Friday, September 18, 2009
Editing footage from Flip Ultra HD
I love my Flip Ultra HD camcorder .. it's tiny, it's sturdy and the video looks and sounds great. Image stabilization would be nice but it is such a big upgrade from the previous little videos from inside my still camera, and so shockingly easy to use compared to my mini dv camcorder.
But ... editing the footage with any level of sophistication is impossible! The Flip comes with Flip Share software that is so busy automating everything for you that you lose all control over your content. Very hard to even find the files and the software won't give you the filenames, duh. Somehow, this makes me feel insulted, like the software designers thought I'd use this information for no good so it must be hidden from me, like candy from a child.
None of my current programs can edit mp4 files so I have to convert them. Finding the file info so I could tweak my settings proved impossible since Flip Share doesn't share this and my other programs just spit the mp4 out. After a tedious conversion in Super I take the footage (which was tucked into a weird directory called data) and edit it in Virtualdub but now I've discovered something compressed it too much so I have to go back and do it again with new settings. Grrrr.
The goal of much of this is so I can keep the audio intact as the Flip Share "upload to the web" option encodes it in a way that distorts the audio. A concert in a noisy room suddenly has the ambiant voices enhanced to pop out, for example. So I need to control these things. Generally I also make sure I upload flv files to YouTube since their audio encoder bugs me too. And some footage needs cropping and level adjustment so the only software I have that can do that easily is Virtualdub, which wants avi files please.
I'm also going to try uploading high definition video to YouTube which means, primarily, that I'll keep the aspect ratio intact. Maybe I can just cut some bits in Flip Share and hope for the best for the sound ... later note: this worked well. Took long but plays backs nicely.