One of the features which WindowsXP pride itself on is
support of multimedia, in other words support of processing sound and
video. Besides the support of audio recording, there is also built-in
support of digital camcorder.
This new support brings very important
Firewire interface (or USB interface can be used) - in 90% you do need
any drivers or application from producer of your HW to transfer the
video into your computer, because the support is sufficient. For easy
editing you can use the Windows Movie Maker application (it also belong
Windows ME´s accessories).
Besides digital video, there are also
analogue devices supported (web cameras, VHS devices - under use of
HW). Camcorder's function of taking pictures is also supported. When the
digital camcorder is switched to photo mode, you can get your pictures
from the Compact Flash card. This we tested on a Panasonic camcorder
which contains both the tape for digital video recording and also the CompactFlash
card for taking pictures. To get pictures from the camcorder, you have
to switch between pictures directly in the camcorder (it means not in
Before I start talking about WMM I would
like to say that it is a very simple program with limited functions. To
more demanding users who want to have an interesting program for a
lower price I would recommend DVD Studio (see DV7). WMM is quite a good
solution in case you do not have another program for transferring video
into computer at the moment.
To get more information about working with
WMM itself, please read WMM´s help.
First step could be following the
automatically started Movie Maker's guide to video import. Or, you can
start the Windows Movie Maker program and start the guide by help of the
"Record" icon. After the WMM program is started, use the Start
menu - Programs - Accessories
The "Record" window with displayed
preview and defined video device will appear as a result of a successful
video capturing. Here, you can change the input devices, control playing
and recording from digital camcorder. If you tick off "Create
clips", the film will be divided into several parts which are
suitable for further processing and editing. In "Settings"
you can change final quality of digital processing in your computer.
Detailed information about the data stream that will be reached in cases
of different settings you will find in a well-arranged table in Help.
Files that can be imported: Video
files (*.asf, *avi, *.wmv), Movie files (MPEG), Audio Files (*.waw, mp3,
wma ...), Windows Media files (*.asf, *.wm, *.wma, *.wmv), Pictures
(*.bmp, *.jpg, *.gif,...)
Video can only be saved into
WMV format (Windows Media Video Files), you can only influence the
output quality. This format is not supported by all computers (especially
on Macintosh, Linux or on older Windows systems where it requires update
of the Windows media player). In case of high quality DV-AVI, the video
can be saved under AVI format.
Not enough space? - When you record a
film into your computer, you can encounter a problem that this film will
not be able to be transferred into another computer. I also had such
problem - I transferred a 10GB film from
NTFS partition to a disk with FAT32. The problem was in the limitation
of the FAT32 system where one file can have maximally 4GB. NTFS is not
limited this way! In FAT16 it is only 2GB.
Video device not detected? - To
connect a camcorder or another device
(overall called as devices for capturing image -
Capture devices) from which you want to get the video, you need proper
HW devices. For current digital devices the Firewire interface is enough
(see e. g. DV7). In older devices it can be represented by some of
multimedia cards with a TV out for TV signal
(e. g. All-In-Wonder). Sometimes, it is more suitable for transferring
video to use SW supplied with HW, or to try another
SW from another producer.