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How to put a clickable link in a video

Updated on February 9, 2013

Putting a clickable link in a video

Click here to see many of my photographs made into ecards and art prints. I've put one image here so that you can see the kind of stuff I photograph.

INTRO

Would you like people watching one of your videos on their computer to be able to click on the video playing on the screen and have the video link to another site that you want to take them to?

Well, it's not difficult to do just that. All you need to do is add an extra track to your video, and that is easy to do using Apple's QuickTime 7 Pro.

There is a version of Quicktime 7 Pro for Windows as well as for Mac OS X, so if you got to this point and thought "oh no, it's just for a Mac", well, no worries, you can run it on a PC.

You are almost certainly familiar with Quicktime, but just in case you are not - well you will find it all over the internet running videos.

It's free to download and most people are running it on their computers whether they are aware of it or not - it's that popular.

But to make get into the driving seat so you can make a clickable link in a video you need the extra tools that come with QuickTime Pro.

And whereas Quicktime is free, Quicktime 7 Pro is not. It costs $29.99 in the United States and £20.00 in the UK and you can buy it online from the Apple Store in both countries.

When Apple brought out their new operating system 'Snow Leopard' in late 2009, they also brought out a new version of Quicktime, but you can still get Quicktime 7 (it is in the 'additional items' folder of the Install Disc) and you can buy Quicktime 7 Pro. It runs fine under Snow Leopard.

With QuickTime 7 Pro you can:

Convert Your Media to a format optimized for online movies, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and other devices.

Create H.264 video, capture audio and video, and create multi-channel audio.

Create 3G Files for Mobile Viewing and output 3G files for RTSP streaming.

Record audio only for adding a voiceover to your video.

All of which is nice if you are making videos, but what you can also do is embed an extra track in the video that enables a clickable link.

The details on how to do it are buried in the 'how to' pages of the Quicktime 7 Pro manual. It's not that it is hard to do; it's just buried in the manual for some reason.

Don't ask me why, because it's useful information - but the important thing is that it is in the manual; it works, and it's not difficult to do.

Before we go any further though, you should know that some sites such as YouTube strip out the link track so it doesn't work with videos uploaded to YouTube.

But you can run a video with a clickable link on your own site and on other sites, such as a blog you are running to attract people to your site, and that includes blogs on Google's Blogger.

In the back of your mind you may be wondering how people who view your video know they should be clicking the video. After all, they are watching a video: But how do they know they should click on it?

Well, if you have an audio track on your video you can tell them. Just say something like "Click on this video to go to .... "

Or you can put a line of text across the screen in the video that says something like "Click on this video to go to ..."

The convenient thing is that putting a text track in the video is easy to do, and you can do it with Quicktime 7 Pro at the same time as you are embedding the clickable link in the video.

OK, that's the introduction - now on to how to do it.

How To Do It

What you are going to do is add some information to the HREF track. The HREF track isn't designed to be seen; it just contains information.

You are going to add information to the HREF track telling the video to become clickable at a certain point and giving it the link information.

You can make it so that the video is clickable at any point if you like, but my personal feeling is that it is better to save up the click until people have actually seen the whole of your video - but it's your choice.

I'm going to describe how to make the link appear at a specific point.

Setting the link is a five-step process and pretty straightforward.

In fact the easiest way to do it, is to get Quicktime 7 Pro, open that and follow along with what the instructions in the Manual says.

Like a lot of things, it's easier to do that to describe. Apple makes a pretty good job of describing how to do it, so here is a run down of the steps so you can see how easy they are:

Because Squidoo reads html, and in order to show the instructions, I have replaced the '<' and '>' marks with '{' and '}'.

Step 1

Open a simple text editor. On a Mac you can use TextEdit. Type in {URL} T{frame}, where the URL is the, pretty obviously, the URL of the site you want to link to. So it might look like this: {http://www.apple.com} T{myframe}

Step 2

Open Quicktime; and select the text file you just made.

Step 3

Export the text file and tell it the time at which you want the link to begin in the movie.

Step 4

Open the movie; find the frame where you want the link to begin, and load the URL.

Step 5

Go through the remaining steps to save the movie with the href track embedded.

That's it. All the details are in the Apple Manual and they all make a lot more sense when you have Quicktime Pro opened. As with a lot of things, it's easier to show than to explain.

So that's it - go get Quicktime 7 Pro and enjoy.

Have fun!

Two Wise Sheep - What sheep knew

What these two sheep knew was that the ground behind me was waterlogged. A minute or two after I took this shot I walked off the road onto the tiny tussocks of grass only to find them slowly give way beneath my weight.

I saved my camera and trudged back to the car - laughing all the way - got in and drove home with squelchy shoes and the tangy smell of acid bog water filling the car.

Great Stuff on Amazon

Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image

      Werner 

      11 months ago

      Is this compatible with Vimeo?

    • profile image

      Jim Lange 

      18 months ago

      I realize that this is an older post, but it seems the directions do not work with QT 7.6.6. Any advice?

      Thank you.

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