Ancestry.com allows users to add video content to their family trees using a simple webcam. This is a great way to capture family history...IF you can convince Granny to sit in front of the computer and relate family lore!
I was looking for an alternate method of capturing family history on video by making short films, editing them into a professional producting, and uploading the completed film to Ancestry.com.
No dice! At present, the website has no provisions for uploading saved video content.
Here is the work-around: Ancestry.com software will recognize a webcam emulator as a valid source. Software products such as "Fake Webcam" (very appropriate brandname) allow you to play a saved video in a way which appears to be streaming video from a webcam. (Learn more about the product at www.fakewebcam.com
, or do a web search for "webcam emulators.")
Once you have your saved family video file cued up in your webcam emulator software, go to your Ancestry.com family tree and click on the "add video" button. You may be asked to select a webcam. If you have a real webcam installed, that will be one of your options...but you need to select your webcam emulator software. Once you have that source selected, begin recording and click "play" in your emulator software.
You may have difficulty at first adding sound to your uploaded video. Fake Webcam, for example, will only stream the video portion of the file to your Ancestry.com recorder. Even though the sound portion of the movie is playing just fine in Fake Webcam, the audio level on the Ancestry.com recorder registers nothing. To get the audio portion of the movie, I bought a cable at BestBuy which has male audio jacks at both ends. By plugging one end into my computer's earphones jack and plugging the other end into the microphone jack, I was able to route sound into the Ancestry.com pickup. After adjusting the recording level so it wasn't too loud, the end product looks good.
To see an example of the results you can achieve, please follow this link to my a movie uploaded for one of the pages on my family tree: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/16957300/person/452656978/vid...
I hope this helps all those frustrated Geneological Videographers out there!