnect from the computer, close the window, log off, or shut the computer down while an upload is in progress.


"Upload" button in top right hand side of browser window.


Upload button on top right hand side of browser window.


Upload button on top left hand side of browser window.