Sharing and Discussing Video, Image, Audio, and PDF files in a Work Team, School Class, or Training Course – Asynchronously
Filesharing is nothing new. But the COVID-19 crisis has massively increased the need to share multiple file types and have pinpoint discussions about specific elements of those files. Even more than before, people need to share video, audio, images, and documents and be able to refer to specific moments, text, spots, locations, clips, areas, paragraphs, sections, and so on. Collaborating on all these formats means referring to those areas specifically.
Everyone knows how this works with text. You have a document shared by email or in Google Docs or Dropbox or iCloud or Box or whatever. You click and highlight text and make a comment. Your colleagues reply. Simple.
But many teams work with video, audio, images, and PDFs. We need pinpoint commenting and discussion on all those file types, just like we all do for text.
Tools for collaborating on multiple file types
It turns out there are some specific tools for doing this. For video there are collaboration tools for marketers and for creatives – for making ads and such (frame.io, Wipster, Ziflow, and Vimeo). For audio there are musical and radio-production collaboration tools (ProCollabs, Reaper, Soundtrapv, Kompoz, Soundwhale). For images it’s Adobe or a few others, including for User Interface design (InVision, Moqups, Abstractv). And you can mark up PDFs and edit them in Adobe Document Cloud, a little bit in OneDrive and iCloud and Dropbox, and other tools like Flowpaper, Annotate, and NitroPro.
But teams suffer when they have to use multiple platforms for basically the same purpose. They need one place to share video, images, audio, and PDFs – assuming they share text in Google Drive or OneDrive or other cloud document services.
There are really only four cloud services that let teams collaborate on video, audio, image, and pdf all in one place. Three are built for creative teams in businesses to design, improve, and approve their marketing and advertising campaigns. One is a more general-purpose tool, built originally for learning and training and sports coaching.
One is Filestage.io. It’s a really well-designed product and good value too. Filestage is oriented to approval of assets, so it has a nice approval notification and approval flow, with different reviewers assigned to different stages. The comments can be made in space and in time on video, which is great. One issue with Filestage is how slowly files get transcoded and released for viewing. Even pdfs take a long time. Filestage costs $99/USD per month for 10 team members and 15 active projects, with only 50GB of storage, but external reviewers are free (they can’t upload or make projects, etc.).
Ziflow is similar to Filestage, aimed at the same market. And so is Workfront (formerly ProofHQ). These two are priced for business, so you’re looking at a minimum of $100USD per user per year for the most basic level of service and limited storage. These products are great, but they’re not for the consumer, the private coach, the teacher or professor, a training organization, or a business that wants to monitor its field operations.
A great option for the rest of us is WeVu, which is for sharing all these file types in a different way. It’s simpler and doesn’t have the same level of collaboration features. WeVu was built for education and training. It’s geared for students or trainees or athletes or even field employees to upload files for feedback and review by teachers, professors, trainers, coaches, and supervisors. In lots of ways it’s more flexible than the other three solutions, but doesn’t have the polish and some of the functionality. WeVu doesn’t have location-specific comments on video – only time. But WeVu is a lot more generous on video storage. And there’s even a free plan forever where you store files on YouTube or Dropbox.
WeVu’s flexibility is evident from its many user types:
- Sports coaches working with athletes or teams who self-record and upload for the coach’s feedback
- Teachers wanting students to watch and engage with video
- Health professions: medicine, nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy. People can practice interpersonal or technical skills, do simulations, operate equipment, and upload for feedback and peer discusison.
- Musicians and their teachers
- Businesses that want to record their employees’ performance to make sure they’re doing things right and provide coaching so they get better, or for their field operations to make sure things are done efficiently and safely
- Language learners and language teachers so there can be lots of prompting, conversation, and feedback
Video Sharing and more with WeVu
We think WeVu is your best bet (of course we do!) for sharing video privately, organizing the videos, and having discussions around them. WeVu is really free forever, for a personal site. All users get one free site where they can import YouTube and Dropbox videos. That WeVu site can contain multiple playlists and groups. You can invite as many users as you wish – up to 1000 per site. When you log into WeVu you’ll see your own site and any other sites that you have been invited to. So you can be a site owner in control of one site but also be a member of other sites.
If you want to upload videos directly to WeVu and take advantage of more of its features, like downloading comments and analytics, separating site users into Groups, and so on, you have to sign up for a paid plan, which still comes in signficantly cheaper than the other tools. And if you’re in an educational setting WeVu costs less than almost all other learning technologies.