Adding Videos

Video files are not essential for gameplay, but many people prefer to use them as they definitely enhance the experience of the game. As a result, and this is something that you'll probably want to note, many people make .txt files that match the video version of the song, rather than the album version or the radio edit. Quite often, this doesn't make a difference (music videos normally use the same version of the song in question), but on a number of occasions, it can. For example, when I went to add 'Rock the Casbah' by The Clash, the text didn't match the lyrics towards the end of the song. I added the video version instead, and the problem was rectified.

Many users on USDB won't specify what version of the song their .txt file refers to, so this trial-and-error process can be quite common. It's worth looking at the comments at the bottom of the song. These can quite often be in another language, primarily German. If you don't speak the language, paste the comment into Google Translate, and you can normally get the jist of things. It is often stated which version of the song you're supposed to use.

As well as making the game more fun, adding video files can make obtaining the songs you want much easier. For example, I actually really hate Cheryl Cole's 'Fight For This Love,' the song that I used in my adding songs tutorial, but I decided to put it on there, because some people like it (failing that, a lot of people at least know it), and I want to widen the appeal of my collection as much as possible. I don't want to buy the MP3, because I won't be adding it to my iPod. The sound quality generally isn't as good, but when you and your friends are screeching your hearts out over it, you probably won't notice!

Your first stop for music videos, of course, is YouTube. Using the download helper add-on for Mozilla Firefox, it's possible to download videos in .flv or .mp4 format to your computer. Once you've downloaded and installed this feature, find the video of the song you want, and eventually the (new) icon next to the address bar will begin to move. This means that Firefox has detected the video on the page, and it is possible to download it.

Click on the arrow next to the icon, and select any of the options referring to the video. These vary in quality; I tend to opt for [Medium], as the game will lag if the video file is too big. The video will begin downloading, though you should navigate away from the video on the browser first, or you'll be waiting there all day.

Now that you have the file, you'll also need an mp3 containing the same audio used in the video file (you could try adding the normal mp3 if you like, but getting it to synchronise with the video can be tricky if you want to have a go, the #VIDEOGAP tag in the .txt file specifies when the video should start playing, and this is independent of the normal #GAP tag, which specifies when the audio should start).

There are a number of tools out there for audio conversion: I use Bigasoft Total Video Converter, which is a very useful program for converting a number of different video and audio mediums. Failing that, you can use an online converter by pasting in the relevant YouTube link and downloading the resulting mp3.

Once you have a video and an audio file, place them both in the same directory as your .txt file, and link the two files in the .txt file using the appropriate tabs, for example:

#ARTIST: Cheryl Cole

#TITLE: Fight For This Love

#MP3: Cheryl Cole Fight For This Love.mp3

#VIDEO: Cheryl Cole Fight For This Love.mp4

The next step is to open UltraStar Deluxe and test the song. Does the video file load? If not, make sure you've spelled the filename correctly and used the right file extension. To get the text to synchronise with the lyrics, use the same method with the built-in editor function that I described in the adding songs section.