Thursday, August 13, 2009

KDMC - Exporting Your Movie Tutorial

The Knight Digital Media Center has tutorials for those interested in journalism, citizen journalism or fact based video.

I found a tutorial on exporting video. This video export tutorial was created in 2007. I mention the date because technology has a wicked way of changing how to do perform tasks.

On the list of tutorial pages it state that the tutorial was update in May 2009 but on the actual pages it has a creation date of May 16, 2007. I don't know what was updated or not.

This tutorial is focused on the Macintosh platform of software.

Things That I Noticed:

First you don't know which version of the software program the tutorial is referencing in in the example. There is iMovie 6, 7, 8, 9, iMovie HD. There is Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express.

What am I looking at? How is it different between the different versions? If there is no difference could that be made clear before starting?

Choosing a Codec.

You have got to explain, even briefly what a codec is and why it is important. One paragraph. It can be done. Something like:
A video codec is a device or software that enables a video to be compressed or decompress for use in digital media players and personal computers. In this instance, you are preparing the video for the QuickTime format at a reduced file size while maintaining a certain level of video quality.
Ok, maybe two paragraphs.

Now to be fair, this concept might have been covered in a journalism tech class or workshop. But codecs are the pesky kind of things that can make users crazy trying to figure out why the QuickTime movie will not play in their Windows Media Player. *

Or conversely, a heathen PC user sends you a .wmv movie that you can't open in QuickTime.**

The tutorial? Overall I would say that this tutorial is basic if you are comfortable about using your Mac software and you understand that you can make decisions about the quality/file size of the video you need for your intended audience.

Each choice will have pluses and minuses. This tutorial is ok but if it is revised I hope that it is done as a screencast and as a step by step photo instructions page.

Slightly Off Topic Answers, skip it if you already know this:

*QuickTime is not supported by PC Windows Media Player software. Microsoft currently does not support that file format or the codec needed to play the movie. Users would need to have QuickTime for Windows or iTunes on their system in order to view the movie.

**Mac users, you will need to get Flip4Mac or use a conversion program to convert the .wmv movie into a file format that your media player will accept based on the codecs you have on your system.

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