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I run the IT support for an online class in which the primary assignment is for students to upload a series of videos. These students are very computer illiterate, so ...
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    Open Source Video Importer/Editor?


    I run the IT support for an online class in which the primary assignment is for students to upload a series of videos. These students are very computer illiterate, so you can imagine how much time I'm spending with them on the phone walking them through everything from the video import process to uploading to the FTP server.

    Anyway, I found FireFTP (thank God), so that totally takes care of that issue. What I really need now is an open source (or freeware) program that runs on Windows XP/Vista AND Apple that can import a video from a camcorder via USB 2.0 or Firewire. I've seen several possibilities doing random google searches, and I can spend the next week testing, but does anyone here have a quick recommendation? I want to get everyone using the same software so I can write a simple tutorial that everyone can use.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    MoD
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    Kaltura

    Hi,

    It seems that what you need is a system that will handle the whole sequence of uploading, transcoding and serving of the video later on the website...

    In that case, meet Kaltura (Kaltura - Open Source Video Platform). Kaltura is Open Source Rich-Media Platform. It handles everything from the upload and import of content (including recording based on Adobe Flash and Red5) trough encoding in different formats, delivery and more interactive tools such as online video editor, subtitles and so on...

    You didn't mention what you're doing with the uploaded files later, can you elaborate a bit more about your deployment and requirements ?

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    I looked at that, but I don't really think I need the server aspect. I'll check it again. Let me be a little more specific in what I am trying to do. The students have the following assignment:

    1. Record a sermon via a digital camcorder
    2. Import that sermon to their desktop/laptop, and save it in a universal file type (.mpg, .avi, etc.)
    3. Keep the file size under 300MB (pref. <150)
    4. Upload to the file to the FTP server.

    The seminary has provided the FTP site. Now, unfortunately, our students are terrible in terms of technology. I was able to make (4) very easy with FireFTP. I no longer have some students using FireFox, others using IE 6, others using IE 7, others using the Windows Explorer, and others using Safari. Everybody is on the same system there.

    Now, these are online students, so I can't make them all use the same camera. Everyone has different models. Some models use firewire; others use USB 2.0. So there is nothing I can do to mak e(1) any easier for them. But . . .

    The problem they are having is transferring the files from their camera to their computers in an effective manner. Some are using XP, others Vista, and others Apple. For those using XP, I wrote out standard instructions using the old version of Movie Maker. That worked very well for the first year or so, but as Vista is becoming more popular among Windows users (YUCK), I am seeing the need to write instructions for using both the new version of Movie Maker AND Encoder.

    The simple fact: our students just can't handle that. Until the administration requires a Computer Basics remedial course, they simply will not be able to follow an instruction manual, no matter how simply and with how many Screen Shots are provided, to import the video and then filter it through Encoder, all before uploading it to the FTP.

    So, what I want is an Open Source/Freeware video editor that is cross platform so that students can import their videos and put them in the correct file format and size so that they can upload those files to the FTP server. In that case, all I have to write is a set of instructions on how to install the editor and how to use it to create the file. I can then tack on the FireFTP instructions, and everyone will have the same procedures for getting their assignments completed.

    Ok . . .I think that covers it. Sorry for the length! I was unclear before because I was trying to avoid all that mess, but if you can point me in the right direction, I'd be much obliged.

    Thanks!

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    MoD
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    In case these 4 steps are all you need in your application, I'd say write another manual for iMovie and one for Vista and you're good to go.

    Can I ask what you're doing with the videos after the users uploaded to the FTP ?

    Using a server will enable you to forget all about manuals and handling the encoding yourself later, you will be able to direct your users to a website where they can select whatever videos they have and just upload with an easy to use interface. + you will be able to let them edit and play the videos later, and you will have an easy way of managing the videos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoD View Post
    In case these 4 steps are all you need in your application, I'd say write another manual for iMovie and one for Vista and you're good to go.

    Can I ask what you're doing with the videos after the users uploaded to the FTP ?

    Using a server will enable you to forget all about manuals and handling the encoding yourself later, you will be able to direct your users to a website where they can select whatever videos they have and just upload with an easy to use interface. + you will be able to let them edit and play the videos later, and you will have an easy way of managing the videos.
    Thanks, MoD. I'll just talk to the administration about letting me set up a server here for easier integration. The students are divided into groups, and they have to DL each others' sermons from the FTP site. You can imagine the confusion when different people are getting different file types and using different OSs.

    I guess I'll just write up a couple of manuals for each of the major capturing programs.

    Thanks again.

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