Saturday, August 28, 2010

Avidemux and mov files - Different versions different settings

I used my Panasonic camera to create a home movie. I needed to edit the movie, mainly remove parts of it it for better continuity, and decided to use avidemux as my movie editor. Having done the editing, I found saving the edited file as a playable mpg file rather difficult because I did not know what settings to use. After a visit to several discussion sites and using trial and error I got setting that worked for me. By this I mean it could be played back by VLC and Windows Media player. Here are the settings I used with Avidemux 2.5.2:

Video = DVD(lavc)
Audio = AC3 (lav) In additon you need to set filters to enable resampling of 48K
Format = MPEG PS (A+V)

Don't forget to save the file with .mpg as the extension.

Using Avidemux 2.5.3, I found that the list of input codecs were not the same and had to use a different set of settings to get what I wanted. For this later version of Avidemux I used the following:

Video = MPEG4 ASP (AVCodec)

Audio = Copy

Format = AVI

This gave me a xxx.avi file which worked fine with VLC. I had some problems with Media Player - the sound synchronization with the video seemed a little bit off, but it was not too noticeable.

I tried several settings that gave me a .mpg file but these all seemed to have a bigger problem with sound synchronization.

When I used these settings

Video = Copy

Audio = AC3 (lav) with resampling at 48K

Format = mepg video

The synchronization problem was solved. But this file I did not use because Nero Vision Express, which I use to compile different movie segments and save or burn as one dvd file, would not read it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Video Converters

Just want to convert from one video format to another? Try the converters from
I used their converter to convert mpg and mov files to avi files and saved space without noticeable loss of quality, at least on my computer. Very easy to use, fast and, best of all, it is freeware.

Some problems with Avidemux

I opened a .vob file with Avidemux and made several deletions.
Then I saved the file, using the defaults on the opening page of Avidemux.
That is, I left the Video option as "Copy", the Audio option as "Copy", and the Format as "AVI".
I was careful when saving the file to include the extension .avi because I read somewhere that Avidemux does not automatically give saved files extensions.

The resultant file had no sound. The video was fine but audio track was missing.
When I tried saving it as an .mpg file, as an alternative to a .avi file, it again played without sound.
I tried changing the audio to .mp3 but to no avail.

I scanned the forums and discussion pages and discovered that a poster had the same problem and he solved it by changing the Format to MPEG-PS(A+V), leaving the other options without change, and using the extension .mpg when saving the file.
I tried this and it worked. Appended below is the screen with the options I used (thanks to the poster) to overcome the loss of audio when converting .vob to .mpg.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

While saying the "The Lord's Prayer" recently I recalled someone saying that this was the perfect prayer because after acknowledging the power of the Almighty and submitting to his holy will, the words of the prayer asks for just enough for our physical needs (daily bread) and then asks for forgiveness, inspires us to make a promise to be charitable to all and finally requests for spiritual strength and protection. The focus of the prayer is almost totally on our spiritual needs and this should be as the material only distracts us from focusing on what is really important in life. There is an strong element of trust in this prayer that God will look after all our earthy needs as long as we focus on our salvation.

A more elaborate explanation as to why it is a perfect prayer can be found in The Perfect Prayer
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Additionally, in
we have this:

When you take a closer look at this Biblical prayer, you can see this prayer is perfectly arranged.
You offer yourself to God and ask Him for the best things for yourself and your family and friends.
Let's look closer at each of the phrases of the Lords Prayer.
It is led by a greeting "Our Father..." then followed by seven requests:
"Our Father who art in heaven" You belong to God. He created you and watches over you. He wants you to live with Him in heaven forever.
"hallowed be Thy name," You pray that God will be respected by all
"Thy kingdom come," You pray that God will be loved and worshiped throughout the world
"Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," You pray that God's laws will be followed on earth as willingly as they are followed in heaven
"Give us this day our daily bread," You ask for your spiritual and physical needs
"and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," You ask God forgive your sins you have committed against His laws and promise Him that you will forgive people who cause you harm
"and lead us not into temptation," You ask God to keep you safe from all people and places that may lead you to sin
"but deliver us from evil," You ask God to protect you from both physical and spiritual harm The Lords prayer asks God to grant you peace and when praying the Lords Prayer, you ask for all your spiritual and physical needs.
It truly is the perfect prayer.


Over time I have contemplated on this prayer and I have come to see that there are other reasons why it can be considered a perfect prayer. I see in this prayer acknowledgement of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

The first verses acknowledge the Father. "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,"

The next two verses acknowledge the incarnate Son who revealed to all God's kingdom, and who perfectly showed us how God wants us to live -- in total obedience to His will. Thus in this Son, God's kingdom had come and the Son did his Father's will on earth as it is being done in heaven,
"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,"

God in the Person of the Son then instituted the Eucharist and the practice is carried on to the present and so we have this request being fulfilled: "Give us this day our daily bread". The Son also forgave sin and urged us to forgive those who offend us, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". In the Church we treasure not only the Eucharist but also the sacrament of Reconciliation which the Son instituted.

Then there is acknowledgement of the Holy Spirit who we pray to for guidance and spiritual strength, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." We ask not be tested and if we fall, as we are most likely to, we ask for His grace to seek deliverance.

So while addressed to the Father, this prayer allows us to contemplate the the Holy Trinity -- the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is, indeed, the perfect prayer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creating a playable DVD from a very large AVI file

Created a very large .avi file of a movie (more than two hours long) and tried to burn it onto a dvd using PowerDirector. (In PowerDirector, the option Create Disk allows one to make a DVD playable on any standard DVD player. )

The program assessed the space required and the amount of space available on the blank DVD and warned me that there was insufficient space but at the same time gave me the option to continue with the burn. I selected "Yes" and the program began the conversion and burn but stopped after a while due to space contraints.

Then I noticed that PowerDirector had on the same menu a box that said "Burn to DVD folder". I selected this and the result was a folder with DVD files in .VOB format. The total size of the .vob files were too big for a DVD but using DVD Shrink, I managed to get a DVD playable on my player, without noticable loss of quality.

So for very large AVI files, use PowerDirector to import the large AVI file, burn to a DVD folder and use DVD Shrink to make the DVD.

One might ask, "Why go through all this trouble, when one can burn the AVI files as data on a DVD and play it on a DVD machine?" Well, some, in fact quite a number of DVD players do not play AVI files.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Working with PowerDirector

Just completed a home movie which I shot using in Canon Powershot SX10 iS camera.
This camera takes very good movies even in low light but I found one maddening shortcoming: the autofocus under low light tends to lose the subject and go all blurry, refocussing after a few seconds. Luckily for me, this did not happen at crucial moments during the event.

The video format this camera uses is MOV. As I intended using PowerDirector as my video editor , I had to convert the MOV file to AVI because the free version of this program did not accept MOV files.

The MOV files were converted to AVI using Magix. I tried using MOVAVI to convert the files but for some reason or other, the quality suffered and the output was very poor.

In addition to the video, I shot, I added stills to my edited final product. PowerDirector can make stills from a movie and I made several of these. I then sequenced these stills using Microsoft's PhotoStory adding zoom and pan to slow down the action as it were -- to get a kind of pseudo-slowmotion.

PowerDirector was used to burn the completed movie on a DVD.

As an alternative to burning the final product on DVD, PowerDirector can export/save the completed movie as a Windows AVI which was, in this case, very large (13 gigs) or it could do a DV AVI which was much smaller (2 gigs).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

GIFEexception error

Strange thing happened recently. An exception error message related to my Linksys adapter software kept popping up. Seems that the software that runs my Linksys wireless adapter went haywire -- perhaps a conflict with Windows XP, although why it cropped up suddenly after years of using the Linksys adapter is beyond me.

The solution was to override the Linksys program but still use the adaptor to connect to the internet. The solution was found here:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Free Video Editors for .MOV files

Avidemux 2.5

If you take lots of home videos in .MOV format, you might like this handy little program that allows you to delete unwanted segments of your video easily. All you need to do is to view your video, mark a point A and a point B on the video and select Cut from the Edit menu, and the segment between A and B will disappear. Its scroll button allows you to move frame by frame along your video file enabling you to make the selection of the unwanted segment with precision.

This program is also great for taking out advertisements on recorded programs, or extracting segments that you want to incorporate into other videos.

It will edit almost every video format including MOV files which many editors cannot handle, and will save it in its original file type or an alternative such as AVI or MPEG. It is freeware.

Movavi Video Editor Free Edition
Works almost the same way. You mark the beginning of a segment that you do not want, then mark the end of this segment, and cut it away using the cut tool.
If you do want the segment, instead of cutting it away, you can split the video file at selected spots and delete the portions that you do not want.

But this handy little program seems to be no longer available. I downloaded it once but subsequently could not find either the original an updated version of this program.

AVI trimmer
is another small and free program that will remove segments that you do not want but it will not read .mov files. It works fine with most of the other video formats.

Pinnacle's Video Spin
Wanted a payment for the enhancement to read .MOV files.

could not read .MOV files

Advanced Video Editing
Did not work for me. This software converts video frames to image files. Also it did not read .MOV files.