Sunday, 9 September 2007

Warning! Online session may be a disaster.

What a frustrating session we had on Friday; I only hope that something was learnt.

Issue 1 (I note that we don’t have problems, difficulties or setbacks any more, just issues).
I decided to go into Lab 1 on Friday as it is roomier, less scruffy and the computers are newer. Although according to Microsoft MovieMaker2 is standard with XP SP2, for some reason it was not installed on the Lab 1 computers and downloading seemed only to be able to happen through Windows Update, which would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Scott, the Data Manager cum IT trouble-shooter, had not gone home and was able to put a copy on the shared drive, which everyone could download. Why hadn’t I checked, you may well ask. Well, MM2 was installed on the “Teacher’s” computer so I assumed it was on the others as well. (It was typical of him that the way he chose to give instructions to us in the Lab when he was upstairs in his room, was to take control of the Teacher’s PC and use the HALish “Text to Speech” function so we could hear and follow what we had to do to install the program).

Issue 2
As we all know MM2 is part of Bill Gates’ MS empire and they don’t really like anything faintly redolent of apples. To our great annoyance therefore, although some of the class were okay, those who had invested in Olympus cameras were most disappointed as MM2 would not recognize their videos as they were in .mov format. We were reduced to editing a Transperth .wmv video which happened to be on the shared drive.

What I have learnt (although this should have been basic):

  • Check all machines to confirm software is there.
  • Have a fallback editable video available.

What others who will be coming to the online sessions on Thursday need to know:

  • Make sure that MovieMaker2 is on your computer.
  • If you are using an Olympus (and possible other brands but not Canon), please check your manual to see what format video it produces. I will check the brands you have told me you have and will let those who sent it to me know.


    Canon Ixus 55 - no prob


    Kodak C530 - Okay I think


    Sony DSC P43 Okay I think


    Olympus Stylus 410 - yikes! conversion necessary


    SONY "Cyber-shot" Okay I think


    G G-Shot DV1110 dunno


    Ricoh Caplio R2 Okay I think


    yikes! conversion necessary


    Olympus camedia model no C- yikes! conversion necessary

I have been searching for a free user-friendly intuitive video converter, but at present haven’t located one, so If you have an Olympus, then please send me a copy of the video so I can convert it to a MS-friendly format for you.

This in effect is rather disappointing and I'll try to find an alternative. If anybody has any suggestions, please advise.


Wendy said...

Well, I must say we had a good laugh listening to Scott's instructions which reminded me of the computer in a movie - I think it was called Hal. War Games? anyway My camera is a very nice Panasonic Lumix, but alas not compatible. We learnt how to work on our video using the Smartrider video so all was not lost. Thanks for your efforts Philip.

Sue Waters said...

Oops...I can feel your pain right now Phillip. Wish I had thought to warn you of both the need to make sure that MovieMaker was installed, and to watch out for the cameras that record in .mov.

I felt you were already onto the cameras because you had sent the emails requesting details of the make and model.

The easiest conversion solution is Quicktime Pro (how do I know - cause been there done that with this frustration). And you export as a .avi. Unfortunately the .mov conversion to .avi was not the greatest. Plus Quicktime Pro costs money. :(


sonia said...

Well,if I'd had time to make a second video I would've got a lot out of this session despite the problem at first with the MM2 not being where it should've been. Sympathy to Philip

Claire-Marie Cluzel said...

Just checked my computer and I have movie maker but I'm not sure if it's MM2. I have XP 2007 so I assume it is. My camera records in MPEG format. Is that ok?

Dave Appleby said...

There is a very good bit of video conversion software called Super (c) ( that will convert pretty much any file type to any other. Including DVD VOB files.

The best thing is, its absolutely free. I'd give that a go, as it should make life much easier for you.