If you bring us tapes and do not know what format you want, but you know you want a digital file of you video, we will make you an MPEG-4 file. Now you may be scratching you head and wondering what size that will be. MPEG-4 can be thought of like a JPEG, you can have a very large or small JPEG. Similar to the JPEG, the MPEG-4 is compatible with most computers. What can you do with an MPEG-4? Well, we make a medium size MPEG-4. The reason we do this is for easy play back and compatibility. With our MPEG-4 you can not only watch on all computers, you can put on a Thumb Drive (USB Drive), you can load onto Google Drive for watching anywhere, you can share through dropbox, upload to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc. We can actually put up to 51 hours of video onto a 128GB USB drive or as little as 3 hours on an 8GB USB Drive. The reason I am boring you with the description of our chosen video codec (MPEG-4) is that every day we encounter customers who want to edit their footage when they get home. We explain that they cannot usually edit with a DVD. Then there is usually a long very confusing discussion about how hard it can be to “rip” a DVD into editing software. and you can edit with the MPEG-4 but the quality may be reduced. More confusion comes after with a lengthy description about how if they are editing on a Mac they will want an .MOV file. This is usually 24GB for a 2 hour tape instead of 8GB with the MPEG-4. This usually boils down to added cost for an portable external hard drive $80.00 versus an 8GB USB drive $4.80. So today I have had a customer ask is there anyway to simplify what you have said. I am going to try:
- DVD’s play in DVD players, on computers with DVD player software. a. They are not easy to edit from and cannot be uploaded directly to social Media.
- MPEG-4 files Play on most computers and can be edited. a. Quality is compatible with DVD, if not a little cleaner, than original tape. b. Can be uploaded to social media( depending on the length and length restrictions from site you are loading onto).
- .MOV files are for editing in most Mac editing software. a. Cannot be uploaded directly to the social media and should not be shared online without further compression. b. Will not be viewable on PC computers (Dell, Accer, Toshiba, etc.) without downloading Quicktime Player. c. May stutter when they play because of their large size. d. May require a portable external hard drive to be put on (you may bring your own, but we request that for your own safety you back-up any files of value, so if we were to experience a power outage, computer crash, etc. we would not be responsible for your pre-existing data)
- .AVI & WMV files are good for editing on PC computers a. They cannot be uploaded directly to the social media and should not be shared online without further compression. b. They will not be viewable on Mac computers without downloading flip for Mac c. May stutter when they play because of their large size. d. Will require a portable external hard drive to be put on 1TB are $80.00 All that being said The MPEG-4 files can be edited with and most people will not notice a reduction of quality