Monday, April 3, 2006

Video & Conversion (not that kind of conversion!)

Do you remember your first kiss? I do; 5th grade, Gina Stabile, recess, outside the gym doors. We pecked, then ran away from eachother as fast as we could.

Do you remember when you converted to Apple? I do.

It was a couple of years ago. Two things moved me to Apple: one, OS X (a linux based operating system, with the sex appeal of Apple design), and two, ease of video editing (iMovie/iDVD).

My wife (didn't turn out to be Gina) had our first child, and I wanted to capture everything and create videos that family/friends could see. I also wanted the videos for archival purposes; you know, typical parent stuff. I wanted to put some production quality into the videos as well; not just send out clips of things I'd captured (although I wanted to do that too). I recall going to the local CompUSA to pull all the pieces together for a Windows based PC. For fifteen years I had been cobbling together my own PCs/desktops (I even had a computer build/resale business for awhile), so I was interested in playing with video components on wintel. That is, until I had a shopping cart half full of products (software and hardware) that undoubtedly was going have trouble integrating. The "old" me, the "pre-parent" me, would have really enjoyed knocking all the pieces together, and the multiple trips to CompUSA. The "new" me, the "parent" me, knew that I wouldn't have time for all the construction and experimentation. Not to mention learn multiple workflow products (importing tools, editing tools, exporting tools, etc), none of which was meant to work with the other except at the win32 API level.

I wandered over to the Apple section and told the Apple representative what I was trying to do. He introduced me to the iMac, firewire, iMovie and iDVD. I walked out of CompUSA with two items; an iMac (which came preloaded w/ iMovie and iDVD), and a 3' firewire cable to connect my camcorder to the iMac. Soon after that, I had my first iMovie which I burned to DVDs for the non-Internet savvy of my audience, and an MPEG version for those who could drive a browser and media player. I did have to buy a couple of DVD players for grandparents without them.

I was so pleased at having converted.

Today, my video editing skills have improved immensely, and I spend my time considering the creative aspects of video editing; such as, event/time/audio sync'ing (the true art of video creation). I would probably still be trying to get all the parts to interoperate had I tried to do all this with a Windows box.

Apple takes the technology and user interface challenges out of useful computing processes; what a concept!

I'm reminded of a conversation I had with an old technology friend, during which I asked, "when is this all just going to work?" "This" referring to technology (specifically we were talking about the challenges of cross-platform browser plugin finding and installation).

Apple's making it happen!

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