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Thread: Help with time critical decisions re. platform, application, method for preservation

  1. #1
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    Default Help with time critical decisions re. platform, application, method for preservation

    Background:


    I have zero experience with movie editing so please forgive me if I am asking silly questions.. I just got a new iMac, switching from a PC, based on the promise of a simpler to use, more reliable environment that supposedly is great for photo and movie editing/organizing. I can still return the Mac for 1 more week with no loss… I also have an additional PC with Windows 8.1 in the household.


    I have to make decisions about the way to handle existing movie clips which I didn’t realize until very recently that cannot just easily be moved and used on different platforms by different applications, etc. I know that media, format, operating system, application all come into play but I didn’t know that it is this complex.


    I have on DVDs copies (originally on a tape) of very precious video clips created on an old Camcorder. I do not want to edit them, I only want to preserve them and be able to view them for many more years. The format appears to be MPEG-2 (VOB,IFO,BUP; NVC files). In addition, I have newer movie clips created on a newer Sony Camcorder (m2ts.modd,m2ts files), saved on the PC using the Camcorder’s SW (that doesn’t work on the Mac). None of these movie clips have been edited and they do not have titles, locations, dates, etc. associated with them….The files are in folders with approximate dates.


    Goals:



    • I would have liked to consolidate all movies (old, newer and future ones) in the same place to back them up for safe local and off-site storage and to organize them
    • I would like to find and buy a movie editing application that is easy to use (and possibly learn), that can import and export in different formats and supports sharing (via Youtube, Facebook, etc.). Complex features are less important. I would like to produce and edit in the future small movies and maybe edit some of the existent more recent clips.
    • I would like to avoid “locking” the movies in libraries or projects of an application that would not allow me to easily export them without loosing all the work required to edit them and to add meta data to them, etc. I am concerned about vendors stopping support for the application or the formats, etc. and being stuck in an unsupported environment.
    • I would like to ensure preservation of the movies for as long as possible.



    Dilemma/questions:



    1. Is the PC or the Mac the better platform to accomplish what I want to do?
    2. Old movies (now on DVDs): should I just try to save them “as is” on the hard disk of the Mac or of the PC and back them up together with everything else for preservation? I was told that the hard disk is more reliable for longer term than the DVDs. Or, should I just make periodically copies from the old DVDs to new DVDs? I do not know however if kept in their current format they will be viewable in the future. Should I try to find a converter and try to convert them into a “standard” format (if one exists)? If this is not a good approach, what should I do to ensure that these movies will be viewable by my small grandchildren when they grow up?
    3. More recent movies created with the Sony Camcorder (now on the PC): Sony's built in "PlayMemories Home" app is not supported on the Mac. Sony's manual suggests that I import the movies from the camcorder connected to the Mac following a procedure described at http://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/imsoft/Mac/import/us.html. I would have to first move back the movies into the camcorder and follow the procedure described by Sony. Would this be the easiest way to deal with them to have them in iMovie? Is there a better way to do this? Does it make sense to try to do this?
    4. If I used iMovie, would it allow me to “export” movies (that I would download directly from the Sony Camcorder into it), should I decide later that I want to use a different application? If not, what other application fitting my needs should I look at?



    Sorry for the long text. I am trying to avoid making major mistakes that could cost me a lot of time and money and cause a lot of aggravation later.


    I’d appreciate your expert advice or a pointer to a website, forum, book, etc. where I could get hep to address the above as shortly as possibly. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    London, England
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    Default

    Hi & Welcome here...
    I can't say re Mac...but most folks use PC - you get much more Bang for Buck. Also, there does appear to be a regular issue cropping up about file types in the Mac environment, although historically Mac was the de-facto standard for Media creation.

    However, PC's are very capable and software is much cheaper . . .

    Also, as you have a PC in the home, I suspect it makes sense to keep with Win. although Win7 is good and stable.
    As for Back-up:- HDDs are relatively cheap so you could buy 2 x 2Tb and put them in separate USB3 (external) housings...which you store separately. [ Say £150 each ] - or you could buy 2x 500Mb external USB3 drives which retail about £60..... but this is more expensive per Mb.

    Make sure your New PC has several USB3 ports and built-in Memory card reader eg for SDHC. Ideally you should have a second HDD, so your programs (on C-drive) are separate from "Data = video clips/Edits. You complete your Edit "Render" using an internal HDD for preference and make the Program source files internally. Such arrangements will help speed up the process.

    Editing
    For a budget Editor, try Sony Movie Studio "production suite" v12, discounted by Az to about £35, sign up to Sony Creative Forum to gain insights to the current Sony software and Tutorials. BTW the v12 software already includes about 20 Tutorials that guide you round the software. You move your mouse to follow the action. PS includes additional software ( also with Show Me How" Tutorials.).

    Almost all Editors allow direct Export to YouTube....M-S allows this , provided you have a YT account registered. I don't think any Editor is "Easy" - although some are darn-right perverse. If friends use Brand-X then you should follow their example.....
    Also, join a local Film-Making club, to gain much insight and support. Making a Movie is all about "teamwork" . . . .

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 03-15-2014 at 09:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Portland, OR
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    Default

    Thanks for your quick reply. I appreciate the advice, I will look into each suggestion. I already have some 2TB backup drives. I think that there is a lot more I have to investigate and learn to understand what I am getting into.

  4. #4

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    Three responses:

    1. Either PCs or Macs can do what you want. My personal preference is Mac as it is easier, more reliable, easier etc...
    2. Question 2 is therefore dependent on what you want to do. I would personally put it on DVD as hard drives fail in the future. DVDs erode as well but if you really wanted to, you could do both.
    3. Sony MTS files. MTS files are just a way of getting a lot of data into a small space. What you need is a piece of software to 'unwrap' an MTS file. I have a piece of software which does this and primarily like to shoot on Sony kit.


    If you want to transfer everything to a Mac from a PC, go to a Mac store who will advise you. What I would do is to buy a dual-machine hard drive, transfer everything across to my Mac and then convert it into .mov files. To do this probably requires buying several different pieces of software to convert but hey, that's old formats for you.


    In terms of Macs, the reason I bought 3 is because I had a little business and Macs were so much easier and ultimately cheaper than PCs. The 'cheap' bit is the most expensive part for me, as a small businessman, was paying someone to work on my PCs. Macs just worked together with all my other kit (scanners, Sony camcorder etc...) straight out of the box and if there was anything I needed, I could buy it from the Appstore. Really quick and easy.
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  5. #5
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorillaonabike View Post
    Three responses:

    1. Either PCs or Macs can do what you want. My personal preference is Mac as it is easier, more reliable, easier etc...
    2. Question 2 is therefore dependent on what you want to do. I would personally put it on DVD as hard drives fail in the future. DVDs erode as well but if you really wanted to, you could do both.
    3. Sony MTS files. MTS files are just a way of getting a lot of data into a small space. What you need is a piece of software to 'unwrap' an MTS file. I have a piece of software which does this and primarily like to shoot on Sony kit.

    If you want to transfer everything to a Mac from a PC, go to a Mac store who will advise you. What I would do is to buy a dual-machine hard drive, transfer everything across to my Mac and then convert it into .mov files. To do this probably requires buying several different pieces of software to convert but hey, that's old formats for you.

    In terms of Macs, the reason I bought 3 is because I had a little business and Macs were so much easier and ultimately cheaper than PCs. The 'cheap' bit is the most expensive part for me, as a small businessman, was paying someone to work on my PCs. Macs just worked together with all my other kit (scanners, Sony camcorder etc...) straight out of the box and if there was anything I needed, I could buy it from the Appstore. Really quick and easy.
    Thanks a lot for the very helpful reply. Since I bought the MAC for the ease of use, I am inclined to keep it. I think that I will use both DVDs and the hard disk to have reliable backups. Most likely as formats/standards/applications/vendors change I will have to convert - like everybody else...

    A few follow-up questions if you don't mind:
    - what application do you use for editing and organizing videos and which SW do you use to "unwrap' an MTS file?
    - if at some point you would need to use a different application or if you had to move to Windows, is there an export capability in the app you use to allow you to preserve the editing work you did/the meta data?
    - is the MTS file the "output" of the Sony Camcorder? Why do you have to 'unwrap it"?
    - did you have good experience with any of the converters?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandmaSuzy View Post
    Thanks a lot for the very helpful reply. Since I bought the MAC for the ease of use, I am inclined to keep it. I think that I will use both DVDs and the hard disk to have reliable backups. Most likely as formats/standards/applications/vendors change I will have to convert - like everybody else...

    A few follow-up questions if you don't mind:
    - what application do you use for editing and organizing videos and which SW do you use to "unwrap' an MTS file?
    - if at some point you would need to use a different application or if you had to move to Windows, is there an export capability in the app you use to allow you to preserve the editing work you did/the meta data?
    - is the MTS file the "output" of the Sony Camcorder? Why do you have to 'unwrap it"?
    - did you have good experience with any of the converters?

    Thanks again.
    For editing: FCP 7.03, Motions 4 & 5 if necessary although these are mainly for compositing. 7.03 was used to edit a number of Oscar winning productions such as 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. You can't buy it anymore but if it's good enough for Oscar Winning productions, it's good enough for me. I have a separate application kicking around which unwraps MTS files but can't remember the name. I bought it on the Appstore but it's unnecessary due to the power of FCP 7.03. For organising, I use a file structure I created personally.
    No idea.
    In terms of MTS, the best analogy is a zip file. A zip file an easy way to transport a ton of information but you have to 'read' it or 'open it.' Same with MTS. It's like a zip file. If you don't know what a zip file is then Google is your friend.
    Yes. Lots of good experiences. The Appstore contains only tried and tested apps.

    If you click on the 'thanks' button, this will save you thanking me if any of this stuff is any good.
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

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