video

Export movies from iPhoto

Videos taken from your iphone or ipad are imported into iPhoto when you sync your device to iTunes, but it's not very clear how to get those videos out of iPhoto. You can't use the Share -- Email option, because iPhoto only lets you share photos via email.

To share videos over email, export the video as if it were a photo, and iPhoto will convert it to a Quicktime movie format that you can attach to an email or upload to YouTube.

First, sync your iphone or ipad with iTunes, so that your photos and videos are in iPhoto. Open iPhoto and find the video you want to export.

Click the File -- Export menu option and then press the Export button.

How to record shows from a Comcast DVR to a PC

I love my Comcast DVR because it lets me record all my favorite TV shows and then fast forward through all the obnoxious commercials. It has a limited amount of storage space however, so we're continually deciding between which shows will stay recorded and which shows will get deleted.

There have also been many times when I've wanted to save a show to my computer, or to make a DVD for friends to watch - such as the time my friend's son was interviewed on a fund raiser for MD that was hosted by one of our local news stations.

I was able to copy recorded shows from my Comcast DVR to my Windows XP computer fairly easily using a FireWire cable, a few software drivers, and a free video streaming program.

How to record shows from a Comcast DVR to a PC

1. Download software drivers and streaming video recorder.

You can download the necessary drivers and a free streaming video recorder called CapDVHS from this link (with many thanks to the AV Science Forum).

Unzip the drivers and CapDVHS recorder to a folder of your choice on your computer. You will use these in the next step after you connect your DVR to your PC.

You'll also need a software program to view the recorded video file, and the free VLC Media Player handles this nicely.

2. Connect the DVR to your PC with a Firewire cable.

My Comcast DVR is a Motorola DCT6412 that supports dual channel high definition (HD) digital recording. There are 2 Firewire ports on the back side that let you connect to your PC using a standard IEEE-1394 FireWire cable.

How Good is the iPhone 3GS Video Recorder?

Question: Does the new iphone 3gs take decent videos, and are the pictures that much better too?

Answer: Having just purchased an iPhone 3GS a couple weeks ago, I'll answer this first-hand. The photos are much better with the new 3.0 megapixel auto-focusing iphone camera, and the 30 frame-per-second video recorder is surprisingly good.

I'll start with the video. It's easy to take good video when you have a nice steady tripod and a slow moving area to record. But that'd be way too boring.

Instead, how about a front row ride on the Timber Terror roller coaster at the Silverwood amusement park? I happened to be vacationing there this week with my family, and was able to snag a front row seat on this fast and bumpy thriller. Here's the video I took (picture me holding onto the front rail with my left hand and holding even tighter to my new iPhone with my right hand).

Here's the original 39 MB Quicktime movie file that looks quite a bit better then the one that was uploaded to YouTube: timber-terrror-silverwood.mov

Here's the YouTube version:

That's pretty good video quality in my opinion, and the roller coaster ride was a lot of fun too (except for the 2 girls screaming in my ear right behind me).

Videos are recorded in Quicktime .mov format and can be uploaded directly to YouTube from the iPhone, or sent to your friends via email.

Playing Mobile Device Videos on Your Computer

Question: I emailed myself a video I took from my blackberry curve. When i try to play the video on my computer it says it can't find the file extension. What is the deal?

Answer: The deal is that you either need a program installed on your computer that can play the video file, or a program that will convert it to a common video format like Quicktime or Windows Media.

I'll cover both approaches, and will introduce you to some free and low-cost programs that'll handle the video viewing and converting. I'll also show you how to convert Quicktime or Windows Media videos into a format that can be viewed on a Blackberry, iPhone, or virtually any mobile device that supports video.

Video Players

Most computers come with some form of a video player, such as Windows Media Player that plays video files with a .wmv extension. You can also get the Quicktime video player for free from Apple that plays .mp4 video files.

However, videos that are recorded from a mobile device will usually have a different file extension, such as .3GP for movies recorded on Motorola RAZR phones. These videos won't play in Quicktime or Windows Media.

You'll need a video player designed to read the video format that your specific mobile device uses, or better yet - one that can play a wide range of video formats so that you'll still be in luck if you switch phones in the future.

Rather then look for a universal video file player, look for a video file converter. Not only will you get the ability to view all kinds of video files, but you'll be able to convert them to be viewable on other devices or other computer systems like a Macintosh. Two for the price of one.

Video Converters

How to Add Zoom, Pan,and Tilt to your Videos

Videos are one of the most powerful ways to communicate with viewers, and many times the best way to explain something on your computer is to show it in action.

You can make your videos incredibly effective by adding zoom, pan, and tilt features that focus viewer's attention to specific parts of the video.

I've even taken a single powerpoint slide covering the technical architecture of a complex software application, and used zoom and tilt techniques to keep viewers engaged and attentive for the duration of a 5 minute video of that single slide.

Here's how you can add zoom, pan, and tilt to your videos:

You'll need a copy of Camtasia Studio 6.0 or later, and they have a 30-day trial you can download that's fully-featured.

Open Camtasia and click the option to Record the Screen in the Welcome screen. Open your favorite software program and walk through a feature you'd like to demonstrate.

Save the video and then advance to the section in the video where you'd like to add a zoom or tilt effect. I find that any section that I'm verbally describing for more than 5 to 10 seconds makes a good candidate for a zoom and tilt effect.

Click "Zoom-n-Pan" from the Edit menu and shrink the green viewing rectangle to a smaller area of the preview screen. This will create a zoom and pan effect and you can preview it before saving your changes.

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