Video, a bright idea……not!   8 comments

Sometimes a very simple idea can turn into an absolute nightmare………

I woke up this morning to an absolute peach of a day! After days and days of rain, I opened the bedroom curtains with limited optimism, but was delighted to discover a radiant blue sky and the promise of a beautiful day in Lochalsh.

On the way out the door I suddenly remembered that “Ceilear”, our young traditional musicians were going to be arriving today for the 2nd of their four summer sessions. Last weeks fabulous event had had to be held in the Coffee Shop due to the inclement weather, but it looked like today’s event could proceed outside in the warm sun. I suddenly had one of those “Lightbulb above the head” ideas. I’d record the group on my wife’s camcorder and post it on the blog so you could all get a wee taste of it.

So I hurried back indoors, grabbed the camcorder bag and set off to work.

At this juncture, I should probably confess  that I have rarely used a camcorder, as I’m the member of the family that normally has a digital SLR camera in hand, leaving the camcorder to my wife and kids.

“There’s a full box of blank discs in there” was the parting shout from my wife as I left the house. Hmmmmmmm.

So predictably, the first problem of the day was actually locating a blank disk! Suffice to say, the kids had been into the new box, and every single one of them had been used to some degree or other. No problem thinks I, I’ll just delete some files and free up some space. Sounds easy, but it actually turned out to be quite impossible. I eventually find a disk that has about 8 minutes recording space at the very end of it, so that will have to suffice.

So, at 11.00am the musicians arrive, set up their gear and start their first tune of the day in front of a very appreciative and truly international audience. I record a great little track thinking that I’ll have it on here for you in no time.

With one thing or another, modern technology plays quite an important part in my life, and I naively like to consider myself as being reasonably competent when dealing with most things that are PC based. BIG MISTAKE, HUGE MISTAKE, MASSIVE MISTAKE!

I had no idea about converting Camcorder IFO files into MPEGs for use on here, or that specialised software was required. At home we’d always just plugged the camcorder direct into the TV and away we go. So the next issue was finding a decent programme to convert the files. Not too straightforward a task as I was to discover after five or six attempts!

The conversion itself took some time, but eventually I managed it. Eureka I thought……..

Next problem! I then realise that the converter has done its work on the whole disk, and seems to have merged everything on it into one huge file. So now I need a video editing programme to extract the piece of video I want. In between dealing with todays 2500 visitors to the Castle and Visitor centre it takes another two hours to source, download, learn how to use and eventually process the clip.

So here I am, several hours later, irrate and fed up with technology, but with a certain amount of satisfaction that I’ve learned several wonderous new things today, although I do now fully appreciate the phrase “Ignorance is bliss!”

Anyway, here’s the video clip. If it works, then I’ll maybe take the camera into areas of the castle that aren’t currently open to the public. Be patient and give the piper a minute to get his pipes tuned,and while you’re waiting click the HD button in the top right hand corner to get the best picture. I also suspect that like all videos we watch on PCs it might depend on how strong your internet connection/broadband is, but if it  doesn’t work for any reason, don’t call me, I’ll call you!  (;-)


Posted July 22, 2010 by eileandonan in Music

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8 responses to “Video, a bright idea……not!

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  1. They are wonderful to be so young! Brilliant!

    Thanks so much for sharing (and hopefully you won’t have as much trouble with your next video, though your description was quite entertaining!).

  2. That is so wonderful! They are great!

    The video had some black spot here and there but other than that it wasn’t bad!

  3. You know it is great that such a young bunch take pride in their music and heritage to sit out front there and play music to the visitor of your great castle and country.. high five to the kids

  4. Even if the video hadn’t worked I enjoy your attempt and your story. Cheers!

  5. Shame on me, how could I not mention the first-rate artists. They were grand! CD yet?

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