I received the latest issue of Videomaker today and as usual, I read it cover to cover. I noticed something that I wanted to bring up to you and your readers. In the "What's Legal?" sidebar of Home Video Hints this month (April 2002), Jim Stinson says, "Legally, you have the right to stroll up to an airport entrance and start taping." Since the FAA has taken over security measures at the nation's airports, this is not the case. I recently saw airport police review and erase a video shot by new parents documenting their grandparents' first visit with their new granddaughter. The camera was also aimed directly at airport security. As a result, it had to be erased. I felt terrible for the family. It really was a beautiful moment captured on tape.
I thought it might be helpful to pass along this information to your readers, as it is not uncommon to tape friends and family members as they return home. Times are different for us all.
In the May 2002 issue there was a disparity in the reviews of Final Cut Pro 3 and Vegas Video 3 that caught my attention. What prompted this note was that the Mac-only FCP 3 had "Mac Only" listed as a weakness, but the Windows-only Vegas Video did not have "Windows Only" listed as a weakness. I want to assume that the "Mac Only" weakness is referring to the fact that this is not a cross-platform application rather than the idea that anyone wanting to use this software will be at a disadvantage by having to use it on a Mac. Is Videomaker really guilty of platform discrimination?
David, we want to assure you that we meant the "Mac Only" weakness to be tongue-in-cheek, as in, "We lament the fact that more people (especially Windows users) do not have access to this wonderful product."
Vegas does not have this "weakness" since, based on surveys, 87 percent of Videomaker readers have computers that can use Vegas, while less than 23 percent can install FCP (and a lucky 10 percent can use both).
Video Editing Eclipse
I've started to immerse myself into the world of digital video editing after I returned from the African total eclipse of the sun in June 2001. With iMovie 2, a G3 laptop and FireWire, I was able to make a good video of our trip.
What also helped was finding Videomaker magazine. I used it as a resource to develop and follow through with ideas for making the video by reading each issue. Most important, I appreciate that your magazine does a great job with the quality coverage of Macintosh video hardware and software.
Dr. Eric Flescher
Editor, Macs U.N.I.T.E.-
Macintosh Users Network for Integrating
Technology into Education
Windows Upgrade? Not So Fast
[RE: April 2002 article Breaking the Two-Gig Barrier]
There are many applications that deal with segmented AVI files (the capture process creates a new file every 2GB on the fly without any interruption). Some of them have excellent features and are inexpensive (AVI_IO is only $25) or free (VirtualDub). The only limitation in this case is the size of the hard disk(s). As for editing/encoding such files, there's the procedure using VirtualDub as a Frame Server that will feed frame after frame to TMPGEnc, for example, to encode three hours of video in one shot. TMPGEnc is free for non-commercial use. This way, on Windows98SE (limited at 4GB), you can create almost an entire DVD in one file when your final result is encoded as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2.
And if you still go for the worst solution, upgrading the OS (and applications, and drivers, and solve device configuration issues, etc.), why spend money on Windows when you could be up and running in no time with Linux? Red Hat or Mandrake's latest versions take hours less than Windows to install and configure and they are free. And, there are many video capture/editing applications running under Linux (for example, MainActor).