mpeg to avi conversion? public domain footage

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      The short version: Public domain footage out there for the free downloading and using by whomever appear to mostly be in mpeg format. Is there anywhere online that offers a bunch of public domain footage in .avi (or some other more editor-sw-friendly format) for free?

      The long version: I am pretty new to the editing universe… after several sw package tryouts I decided that Vegas is the most user friendly (at least for me) and I’m not planning to do any full time editing work in the future. I don’t think this problem is necessarily specific to Vegas.. but somebody throw me a bone here! It appears that attempting to do edits to MPEGs is a bad bad idea, and it appears generally people don’t edit MPEGs, they just use that as a final rendered format. However, I have noticed that on the internet due to mpeg’s good-visual-quality-to-compression ratio, tons of stuff that you can download and view for free is in MPEG format.

      On Sony’s site, in their support section, they talk about how editing MPEGs is not a good idea. They don’t completely strike it out, but mention this may result in undesirable/jerky results. Ok. After much ado and discovering that factoid, I decided that there must be a way to convert MPEG back to a much more editor-friendly .avi (even though I know there will be a loss in quality, much like converting an MP3 back to a WAV. I’m ok with that).

      However, finding software that will fairly easily convert an MPEG (let’s say MPEG2 for purposes of this discussion) back to an avi that will be easily read by Vegas has proved a huge pain in the booty. Then, some of my apparently ‘succesful’ mpeg-to-avi conversions, which will play back fine in say, VLC or winamp, refuse to play back in Vegas.

      Thank you, anybody, so so much for your help on this issue!

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