For something that looks roughly the same wherever it’s played, video
sure comes in a lot of formats. Online videos, including YouTube’s, are
often Flash (FLV or F4V) files, while DVDs contain the Video_TS
structure, TiVo shows get wrapped in their own proprietary MPEG-2
format, your camcorder captures clips in AVCHD--and the list keeps
going. You shouldn’t need to know any of this to play and watch video,
which is where Popcorn steps in. Roxio’s software imports these and
other formats and compresses them for use on an AppleTV, iPhone, PS3,
YouTube, DVD, and more. While it occasionally stumbles, the app comes
in handy more often than it disappoints.
Twitter feeds and Facebook are replacing web browsing and email for
many of us, but seasoned social networkers know the revolution is only
just beginning. In fact, the next phase may already be underway with
Knocking Live Video and Ustream Live Broadcaster, two video-streaming
tools that put the power to share live video with friends, family, and
followers in the palms of your iPhone-clutching hands. Both apps offer
fun features, impressive tech, and our favorite price tag: free! But
which one should you use?
Apple’s newest edition of Final Cut Pro polishes an already mature,
dominant video editor. That’s good news, since every Final Cut user
will find clever, thoughtful refinements in version 7 that make life
easier. But the focus on smaller tweaks has one drawback: it’s kept
Apple from some fundamental infrastructure work that’s also needed.
In-flight movies suck. They’re usually not the greatest films to begin
with, and then anything that could possibly offend anyone--otherwise
known as “the good parts”--gets edited out. Lucky for you, all you need
is a MacBook and some headphones to stage your own film festival at
35,000 feet. But spinning a DVD takes a serious toll on battery life,
which is where DVD ripping comes in.
If you were a kid (or had a kid) any time between the mid-1980s and the
turn of the century, chances are you have a bunch of old videotapes
with incriminating footage on them. Chances are also good that your
mother (or someone like her) has probably bothered you on more than one
occasion about converting those aforementioned tapes—because really,
who uses a VCR anymore? Using Elgato’s Video Capture, you can turn any
analog source into 640x480 digital video files, for playback on your
Mac, iPod touch, or iPhone.
Turbo.264 HD aims to make converting video for use on your devices
easier. It works with pretty much any kind of video, whether it’s
something you shot yourself or video you ripped from your Welcome Back, Kotter DVD collection. Not that you’d do anything like that, of course.