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Recommendations for Video Conversion Software

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In this session, a member asks if we can recommend any video conversion software. She has .wmv files that can’t be played on her player. She doesn’t currently have any video editing software so we suggest Camtasia which is what we use. There is also AVS Video Converter, Microsoft Expression Encoder and Adobe products. We discuss cost and effectiveness of the ones we are familiar with. You definitely want optimized mp4s for all of your videos.

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Video Transcript

Rick: So do I have any recommendations for video conversions? What do you mean by that, Angie?

Angie: Hi Rick. I’m still here.

Rick: Yeah, what do you mean by do I have any recommendations for…

Angie: Any software to do video conversions. Some of the videos I have are in a format that I can’t use with the S3 Flow Player.

Rick: Are they wmv or something like that? Windows Movie files?

Angie: Yes.

Rick: Do you have any kind of video editing software?

Angie: No.

Rick: Okay so… well, I use Camtasia to do that kind of stuff. Camtasia will import mov files and wmv files and all kinds of other files and will let you import them. And then once you’ve assembled all of your pieces, turn that into an MP4 because that’s what you want. You want an optimized MP4s for all your videos.

Angie: Right.

Rick: So I use Camtasia. There is another piece of software that I purchased. Let’s see if I find it here. AVS4YOU that I purchased as a low-cost alternative. It’s actually AVS Video Converter, I’m sorry. I think I spent $40 on this rather than the $300 that Camtasia costs. Now, this is not nearly as easy to use and I don’t actually use. It’s just that it’s a cheap video converter that… where you can you know, select the input format, select the output format and tell it what you want it to do. I can’t vouch for how good it is at it because I don’t use. I can only vouch for the fact that it’s cheap.

Angie: The software that I use when that doesn’t work is not cheap and the software that I use when Camtasia won’t work is Microsoft Expression Encoder. And I used to be mostly Microsoft kind of programmer and so, I used to use all of these Microsoft… oh that’s screen coder. Let’s see, Microsoft Expression 4 Encoder. I used to use… so I used to program in asp.net and I used to use Silverlight and that kind of stuff. Well, I don’t do that anymore because I’m so busy doing this other stuff. But when I paid $1000 for this software, I got the Microsoft Expression Encoder with it. And it is a very, very powerful tool for creating Silverlight videos but it will also create MP4 videos from essentially anything. And it’s very, very sophisticated so it takes a little bit of time to figure out. But this is actually what I use when Camtasia won’t do the job for me.

Angie: Camtasia does the job for you most of the time?

Rick: Yes, Camtasia does do the job for me most of the time. The only time Camtasia hasn’t done the job for me is when I was trying to use wmv files that were created by GoTo Webinar. You know, GoTo Webinar has this big thing where they’ll… you know, you can record your webinar. Well you know, if you’re a talking head kind of a webinar or if you’re a slide kind of webinar, their stuff works just fine. But if you are looking at small bits of code or trying to read a page, it doesn’t work at all. And it produces a horrible result and the wmv files that they create aren’t compatible with the wmv encoder that Camtasia Studio uses. And so, this is the only time I’ve ever used this since I started using Camtasia was to take Windows… to take wmv files that were created by GoTo Webinar and make them so that I can edit them in Camtasia.

Angie: Okay.

Rick: There are Adobe products out there as well for editing video. I don’t actually… After Dark, I think, might be it but I don’t actually remember. There is a… I do use a lot of Adobe products but I don’t have Adobe’s video editing product so I can’t comment on it. You know, this Microsoft Expression Encoder and Adobe’s product are going to be the most sophisticated you know, type of video editor out there and Camtasia’s not nearly as sophisticated but it is so much simpler and it is… it does a spectacular job. So nothing I do is very sophisticated so you know, I’m mostly looking at code and text and webpages and Camtasia does that perfectly.

Angie: Okay, sound like I need to save up my pennies.

Rick: Yeah, I’d do a little bit of research but if you need… something else to consider now is you could go to oDesk and find somebody who already owns the software and it will do the conversion for you. You know, they… you know, there are going to be people out there who aren’t great video editors necessarily. They’re not rocket scientists but they do live in countries where $3 an hour is a lot of money and they’ve got good internet connections and they’ve got decent computers and they can do that kind of grunt work for you. And I use oDesk for hiring transcriptionists and that could be a good resource for you to get the conversion work done fairly inexpensively.

Angie: Okay, that sounds like a good idea. I haven’t thought about that.

Rick: Yeah so you might post the question on the forum though because it looks to me like Dennis has a suggestion too about video editors. And Dennis is in the business of you know, video marketing so he’s got a pretty good, I think, handle on what the different up things are out there. And so if you post a question on the forum about you know, what’s a good video editing software, I bet you that there are a few other people around the forum that can jump in and say something about it.

Angie: Okay, I’ll do that.

Rick: Okay?

Angie: Okay, thank you Rick.

Rick: Okay, you’re welcome.

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