FaceTime Camera Direct to MP4

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DCG, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. DCG macrumors newbie

    DCG

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland
    #1
    Hi Everyone. I am helping a friend who needs to film short video responses for his guitar academy students on his MacBook Pro 15 Retina using the built in camera, perform very simple trims at the start and end of the clips then produce MP4 for upload to his site. We are using Quicktime Player to record and trim at the moment and then exporting to Handbrake to convert to MP4. I wonder if anyone can recommend a very simple 'one stop' solution that will do all of this in one single application. It must be a very simple to use solution as his skill set is at beginner level. Thanks
     
  2. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #2
    The absolute simplest thing to use is Photo Booth. You can set it to movie mode and, once done, right click the file to save it to the desktop. The file will already be in the proper format. (It will say .mov instead of .mp4, but it's still an h.264 file either way.)

    The one thing that doesn't get you is the ability to trim, though. To do that you could record directly into iMovie, but now things get a bit more complicated. You could certainly train him on how to do the basic edits in iMovie and how to save the file when done, but my suggestion for someone who doesn't want to learn all that is to just use Photo Booth and then to learn to start talking immediately after starting the recording.
     
  3. DCG thread starter macrumors newbie

    DCG

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland
    #3
    Thanks SWC. I did consider Photo Booth but as you have said, it doesn't allow simple edits and only produces .mov files. The reason we need .mp4 output is to cut the file size for upload to the site. He doesn't have a very fast connection at all as he lives in a very rural area. Thanks for taking the time to reply but I am starting to think that Quicktime Player and HandBrake that we are using may be the only option for now. If only Apple would update QT Player to export to .mp4 format.
     
  4. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #4
    I think you're misunderstanding what .mov and .mp4 are. Those are just containers, they don't say anything about what the video inside is actually encoded at.

    You could take the Photo Booth videos and re-name the files to .mp4 and that would give you what you want. Now, obviously that won't change the file size, but that's my point: A file being .mov or .mp4 tells you nothing.

    What you care about is the video encoding format inside that container. What you want is h.264 files. The .mov files that Photo Booth makes are h.264 already. So the file extension it gives the file doesn't mean much.

    (The way you can tell what you actually have is to open a movie in the Quicktime player and press Command-i. It will tell you the video format in the pop-up inspector.)

    What you're afraid of is getting a .mov that has something like Pro Res or AIC. If you're using iMovie you'd have to make sure you're not outputting as one of those. Yes, an .mov like that would be very large.

    But with Photo Booth you get no choice. It's just an h.264 file no matter what you do, even though the file type says .mov in the Finder.
     
  5. DCG thread starter macrumors newbie

    DCG

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland
    #5
    Thanks everyone for taking the time. I think I didn't explain clearly enough. The solution we are using at present produces .mov files which are particularly large. We then run them through Handbrake and they emerge as significantly smaller files labelled as .mp4. We need the .mov files to be reduced in size for upload so it's immaterial to me if the suffix is .mov or .mp4 as long as the files are made significantly smaller. Can you help?
     
  6. ColdCase, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    I think what you are doing is as simple you can get and also get good compression results.

    Using QT to trim and then export (under file menu) to an apple device file then changing the .m4v extension to .mp4 is about as simple as it gets. But that generally does not make the video file smaller.

    I use handbrake to compress the video because I think it does a better job.

    You may be able to set up a VLC configuration, but I think handbrake will always be better.

    You may be able to put together a "service" type script for your friend that would automate the process. He would use QT to trim the video and then select your "service" from the service menu and your script would feed the video to handbrake and do the conversion behind the scenes. He would just see the finished .mp4 file when your script notifies him its done.
     
  7. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #7
    Why not export it right from quicktime? Unless you have a different version that doesnt allow you to export.

    See the attached picture.. File/export - Movie to Mpeg4 - change settings to how you need it.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. DCG thread starter macrumors newbie

    DCG

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, Scotland
    #8
    Thanks everyone. Yes I should have looked at the Export menu. I think that might just do the trick. I am going to try it now. My friend is an exceptionally gifted musician and recognised as one of the best solo guitarists in the world so I want to help him as much as I can. Your interest and assistance has been invaluable. Thanks to you all.
     

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