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Converting Video Formats


Converting DVD to Video file
Trimming a video clip
Convert MPEG1/MOV/AVI/DV videos to MPEG4/h264
Converting WMV/FLV videos
YouTube Converters


Why convert a DVD to a video file?

LiveWorship v1.3 adds the ability to set a DVD clip as a background image for a slide. This feature relies on LiveWorship being able to tap into the DVD player capability of the computer. An alternative to playing a video clip directly from a DVD is to convert the DVD into a stand alone video file. One advantage of using a video file is being able to display the video more quickly because you are not relying on the computer to spin up the DVD disk/drive.


NOTE: Before converting media from one format to another, users should know the copyright laws that govern and limit how protected media can be changed. There are also restrictions on how copyrighted media can be displayed before audiences. See discussion on copyright issues at ChurchMultimedia.com and the following organizations which provide legal avenues to display videos CLVI, MPLC, WingClips for more info.


Converting video from a DVD to a file

Handbrake is a cross-platform, open-source (as in free) application that will take a chapter or chapters of a DVD and convert them into a stand alone video file. Handbrake began as a project on the Mac and still tends to work best on this platform. The default is to create a MPEG4/h.264 file which tend to play back very well in LiveWorship. (An alternative is the free Mac-only application MacTheRipper.)


Handbrake Application window to convert DVD clip to a video file.


Image: Select the chapter (or chapters) to convert


Trimming a video clip

If you need a video clip smaller than one chapter, you can trim the video in a software editing program. MPEG Streamclip is a free, cross-platform application that will allow you to trim your video by setting "in" and "out" points.

MPEG Streamclip application

Drag the video clip into the MPEG Steamclip window. Move the playhead to the position where you want the clip to start and press "i" on the keyboard or pull the Edit menu to "Select In". Move the playhead to the position where you want the clip to end and press "o" on the keyboard or pull the Edit menu to "Select Out".

Select in and out points to trim the video clip

Pull the Edit menu to Trim. Pull the File menu to Save As...


Converting videos to MPEG4/h264

MPEG4/h.264 is a video format that is very compressed (small file sizes), yet plays back nicely in LiveWorship.

Convert MPEG1/MOV/AVI/DV videos

MPEG Streamclip is a cross-platform application that is free and makes it easy to convert other formats to MPEG4/h.264.

Drag the video into the MPEG Streamclip window and pull the File menu to "Export as MPEG4...". The default settings usually will create a video that is very close in quality to the original.

MPEG Streamclip settings for Export as MPEG4
[use "unscaled" resolution for Frame size]


Using Apple's Final Cut Pro and Compressor:

Export from FCP to Compressor and choose "WebStreaming (QT7 compatible)" and "H.264 LAN Streaming" for the setting:


Using Apple's iMovie 06 or earlier:

Import the video into iMovie 06 and choose Export... and in the drop down "compress movie for..." select "Expert Settings". After clicking the "share" button, the save dialog will appear. Under the "export" drop down, select "Movie to QuickTime Movie". If you click the "Options..." button, you can change the video settings...the default may be H264...if not, click the "settings" button for video and select H264 from the compression drop down at the top of the dialog box.

Using Apple's iMovie 08 or later:

Import the video into iMovie and under the Share... menu select "Export using QuickTime..." and select "Movie to QuickTime Movie" in the settings.

Converting WMV/FLV videos

[also see converting YouTube]

WMV/FLV Converters for Mac

The well known iSquint (free) and VisualHub (commercial) video conversion utilites are now Open Source and have been renamed PunyVid and FilmRedux, respectively. Compiled versions of FilmRedux can be found on this blog at the bottom of the page in the "Downloads" list. In our testing, there are still some bugs (an AppleScript error appeared and the application stopped in the middle of the conversion process, but the complete converted file could be found labeled "temp" on the drive).

Image: FilmRedux application for Macs to convert WMV to MPEG4

There are many commercial Mac products that can convert FLV, WMV, AVI and others to H.264, such as: Video Converter

Image: Commercial application for Macs to convert WMV to MPEG4

WMV/FLV Converters for Windows

Free iPod Video Converter is a free application for Windows to convert WMV to MPEG4/h.264 that was reviewed on Download.com. Drag your file into the window and select the video size (set to same as source) and increase the quality to the highest. After building your task list and then click the "convert!" button.


SUPER (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer) is a free application for Windows that claims to convert nearly any video format (including WMV, FLV, to MPEG4/h.264 (or nearly any other format).


YouTube Converters

KeepVid is a free website that will take a youTube or Vimeo link and allow you to download the file as an MPEG4/h.64 file.

TubeSock (10.6+) is a cross-platform, commercial/paid application that will convert a YouTube address into a MPEG4/h.264 video. Until you register, TubeSock will convert only the first 30 seconds of a video. GetTube (10.7+) is a Mac application (limited trial version) that will allow you to download YouTube videos as MPEG4/h.264 videos (set to .mp4 in preferences).

iSkysoft Video Converter is a commercial application for Windows or Mac that will convert nearly any video fo MPEG4/h.264 (and also supports downloading from online sites like YouTube).

MovieSherlock (10.6+) and Downie (10.9+) are Mac only, paid applications that will allow you to search and convert YouTube videos to MPEG4/h.264 videos.

There are also screen capture applications that allow you to record areas of your screen (like when you are watching a YouTube video, etc.) such as the free Mac app Screeny, the paid Mac apps SnapzPro or ScreenFlow, paid cross-plaform app Camtasia, or free Windows open-source app CamStudio. Some of these you may still need to convert the captured video file to MPEG4/h.264 with another application (see conversion tools above).


Troubleshooting DVD Playback

Visit the FAQ topic for the most current information.

Media files may not function properly in LiveWorship (although they may play in the QuickTime Player application) until you change their file permissions to "read & write" access. Copy the file to your computer's harddrive before importing and change the file's permission to "read & write" before importing into LiveWorship. Mac: To set the file permissions, select the file and pull the File menu to Get Info. At the bottom of the Get Info window, change the Sharing & Permissions to allow "read & write" for the primary user (this may require admin access to complete).



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