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Thread: Video editing while on an extended bicycle trip

  1. #1

    Default Video editing while on an extended bicycle trip

    I'm thinking of using a Dell Mini 9 for blogging on an extended (1 year) bicycle trip.

    I'm thinking of upgrading the solid state drive from 16GB to 64GB.The idea is to use a couple of ruggedized external USB hard drives (250 or 320GB) to store video and photos on the go.

    I'm keen on these mini PCs with solid state hard drives as it appears they're more able to survive a few knocks.

    The Dell mini 9 would be used to tag/label photos, reduce their size for upload to Flickr and the originals would be then stored on the external hard drive.

    Likewise I'd like to be able to edit short videos for uploading to YouTube. This would primarily involve cutting and pasting together clips and rendering in a format suitable for upload.

    My questions are:
    - what lightweight (non bloat ware) video editing software might be suitable for this
    - (I know most people would think this is crazy) but would an Atom CPU based netbook be capable of doing simple video editing tasks

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    I dont think it is a ridiculous idea at all. In victorian times when my pc ran on coal I had a steam powered amd xp1700 and that ran vegas just fine. Sony say vegas will run in 800mhz - Sony Creative Software - Vegas Movie Studio 9 - System Requirements

    But now I have just had a coffee perhaps there are few points that may mean the dell or any other 'netbook' may not quite suit.

    What camera are you planning to take, what video camera? My suggestion would be a DV standard def tape based camera. This a mature format and the video it produces is very lightly compressed and requires the least cpu power to edit.

    BUT to use a DV camera you MUST have a fire wire port and I dont think net books commonly have f wire. I am not certain but I dont think there is such a thing as a usb to f wire adaptor.

    A hard drive based camera can transfer by usb but I would be less confident that the dell can satisfactorily edit this more compressed format, this is something youi should check if relevant.

    Forget any sort of ' hi def ' format, HDV needs lots and lots of power to edit.

    A final tht - make sure you can power the external drives from the usb ports in the dell - they may not have the ususal usb power available for exteranla devices.

    I wonder if a slightly 'fatter' lap top may be wiser - one with a f wire port, and internal drives that may do away with the need for external drives ????
    Last edited by Mark W; 10-24-2008 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Maybe I should go the low quality route

    Thanks for your comments Mark.

    Interesting to note that Sony Vegas can run on 800MHz - the Atom in the Dell Mini 9 is 1.6GHz - so CPU-wize I guess it would cope. Screen size is a very low 1024x600 which'd make using any video editing package uncomfortable.

    Ideally what I'd like to do for both stills/video is to store "high" quality on my external hard drive and upload low quality to Flickr/YouTube. The high quality photos could be for my book of my travels. The high quality video for a TV programme about my travels. (Well that's the wishful thinking anyway ) I was thinking of the little HD Sony TG3 which can connect via USB and uses a memory stick - so is also more knock proof.

    For photos this is idea is fine. But I'm very much a newbie in video. From what you say Mark I guess any sort of HD would
    - be beyond the capabiities of an netbook even for simple editing tasks
    - eat up the 250-500GB of external hard disk space pretty quick
    and so not really be feasible?

    The other idea with video is to give up on my TV programme idea and simply live with low quality on YouTube. In that case I might even get away with the 640x480 video capture that comes with the still Canon G9 digital compact. In that case I can probably do away with the hard drives and use flash memory sticks - I've seen good reviews of OCZ flash memory stick that comes with 32GB.

    I'm thinking of this G9 camera as it's got a lot of manual control. It's a compact - which means it's less intrusive when you whip it out to take photos of people. It's cheaper than a camcorder and SLR's, so won't kill me if I drop it or break it somehow while on the road.

    Point taken about netbooks being able to power an external hard drive. I'll need to look into that.

    My thinking on why to get one of these netbooks with ruggedized external drive for travel blogging purposes is...
    - they are real small
    - they are cheap - if it gets trashed it won't break the bank
    - I'm imagining that the "ruggedized" drives like this one would cope better with knocks than an "unprotected" internal hard drive. Thing is you don't know if "ruggedized" is simpy a marketing term with no real substance other than a flash cover on the thing.

    I've seen a wicked Toshiba Portege which has a massive internal drive, is pratically as small as the Dell Mini 9, includes a DVD DL rewriter which could be used to archive content but it costs about 1200 and I'd be sorry if I fell off my bike and broke it.

    Too many choices - Not enough decisions.
    But I guess going with YouTube as my primary output medium with associated low quality equipment is probably my best bet - particularly as I'm on a budget.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Instead of YouTube try Vimeo, Video Sharing For You as it lets you upload 500MB files every week and there is a HD option aswell. The SD quality is much better in my opinion than YouTube any day.

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