ISSUES ADDRESSED ON THIS PAGE

1) Solving the problem of videos starting and stopping.

2) How to render your video into files that will upload to the Footy sites.

THE PROBLEM OF VIDEOS STARTING AND STOPPING

Some visitors to the Footy sites are experiencing the problem of videos stopping and starting during playback. The problem of the videos stopping and starting is caused by the rate at which your computer receives the video information. The problem occurs when the video is playing faster than your computer is receiving the rest of the video information. There are several reasons why this problem occurs.

If you notice, we have tried to keep the quality of the videos on the Footy sites as high as we possibly can. If the videos are LOW broadband quality, then there is less information to be sent to your computer, and the videos would play fine, simply because the video information would load very quickly into your computer, faster than it plays. The problem here is that the video is grainy and very poor quality. If the video is extremely high quality, it might take ten minutes to load that information into your computer, and as it plays, it runs out of information because the computer hasn't received the rest of the video yet, so it stops until more video information loads.

People who have dial-up modems have a difficult time watching our videos, because the videos won't load as fast as they play, so they are continually stopping. If you look at the bottom of the video viewing window, you'll see a line to the right of the play button. On the line there is a little button with a left and right arrow on it. This is the video play button, and it moves along the line as the video plays. If your computer is receiving the video information faster than the video is playing, you'll see the line tuning colors, from left to right. This is the video loading indicator. This shows how much of the video information is being loaded into your computer. The colored line should extend out in front of the video play button. If the colored portion slows down, and the video play button catches up to it, the video will stop playing until it receives more video information.

There are a lot of factors involved in transfer rates (the speed of your internet connection). Usually late at night when fewer people are on-line, things will work faster. If you have more than one computer connected to your network, it can slow things down. Sometimes if you clear your cache and eliminate some of your startup items in your computer, it will speed things up.

When we planned the Footy sites, we decided to use the best possible quality in our videos that would play on most computers with good internet connections. We estimate that about 15% of our members experience an occasional stopping and starting of the videos as they play. It makes you feel like giving up. What we suggest when the problem occurs, is to pause the video with the pause button on the bottom left portion of the video viewing screen. Very shortly, you will see the line start to turn colors to the right of the video play button. Wait until the colored line extends well to the right, and then hit the play button. The video will play without stopping. Once the video loads all the way through, you will have no problem watching the video from start to finish without the aggravating problem of starting and stopping.

CONVERTING YOUR VIDEO TO A FILE THAT CAN BE UPLOADED TO FOOTY

What we are going to attempt here is to help you understand how simple it is to convert your videotapes into media files that you can upload onto the Footy sites for the world to see. Many people don't realize that almost all computers running Windows and most Macintosh computers are equipped with video editing software. Windows XP is equipped with Windows Movie Maker, and most Macintosh computers are equipped with iMovie. Both programs make video editing simple and easy to understand.

First, let's take a look at the equipment needed to make media video files, which are the files that are eventually uploaded to web sites for viewing by the public.

You will need a digital video camera with a firewire output. If your video camera is digital, it should have a connection somewhere on the camera body that looks like this:


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Not all cameras say "DV IN/OUT." Some might have the lettering "iLink," "A/V," "IEEE," or simply "1394." The instruction manual for your camera will tell you which port is the firewire connection.

You also need a firewire connection on your computer. Not all computers come equipped with a firewire card, so you may need to purchase one and install it in your computer before you are able to transfer video from your camera to the computer. Look at the inputs to your computer to see if you can recognize a firewire port. There are two types of firewire inputs that will work. The six pin firewire port is most common and looks like this:


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A six pin firewire plug looks like this:


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A four pin firewire connector, found on most video cameras and on some computers, looks like this:


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The cable for the four pin connection looks like this:


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Again, the port on your computer can be labeled the same as your camera, and will support either the six pin or four pin configuration. If you cannot find a firewire port on your computer, then you will need to purchase one and install it. You can usually find one for about $20.00 that comes equipped with the firewire cable that connects your computer to your camera. Below is a picture of a firewire card.



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Once you have determined that you have a firewire connection on both the camera and the computer, you need to determine what kind of wire you need to connect the two. If you have a six pin connection on both the camera and computer, then you will need a cable with two six pin connections, and likewise with four pin connections. If your computer is equipped with a six pin connector and your camera is equipped with a four pin connector, you will need to purchase a cable that has a four pin connector on one end and a six pin connector on the other end like the one shown below:


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Simply plug one end of the firewire cable into your camera, making sure it is secure and will not fall out easily. It's frustrating to be loading video into your computer and have the cable come loose.


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Insert the other end of the firewire cable into the firewire port of your computer.


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Now turn your camera on and set the mode to "Play" or "Playback." You will see a prompt on your computer screen that looks like the one shown below. Choose "Capture video using Windows Movie Maker."


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Windows Movie Maker will then start the Video Capture Wizard, which looks like the picture below. Enter a name for your video in the area indicated. You must also choose a destination for your video file. It is usually easier to choose "Desktop," and then move the file later if you wish to store it in a separate folder. You then click on "Next."


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You will then receive a selection request about how you want to store this video. Since you are going to make it into a media file that you can upload, select "Best quality for playback on my computer." Then click "Next."


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The next window you see will ask you what type of method you wish to use to capture your video clip. Since most of the clips you will be uploading to the Footy sites will be ten minutes or less, you don't need to capture the entire tape in your camera (the first choice in the window). Select "Capture parts of the tape manually." You can then cue the tape in your camera to the beginning of the clip you want to capture. Make sure you check "Show preview during capture." If you later find that this selection interferes with the quality of the final video, uncheck this box. Click "Next."


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The Video Capture Wizard starts playing your camera and capturing the video from your tape. While the video is being captured, you'll see it playing in the Preview window and you'll be able to hear the audio through your speakers. When you reach the end of the clip you want to capture, click the "Stop Capture" button, and then click "Finish."


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Movie Maker automatically creates a movie clip of the video you just captured and adds it to a video collection with the name you created. But this file is a "Windows Movie Maker Project" file. It needs to be converted to another type of file, a Windows Media File, to upload to the Footy site.

First, open up your movie in Movie Maker. In the Movie Tasks pane, under Finish Movie, click "Save to my computer."


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The "Save Movie Wizard" appears. As in the example below, you will see a page called "Saved Movie File." Type in the name you want your file to have and choose the destination where the file will be placed. Again, it is best to save the file to your computer's desktop in order to find it easier later. Then click "Next."


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The next window you see is the "Movie Setting" window. The default setting "Best quality for playback on my computer" generates a medium broadband file that you will be able to upload to the Footy site. With that quality selected, click on "Next."


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It may take several minutes to render the movie to the media file. You will see a page that indicates how much time is remaining until the file is converted.


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You will then see a page called "Completing the Save Movie Wizard." You can elect to automatically play the video in Windows Movie Viewer when it is completed by checking "Play movie when I click finish." If that box is not checked, you will exit the program and you will see your video file on the desktop of your computer.


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When you look at your computer's desktop, you should see a file that looks something like one of the files shown below.


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This is the file that you will choose when you access page two of the Upload section of the Footy site and you are asked to "Browse" for the file you want to upload. Since it is on your desktop, it should be easy to find and select. When you click the "Upload" button, your video is uploaded to the Footy site for the world to see.