SEARCH BLOG: TECHNOLOGY
There may be millions of them out there... hundreds of millions... just waiting to fade away. I have a few dozen, so I'm taking steps to save them before they are gone. I'm talking about those old VHS tapes. My oldest is from 1983.
Back then I had a camera about the size of the professional packs you see on the sidelines of football games. It weighed about the same as a baby and was just as fussy. The pictures it took were impressive on a 19" TV then, but not much to speak of now.I ordered a neat little device through Dell for about $80, including shipping and taxes, that converts the analog signals from the tape player [I still have one that works... though I discovered the other one wouldn't even turn on anymore].
Just play the tape with the output cable hooked to a box 3" x 5" and the output from that hooked up to the USB port on my computer. Start the software included with the device and record the videotape as a MPEG2 file ready for use in a DVD.That's the easy part.
The device also included some software for creating DVDs with titles and effects and text and transitions and editing out uninteresting stuff.
I installed that and tried it with the first tape file I had converted. It was a bit slow loading the file and didn't seem to like switching from one editing feature to another... often simply causing "this program is not responding" messages from Windows Vista.I'm waiting to hear back from tech support, but it will probably be from India and a person with an accent so thick that you need a dozen audio filters to get a clear signal.
I uninstalled and reinstalled the program and after a ridiculous number of tries, finally got an edited "project" completed. At about 3 pm I gave it the command to "produce" the DVD.
This morning at 8 am, I checked my computer for the new DVD, but there was just this little progress window that showed 0% complete. You'd think with a new dual core Intel 2 ghz processor and 2 gb of memory with lots of gb of hard drive space that this would be a snap to process... 0% complete.
Meanwhile, I went back to the original tape and the recorded individual segments that I had tried to edit from the first file through the less-than-capable software. After creating the files, I renamed them so that I knew what the contents were [the conversion software assigns incomprehensible codes as names] and then loaded them into Windows DVD Maker. At this point, the burning process is about 43% complete... but at least it is working.
You can say a lot of things about Microsoft, but at least their products work. Maybe they don't offer all of the features that the software which doesn't work offers... but it works.I guess I got what I paid for... an analog to digital device that cost $80 and works... and a DVD editing software for free that is worthless.
I could have saved myself some additional grief by running through the list of programs loaded on my computer.
I found that not only was the Windows DVD Maker software loaded, but its companion program, Windows Movie Maker, which from what I can see, pretty much does what the other software that either didn't work or didn't work well, only does it faster and better...