First Experiences with iMovie and

I’ve spent part of today converting the digital video of the Zap Your PRAM conference into web streams. I’ve been dumping the MiniDV tapes that Dan recorded using Kelly’s Canon ZR25 digital video recorder into my iMac using a fireware cable.

I’ve been using iMovie on the iMac to chop the video up into bits, add titles, and dump back out as QuickTime files that, eventually, silverorange will strap to their infinite bandwidth.

iMovie’s great: simple, quick, flexible. Of course I immediately want to go out and buy Final Cut Express for the extra features.

But here’s the thing about digital video, the secret that everybody knows but nobody talks about: it’s not really digital.

It may very well be that the Canon camera is storing video as bits and bytes on the digital video tape. However to slurp that video into my computer, while it happens “digitally” from a quality perspective, happens “analogly” when it comes to timing. To get 1 hour of digital video from camera into computer takes 1 hour. There’s no digital bump.

This is a step ahead?

Perhaps — I haven’t looked — there are video cameras that record on hard disks or flash cards that can be instantly, quickly mounted on a desktop. We sure need them.

Until that point, with the delay to slurp on the front end, and the delay to compress and encode on the back end, it’s a wonder anybody ever gets anything done in the digital video world. I guess they’re all just very, very patient.


Jevon's picture
Jevon on October 30, 2003 - 05:13 Permalink

I /think/ that the speed is 1:1 in order to making “clipping” easier while the video comes in. On the camera I have, dubbing into my powerbook is an option, but then I have to go back and clip the video all over again anyway, so unless I know what I want already, it’s just as easy to do it when it is streaming in,

Ken's picture
Ken on October 30, 2003 - 18:11 Permalink

Video is the last frontier in the world of Personal Computing. Video tests the limits of our systems both in terms of size, speed, and standards. One day I suppose FireWire will be as passe as RS232 is now, what I wonder will test the limits then? Braindumps?