Importing, Exporting, and Compression Options
LifeFlix is designed to easily import your MiniDV tapes from your camera to your computer. There are a couple of choices you can make when importing and when it comes time to store or export the files. The default options are what we consider the best for those who may not understand the technical aspects of formats and compression.
Three choices to make during your import:
- Rewind or don't rewind the tape before importing.
- Compress or don't compress the videos.
- Save your imports to your computer or to an external hard drive.
Three choices to make after your import:
- Keep all videos as individual clips (or scenes) or combine them into one video/file.
- Keep videos on computer hard drive or move them to an external hard drive.
- Share video clips to Facebook or YouTube.
LifeFlix supports NTSC and PAL formats. In the Import window that appears during your import, you can choose from two checkboxes.
Rewind Tape Before Import. Leave this checked if you're importing a new tape to ensure that the tape is rewound before Import. If you want to import a section from the middle of the tape or want to re-import some video, then uncheck this box before import.
Compress Video On Import. We recommend leaving this box checked because the quality is great. It also creates a smaller file and uses MP4 compression, which is modern and has high quality. If you uncheck the box, it will Import without adding additional compression and will leave the video in its original DV compression.
More on Compression....
- Compressed (leaving the box checked). We use a .mov QuickTime wrapper and apply the Quicktime h.264 or MP4 codec for compression. The data rate for compressed is 3.3 mbps, frame rate is 29.97 (same as original), and resolution is 640x480 (same as original). This option also deinterlaces the video (most people won't see any difference between compressed and uncompressed). MP4 videos upload to YouTube the fastest because it is the format they use.
- Uncompressed (unchecking the box). We merely perform a transcode of the original DV file. It does not compress the original video, it only adds a .mov QuickTime wrapper to it. Choosing uncompressed also retains the original resolution, frame rate, etc. Also, there is no deinterlacing done. 60 minutes of uncompressed video is going to take about 13 GB of storage space. Uploading DV files to YouTube takes longer because YouTube needs to transcode the format to MP4.
- See a visual comparison of video with each compression method here
Export or Saving Options
The imported video files can either be saved your computer (our default) or on an external drive, either as separate individual video clips/files or combined into a single video clip/file.
- Saving to your computer. Just click Import and files will be stored locally in the User/Movies/LifeFlix/Tapes/Scenes folder.
- Saving to an external drive. Before Importing, select the "Choose Video Folder" option under the File menu. Select your drive, then continue with Importing.
- Save as separate video clips or "Scenes." This is the default - just import your tapes!
- Combine all video clips and save as a single file. Follow these steps after importing:
- Connect your camera and click the blue Import button. The Import Options window will appear. Name your tape and optionally give it a description.
- Click Import and come back to it in about an hour. For each tape Import you'll see multiple scenes.
- To combine all scenes or create a single file, click on a Tape, then click the Create Single File button, just above the Scenes. This process can take several minutes depending on the amount of video scenes. This process will combine all Scenes inside of LifeFlix and leaves a single file on your computer (or hard drive). Note: this overwrites the existing files. You can Undo this process by selecting Undo under the Edit menu.
You may also select any combination of individual scenes and use the Combine button to merge them together as one file.