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August 4, 2007

Bon Dance by Flip Video

Scenes from the annual Obon ceremony and bon dance at Waipahu Soto Zen Taiyoji, including a performance by a local taiko troupe. This video is a test of the Flip Video camera out of Pure Digital. It's a cheap ($130), simple (four buttons), basic digital video camera designed for "the YouTube generation." It records up to an hour of MPEG-4 AVI video on its built-in memory and transfers to our computer via a built-in USB plug. It doesn't get much easier than this!

The video files don't work "out of the box" on Mac computers, at least not without a special codec (provided) or running QuickTime in Rosetta mode (for pre-Intel machines). But software is provided for basic viewing and transferring on OSX. Windows users get free "Movie Mix" software, a bare-bones utility to edit clips together, add some basic themes and a soundtrack, and export versions optimized for YouTube or Grouper (now Crackle). This movie was assembled using "Movie Mix" (running on XP under Parallels), which generated a WMV file. I then converted the WMV to an iPod-optimized H.264 encoded MPEG video for my videoblog.

Though obviously too limited for hardcore vloggers, the Flip Video is perfect for someone looking for an affordable and easy way to share movie clips online. It's also a great choice for kids who have the movie-making bug, but to whom you're not quite willing to entrust your more expensive gear.

You can also view this video at YouTube, Google Video, and BlipTV. The iPod-optimized MP4 file served up in the feed (MP4/60MB) is here. You can also download the movie in multiple sizes and formats here, courtesy the Internet Archive. http://www.lightfantastic.org/imr/extras/videoblog/content/2007/obon.mov

Posted by Ryan at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)