Video Conversion


Kevin had a video conversion project for me. He’s doing a site for The Lovell Sisters, a young trio of sisters who’re making a name for themselves in the bluegrass scene. They were recently on TBS, and after some talks with TBS, Kevin was able to secure the VOBs for the performance. He wanted them to be converted to MOV files for inclusion on their site.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I used OpenShiiva on the iMac to convert from VOB to MP4. I wanted the files in MP4 format so I could do rudimentary editing in iMovie HD. This went really well. Key item here: Be sure to click the Encode audio button on the Audio tab — without that, there’s video, but no sound. 🙂

Then in iMovie HD, I made projects out of what would become the two clips on the site. After cropping where needed, I did File|Share and clicked on the QuickTime icon. I set Compress movie for to Expert Settings, and clicked Share. After filling in the file name in the Save exported file as dialog box, I selected Movie to QuickTime Movie in the Export field, and selected Broadband – Medium for the Use field. That gave me a starting set of conversion parameters.

I clicked the Options button, and in the Movie Settings dialog box that was presented, I clicked the Settings button in the Video section. I changed the Compression Type to Sorenson Video 3 (the default setting never would display correctly on a stock Windows XP box), set the Frame Rate to 15 fps, set Key Frames to Every 75 frames, set the Data Rate to Restricted 220 kbits/sec, and the Compressor Quality to High. I clicked the OK button.

I made no further changes to the Movie Settings dialog box, and clicked OK, and then clicked the Save button on the Save exported file as dialog box. About ten minutes later I had my video clip, and it seemed to work on both the iMac and my stock Windows XP box.

Woo-hoo! This Mac Life rocks!