Use QR codes to play video in printed photo book

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by liamwillib, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. liamwillib, Dec 30, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018

    liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    I am finally getting around to creating printed photo books of recent holidays but I also have some great video clips I would love to include. I would like to extend the abilities of the humble printed photo book to enable video clips to play when a printed QR code in my photo album is scanned with a mobile phone. I haven't found much out there on this specific use so I have pieced together an intended workflow. I could use some advise to fill any gaps in my knowledge or tips and tricks to simplify the process. I'll also report back so this can be used as a guide for others who want do do something similar.

    Workflow in short:
    1. Host video online > 2. Create QR code pointing to the video. > 3. Insert QR code in the photo book prior to printing.

    My requirements are maybe 4/5 videos in a 40 page photo book. Be free or a small one off cost. To work for as long as possible without maintenance. Ideally a way to "fix" things if anything goes wrong.

    Workflow in more depth:
    1. Host Video - My initial thoughts were to use the share link straight from my iCloud photo library as the videos are already hosted there. This link however forces the video to be viewed in the person's photos app and adds it to a shared folder in their library. I'm now leaning towards Vimeo or Youtube using an unlisted setting but without password protection. Is this a wise choice in terms of reliability and maintaining a static URL for my video? (*see below why static URL would be important)

    2. Create QR code - This is where things get a little complicated and is a grey area in my knowledge. Most of the services are intended for far more powerful commercial uses.
    • a. Subscribe to a monthly premium QR account that allows you to use a dynamic QR code and manage and update the URL if it somehow changes. (Violates one of my requirements as I haven't found a free dynamic one yet.)
    • b. Use a free static QR code that points to a single URL for the video, (I believe indefinitely). But then if my video host rebrands or for some reason changes the URL, my printed QR code is now useless. I have come up with a further step to use a URL shortener that allows me to manage the target URL for the location of the video. That way the static QR code always points to the non-changing shortened URL and there is only an admin task to direct my shortened URL to a new target if anything goes wrong with the URL for my video. (are you still with me?!?) After looking at a few of these, is recommended but it only allows me to manage the links if I pay a subscription. I have come across that claims to be a free url shortener and QR code generator in one, however they don't have the best reputation as they are regularly used to conceal websites in phishing scams; is this concern justified? (They are also taking a while to send me a validation email to sign up as a user and test them out)
    • c. I could rely on low tech final backup and use a free static QR code. If the link breaks I print a new QR code on a sticker and put over the top of the old one. A far less slick option! Am I getting too caught up in the possibility of my Video URL breaking....?

    3. Photo book - Finish and order the photo book, having tested the QR code first! I am keeping the photo book production simple and using the new Motif plugin for apple's Photos app where my photo library already exists.

    Any advise on my process or experience using the specific services I am intending to use would be much appreciated. Fingers crossed that the advise isn't "don't bother"!!
  2. harriska2 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2011
    It seems that trying to share a video out in the world via icloud isn’t possible but google drive does have a free permanent (ish?) link for your files that you set as make public with link. QR codes can contain a website link. Should be easy to test, there are plenty of sites that generate a qr code. I would use google drive to host the file with the “make public with link” option. If the link breaks you can put a backup link that you can control that can be redirected. I own my domain names and can create a redirect on my virtual host at about $50 a month.

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