Sunday, November 16, 2014

So much damn work...and Eryn plays soccer at age 9

I have a handycam that's as old as my daughter.  A little older because we bought it to film her, so it's easy to determine an age.  That makes it old tech with it's hi8 tapes and firewire and subpar USB that records video but not sound, which I could probably fix with multiple wires, but that seems fraught with all sorts of other issues.  There was a time, many many years ago - more than half a decade - when the firewire worked and I copied over some of the videos directly.  But now the firewire doesn't work and, as near as I can tell, it's that it simply refuses to work with the "newer" version of Windows XP on the similarly old desktop machine and the Win7 laptop doesn't support firewire at all (without a converter).  I thought perhaps it was just the firewire or me, but there's a lot of noise out there about SP2 for XP shutting down firewire for folks.  So how to get videos off the two dozen tapes of Eryn we have and onto the web or at least somewhere we can store them as we don't know how long the tapes will last.

My process.

1.) Hook up the handycam to the DVD-R recorder.  Fortunately the DVD recorder has an HDMI connection and I have piles of DVDs I intend never to use.

2.) Replace the battery in the remote because the DVD recorder is unusable without a remote.  2b.) determine that the appropriately-company-labeled remote you put a new CR 2025 battery into is NOT the correct remote.  It's the remote for a very old portable DVD player that no longer exists or that's squirreled away somewhere.  Find the right remote.  It never needed a new battery.

3.) Hook up the handycam to the DVD recorder and hook up the DVD recorder to the TV for visual detail.  Play and record at real time.  15 minutes for this video.  An hour for most of them.

4.) Finalize the DVD.  Have to look up how to do it because it involves pushing stop, then up or down, then finding finalize.  If it's not finalized, it doesn't seem to work in a PC drive.

5.) Haul the DVD with the .VOB files on it upstairs to the Win7 laptop.  I could haul the laptop down, but it too is showing it's age and the battery is all but gone.  Still, I might do that going forward to save the walking involved.  Who wants to walk up and down the stairs?

6.) Drag the .VOB file/s into Windows Live Movie Maker.

7.) If there's only a 15 minute file all about one topic, then it's not so bad.  The resulting WMV is huge - I did HD first and it was a gig and climbing at 50% - about 550 megs for 15 minutes, but it's all one process and you can walk away and do something else.  If it's a LOT of clips, then you have two options.  a.) start and stop the DVD recorder + camcorder as they're running to generate multiple VOB files.  Or b.) Once the file is in Moviemaker cut and paste and edit repeatedly to generate multiple clips.

8.) When it's edited and the WMV is generated, upload to somewhere.  Don't keep 24 tapes x 2 gigs on the laptop - that starts to get a little full.  The system is screaming for remote backup or backup to an array.  Or, and I feel this is the right way to go, a new desktop with 2 gigs off storage so I can centralize, decommission, and back up from one location.

9.) Review the details on Youtube after 2 hours of uploading for one file.  I did learn when I put times in the YouTube description, such as 14:00, it'll autolink to those times.  My wife made this video and at 15 minutes, there are only really three places Eryn has a big part, one of them right at the end (about minutes 14 when she's scored against).

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