Direct DV to Hard Drive Imports - Smaller File Sizes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Qast, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Qast macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2007
    Howdy, Mac Gurus!

    I recently purchased my first MacIntosh. It is the baseline Macbook. I generally hate laptops, but this one is growing on me quickly.

    The reason I purchased the laptop is because I will be working at my school. I'll be recording lectures and then uploading them online, as well as preserving the files for "course preservation." Because I'll be using a DV camera, I'd rather not have to play the video back in its entirety to import the video. The idea is to use the laptop to import the video during the lecture so it is there when I'm ready to edit it.

    Here's the situation: I imported about 5 minutes of a past lecture I recorded. The ending file was approximately 1.5 gigs. That means that a 1.5 hour lecture is going to be many, many GB.

    I would like to know of a software-or settings-solution to make the file sizes much, much smaller. A 30+ GB file is simply not feasible for upload online. Obviously, I'd like the file sizes to be as small as possible with the best quality, with the most emphasis being on audio quality. I'm not terribly worried about the video quality, but I'd like not to compromise on the audio quality; when a student is watching the video, they will be more interested in the audio than the video.

    The only settings I saw in iMovie were essentially 'large' and 'extra large.' Not many options there.

    (Edit: I realize there are more options when exporting the video. But considering the sheer length of video I'll be taking, I'd rather work with less optimal video than have these huge files--especially since the editing will be fairly minimal.)

  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    The easiest way will be to edit in DV and then export the final video to a format for the web (h.264, wmv, etc).

    You can't really edit with a compressed format like h.264. DV is probably your best option to edit and then just export to compress it. It should take up about 13 GB an hour.
  3. Qast thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2007
    Thanks for the response.

    Now a follow up question: Would it be better if I use iMovie 08 or iMovie HD?

    I've downloaded both and used both a little bit--and both have crashed on me; that makes me rather nervous. I'm hoping to record to tape while I'm recording to the hard drive just in case of a crash. I'm just hoping I'll be able to put the computer to sleep so I can get out of the classroom and don't have to sit there for an hour for it to deal with the newly-imported file.
  4. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    DV is huge, there's no way around it. To make it smaller, you will want to export it to some other heavily compressed format for public consumption after editing, like zioxide said.

    As far as iMovie 08 vs iMovie HD, take your pick. HD is older but has more features, including several that many regard as absolutely essential that 08 is missing - such as timeline editing. iMovie doesn't touch your source files, so if it crashes, the worst that can happen is your edits are lost up to your last save point.

    I think it is a good idea that you plan on recording to both tape and hard drive simultaneously, if your camera is capable of doing that. If not, I would record to tape for data safety reasons. The most important thing is to get that video captured properly. A crash during recording is a disaster, but a crash during the editing process is only a hassle. Getting that video onto a stable and reliable medium (tape) ASAP should be priority #1. I wouldn't worry about the wait in importing it later. You do get paid by the hour, right?

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