All I wanted was a short presentation with embedded videos for the NACDS 2011 conference in Boston. We have iPad’s built into the booth and I thought it would be easy.

I thought it would be slick to do it with Prezi (our favorite presentation software at Orabrush), but the videos didn’t seem to embed with Prezi (probably because doesn’t encode the video during the file creation process, just includes whatever video you give it).

Then I tried adding the mp4 videos via iTunes. Nope. They wouldn’t transfer because they wouldn’t play on the iPad.

I almost had to buy Wondershare’s convertor for $40, but the video team told me that Final Cut files would work. I tried to use the mp4’s from Final Cut rather than from YouTube downloads. Nope.

Our editor showed me how to use Final Cut to create an mp4 with iPad settings. I did that (took hours to encode 5 videos) and then installed the videos onto the iPad.

I downloaded Keynote and created my presentation. When I tried to add the videos to the Keynote, it would only allow me to select from the photo album. So, I went back to the Mac and discovered that I would need to add the videos to iPhoto (that’s intuitive) and sync the iPad again.

Then the videos were available, but as I added them to my presentation, Keynote had to encode them again! More time waiting.

Finally, I had to deploy them to 4 iPads, a couple iPad 2’s and a couple iPad 1’s. Because the file was huge, I had to track down the computer that each iPad syncs to and use a thumbdrive to sync the file. One guy had never synced with iTunes and so his iPad software and iTunes were out of date.

Two days later, I have the slickest presentation that will be at NACDS :)

Would have taken me two hours to do with a regular computer and Prezi.

iTunes is a bloated mess and the shackles of syncing for file deployment make me want to pull my hair out. There has got to be a better way to do this Apple!