The Road To Bankruptcy - Starting A Youtube Channel
So about 2 years ago I had the idea to start a Youtube channel. It was born out of the frustration that my current role has me pigeon holed to such an extent that I am learning nothing and it feels like there is no way for me to progress to a level that would allow me to learn anything. After about 6 months of debate I registered the itsnppets.co.uk domain name, purchased the hosting and had a platform.
Great! For Around £100 I had my platform, so the road to riches was within my grasp!. Well no. Not Even close. I'm around £100 down, for the cost of the hosting but I was time poor. While my current job doesn't stimulate my brain, the combination of the work, the lack of sleep due to the shifts and trying to have a 'normal life' means I struggled to find time to research content.
But even before this, the cracks were already showing. I intended to create my channel on the most flimsy of budgets.. I.e.... spend little to no money on it. This proved a disaster from the start.
I was using a Bush webcam with built in mic. The bush webcam was one of the first HD (so 720p) cams on the market.. and it showed. But as I did not initially intend to be on cam this wasn't an issue, the mic on the other hand that was build in that I was using. It sounded like I was in a divers helmet and was talking from it at about the same depth as the Titanic. So I needed new microphone.
Of course I intended to do budget, but it soon became clear that outside of the XLR set-ups there were only 2 real choices.. The Blue Snowball and the Yeti. Both of which don't really fall into the budget category. That's not to say they are expensive, but when your goal was to use what you had and then find out that it wont work and you need to drop £100ish on a mic its crippling. So after much debate I now have a Blue Yeti.
With the Yeti hooked up I managed to record a few videos, of these videos only one makes it to the channel (I've got possibly 20 gigs of MP4 videos that have at this point and time been rejected) and a bill for my channel for the hosting and mic now at £200
I spend the next little while, working on the logo for the channel and trying to standardise things, this was really a fools errand but made sense at the time. I now have a standard logo, intro and thumbnail. So I'm learning to edit in iMovie (for no other reason than I have a mac sitting gathering dust and its free), the learning video editing part was my main reason for stating a channel, so I would learn something and hopefully in turn teach people some of the skills I've honed over the last 2 decades.
Then.. my monitor dies. So again, shopping about and being frugal, I pick up another 1080p monitor. in fact I pick up 2 as I believed video editing would be easier on 2. Which it is, except iMovie like most Apple products (like their latest laptop the Donglebook Pro) is gimped to only work on one monitor (forcing you to upgrade to Final Cut if that is required.).
So channel running total at this point is £440. Nearly half a grand and I've got maybe 2 or 3 videos up and have yet to make it to double figure views on the channel let alone a video.
The problem then became that I had spent this money, put in all this work and for what? less than 10 lifetime views? However I'm stubborn so I persevere. I try various free and trial screen capturing software and none of it really works for me, so I purchased a Avermedia LPG Lite capture card. This was a godsend and a curse at the same time
The capture card was £120 (running total £560), but I needed some more HDMI cables (£20), a USB switch (£20) and since I found out that EVERYTHING output from the mac mini's HDMI port is HDCP protected (even the desktop..) a HDMI splitter to remove the HDCP. (£25).
So... £625 spent on hardware. I started looking at video editing software for the PC. I'm against renting my software so that put Adobe's suite out, I didn't want to spend a fortune so was stoked when I found PowerDirector. This allowed me to edit on on the pc and of course, PC's have Cuda cores for rendering video faster on their graphics cards so they are blazing fast compared to a mac. I was about to pull the trigger on a PowerDirector purchase when I noticed something odd. It severely dropped the quality of my recorded video. Text on screen in spite of being 1080p looked like the old school pirate VCD's of the past.
I checked the raw footage from Avermedias RecCentral recording software, as flaky as this application is (and I can crash mine at will so its very flaky) its recorded video was pristine. I opened the files in iMovie, exported them and again the output was pristine. It seemed that PowerDirector wasn't happy with the video. I couldn't at that time put my finger on it.
I believe that issue now to have been that the software outputs as variable bit rate and frame rate. Anyway, while researching this issue I found unofficial versions of Avermedias Rec Central software that used a software patch to remove HDCP (darn it.. I could have saved some £'s by not buying the splitter) but the constant crashing of Rec Central (if I tried to monitor audio) left me looking for a solution that would come in the form of OBS (and stay tot his day).
So by this point I've spent a LOT more money on my channel, and as of yet have a handful of videos to show for it. I'm trying to stick by the motto 'Build it and they will come'.