make a .flv, .mp4, .pdf, .zip, or .mp3 file open a webpage

Posted on 2012-09-11
Last Modified: 2012-09-17
Does anyone know of a way to convert any of the below files to a format that will just open a webpage?  In other words, it acts as a web link.  

.flv, .mp4, .pdf, .zip, or .mp3

I am creating an online course, there is a spot for materials which I can attach in the above formats.  There are several youtube tutorials I want to add.  However, I don't want to download these videos and attach because I want to respect the licensing agreement for online content.  So I will simply LINK to youtube instead.  Rather then provide a text link, there is a fancy menu for attached files I want to take advantage of.  If I can somehow convert a web link to one of the above formats or vice versa, that would be great.
Question by:icecom4
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    In my personal opinion I don't think what you are trying to achieve is really ethical.

    If it was possible it would be misleading to people who tried to open what they thought was a multimedia file or document only to find that it began opening a web page.  I would immediately start worrying and thinking I was about to be infected by a virus.

    The second issue is that the content of different file extensions should match their expected MIME types, eg. a PDF file is recognised as a "application/pdf" file, an MP3 file is recognised as "audio/mpeg", and a ZIP file is recognised by the "application/x-zip-compressed" MIME content type.

    Modern Windows systems tend to check the actual contents of files rather than just the file extension, and if the contents don't match the extension then you have the possibility of AntiVirus programs flagging them as suspicious, the browser blocking the action, or other unexpected results.

    What are you "preparing a course" in?

    Is this a blog where you should be able to "Embed" a video using the appropriate HTML code that fetches the videos from YouTube and displays them within your page?

    If you don't have those type of edit functions, then PDF files allow you to insert Hyperlinks to external content if created in a suitable PDF Editor, but many people like me disable this for security reasons.

    I don't mean to be too discouraging, but I think your proposal is unrealistic and you should just stick with the limitations of the website you are using, and that is to post text links with a description.
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    Adding to BillDL
    would you consider WordPress?
    pdf,  in WordPress  can be embeded with Google Doc Viewer

    .zip files probably FTP to Wordpress
    How to upload file attachment in WordPress?

    With mp3 just add a static image in the background and attach a mp3 to it for a youtube  video otherwise for WordPress  ›  get WPaudio MP3 Player « WordPress Plugins
    How to Embed YouTube Videos in WordPress

    Hope it helps

    Author Comment

    @ Bill

    Perhaps you mean "illegal", as "unethical" implies that I have bad intentions, or plan to deceive or exploit users...which I am not.  You do not have enough information to determine ethical misconduct...Bill.  Now if it is illegal, that would be good to know.  

    @ Merete
    Thanks.  So I prefer not to have any user requirements like word press, but maybe I will explore this.  Regarding making a static link image in an mp3, what would this open, some sort of player?  Would word-press be needed for that?
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    No, I meant unethical.  Maybe you think that is too strong a word and I should have referred to "Internet Etiquette" or something nice and soft sounding, but the fact is that if you have a file named as an MP3 file then that is what users are expecting to receive.

    I would not expect to hear a church minister stubbing his toe and uttering "Jesus Christ" between gritted teeth, because that is unethical behaviour.  If I slip some laxative into somebody's coffee as a practical joke then that is unethical behaviour.  There does not necessarily need to be an element of bad intention to qualify as unethical, however if you disagree with my use of the word then just ignore my advice and do what you want.

    These days most ISPs offer free web space, and in many cases they offer online web page editing tools.  Even though storage space may be limited, all you need are simple pages into which you can embed videos using the YouTube embed code in your HTML.

    If you don't wish to go down that road, then you are stuck with the limitations of whatever site you are using regarding accepted file types, and deliberately bypassing those restrictions by uploading files with the wrong extension is ... well, what word would YOU use to describe this?
    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    I think unethical is a correctly used term;  though I would be more inclined to question the wisdom of doing something that will have a negative impact on user confidence, and create  a presentation that will appear broken and unreliable.  I am tempted to use the word obtuse, but sensitivity to frank descriptions does not appear welcome; so I will just recommend that you consider the likely user response to what you want to do.


    Accepted Solution

    You can relax and put your whistles down, I am simply trying to see if there is a way to embed a url link in any of these formats, or make it execute.  It would be no different than a compressed file launching an exe when unzipped.  I am sure the first person that thought of that got a bunch of static...oh wait Microsoft did it so that means ding!'s suddenly ethical.  
    I explained my purpose, and I am only seeking a safe and existing solution.  I am not asking anyone to hack for me.  Please, get off your stupid unethical bandwagon.    
    Stating "unethical" "unethical" does not tell me if there is a solution.  It only provides a distracting opinion.  

    @ Cob,
    its not going to have a negative impact on use confidence lol.  It will be seamless.  They will click on a file called "Youtube Video" and guess what would happen, a youtube video will play.  Its nothing more than a fancy shortcut.  That's the goal.  I don't mind frankness, just try not to assume.

    You guys forget, the primary goal is to respect the content and property rights of youtubers, otherwise I would just download the video and upload to my site.

    Anyway, I have decided to simply zip the url links, add a message about the content, and the user can just open it and click on the links.  It's one extra step but this should work for now.

    Author Closing Comment

    The "experts" seem to have been distracted with some crazy idea, and had no interest in providing a solution.  Merete had some good ideas, so thanks!  I think my solution is the best for now, considering my goal.

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