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Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs

Genie 04 Jan 09 - 05:47 PM
Genie 04 Jan 09 - 09:27 PM
Will Fly 05 Jan 09 - 05:54 AM
Mr Red 05 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM
Nick 05 Jan 09 - 08:33 AM
Nick 05 Jan 09 - 08:51 AM
Jack Campin 05 Jan 09 - 09:37 AM
richd 05 Jan 09 - 09:55 AM
richd 05 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM
Genie 29 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM
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Subject: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 05:47 PM

I have a couple of questions concerning preserving music and music videos and making them usable by people with different operating systems.

I've made a number of iMovie videos of music performances using my MacBook and I have two major concerns.   First, I desperately need to get these transferred to DVD and/or stored as data files that could be later burned as DVDs playable on DVD players.   I want to do that anyway, but the need is pressing right now because these movies take up so !^*#%!^&*@! space on my hard drive that I can hardly do anything else (much less record more movies).

I've "exported" several of these in .m4v format and burned them to CD and to an external hard drive.   So I could now delete the primary "event" from iMovie as well as the thumbnails and "projects."   But I don't know whether videos in the .m4v format can play on most DVD players and/or if they're readily convertible to other formats that can.

(I also have the option of "exporting" and saving my videos using QuickTime and/or exporting them as "Final Cut" (XML) files.    Are there advantages to doing either or both of those?

And if I've saved a video, say, in .m4v format as a data file on CD, can that be readily converted and burned to DVD as a playable video?   Or would I need to work from the original iMovie "event" or "project" or "thumbnails."

(I'd also love to know why iMovie keeps taking it upon itself to generate thumbnails of stuff that I've thrown away -- or at least tried to, but that's a whole nuther issue perhaps.)

The other question I have is whether there's any good reason not to use a blank "Photo CD" for storage of music and/or regular data files?    I'm out of the ordinary blank CDs but I have a slew of Maxell Photo CD-R Pro CDs that I got for 12 cents apiece and I don't have that many photos I need to put on CD.   Are Maxell Photo CD-R Pro CDs better than plain-old CDs for preserving music files, worse, or pretty much the same?

Any help from you tech nerds would be greatly appreciated. I really need to burn a lot of stuff to CD and/or DVD so I can clear out my hard drive.

Oh, and I just found out that putting stuff on YouTube doesn't make any space available on my 'puter.   I have to keep the original on my hard drive (or, presumably, on another website) or it will disappear from YouTube.

Which leads me to one more Q:   Are there free online storage sites for music and video files -- comparable to PhotoBucket or SnapFish, but for music and video?

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Subject: Tech: Question re videos from FSGW, etc.
From: Genie
Date: 04 Jan 09 - 09:27 PM

I didn't have much room to put this in the thread title, but I should mention that most of the music videos I'm trying to get onto DVD and/or on an accessible website are videos from folk music camps, many of them from the 2008 FSGW Getaway.

So I'm hoping to get these tech issues resolved so I can at least send a DVD to Dick and/or Amos and/or Joe Offer. Then I hope we can make the videos available at least to the people who are in them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 05:54 AM

Hi Genie - several comments:

1. Why does YouTube clear your movies out? I've had stuff on there for over 2 years and never lost a one yet? And I don't pay any cash to them...

2. I have always used iMovie HD. When I got a new Mac Book Pro some months ago, it came loaded with the latest version of iMovie - which has been condemned as crap by many computer reviewers, and I heartily concur with them. The original iMovie HD is still available as a free download from Apple and shouldn't generate a lot of thumbnails.

3. As to preservation, there are several options. I've bought two large (in space) external hard drives, and have dumped the files on to them - freeing up space on my computer hard drive. If you create high quality Quicktime movies from the iMovie originals, you can store them as data files on a CD or DVD (in both PC and Mac compatible formats) using Toast software. You can also use the iDVD software on the Mac to burn a proper, full-quality DVD - as many copies as you like.

Hope this helps,


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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM

If you want the movies to play on any DVD player they have to be in MP2 format. Not being a Maconaut I don't know if Toast automatically converts, but would expect it to. Nero on PC's takes AVI or MP2 and stitches it together in MP2. But read the help file to look for MP2 or your aim to play them on other peoples' DVD players is not going to work.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Nick
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 08:33 AM

Not sure if it works with MACs but SUPER will convert pretty much anything to anything. There is a list on the link quoted and m4v is mentioned as a supported format.

There is stacks of free storage space around - I used AOLs X-drive for a while which offered 5gb free and currently use ESNIPS which offers 5gb of free space. Three options on it: Private, Shared with named group, shared with everyone. I use it to store files and music and all sorts of stuff on. It will stream video and sound if you want to share things from there and allows you to embed into a site etc if you want - Video is an example of the only video I have uploaded there at the moment; there's an example of a Song here.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Nick
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 08:51 AM

There is an option of 50GB of free storage space on ADRIVE.COM which is quite attractive as a backup.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 09:37 AM

Anyone know how to convert WMV files to something smaller, more reliable and less processor-intensive using free tools on a Mac?

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: richd
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 09:55 AM

Hi there,

1. Did you originate the material on tape- miniDV etc. If you did then I suggest that you transfer your edited material back to tape. As things stand this is the most stable, protectable and technically certain back-up available. Yoy can then simply redigitise the tapes when you want to copy to DVD.

2. There is no advantage in saving files as Final Cut project files, unless you use Final Cut as your primary editing tool. Final Cut works on video as Quicktime files anyway, and Quicktime is readable by all formats (you may have to download for PC).

3. There is no advantage in doing anything else extra to what you get on a Mac. Export your edited material to Quicktime at highest quality, then import the Quicktime file to IDVD. It will do all conversions you need. What happens when you try to do it? What goes wrong exactly?

4. Video is very memory hungry. You won't get much on an ordinary CD, you will need to change the format of your video files. Again, I movie has options for you to do this.

5. It's important to remember that the Quicktime files are the important things to back up. The timeline of I movie or even FCP may only be 100Mb or so. The Quicktime files that the timeline refers to may be 50Gb plus.

6. Largish portable Hard Drives (500Gb plus) are relativly cheap and pretty stable for second line storage. If you use this as a 'scratch drive' all the media files will save on this, leaving your macbooks memory for projects.

You will probably note that I've suggested backing up on three different formats- tape, DVD, portable hard drive. I don't trust any of them on their own. And I would never trust any back up I couldn't carry around with me!

Hope this helps.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: richd
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 10:38 AM


You should include 'easily' WMV is horrible. Film Redux is an opensource program that works on Macos 10 and should do this, but you will need to build it from code. I use Squared 5 StreamClip and its OK but now costs (I've just discovered its still free, problem solved!). There are all the problems to be expected from going between PC and Mac formats. Good luck.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Question re Musicvideo format, music CDs
From: Genie
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM

WillFly, I've discovered it's not YouTube that makes me keep my original files, unchanged, on my hard drive, it's iTunes. Anything I've uploaded to YT stays there.

Oh, and I find YouTube very handy for "storing" videos even if I don't particularly want a lot of people seeing them. First, you can make a video private. But if you want to make it available to selected people who don't have YT accounts, just give the video a really cryptic name (e.g "fghjkeo200s") - and make sure the original file had a cryptic name like that too -- and don't list any key words. That way, your video will never come up when people use the YT search engine.   But you can send the link to whomever you like.

Nick, unfortunately, SUPER isn't supported by Mac.

richd, my videos have all been made directly by using the built-in camera and mic on my MacBook and using iMovie to edit them.
iMovie does, indeed, offer a lot of options for saving my videos.
That's my problem: I don't know which are the best options.
Usually I save them as .mov (QuickTime) or mp4.   If I put them on iTunes they usually end up as m4v.

But I would like to be able to make some promo DVDs (up to about 4.3 GB per DVD) that my clients and prospective clients can play on their TVs, not just on their computers.
I was just wondering if either the .mov or mp4 or m4v format would be playable on most people's TVs (with a DVD player).


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