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Anyone got pointers on what software to use on PCs to edit Flip video and other content?? Thanks!!

Corey

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We actually use the flip camera software to extract the video and save as AVI and then we use Movie Maker or Premier Elements to edit it. I believe going directly to the flip as a shared drive causes Movie Maker errors.
Because of DeepFreeze on our student computers, we do run into a bit of a problem with the Flip cameras. The students can load the Flip software, but then DeepFreeze makes that go away the next day (after a restart). Since MovieMaker works well enough as a video editor, that seems to be the way to go. We had an issue with our MovieMaker program understanding the .mp4 (I think that's waht it was!) format the Flip was saving its files in. I think MovieMaker is supposed to understand that format, but for some reason we didn't have the software needed for that to happen installed in our labs! So you may not run into what we did, and if I'm right about that format compatability, then conversion wouldn't be necessary.

As a short-term solution I used the AVS video converter program that I have on my computer to convert those mp4's to WMV (which is - of course with Microsoft loving Microsoft! - MovieMaker's favorite format). Conversion to WMV is considerably faster than conversion to AVI anyway, so it wasn't too big of a deal to do that. I didn't check to see if Flips have the capability of saving in WMV or AVI rather than the mp4 format at this point. If they do, then all my problems are solved (well, sort of!). We didn't run into any problems importing the WMV files directly from the Flip when using it as a removable USB drive (I had saved them to the Flip after I had converted the files with AVS), but the students did save to a different location - a seperate flash drive - when doing the editing and saving from MovieMaker.

I know you have a few Macs over at R-P, Corey. I would imagine that iMovie (or whatever it's called now!) would be able to handle the Flip's default video format (iMovie always seemed to be a step ahead of MovieMaker for format compatability), but I haven't had a chance to test that theory as of yet!

If conversions have to be done, I think what Jen describes would probably take care of the issue if the students are allowed to load software from a USB device. If your systems are more restrictive for the students, there are some web-based tools that can do audio and video file conversions (zamzar.com comes to mind), even some that can do cloud video editing (tho I've never tried those) - but those web-based converters aren't meant for last-minute solutions and do take some planning because of the upload and download process that has to be done. The AVS software I use isn't free, but it is cheap ($20-$50 depending on what package of AVS software you want) and it's always worked beautifully (and quickly) when I've been in a pinch and it can rip from DVDs and convert that to other formats if you know which files to grab.

Hope that's helpful info, Corey!
Corey,

Have you tried this software: http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/
I might give this a whirl with the flips our district recently ordered and see how it goes. If it works well, I will make it part of the standard install for all the student computers, and likely the staff machines as well.
Did some additional checking, and no version of MovieMaker can handle the mp4 format the Flips use to save their video files. So some kind of conversion has to be done for those files to work with MovieMaker. What I'm wondering is if there's a way for MovieMaker to control the Flip Camera (the same way MovieMaker can control other video camcorders via either firewire or USB (as long as the camcorder driver is installed in the case of USB). Then the video format wouldn't matter - the kids or staff could just import right from the Flip itself. The only drawback (which could be significant) is that doing an import in that manner has to be done in real-time, and takes a bit more "babysitting", but it's another option to consider, I suppose!

I did discover that the Windows 7 version of the Windows Live Movie Maker (the editor that replaced Movie Maker on Windows OS after Vista came out) does support MP4 (if this link is accurate, anyway: Windows Live Movie Maker formats...but that sure doesn't help matters for existing set-ups, the Vista version apparently doesn't have that compatability, and WLMM can't be installed on XP at all.

I'll see what happens with our Flips this summer. I think we get them in shortly after July 1.
That little program worked really well on a leftover MP4 file that I still had on my laptop. Doesn't look like it would be too difficult to use (couple of steps that kids/staff would need to be shown) and it doesn't look like it came with any garbage, or annoying pop-ups or advertisements when run (at least not yet!). I'll give it a few more days of running here and there and see what it does.

Bryan Berg said:
Corey,

Have you tried this software: http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/
I might give this a whirl with the flips our district recently ordered and see how it goes. If it works well, I will make it part of the standard install for all the student computers, and likely the staff machines as well.
We use "Flip Video for Mac" on older flip cameras and import to I-Movie.

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