Sunday, August 17, 2008

The pitfalls of getting my videos on to YouTube

I have a JVC Everio GZ-MG37E camcorder. I came by this natty little HD camcorder while in Fuerteventura, hob nobbing with conmen. I found reason to rue the purchase when I discovered that JVC, for indecipherable reasons, uses its own proprietary file format with which to record the video files.

Although software was provided, it didn't suit me. The guidance notes looked awfully basic. It didn't take me long to find out that the files I transferred to my PC wouldn't play in standard media programs.

I discovered that Adobe Premiere supported the file format. I installed Premiere on my little laptop and downloaded files taken in Paphos, Cyprus to work up. But the laptop memory didn't seem adequate to handling the app with any sort of speed.

What next? Obviously, a little online research. To my horror, the results show that it's a real pain in the backside to work with JVC files, both in Windows and OSX .

It's taken me a year to get round to sorting out this mess. I used the JVC Everio to record clips of the Great Jogle last year, but never got round to downloading the video. I went online again last week to search for solutions, and bless him, someone called rukhsana photograpy had posted all the information that I needed, to the moviecodec forum.

For Windows XP (yes, I haven't changed to Vista yet), you need to download and install a converter named SUPER ©

Then you may well need k-lite which is also downloadable from this site. Installation warns you that Real Player will be uninstalled, and that the k-lite 3-2-1 media player becomes the default on your computer.

After installing these programs, I converted the JVC .MOD format files to .avi and the soundtrack to .mp3, and successfully put together a video subsequently uploaded to YouTube.

However, there's always a however. I can no longer edit movie clips taken from my Canon G9 camera in Windows MovieMaker. Whenever I try, Visual Studio homes in with an error warning about debugging, and if I cancel, MovieMaker closes immediately, saving absolutely nothing.

All the video files on my super laptop converted automatically by virtue of the codec pack. Fortunately, I have backup copies of the more important ones elsewhere.

I have yet another option, which is to use iMovie on my Mac Book, but wouldn't you know, iMovie does not natively support the JVC file format.

The solution is to use a Mac OS X droplet called DropDV. Something I have yet to try out.

I am seriously inclined to uninstall Super and K-lite from Windows now that I have got my essential files sorted out, and providing DropDV works on the Mac without any problem.

In the meantime, I also finally imported video from tape on my mini-DV camera into iMovie and was relieved to be able to broadcast two videos of me singing at 'How to Get On In Society!' in Leicester last year just yesterday. It's only taken me 11 months!