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Cheesy Test Video And Setup Info

We have spent a lot of time working on the video editing process and here is the first fruit of our efforts.

Setup

For now the setup will be using what we have available. It's not ideal but it works. We will be capturing video from a JVC GR-DVL505U mini dv camcorder. However, since it does not have a mic input, we will be sending the video via firewire to an laptop running Kanotix. We will be using dvgrab to capture the video in raw qt format. Audio will be fed through a Peavey PV6 mixer before it is captured separately in Audacity on the same laptop and at the same time as the video.

Editing and Rendering

The raw qt file is so huge that the old laptop we are using can't keep up when you try to play it. So we will be editing it on Aaron's gaming PC which normally runs Windows. Since we are trying to keep this all open source we decided to use a live cd to do the editing with. First we converting one of the NTFS partitions to FAT32 so it can be easily read and written to from Linux. Then we had to find a decent Live CD that had video editing tools already loaded. Linux +Live fit the bill perfectly. As it turns out, until there is something better we will be using Cinelerra for the video editing. Although the learning curve is a little steep, nothing else comes close to a free open source professional video editing tool for Linux at the moment. We found it to be very much like Adobe Premier for the most part and it supports H.264 although we could not seem to get that to work. Once the editing and initial rendering are complete, it's time to compress the resulting file down to size. We ended up using Videora's Ipod Converter to make sure the format was correct. Unfortunately, Videora only runs on Windows. Videora uses ffmpeg behind the scenes for the conversion which is the tool that we would like to use once we figure out what the best codecs and settings are. If you know the best way to use ffmpeg to convert video files to an format that the video IPod will support, please post it in the forums.

Testing And Final Results

When it was all said and done we ended up with a fairly decent file that was about 8 seconds long and took up under 500K of storage. At that rate we feel we can do a 40 minute show with a file that is something around 150MB which is pretty good. If anyone has a video IPod that they could test this with we would really appreciate it! Maybe one of us will get lucky and get one for Christmas, but for now we will have to rely on the user community to tell us whether this works or not. A video IPod format seems to be the way to go, but if there is demand for another format we can do that as well. Of course, there will always be the mp3 and maybe ogg versions which simplify the whole thing immensely.

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