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PapaJohn
MM2 Newsletter Archive

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PapaJohn's Newsletter #144

DVDate... by Paul Glagla


Opening Window

When you use entry level video apps such as Movie Maker, you often, or at least sometimes, want to do a specialized task with another tool. One of them is displaying the date and time info from a DV-AVI file on the video itself. DVDate is a tool that does it... and more.

If you use your camcorder like I do, its clock is often out of sync with local time... due to traveling to other time zones, or making adjustments for daylight savings time. For me, it's not just big trips to Europe or the west coast; a day trip to Chicago puts me an hour off.


A forum post pointed me to Paul Glagla's website and DVDate. While there, I noticed a few other interesting tools to explore.

Who is Paul Glagla? Here's some info from his site...

Paul

I downloaded some of his other tools also, and started to look at them...

  • Filmerit - Manage the direct show filters on your system. Take a "snapshot" of all your filters, compare it to another snapshot, change the merits, fix all errors with a single click.
  • Image Grab - Take snapshots in bmp or jpg from all kinds of videos... avi, wmv, mpeg, SVCD...
  • Cassette DV - Create a database of your DV cassettes by capturing a picture of each scene. You may then recapture scenes with frame precision with a single click. You can also print labels for your DV cassettes.
  • Capture Flux - Preview in real time or capture in direct-to-disk video or audio streams coming to your system. The capture may be scheduled, pictures may be grabbed, even with an intervalomerer on a regular time basis, the date may be inlayed into the video, the capture may be directly in different formats and compressions, even in divx and mp3 in real time, the capture may be image per image into an avi file.

DVDateI was tempted, but refrained from expanding this newsletter to include the other apps... I'd rather do one in more depth than a bunch in a shallow way.

Here's the link to the DVdate download page... Paul's site not only has the download link, but a pretty comprehensive set of usage instructions and help info which I won't duplicate it here. I'll pick and choose some of DVDate's features to explore.

Overall, his apps look and feel good, and the documentation is thorough and reads well. Of the 5 apps I downloaded and checked:

  • none needed an installation beyond unzipping
  • the largest app was 2 MB
  • all of them combined easily fit into a small corner of a thumb drive

They seem to be pretty lean and effective... reminding me of VirtualDub.

But DVDate is like any software... I've gotten requests for info about how to embed the date/time info... it might not be intuitive to use Convert > Inlay from the menu when you're ready to do the embedding. I've been asked to the point of adding the screen shot at the right to my website, and beyond that to do this newsletter.

I emailed Paul to tell him I was doing this issue, and I'd be sending him a copy... he sent a positive and quick reply... refreshingly unusual.

Before getting into it, here are...

... a few notes...


Notes...

Vista Corner

Strange but true... Movie Maker v2.6 was released on 4/6/07 for users of Vista whose Movie Maker v6.0 apps won't work. I added the download link to my Vista > Movie Maker > Intro page.

'Codec packs' are a hot topic...

  • there's the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack on one hand
  • and the official-sounding Vista Codec Package on the other. Darklord's blog on Mark Coffman's Windows DVD Maker site tells all to remove the other 3rd party codecs and go with the Vista Codec Package 

I'm neutral on codecs... I don't like installing packages from third parties. I'll install one codec at a time, when I know what it is, where it's from, and why I need it.

  • I don't care for a blanket statement for the Vista Codec Package site saying: "Uninstall all other codecs BEFORE installing this comprehensive package" . It could lead people to do the wrong thing.
  • zachd [MSFT] posted on the Vista newsgroup "... K-Lite is not legal and installs software that will randomly crash Vista. If you put this on your system, you will have problems. K-Lite is really horrible software and should be avoided at all costs whatsoever..." 

There are posters on both sides, saying they resolved their issues by removing one pack and installing the other. Users need 3rd party codecs, and with a new computer coming at a time when there are so many different codecs needed, it's easy to try to make life easy by turning to a package. Hopefully, they will do more good than harm. 

Sticky Note While the issue is on the bookstands: Making Movies with Vista! the six page article is in the Spring 2007 Special Edition of MaximumPC,  on bookstands now to May 29, 2007. Starting on page 78... the article covers the movie making process from camcorder tape to viewing it on a standard video DVD.

.... back to the main topic...


DVDate

Paul's website is pretty thorough. I'll go over some of the features of DVDate, looking at it from the perspective of a Movie Maker user.

Convert DV-AVI type 1 to 2, or vice versa

Conversions in either direction worked fine. Movie Maker 2 saves as type 1, but type 2 is needed by some software such as Pinnacle Studio.


Convert a non-DV file  into a DV file (Pal or NTSC)

Assuming this means avi files as inputs, it still didn't work for me.

  • It seemed to convert a raw Bitmap AVI (that's what GSpot told me it was) but the new file didn't show in WMP.... I heard the audio but didn't see the visual
  • Conversion of an AVI file compressed with the Cinepak codec played in WMP but hung DVDate at the 0% progress point... maybe I needed to give it more time.

Convert a DV file from Pal to NTSC, or vice versa

Conversions worked fine in both directions.


Inlay Datecode or Timecode into the Frames of a DV File

This is the main purpose of the app. It works well, but not without a couple unwanted side effects. First note the icon or key to use to toggle the displayed date/time code on or off in the preview monitor.

ToggleDateTime

Touch the preview screen to position the 'inlay' date/time... or use the horizontal and vertical sliders. You can select any place on the window.

AddingDateTime

Any time there's a video in the monitor, press the space bar to play or pause it.

Use the menu > Convert > Inlay to kick off the process of copying the original to a new DV-AVI file with the date/time inlaid. It'll start the copying as soon as you exit the menu choice.

Use the menu > ? > Settings > Formats tab > Inlay lines 1 and 2 to get to the settings. Make a note of what the settings are before you change them, as they are 'sticky' by default, with changes stored in the computer's registry... even a fresh download of the app won't get the default settings back. The app includes a feature to erase the registry entries, but even that doesn't put the settings back to what they started with in the app. Maybe I didn't try hard enough.

If you liked the original settings but lost them, use the ? > Settings > Formats tab and do some tweaking or learning...

URL EmbedI tried to get cute and use the date/time inlay feature to embed my URL... it almost worked... but when it reached the 'h' in my URL, it must have taken it to be the signal to show the hour.

Don't forget to change a time shift setting back to zero or it'll effect each of your processed files when you don't want it to.


Ripping the Audio from a DV file to WAV

The feature works well. It's an easy way to get the sound track over to Audacity for some audio 'fixing'.


Making a Time Shift

I have a DV tape of our visit to the Hearst Castle in California a few weeks ago... my camcorder time was 3 hours shifted from Pacific time... give or take another hour for daylight savings time.

Use the menu > Convert > Fix a time difference to set the time adjustment... it'll start copying to the new file as soon as you select OK. The new file automatically includes a file name suffix indicating the time shift, a handy feature to help you stay organized.

DVDate took 22 minutes to copy the full 1 hour 13 GB file to a new one with the adjusted time.

Time Shift

See the note in the time difference window above... about it never replacing the true datecode found in the frames. The shift is for displaying on the video only.

It automatically creates the adjusted file in the same folder as the original.Date-Time in MM2

Here at the left, I'm in Movie Maker looking at two copies of a video clip... the clips at the left unadjusted and those on the right adjusted by 3 hours. 

See how Movie Maker uses the same date/time code for both, illustrating DVDate not changing the info in the file itself.


DVDate effectively did what it was supposed to... shifted the time, and displayed it on the video, but with a couple unwanted side effects.

  • The widescreen tag in the below original DV-AVI file wasn't copied into the new DV-AVI file, resulting in the new file playing at standard 4:3 in both Windows Medial Player 11 and the player in DVDate.

The new file with the displayed shifted date code doesn't carry the original timecode data.... if it does, Movie Maker can't use it. This picture shows Movie Maker auto-splitting a file into 7 sub-clips from the original, but attempts to auto-split the newly created one with the overlaid time/date data didn't work.

Time Shift + Inlay

If you've already imported and subdivided the original file, you should be able to replace it with the new file, and let Movie Maker continue to use the current breakdown.


Scenes File

Note the .scn file that's with the 146_DV.avi file.

File List

It's a 'scenes' file, a list of scenes with embedded thumbnails. It was created by Paul's DVCassette app when I used it for the camcorder capture.

The conversion by DVDate to adjust the time didn't automatically make a new scenes file for it, but it's in sync with the other app in that it has a feature to make a new one, which works in DVCassette.

Use the menu > Scenes > Create a Scenes file... it took 8 minutes to make.


Multimedia Player

DVdate includes an embedded multimedia player which can read the video (full screen if you want) and let you easily browse it.

That's why the scenes file comes into play in DVDate. Use the F8 and F9 keys to step forward or backward one scene at a time... a handy feature.

Some info from Paul's site: The player shows the datecode and timecode of the frame being viewed. DVdate also displays complete information about the AVI file. Like the utility Gspot, it indicates the codec, the image size, the number of frames per second, the duration of the video etc..., when dealing with DV files, it adds the type I or II and the TV standard Pal or NTSC and the aspect ratio 4x3 or 16x9. It features also a function to display the RIFF header of an avi file, like r iffwalk.exe from Microsoft used to do.

Using the F8 and F9 keys to browse through a full one hour DV file one scene at a time is really great!! More about the scenes files and DVCassette in another newsletter someday.


Playlist - Batch Processing

DVDate can load lots of avi files into its "playlist", and process them individually or as a batch. Using the CTRL+F7 keys will even load all avi files on all your hard drives into the playlist.

Adding all the AVI files on my laptop's c drive resulted in 271 files in the playlist. I started to preview some of them. I got only a few files into the list when I got this error about 'a must have' encountering a problem. That's a new phrase for me.... I don't know what a 'must have' is.

MustHave Error

Divx Faulting WMPThe video file happened to be a Divx encoded one. I tried it in WMP and it crashed that too. The event viewer didn't have an entry for the 'must have' crash in DVDate, but it had one for WMP.... shown at the right.

GSpot said the file had problems... I considered it a bad file rather than an issue with DVDate.


Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?

Paul's suite of video utilities has a number of really useful features. Even with the quirks I ran into, I suggest getting a set.

I'll be adding links to each of them, and to this newsletter, on my site's Setup MM2 in XP > Other Software page . 

Have a great week and enjoy your video work...

PapaJohn


I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:

Windows Movie Makers.net

Have a great week...

PapaJohn

Movie Maker and Photo Story 3 - www.papajohn.org
Photo Story 2 - www.papajohn..org/PhotoStory2/PS.html


Products and Services

I'm involved in anything and everything that supports the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.


Radio and Podcasting

theDVShowTheDVShow is the only weekly Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production than anywhere else on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases, tutorials, business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make everything easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting edge. 

Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516

The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files. The June 19th 2005 podcast was the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2. The frequency of radio Q&A sessions about Movie Maker has fallen off as submitted questions are minimal.  Maybe Vista will perk it up a bit.


Do Amazing ThingsBooks

Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on www.papajohn.org ), published by Microsoft Press...

Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum -  Friends of Ed

Learning VirtualDub - published by Packt Publishing in April 2005, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the introductory chapter about downloading and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.

Virtual Dub

A large percentage of book sales are of electronic copies. The Packt Publishing Website page  for the book provides a full table of contents and chapter summaries... and a link to a full free online copy of Chapter 3, Capture Preprocessing.


Magazines - MaximumPC

A six page article Making Movies with Vista is in the Spring 2007 Special Edition (page 78), on bookstands now until May 29, 2007. It covers the movie making process from camcorder tape to viewing it on a standard video DVD.

The 2006 Summer Special edition included a 7 page tutorial about Photo Story 3.

The November 2005 edition had a well done reworked 6 page reprint of the article about Movie Maker, starting on page 42 after the Happy 20th Birthday article for Windows.

The Winter 2005 quarterly special had a 7 page tutorial Make a Killer Home Movie with Maker 2. The special edition of the video made for it is  on my website as a file download.


Websites

Movie Maker and Photo Story - www.papajohn.org - the site's goals are: doing amazing things, providing a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker problems.

It's been expanded to include the version 6 of Movie Maker in Vista, along with the new Photo Gallery and DVD Maker apps.

PhotoStory 2 - www.papajohn.org/photostory2/PS2.html - a detailed tutorial about using the earlier version. It's been a long time since I've updated anything on it, but it still gets pretty good viewer traffic.

Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups

I'm a regular or moderator on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:

Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.

Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows Movie Makers

Movie Maker 2 forum at SimplyDV.com

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

Windows Vista newsgroup - microsoft.public.windows.vista.music_pictures_video

Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -  microsoft.public.plus

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -  microsoft.public.windowsxp.photos


Weekly Newsletters

Movie Maker/Photo Story newsletter. The subscription is $20 for 52 issues, and a link to subscribe is on the main page of  www.papajohn.org or the Products and Services page.

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#145 -  April 14 (open)

#146 -  April 21 (open)

#147 -  April 28 (open)

Newsletters issued more than 6 weeks ago are posted by Rob Morris to an Archive Site on his Windows Movie Makers' website. Links from my website pages to specific newsletters make it easier for viewers to see the content of both while browsing a topic.

Drop an email to suggest a newsletter subject...


Software

Add-On Transitions and Effects

Transition Maker 2  (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself.

I've beta tested some of the Pixelan packages , including the new packages for Vista, and think very highly of their people and products.

ProDAD's Adorage packages for Movie Maker 2 are additional sources of very professionally developed transitions and effects. Here are links

TransiitonsEffectsPackage for Movie Maker - Volume 1 

PapaJohn's Transitions - Volume 2

PapaJohn's Video Effects - Volume 3


Music

I use a lot of professional background music for movies and stories that was created by Randon Myles, and act as his agent in selling tunes individually. 

There are 62 tunes available from 4 of his many albums... at 99 cents per tune (MP3 or WMA format). Here's a Sample - 45 seconds from 'Groove 2'. The 4 albums are: In the Fields of the on-Feretin , Music for Film Volume III, the Emerald Way, and the Fourth Door.

I don't have a full set of online samples yet, but if you hear something you like in one of my videos, there's a good chance it was done by Randon. Send an email if you are interested.


Personal Database

With more info to manage, consider additional tools that help.

My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others. A tutorial about using it is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and more info is in the database package itself.

It's free for the asking to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request and I'll return it with the zipped file, which is less than 1 MB.

To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.

On my list of things to do is a video tutorial about how to use it.


Online Galleries Neptune Gallery

neptune Mediashare is the preferred file download service for Movie Maker users... there's a  'PapaJohn Expert Zone' where I keep many of my samples and personal videos. 

Check it at N eptune and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to use the service.

Mydeo... and mydeo is the preferred video streaming service. Many of the video samples for  newsletter are on it.

Normal sized photo stories stream as well as or better than movies.


Training

In conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library , I offer free training sessions about Movie Maker and Photo Story, an intro session and a workshop. Upcoming classes are 7-8:30 PM on:

April 19 and May 17

The classroom has a large screen overhead projection system... and individual laptops for each attendee. You learn by doing, with some coaching.


Other fee-based services

If you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of www.papajohn.org

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $75 per hour - send an email -  PapaJohn@CharterMi.net and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.

Wedding combo website/video packages - check the Living Projects section of the website for samples of what you can expect for the online portion of a package.


2007 PapaJohn; Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

 

About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from Microsoft.com
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at www.PapaJohn.org. He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.

This newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.

Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index

 

 

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