Testing New Tools for Doing Good Work

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Mac: Convert MTS for iMovie, Final Cut, or Other Editors

In Mac Desktop, Video on 09/27/2012 at 1:18 pm

What’s an MTS and why would I need to convert it? What is this window with the arrow, and what is “Drag Media”?

Nice, clean interface. Easy.

MTS is the video file format for most consumer HD camcorders (total nerd info dump on this at Wikipedia). You likely have never even seen the MTS files on your HD camcorder if you’re used to transferring directly from your camera from within your video editing application on your Mac.

But if you’ve copied from the camera to your computer without going through your video editing app, then you’ll have orphaned MTS files that most video editors won’t play with. You’ve likely tried going to File > Import and navigating to where you’ve saved them, but they won’t import. You make a sad face.

I have found and tested a tool that does it: Media Converter.

Download the file, unzip it, and put it in the Applications folder.

You’ll need to add the Re-wrap AVCHD for Quicktime – uncompressed Audio preset from Media Converter’s Presets page as well.

Once it’s downloaded and unzipped, to add it to the list of available presets, go to the Preferences in Media Converter and click the Presets tab and then the + button at the bottom of the list.

This will allow you to drag and drop your mts files and have them convert to the format you want and save in the directory you want – you can choose default settings in the Preferences.

Again, to import without this conversion rigamarole, it’s essential to keep the mts video files on the camera or card in exactly the file/directory structure on the card. You can’t just copy the folders to your computer.

There’s a fiddly alternative, but you need to be comfortable with disk image files on Mac OS X. You can make a disk image (.dmg) file of the media cards from your video camera. This completely replicates the file structure, and iMovie/FCP can import from that. Macworld has a good clear article explaining how. Note though that the recommendations in the last couple of paragraphs are superseded by Media Converter. Which is good news for all – except the developers of the $40 and $50 conversion apps.

Leave a comment if any of this isn’t clear.

Evernote: A 0-to-60 MPH Guide

In All Platforms, Cloud, Strategy, Teaching on 09/24/2012 at 8:50 am

Evernote really can help you remember just about everything.

Evernote is so flexible and valuable you’ll wonder why it took so long to hear about it. Between my phone, my work computer, my personal laptop, and increasingly on an iPad, Evernote helps me keep track of all kinds of things. I use it to track work projects, save recipes and software tips, save (and search for words in) pictures of labels on products I want to remember, to-do lists, voice memos, and a lot lot more.

Evernote is many things to many people because it’s so powerful. But for the same reason, Evernote’s purpose is vague enough that it can be hard to get started with it. First, you have to figure out what it can do for you. Here’s a guide to how to think about Evernote, so you can get better at using it.

This paragraph from Jon Mitchell’s Evernote: A 0-to-60 MPH Guide at ReadWriteWeb above is as good a quick intro as you’ll find. There’s much more about using Evernote in schools and in higher education. Evernote has their own page full of resources for using it in education.

Useful.

Why Reducing Faculty Stress Should Be An Explicit Goal of Academic IT | Inside Higher Ed

In Administration, Teaching on 09/19/2012 at 10:07 am

image courtesy InsideHigherEd.com
Joshua Kim:

When given the right tools, and the right incentive structures, our faculty are our best champions for innovating around teaching and learning.  Faculty will seek out new ways to utilize technology to better reach their teaching and research goals. 

We should think twice about rolling out new applications and new platforms, but rather focus on the conditions that support experimentation and continuous improvement.   

Paying more attention to our faculty partners state of mind, to the degree to which the the campus technology in which we touch is stressing them out, just might be the right place to focus our efforts on promoting innovation.

The emotional aspect of technology is far too often ignored, by edtech people, by faculty – by too many people. When you’re used to a given set of tools to do your work, and then you’re told to change tools and given little or no training and support, that would cause anyone stress, whether the tool is a new type of welding gun, presentation application, or a tablet. It takes time and a period of trial and error to learn how to use a new tool, and when the stakes are high that only makes it harder.

via Why Reducing Faculty Stress Should Be An Explicit Goal of Academic IT | Inside Higher Ed.