How To Load Your Video Book Manually
It is more than possible to load your video book manually, or to update the video files on your existing book.
The easiest method of loading your book is to visit a special area of our video book builder: https://make.sendheirloom.com/local
It can be challenging to convert videos to the correct format to put on our books. Even more complex, if your video book has its screen oriented vertically, it will require rotating the video to have it play correctly. The easiest method to handle these issues is to just use our site, which will automatically convert your files, and deliver you a video ready to be transferred to your book. It will also provide you with the instructions you need to transfer the video.
Legacy Manual Method
If, for some reason, you can't use our site, here is how you might convert and transfer your videos manually:
(optional) Create a Slideshow
While our editor can accept photos and automatically make a slideshow for you, our video books don't accept image files directly. If you'd like to include image files on your video book, and you intend to load it manually, you must convert your photos into a slideshow. There are many excellent ways to do this, including using Google Photos or Apple Photos on your computer or phone. These tools often have built-in methods of converting a selection of photos into a slideshow video our books can accept.
Encode Your Videos
When you upload a video to our web-based builder we automatically convert it into a format compatible with our video books. If you intend on loading your book manually, you must make that conversion.
We recommend using the free video conversion software Handbrake. After downloading and installing that software, select your first video file within the program.
We will make two setting changes:
First set the Format to "MP4", and check the "Web Optimized" box: Then navigate to the "Dimensions" tab, set the "Resolution Limit" to "Custom", and enter 854 x 480 as the dimensions:
Finally, click "Start":
After a few minutes, your file will appear in the folder specified at the bottom of the program. Commonly this is in your "Movies" or "My Movies" folder.
Attach Your Book
Use the mini-USB cable which was included with your book to attach it to your computer. If you can't find this cable, you may contact us for a replacement. Please note this is not the more common 'micro-USB' cable, mini-USB is its own (somewhat less popular) size.
After a few moments your book should appear connected to your computer. These photos use Mac OS X, but the experience is very similar on Microsoft Windows.
Remove Any Existing Videos
Your book will very likely have an existing video file within the Video folder. Navigate to that folder, and delete the existing file.
Add Your New Video File
Drag-and-drop the video file Handbrake outputted into the Video folder on your book. You may also copy-paste the file into this folder.
Eject Your Book
Before unplugging your Video Book it's critical that you eject it from your computer.
After ejecting, unplug your book and enjoy!
If your manually-loaded book doesn't play properly, we can help!
"NO FILE!!!" Error
This error indicates that your video book hasn't been able to find any playable files. Please ensure your video file is correctly encoded, is an mp4 file, and that it's within the "Video" folder on the device. Please also ensure you correctly ejected the device before unplugging it.
"Invalid File Format" Error
This error indicates one or more files on your video book don't appear to be playable movies. Please ensure only properly-encoded mp4 files are on your device. If this is the case, it is possible that hidden files were placed on your video book by your operating system. This is commonly done by operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It can be challenging to remove all of these files, as they are often automatically recreated. Unfortunately some versions of our video books attempt to play these files as videos, and fail. If this is the case, please contact us to receive a replacement book.
If you get a black screen when you open the cover of your video book, the most common cause is it's not charged. Please connect the book to a wall adapter or computer for approximately one hour before trying again.
Videos Appear Rotated or Upside Down
Do you have a book with a vertical screen (the screen is mounted such that it is taller than it is wide)? If you do, videos must be rotated before they will appear on the screen in the correct orientation. You can rotate your video by following the same Handbrake instructions as above, experimenting with the Rotate setting in the Filter tab:
If your book has a horizontal orientation, it's still possible that your videos orientation is not being correctly read. Try reencoding the video with the various rotate settings.
We are here to help with any other issues you may experience! Please contact us and we will be of assistance.