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QuickTime Pro 7.2 offers new export presets for the iPhone and other mobile playback devices -- both via WiFi and cellular networks. This makes it easy for digital photographers to share the movies they capture with their compact cameras. The iPhone provides excellent video playback, and many other mobile units do quite well also. Preparing the video for these devices is a snap.

First, capture the movie with your digital camera at the highest quality settings possible. This leaves your options open for other uses up the road, such as DVD burning for TV playback. Then make sure you have the most current version of QuickTime Pro. Open the movie, choose File > Export, then select the compression preset from the Export pop-up menu.

If you're preparing your movie for high quality playback on the iPhone, choose the "Movie to iPhone" option. If you want to stream movies over a cellular network to other mobile users, choose the "Movie to iPhone (Cellular)" option. (There's also a very nice "Movie to iPod" option for video-enabled iPods.) To give you a feel for the size differences, I started with a 20 MB video, then tried the two different export presets. The higher quality "Movie to iPhone" rendered a 3.1 MB file, while the Cellular version was smaller in dimensions and file size (348 KB).

If you want to learn more about movie capture with your digital camera, listen to Podcast #3. You can also download the QuickTime 7.2 User Guide from Apple.

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You've got a HD monitor mounted on the wall with Apple TV feeding it your pictures and movies. After you've gone through your library a few times, now what? Hey, fire up YouTube and watch the circus around us that we fondly call real life.

According to a recent Apple press release, YouTube is coming to Apple TV. That's great in terms of variety of content, but do I really want to see those low resolution videos in unforgiving HD? Then again, it probably beats the heck out of late night television.

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Tim O'Reilly at WWDC 05

If you have an iPod Video (5G), and want to quickly convert your existing QuickTime movies so you can watch them on your iPod, here's how to to do so using iTunes 6 or later.

  • Use the "Add to Library..." command to bring your movie into iTunes.
  • Click once on the movie to highlight it.
  • Choose Advanced > Convert Selection for iPod.

iTunes will convert your video to the appropriate format then add it as a copy to your iTunes library. I recommend that you adjust the ID3 tags before connecting your iPod and uploading the new movie. Here's how you do that:

  • Click once on the movie to highlight it.
  • Go to "File > Get Info.
  • Click on the Info tab.
  • Add information in the Name, Artist, and Comments fields. Choose "Video" for the Genre.
  • Click OK.

Now connect your iPod video and sync. If you'd like to see a sample movie created by this method, download a clip of Tim O'Reilly speaking at WWDC '05 (1:47, 9 MBs). The original clip was captured with a Casio Exilim EXP505 digital camera.

If you think about it, this is amazing technology we have. You can capture movies with your compact digital camera, rip them in the free iTunes application, then upload and playback on your iPod video. Wow!

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Video Tour of Mexico

Cabo San Lucas Scene

There are so many different ways to present 50+ images from Western Mexico. Instead of a web page, I've opted for this video slideshow with music. You can watch it on your computer, and it's also iPod video compatible. To upload it to your iPod, all you have to do is add it to your iTunes library, then sync.

The video starts out with a series of images from Cabo San Lucas. I photographed them with a Canon Digital Rebel XT and either a 17-40mm L or 75-300mm IS lens. I worked both in town and on the outskirts. Everything shown in the first series was within walking distance of the port, although I did a lot of walking.

Then there's a transition with the gull shot (the one featured in this post) and a sunset. Now you'll find yourself in Mazatlan. This was my favorite destination, as you'll see from the sheer number of photos I shot during this day. Then another sunset shot, and you're in Puerto Vallarta watching a parasail being prepared for the first flight of the day. You might want to ready my story about The Night of the Iguana to help you understand the setting for the next series of shots. I then wrap up the show with a series from a couple villages I visited south of the city, then back to port at night.

To make this presentation, I first assembled the images and added the music in iPhoto 6 using the Slideshow function. I then exported the presentation to my Desktop. Next, I opened the video in QuickTime 7 and reviewed it to ensure it played back correctly. To make the presentation iPod compatible, I then exported out of QuickTime using the "Movie to iPod" setting (File > Export > Movie to iPod). Now the video can be played on both the computer and the iPod.

If you want to watch this travelog of Mexico, you can download the movie here (16 MBs, 4:14 minutes, fast start playback in your browser). The music title is "Montoya Malaguena" by Carlos Montoya. You can find more of his work in the iTunes Music Store by searching on "Carlos Montoya." Hope this provides you with a good introduction to an excellent photo excursion destination.

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You can download Jerry Seinfeld and a host of other great personalities on FLiXPO...

One of the questions readers have been asking here at The Digital Story is if we're going to offer more video content. Indeed we will, but you can download lots of terrific stuff right now at FLiXPO, a brand new service offering comedy, indie video, movie trailers, and funny ads.

Simply browse FLiXPO's various "Channels," preview the clip you're interested in, then choose either the "iPod" or "PSP" link. I downloaded a Jerry Seinfeld standup routine. After a brief wait, the video appeared in its own browser window. I selected "Save as Source" from the dropdown menu in the lower right corner of the QuickTime window (look for the downward pointing triangle), and saved the clip to my Desktop.

I then opened iTunes and dragged the clip to my video playlist. I noticed that the ID3 tags were a little sparse, so I highlighted the title by clicking once on it, then went to File > Get Info. There I clicked on the Info tab and proceeded to clean up the title text, add Jerry as the artist, and choose "Video" for my Genre.

Everything looked ready to go, so I connected my iPod video and uploaded the FLiXPO video. The upload went smoothly and within a few minutes I was watching Jerry do his "Milk" routine right there on the screen of my iPod. The video was quite decent, and the audio was robust and of fair quality. A FLiXPO logo was permanently positioned in the lower right corner of the screen. The price you have to pay for a freebie.

At the end of the clip, you get a quick FLiXPO splash screen, and that's it. The entire process was quite painless and well worth the effort. So if you want to build up your short video collection for your iPod or PSP, I recommend taking a look at the free offerings in FLiXPO.

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"The Potting Bench" - Video #1

I've been experimenting with the movie-making capabilities of digital cameras for quite some time. And I've found that they work great for short subjects. I'll be publishing these movies on a regular basis here. They will be optimized for both computer and iPod playback. So if you've purchased one of the new iPods with video capability, this movie, and the ones that follow, will look great on the 'pod.

Today's film, "The Potting Bench," was shot with a Contax SL 300R T* at 640x480 @ 30fps. To get better audio than what the Contax can record with its onboard microphone, I used an iPod 3G with a Belkin microphone adapter. I then synched the audio and video in QuickTime Pro -- all very simple tools.

The Potting Bench
Scene from "The Potting Bench," a movie about the follies of easy-to-build home projects.

I added the opening in closing titles in QuickTime Pro too. If you're familiar with the free set of QuickTime AppleScripts, take a look at the "Rolling Credits for Front Movie." It's what I used to create the opening and closing titles for this piece.

But enough talking. Let's get to watching. Download "The Potting Bench" here (2:52 movie).

Note: I'm using a relatively new codec here -- .m4v -- that requires the latest version of QuickTime or iTunes. If your browser doesn't download it easily by simply clicking on the link, then right-click or ctrl-click on it and choose "Download linked file..." Once the file has downloaded to your desktop, or wherever you put this content, you can open it in QuickTime 7 or iTunes 6. Post a comment if you have more to add :)