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Old Nov 18, 2004, 7:29 AM   #1
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Hi all. I'm a newbie with one week experience of an fz3. Excellent camera -very happy with it. A small question for more experienced/experts. Although mainly stills - yesterday I tried movie mode for first time. Very impressive too! Got some nice sports footage of my daughters. Played it back on camera fine - but then realised wont play on my windows machine because it uses Apple Quicktime etc. Loaded that from the software cd and now works. But.....relatives who I sent copy to cant all play a "Mov" file. Apart from everyone downloading Quicktime ( or borrowing my cd) is there any other easier way to view MOVformat files. Is there a plug in for Windows Media Player? Is there any (freeware?) conversion tool to make a MOV file into a MPEG file ? Thanks.
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 8:28 AM   #2
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http://www.convertzone.com/net/cz-Wi...r-mov-mpeg.htm Other video converters are WinMPG, Video Cleaner 5 (or just "Cleaner" 5) are but a few of the more popular ones. Cleaner is a pro-level program and somewhat pricey license. The others are around $20-$30. Virtually all desktop-based video editors allow you to export to other formats.

Note, however, that this may not solve your problem. The reason is that even though you convert a file as an MPEG, the folks on the other end may not have the proper codec installed. For example, you could convert a file to an MPEG you usually have to select a "codec" which compresses the movie. The person playing the movie must have the same (sometimes the same version) of that codec on their end to decompress the file, and play it, even though its an mpeg or avi file. Common compression codecs include Cinepack and Indeo. This is a more common problem than you think, coming from someone who worked in and now teaches multimedia, who encounters this issue fairly regularly. Converters can also be erratic, it should be noted.

Best bet is to include a link (assuming you're e-mailing the file), and keep it as a MOV file and ask your audience to upgrade to the latest release of Quicktime, which is something they'll want to do anyway. It's a standard file format. There may be some freeware converters out there if you Google "MOV to MPEG converter" but most of the good ones I use/am aware of charge for the license.

Nick
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Old Nov 19, 2004, 3:06 PM   #3
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First of all, you are not the problem -- it's your family/friends. Why in this day and age they do not have even an older version of QuickTime on their computer is beyond me. When installing software, I think I'm asked if I want to install QuickTime about as much as I am asked if I want to install Adobe Acrobat! You'd think Microsoft would've bought it by now and embedded it in their operating system.

Anyway, if they're not going to get with it and downloadan application that they should already have anyway (haha), I recommend a two-stepfree method of doing this (and other things once you get used to the applications) using RadVideo Tools (converts the MOV file to an AVI) and then using QuEnc (the only free MPEG2 encoder I know of -- it also does MPEG1) to convert it to MPEG.

You could very easily skip the MPEG step -- Windows Media Player can play AVI files. However, they AVI file will be larger than a MPEG file and most likely larger than the original MOV file.

RadVideo tools is easy -- just highlight the MOV file, click convert, and watch the status bar go. It's a pretty quick process. QuEnc is a bit more technical, but all MPEG encoders are. You can really complicate things up if you don't remember to keep it simple. Converting to MPEG usually takes over an hour, even for just a 20-minute video.

If bandwidth/file size isn't an issue, you may just want to stick with an AVI file. If bandwidth is a problem and you want to send short clips via email, post them on the web, etc., you may want to look into DivX (MPEG4). It's perfect for the internet or playback on a small screen (like a Palm or PocketPC), and the compression is just incredible. I can fit an entire 2-hour DVD movie on one 256mb SD card (easily) and play it back on my Palm Tungsten T2 for personal viewing. The problem? Windows Media Player will prompt them to download a DivX codec. It's not a large download, but it will still require the cooperation of other people.

Another thought is you may just want to do the VideoCD thing. If you have a CD burner on your PC, you most likely have all the software you need to create a VideoCd that will play in just about any computer (and even on some home DVD players). You can consolidate a lot of your videos on to one CD-R, make copies, and then mail them out to share. Both the basic versions of Roxio and Nero will make VideoCDs, and it's fun (at least to me) because it's like you're making your own DVDs (with menus and everything).

Relevant links to applications:

RadVideo Tools
http://www.radgametools.com/
(Click on the Download link under the Bink Video section)

QuEnc
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?threadid=72827
(This is a forum that serves as the distribution point for QuEnc -- you can also read about it)

PocketDivXEncoder
http://divx.ppccool.com/
(In case you want to do the DivX thing, this is a great way to easily produce small screen (320x200) DivX videos for publishing on the web)

Hope this helps. Once you start on this video conversion thing, it will either turn out one of two ways -- you'll get WAY into it or you'll run away screaming after the first evening of trying it! Good luck!

-- Chris

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Old Nov 19, 2004, 7:57 PM   #4
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The easiest thing to do is to include the quicktime installer onmov cds along witha readme file for instructions on how to install it.
A perhaps more difficult solution on your end is converting the mov files to dvd. A google search of 'mov to dvd' gets some hits likehttp://www.mp3towav.org/WinAVI-Video-Converter/ It looks like for $30/free-trial you can have the movies you took put into dvd format and playable on any dvd player.

PS: YounDONT need a dvd burner. The information is burned onto a standardcd and is playable on most any dvd players and viewed on a tv. You can also do slideshows of stills playable on a dvd player (with mp3 music).
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 2:01 PM   #5
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Once again I'm amazed and grateful for the detailed replies - this sure is a great forums for us newbies. Thanks again everyone!!
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:40 PM   #6
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I'd have to look into it further, but I know that if you put the movie on CD's to pass around to your friends, you can link it to an automatic install of the QuickTime player on the CD.

I used my FZ1 to take 360-degree panoramic tours of my home that I was selling, and the end product was in a QuickTime format. I put the auto-install option on my webpage as well as on the CDs I was passing out to people who toured my home. The first time you clicked on the floorplan to view a room, you would be prompted to download and install the QuickTime player. It would take no more than like 1 minute to download and install using a modem connection to the internet. Then, you could click either on the floorplan or doors/windows to move around through the house.

You could easily do the same thing with your videos if you embedded them in a simply webpage on the CD. You could also do the same thing online via your website.

Of course, all these are more technical solutions that you may not be up to undertaking. In the end, I stand by what I originally stated -- what's wrong with these people that they don't have the QuickTime player installed?! Haha.

Of course, another solution since you're sending it out to family, you could just mock and make fun of them until they did install the QuickTime software!
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:50 PM   #7
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shirleywhite wrote:
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Once again I'm amazed and grateful for the detailed replies - this sure is a great forums for us newbies. Thanks again everyone!!
Yes, but the caveat is that everything we say, we make up. It's all make believe.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 5:58 PM   #8
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EffZeeOne wrote:
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another solution since you're sending it out to family, you could just mock and make fun of them until they did install the QuickTime software!
Chris -Perhaps you have a "mock and make fun of" template that Shirley could use to entice her relatives to get up to speed.
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