Thursday, March 1, 2012

Video software: So many tools for so many occasions (WinFF, VLC, Freemake, CamStudio, SDcopy, mts_to_xvid, GSpot, etc.)

It's really out of control, but I guess I can't complain. Most of these programs are free.

One problem is that consumer video cameras like to save video in proprietary formats.

I have one Panasonic camera that saves to MOD files. If you just grab those files off of the camera and open them up on your PC, they lose the widescreen flag and they are squished down to 4:3 format instead of 16:9 that they were shot in. I use a program called "SDcopy" to convert the files to MPG and set the widescreen flag.

I have another Panasonic that saved to MTS files. WTF? Again, I use a program to convert them (mts_to_xvid).

I have a FLIP camera that saved to MP4, which is great. No need for conversion...but.. sometimes Sony Vegas won't recognize the video stream in those files. I'm not sure why, but when that happens I have to convert them. Sometimes I am just converting them to MP4 again, but it usually works in Vegas after I do that.

GSpot is a program I use to get video file info. If I want to know the specs, the codec, etc., this program does it. Pretty nifty.

I use CamStudio to do screen caps for tutorials or to capture streaming video on the web.

WinFF seems to be the all-around best converter in general. If I want to compress a file, or convert files that or not the proprietary files I mentioned above.

I also use Firefogg to create files for HTML5 video (WebM or OGG). I tried using "Freemake Video Converter" for this, and it looked like it was the ticket. It even wrote the HTML for me, but... the video files were crap. That program is good for other things, but my one try and using it for WebM and OGG was FAIL. So I didn't give it another try. I do use it for other conversions and it seems to work fine, so it's not worthless.

I use to use another program to convert to 3GP, but my new phone plays everything, so no more crappy small clunky videos.

I also use to have to convert files for my Sansa media player using "Sansa Media Converter", but again, my blows that away. At one point I did hack my Sansa and installed "RockBox" OS on it and that was way better. It played other formats that didn't have to be converted. That was a great upgrade.

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