Video Software Advice Wanted

As those of you who were online yesterday will already know, I now have the Neil & Amanda videos from the Who Killed Amanda Palmer reading available online. You can see the whole lot here.

But I’m not happy, because the quality of the video isn’t good. What I actually shot (I use a Flip) is excellent, but it comes as AVI files, and YouTube prefers MP4s. Besides, the compression in AVIs is dreadful, so the files would take a year and a day to upload. I have a copy of Cyberlink Power Director, which claims to do conversion and optimization for YouTube, but as you can see the results are not good.

Not being a video expert, I don’t know whether the problem is simply loss of quality through compression, or because the conversion is done badly. I can also see that YouTube now accepts high definition uploads, but the Cyberlink software doesn’t produce the required format.

So I am hoping that someone out there in the great repository of knowledge that is the blogosphere will be able to give me good advice. Do I need different software, and if so what?

Oh, and just to save you all the trouble of doing so, yes, I know, I am a complete and utter moron who would not have any of these problems if only I used a Mac, or Linux, or whatever system you happen to have a religious attachment to. I appreciate your evangelical zeal, but it doesn’t really help.

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3 Responses to Video Software Advice Wanted

  1. Petar says:

    Try Avidemux ( http://www.avidemux.org ), it’s simple and straightforward (well, as much as these things can be…).

    You may need to install some media codecs (x264 and faac).

    When you load a video in avidemux, on the left side you’ll se Video, Audio and Format sections.

    In video, select MPEG-4 AVC (x264), click configure, select two pass – average bitrate, enter 1500 kb/s bitrate [1], and leave everything elese as is.

    In audio, select aac, click configure and chose 128 kb/s bitrate.

    Chose mp4 format, click save, and that should be it.

    [1] or 1000 kb/s, or whatever you’re happy with. Experiment. Lower bitrate = less upload time, but less quality.

    Alternativly, you can choose to use some other video hosting options, such as blip.tv, which leaves viewers option to download original file, in full quality.

  2. You are not a moron. Here is what I would do. Put your Flip on Ebay. Go and purchase a Kodak Zi6 which shoots HD and H.264 format (.mov) which is compressed and ready for youtube. Go to youtube and watch reviews of the Zi6. Around $140 at Wal-Mart. I love this camera.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for the help, guys. I have downloaded Avidemux and will give it a try.

    As to the Zi6, it looks very interesting, but it is listed at £130 in the UK and apparently you have to buy a decent-sized memory card on top of that, so checking it out may have to wait until I can get back to America.

    Of course by then it will be obsolete. And I knew when I bought the Flip that in 6 months it would be old technology. That’s the way these things go.

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