Flip video (and a sample including my dog)

This is one of those (many?) times in which my unofficial and official lives seem to at least cross, which is why I’m posting about this here tonight (even though I already posted about it on my unofficial blog): for reasons that I already discussed on the UOB, I ended up getting a Flip video camera for Father’s Day this year. I got mine at Costco for $90. Basically, they are tiny (a little bigger than a cell phone), low-end, easy-to-use, and (relatively) cheap digital video cameras. Mine holds up to 30 minutes worth of video on 512MB worth of flash memory– they make a 60 minute/1 GB version too. You can watch the videos on a tiny screen on the unit itself, on a TV with a cable, and, of course, on a computer.

It took me a little monkeying around and some DivX downloads to make it all work the way I wanted, but I can edit the video in QT Pro and in iMovie. Here’s an example:

I would have filmed something other than my dog, but Sophie was the only one who was willing to appear on camera. For some reason, I think the quality here is better than what Will Richardson demonstrated on Weblogg-ed about this; maybe an indoor/outdoor thing, maybe more of a close-up.

Now, these people are obviously going for the YouTube/viral video/let’s-make-a-movie-at-a-party-kind of crowd– they even describe YouTube and a site called grouper as partners– and I for one will enjoy my little tool/toy in this way too. But I got to say this makes me think in terms of teaching. I mean, while I did have a few software glitches getting it to work on the Mac, the hardest part about using it so far has been getting it out of the industrial-strength plastic wrapping. And at $100 a pop– well, that’s approaching a price where buying a whole bunch of them to check out to a group of students in first year composition or a related class seems perfectly reasonable.

4 thoughts on “Flip video (and a sample including my dog)”

  1. I have a MacBook and a Flip Video, but cannot get the computer to recognize the camera. Could you possiby tell me how to do that?
    I love Sophie.
    Many thanks.

  2. First off, the software that comes with the camera has some instructions on how to tweek some stuff like QuickTime to make it work right. And also that software will work for some basic editing.

    Now, what I have is I have QuickTime Pro (that’s well worth the price of that software, IMO), I installed DivX at http://www.divx.com/ (just the free one), and I, um, played around with it. Not that helpful, I admit, but it does work.

    Well, sorta, at least. I haven’t been able to get it to work with the new iMovie, but that’s probably something I’m doing….

    That’s probably not much help, but it might get you started.

  3. I’ve got the same issue with trying to get imovie (’08) to recognize the camera or files. Driving me crazy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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