VideopluginOne of Windows Live Writer’s biggest downfalls is that it does not allow users to insert videos before publishing articles, or maybe it is just me. Every time that I try embedding the video into the HTML code of a post it gets screwed up. What seems to happen when I try to do it is that Windows Live Writer (WLW) butchers the code in an attempt to “clean” it up. So how can we get around this?

Scott, from LiveSide, has taken the liberty to make a plugin that will make this chore a lot easier. He says that the plugin will work with video sites like MSN Soapbox and YouTube so that embedding the video code is a piece of cake. There’s a small little catch though…the plugin is still in the Beta stage so he is just looking for some people to test it out right now. If you want to join the testing process you’ll need to email him at the address he provides on the post.

I shot off an email to test this out myself and received a reply with the file attachment just 15 minutes later. All you have to do to “install” the plugin is extract the DLL file from the archive, and then drag that into the WLW plugin directory (typically C:\Program Files\Windows Live Writer\Plugins). After doing that I opened up WLW and noticed the “Video” option under the Insert menu and another one in the sidebar. I copied the URL of a YouTube video into the text box and it instantly recognized it (pictured above). Then I inserted the video into the post and it actually had the preview window for the video so it is easy to see what it really looks like. Thanks Scott for making a terrific plug-in! Oh yeah, and it only works for a limited number of services, but it covers the most popular ones:

There is also an older version of this plugin available for anyone who feels that they can’t wait for the email from Scott, but there are some known issues at the bottom of that post.

I actually haven’t heard much about WLW plugins so I thought I would start searching around to see what others might have been released that I didn’t know about. To my surprise I came across a site that is dedicated to WLW plugins, and I thought I would point out some of the ones you might find useful:

  • Flickr4Writer – Insert Flickr images.
  • Tag4Writer – Insert Technorati tags.
  • Currently Listening – Insert what song(s) your currently listening to while you blog.
  • Ink Blog – Tablet PC users will now be able to insert “ink” into their posts.
  • Syntax Highlighter – Adds color to code that you publish based on the syntax. This is great for anyone who is trying to explain how to code something.
  • Insert Simple Table – Does exactly what it says…let’s you insert a table into your post.
  • Insert Links Smartly – Will automatically enter a URL that’s on your clipboard into the Link field. You won’t be able to use the built-in hyperlink functionality that WLW has to make this happen. Instead you will have to choose the “Insert Link Smartly” option from the Options menu if you want to use it.
  • Text Template – You can store text or HTML snippets that you frequently insert…this is a definite time saver!
  • Insert Quick Links – This actually pulls up an embedded browser so that you can quickly navigate to the URL that you want to enter in. After you arrive at the site you’re looking for just hit OK.