Friday, May 6, 2011

VIdeo: Recording, playing and editing.

Grabación, edición y apertura de videos

Multimedia is quite fun and it is also useful for educational purposes. Here are some links to resources I found useful to play with:

  • AVCHD editing: Can be done either using the software that comes with camcorders (e.g., Picture Motion Browser, for Sony gadgets), or other software such as the commercial Cyberlink, or the free Virtualdub. Checkout theDVshow for details.  Pinnacle Studio may also be useful, although the price may be an issue.

  • Quase Cinema Lab (update May 28 2011): In my search for an open source software for video editing, it came through this link. It is developed in Brazil, and the software claims to be oriented to artistic applications. I have not tried it yet (perhaps I will once I get a more powerful computer).

  • Camtasia: This is a very useful tool when desired to record your activity on your screen. It is a commercial software, which if you have the money and a good PC, it may be worth trying.

Issue 1: Sometimes, AVI videos captured with Camtasia do not seem to play in other computers. The problem is a missing codec. To solve this, try the solution suggested by in this link by techSmith.
Issue 2: The first time you try to record a video, the screen may appear black. To solve this you will need to disable hardware acceleration, as suggested in this link by techSmith.

  • Camstudio: It is the open source alternative to Camtasia. According to their developers it is legal software, although it seems surprisingly similar to Camtasia. This is the software I used for recording the videos in the main page of this blog . You can downloaded it at

Issue: None, just need a computer with at least 2GB of RAM and preferably a good graphic card.

  • Codecs (update May 28 2011): With the variety of audio/video formats, it is likely that you will need to install additional codecs. Some may be downloaded from the web, and some other may be downloaded from the sites of developers. Such is the case of the Matroska, which is a video/audio compression format. Why to care about codecs? Because they may provide an effective alternative to store large amounts of data produced, keeping the original features at an acceptable level for domestic/non-professional use. Please be aware on the fare use of the codecs, because some of them  may not be legal in some jurisdictions.

  •  VLC media player (update May 28 2011): It is an open source software that can play almost any media format. It is light, portable and very easy to use. I assume this is a legal software since it is GNU and Creative Commons licensed.

  • Irfanview (update June 19 2011) This is just my favorite when all the others fail. It may not be focused on videos, but it can open several file  formats.

  • Digital camera as Web cam: Although most laptops nowadays come with a Web cam, reviewing this blog entry may be useful.

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