Video Tips

I spent most of the morning working on my video commentary and came up with a few tips for anyone who needs help and runs a Mac. For starters, I used MPEG Streamclip with Perian installed to trim out movie clips from a movie (.avi) saved on my computer. To capture a clip from a movie saved on your computer: 1.  Find the time interval (i.e. hr:min:sec) your clip runs through and write it down; I did this while watching the movie with QuickTime. 2. Open the movie file in MPEG Streamclip 3. At the top of the screen: Select Edit->Go to time… 4. Enter the time selection you recorded.  When you’re done, note that this part of the film is highlighted in the bar under the video. 5.  Edit->Trim (cuts out the highlighted clip you want) 6.  When you’re happy with the trim, go to File->Export as MPEG4.  At least for my video files, the following export settings produced decent results after uploading to YouTube.  The encoding time was fairly short, too.

  • Compression: H.264
  • Quality: 100%
  • Limit data rate: 600 kbps
  • Frame size: 16:9
  • Turn “deinterlace” on

Then export as .mp4 and your video should upload to YouTube.  I’m currently in the process of importing the clips to iMovie, so I haven’t tested uploading after creating my commentary. Importing to iMovie has been the most time-consuming step so far (maybe my files are big because of the 100% quality preservation?), but at least the waiting time’s allowed me to compose this post. These steps may not work for everyone, but I thought they might be worth sharing.  Here’s a test clip I created and uploaded to YouTube using these settings. (For copyright reasons, YouTube won’t let me embed this clip into my post.) I hope this helps anyone who’s as confused as I was!


Okay, since the video’s blocked on YouTube, here’s the version uploaded to my WP media: Busted


  1. I’m having trouble downloading Perian as well as trying to get my movie into Windows Movie Maker. It says that it can’t read Perian because it is for Mac. Do you know anything about this?

  2. Also, another good plugin for embedding videos locally on your blog is WordTube, used that recently for a UMW Blogs blog, and really liked it.

  3. Lindsay,

    This is very, very useful Lindsay. And while I hate to watch every one struggle with video, it some ways it is unavoidable. It pains me, but some useful lessons, and what you did right here brings a resource to the fore, both for the class, and beyond.

    So thanks, and hopefully I’ll be done with mine soon too, and can share it out. I followed these very steps though. I always work first in MPEG Streamclip, get the clips I want, then compress them and import them to iMovie. If I can avoid putting them in iMovie at all I do, but for this assignment it has to go into iMovie.

    One thing I found is that iMovie 6 iMovie HD) is far easier (at least for me) than the latest version, so I stick with that as well.

  4. Lindsay, a huge thank you for writing this up! I originally did mine with VCL and Handbrake. When I imported all of my clips to iMovie, the clips shook-compltely unusable. I just met with Groom who helped me get started with MPEG Streamclip, and I know your post will definitely be a big help too as I redo this.