Getting Started with MovieCaptioner: Preparing Your Movies

Getting Started with MovieCaptioner: Preparing Your Movies


In this video we’re going to talk about getting your movies ready to use in MovieCaptioner. MovieCaptioner is a QuickTime-based software, and as such you’ll need to create your movies in either a QuickTime movie format or MPEG-4. It can take MP3 audio files as well. If you try to load an HD movie, you may get this warning. It’s just letting you know that there could be some problems with using large movie files, especially when setting new captions. The Repeat function can tend to bog down trying to move that much information and you might see it either grind to a halt or experience a lag when typing before anything shows up in the text window. This is easy to avoid, though, by making another working copy of your movie just for captioning purposes. Let’s open our movie in QuickTime 7 and take a look at the Movie Inspector window. HD videos are normally 1920×1080 pixels in size and we’re going to shoot for at least half that, so no larger than 960 x 540 for the best performance in MovieCaptioner. Another limitation would be to keep the frame rate at no more than 30 frames per second. This movie’s frame rate is fine as it is. Remember to set your frame rate in MovieCaptioner to the same frame rate as you see here. You’d do that either by going to the Preferences window or a shortcut is to click on the FPS setting in the middle of the interface. There you can choose the frame rate from the pulldown menu. If you happen to have QuickTime Pro, which is a $30 upgrade to the QuickTime 7 program, you can just go to File>Export… choose Movie to QuickTime Movie, then click Options so you can set your video and audio compression, frame rate, and size. Since Apple stopped selling the Pro upgrade to QuickTime 7, however, we’re going to use another app to do the same thing. This one is called MPEG Streamclip and is available for free from http://www.squared5.com. After you download and install MPEG Streamclip, just drag your movie onto its interface then go to the File menu and choose Export to QuickTime. From there you’ll get a little settings window. We’ll choose H.264 for the compression, set the quality to about 75% and 30 frames per second for the frame rate. In the Frame Size settings, we’re going to shoot for half HD size, but there doesn’t seem to be 960 x 540 as a choice here, so we’ll need to click the Other radio button and manually set it to 960 x 540 there. After that just click the Make Movie button and give it a new name. Be sure to save it to your main hard drive so MovieCaptioner can access it easier. I also want to caution you that you might run into some trouble if you have spaces in the name of the movie. If you have QuickTime selected as the Preview player in MovieCaptioner on the Mac, it may not display your movie and/or your captions due to a problem Apple introduced into a later version of QuickTime. They are no longer doing bug fixes on QuickTime 7, so that will always be a problem. Just use underscores or remove the spaces altogether and you won’t run into that problem. Once it’s done exporting you’ll have a movie you can use in MovieCaptioner. If you’ve done some captions already using your large movie, have no fear. You can just replace it with the smaller one you just made by going to File>Load Movie and selecting your new movie. That’s all there is to it. Hopefully this will help you create movies that will perform better when you’re captioning in MovieCaptioner. Thanks for watching. You can download a free demo of MovieCaptioner from the Web site at http://www.synchrimedia.com, It’s fully functional for 14 days so you can give it a good test drive and just email me if you have any questions. I’d be glad to help you!

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