Over the weekend I bought one of those Flip Video Camcorder. I've been having so much fun with camera built into my laptop, and with what little clips I can record on my digital camera. I've always wanted a camcorder, since I moved away from home at 17 and left my mom and dad's big crazy VHS shoulder recorder behind. At $150 for an hour's capacity of 640X480 nearly NTSC quality video, the Flip Video is the right tool at the right price for farting around with video.
So far, I'm very impressed. The built in USB dongle makes getting at your media a snap, and although the bundled software tries to manage your movies for you, you can safely ignore it and move your data around via whatever tools your operating system provides.
And the video and sound quality is decidedly not bad. Better than most $300 digital still cameras, but not as good as a $700 digicam.
But here's where a strange quirks come. Because the camera uses a wacky, proprietary codec, (3vix) you're at the mercy of the codec's implementation. (And, reading between the lines on 3vix support forums, 3vix isn't supporting Flip Video-inspired questions.) Frankly, in OSX, the 3vix Codec doesn't play so hot with Quicktime, and requires you use the 3vix "Dvix Doctor II" and a couple of wacky AC3 audio codecs to turn the movies into Quicktime files before they'll place nice with the iLife apps. (And, for what it's worth, 3vix isn't supported without conversion on the PS3, either.)
On Vista and XP, the videos came off the drive and played just fine after I installed the 3vix Codec. On OSX 10.4, the videos rendered images but not sound without additional tweaking.
But, I'd still recommend the camera to anyone who'd like to dabble with video.
So far I've posted two videos I shot with the Flip.
This iMovie edited movie called Free Zoo Day and a Windows Movie Maker edited "Virtual View" of the view from my desk today as the ice comes off the lake. Don't compare the video qualities. It's not apples to apples. (The Zoo movie was uploaded as a much higher quality video.)
Edit: Oh! An important note: I forgot to mention that even with the Codex installed, It is my experience that movies will not render from iMovie 08. I had to use iMovie HD in order to get the Zoo movie to output a file.
This morning G. was playing with a small kit of lip gloss that someone gave her for Christmas and as I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I happened to overhear her mother and she talking.
G: "I've got pretty lip gloss."
J: "You do. I bet you think you look just like Barbie."
Gaia thinks that Barbie is about the be-all end-all of Glamor. I asked Jeni want she meant, and she told me that I couldn't possibly understand. "To a little girl," J said, "More makeup is always prettier."
Today, Gaia was sitting on my lap while I was talking to some people. She had a bunch of Barbies with her and they were all chatting and carrying on, as Gaia made the voices for all of them.
And then, suddenly Gaia started making barfing noices.
G: Barbie's throwing up! *Gaaa!*
Me: Did you say 'Barbie's throwing up?
G: Yeah. She's throwing up.
Me: Why? Why is Barbie throwing up?
G: That's just what she does.
No more "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" for Gaia, that's all I'm saying.
I brought OSX home with me for the weekend. I have a couple of projects I have to do at home, and I thought, rather than kick Jeni off her laptop so I could work, I'd just bring my Mac home. Its not like it's all that hard to lug around. Anyway, Gaia was very excited to see Daddy's "New Computer," and she kept asking me if I was putting my old one in the trash.
Regardless, Gaia enjoyed Photobooth immensely. All babies do.
Julie's been out and hopping around the livingroom with us at night, and late in the evening, Julie let us cuddle her and put her in a trace. Jeni's amazing at putting her in to trance and Julie will sit in her lap for hours.
It's funny to see a rabbit running around the house. They have a wacky horse face that is so strange to see. She kicks and jumps and bucks like a wild kangaroo.
There's a degree of madness going on here at the HeyGabe compound this morning.
If you just can't get enough pictures of my daughter and her cousins, you know there are more pics at my dad's flickr stream. You guys are still lookin' at my Dad's photo streamoccasionally, right? He's getting broody lately because his Flickr stats aren't where he'd like them to be.
I've tried selling him on the magic of tagging and meta data, but he's not buyin' it. Look, I got him to buy the "Creative Commons" concept; maybe tagging's too much to ask.
Writelarge.com by Writelarge.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.