iSight for recording Lectures?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by projectle, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. projectle macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    First off, I am a college student and have just now gotten around to my foreign language credits (opted for Arabic), and I was really interested in recording my lectures.

    I am mostly concerned with Audio, however I was thinking if video is an option, why not?

    So, first off... Is the iSight's internal microphone good enough to capture clear audio from 15-feet away, direct line of sight?

    Secondly, would the iSight make it so I would be able to read overhead presentations from 15-feet?

    Finally, I have been doing some checking and have found that the only real option avaliable to record video from the iSight locally is to use iMovie. As I have not done any experimentation in there, is there a way to capture directly into something like MPEG-4 so that I am not dealing with taking up 40GB per hour for uncompressed?

    Thank you for your assistance.
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    It might weird out the professor and students...

    Also, is this a laptop? You'd have to turn the MacBook/Pro toward the blackboard/professor unless you're using an external cam.

    There are a few different programs out there that can change recording settings. You lose quality pretty quickly when you keep the file size down. You might just go for audio.
  3. XIII macrumors 68040


    Aug 15, 2004
    QuickTime Pro is the best way to record your iSight's video.
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    One option when capturing video in iMovie is to choose iSight as the source, and I believe this will help keep your file sizes down.

    Be sure to check with any profs before doing this, as they hold the copyrights to their lectures, and you can't film without their permission.

  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    FWIW, note that you can connect and use an external iSight with the newer Intel laptops, and QT Pro (and presumably iMovie) works well with that. I record our group meetings in such a way with my MBP.

    Note, however, that video resolution isn't all that great, so counting on the video to use for note-taking based on things you see on it isn't a good idea.
  6. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    Before you go any further, ask the school administration what their policy is on this. Many teachers feel that their lectures are their intellectual property and they don't want it recorded/distributed. DO NOT record without clearing it with the teacher!
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Absolutely... although it'd take a pretty clueless prof to not notice an iSight on top of a laptop from 15' away. One way or another, you'll end up needing to get permission.
  8. projectle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2005
    Didn't really think about the legal aspects of video recording a lecture.

    I know many people who use Microphones to record them and they haven't ever had a problem with it.

    Thanks for the heads-up though.

    Odds are that I will just end up using a microphone like my fellow classmates.

    By the way, I have a final generation Powerbook 17" HR, so it has no onboard iSight, so I was planning on running by the University Store and picking one up tomorrow if there was a chance that it would do everything that I needed.

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