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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

I’ve been thinking about getting a new video camera to replace the aging Sony MiniDV camera I’ve had for about five years. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of life left in my old MiniDV recorder and it’s pretty doubtful I’ll buy a new one anytime soon. But, for those of you out there contemplating a new camera, I’m offering some advice.:First, any new camcorder must shoot high definition (HD) format video. That starts at resolutions of 1024 x 768 and tops out at over 4096 x 2160! Understand that the larger resolutions will put more pressure on an older computer when editing time rolls around so you may end up needing a beefier computer. That’s because a higher resolution image requires your computer to push around more pixels during the editing process and some computers just aren’t up to the task. Caveat emptor. I also recommend the camera save movies to one of those new SDHC memory cards instead of a tape or hard drive. This will allow quicker editing and post-production since all that needs to be done is to slap the card into a card reader and copy to your editing program. Add also an optical zoom (forget digital zoom, the quality sucks) of at least 10X starting at a true wide-angle (equivalent to my beloved 24mm f/2.0 lens from the days of shooting daily newspaper assignments) and have it made by Carl Zeiss (the German manufacturer of some of the world’s best optics) while you’re at it. For imaging purposes, look for cameras with more than the single CCD (the charge coupled device, or chip, that captures the image from the lens and converts it to ones and zeroes) that comes with most sub $1000 cameras. Look for a three CCD model for better, sharper imaging in low light situations. You should be able to find several out there under or close to $1000.Start your online shopping safari at Amazon, read the reviews and do your comparisons there. Buy at BH Photo or Adorama.That’s a lot to chew on for one sitting. I’ll be adding more features for my dream camcorder in future posts — d


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After researching/googling most of the morning, I came up with my own system for grabbing audio from a DVD I own. It’s quite simple really and here’s my notes:

To grab audio tracks from DVDs, follow these instructions:

Using the OSEx application:

First, demux/extract only the audio with OSex, splitting the audio into one file per chapter (usually an individual song in music videos):

After starting OSex and inserting your music video DVD, make sure the correct title is selected by clicking on the ‘Ti’ button.

Click on the ‘Vid’ button an deselect the video stream(s).

Click on the ‘Aud’ button and select the appropriate audio stream (usually 2 channel AC3).

Click on the ‘Fmt’ button and select ‘Elem. streams’.

Click on the ‘Seg’ button and select ‘Chapter’ to split the audio by track in separate files.

Click ‘BEGIN’ to start audio extraction.

The resulting AC3 files can then be converted to AIFF, WAV, MP3 or other formats with a tool like mAC3dec. It’s pretty straightforward.

Take the AC3 files and open them in Quicktime Pro (only the Pro version will allow this). From QT Pro, export to AIFF, 44.1 kHz at a sample rate of 16bit. I compared 16bit with 8bit and 16 is the way to go.

This will give you a high-quality AIFF file that only needs converting to MP3 and ID3 info added. Use iTunes to convert AIFF file to MP3 using highest quality setting.

To add ID3 info: Using the id3 editor application, globally change artist and album name, add cover art grabbed from Amazon, then manually enter the song names. If they show up as the file names in iTunes, select the song then choose “get info” when right clicking on the song in the iTunes library. This will switch it back to the song title added via ID3.

And that’s pretty much it. Hope this saves others the time I burned over a black coffee (decaf, dammit) on a Sunday morning. The results were worth it and of high quality. Again, this is the very reason I switched from a PC to MAC. I daresay I accomplished this feat much quicker with my iMac!

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