Making Internet Movie Clips
What is an "Internet Movie Clip"?
An "Internet Movie Clip" is a short digital movie that has been optimized to playback over the internet. This feature is intended to accommodate short 30-60 second clips taken by point and shoot digital cameras. It is NOT meant to handle feature length films or video converted from DV tape.
Always Consider Your Visitors
You will want your visitors to be able to view these clips without having to wait a long time, so you will want to keep the file size as small as possible. Most "Internet Movie Clips" are smaller than 2 MB, which typically takes 30 seconds to play. Remember, although YOU may have a high speed connection, many of your visitors will not.
You will also want your visitors to be able to view these clips without running into technical problems or having to install non-standard browser plugins. Your digital camera likely produces movies in either MPG, AVI, MP4 or MOV format, so as you are traveling you can just upload the movie clip directly from your camera to your MyTripJournal website.
WMV is not a standard movie format for cameras, nor for viewing in non-Windows based browsers, but many travelers use the "Windows Movie Maker" program that comes with Windows to edit their movies - and its default output format is WMV. Although you can make "Windows Movie Maker" output AVI files, many travelers have difficulty with this, so MyTripJournal also supports WMV files. However, it is not recommended as your visitors with non-Windows browsers will have to install a special plug-in.
Preparing Your Camera
To keep the file size small (so your visitors don't have to wait a long time to see each clip and you can upload clips faster) you should adjust your camera's MOVIE settings as follows:
resolution (or 'frame size'): 320*240 (or smaller)
frames per second: 15
Before leaving on your trip, read the 'movies' chapter in your camera's manual.
When recording, keep the duration of your internet movie clip under 60 seconds. Your visitors will appreciate it!
Using Digital Movies Taken With Different Settings
If you have digital movies that were taken with higher frame rates or a larger resolution, you can still upload them to MyTripJournal.com as long as they meet the following requirements:
format: MPG, AVI, MP4, MOV or WMV
resolution (or 'frame size'): 640*480 or smaller
file Size: 16 MB or less
But remember, the larger the resolution and/or frames per second, the larger the file size will be, and the longer your visitors are going to have to wait. If at all possible, you should convert these "Digital Movies" into "Internet Movie Clips" (see below).
Converting "Digital Movies" into "Internet Movie Clips"
You will need a computer that has some kind of video processing software installed on it. There are many software programs that can process video. For computers with the WINDOWS operating system we recommend "Windows Movie Maker" which is included with Windows XP - remembering to save your clip in AVI format for the convenience of your visitors. For Macintosh systems we recommend iMovie (included with Mac OS since 2000).
Using your video processing software you should:
a) load (or import) your movie
b) trim out any parts of the movie you do not want
c) add any enhancements (fades, brightening, sounds, etc)
d) save (export) your movie with the following parameters:
-format (in order of preference): MPG, AVI, MOV, MP4 or WMV
-resolution (or 'frame size'): 320*240 recommended, but MyTripJournal supports up to 640*480
-frames per second: 15 recommended, but MyTripJournal does not monitor the file's frame rate
-if you have a choice for the 'codec' choose 'Cinepak'.
-if you have a choice for 'quality' choose medium
-if you have a choice for 'color bit depth' choose 16
e) Check the file size. Although MyTripJournal supports files up to 16 MB in size, we recommend files be no larger than 5 MB. If your file is larger than 5 MB, we recommend you trim it further, or split it into multiple parts. Remember, an "Internet Movie Clip" is recommended to be no more than 60 seconds long! Your visitors will not want to wait 20 minutes to see each of your movies!
IMPORTANT! You should experiment taking and posting movies with your camera BEFORE you start your trip. That way your camera will be configured correctly and you'll have a good feel for how long your internet movie clips should be, and what makes an interesting movie clip!
If your visitor's browsers are not properly configured for standard internet movie clips, we have an on-line "Playback Problems?" page for reference. MyTripJournal.com cannot offer phone or email technical support for your visitors if their browsers are not properly configured to playback standard internet movie clips.