Monday, April 14, 2014

Giving Video a Trim

This morning a colleague wanted to insert an online video into her PowerPoint presentation. But not just a video - an excerpt from a video. This led me down a few roads of exploration, just to verify what I thought I knew...

Source of the video - Uh oh...
I love YouTube. I can find a tutorial for just about anything on it. Teachers can find videos on just about anything on there. It's a great resource.  However, waiting for videos from YouTube to buffer in the middle of a lesson can be tedious, I know. And since our teachers switch classrooms all the time, it's tough to have everything set up and buffered ahead of time for each class. So downloading videos from YouTube is tempting. But is it allowed?

No. Not according to YouTube (owned by Google). The terms of service state...

5. Your Use of Content

In addition to the general restrictions above, the following restrictions and conditions apply specifically to your use of Content.
  1. The Content on the Service, and the trademarks, service marks and logos ("Marks") on the Service, are owned by or licensed to YouTube, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law.
  2. Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content. (highlighting emphasis mine)
My quick research shows that people will debate until they are blue in the face whether or not you will get in trouble for downloading videos from YouTube. Me? I'm just going to leave you with the above policy and move on to explain how to manipulate videos and clip them using videos from Vimeo that are licensed under Creative Commons if I need an example.

Downloading the video...
The internet abounds with free video converters. Some are web-based, others involved downloading software. One that I've had installed on my computer for a while is YTD Video Converter (yes, the YT stems from YouTube). I learned about it from our Computer Applications teachers, then found it to download and a write-up about it from CNET, which I generally trust.
Downloading is quick, installing is easy, and it's simple to use. Copy and paste the URL for your video into the box in the Download tab, make a few selections, click Download, and your video is headed your way.  

One warning: When installing, make sure to click "Custom Install" and remove the check marks next to all the lovely options about a toolbar and resetting your home page, etc. Unless you like those surprises. Then on the next install screen, click "No Thanks" when asked about installing something else that I can't recall. Sneaky. Very sneaky. 

Trimming the video...
We are on PCs here, so Movie Maker is standard issue on our image. I know it can be bulky, that people who work with video editing all the time don't love it, but for this purpose, it works.

When you open Movie Maker, you have a blank slate, ready for you to add video or image files. Easy enough. Click on either of the areas highlighted in the image below and select the file you just downloaded:

After you add your video, Movie Maker takes a few minutes to process the video. Be patient. If it's a long video, take the time to get a cup of coffee, grade a few quizzes, or search Twitter for something fun like #edtech.

For this project, you only need one tool in Movie Maker: the Trim tool. You will find it in the "Edit" ribbon, which only appears as part of "Video Tools" once you insert a video file.

The Trim tool is simple to use. Choose where you want your clip to begin and end, down to one hundredth of a second. Click "Save trim" and you are good.


Saving the trimmed video...

The most important part of saving a Movie Maker project is in HOW you save it. I had a group of students figure this out about five minutes before their final project was due in my Literature in the Cinema class a few years ago. Clicking the "File" menu in Movie Maker presents you with a few options and

  • "Save Project" & "Save Project As" - use these if you are in the process of manipulating your video and need to take a break. It saves your work as a .wlmp file. This will not play in video software (QuickTime, Media Player, etc.). Think of it as a folder containing all of the video clips, images, and sound clips you want in your video, along with instructions for how to play them.
  • "Publish Movie" - want to send your finished product directly to the web? This is a quick way. Chose from Vimeo, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc.
  • "Save Movie" - CHOOSE THIS if you want to save a video file to your computer so you can embed it into a presentation, email it, show it from your hard drive, burn to a DVD, etc. 

Embedding the video...
This is the easiest part.  Piece of cake. Open your PowerPoint file and insert a new slide. If you choose the common "title and content" layout, the icon is there waiting for you to insert a video. Just click on the video icon in the middle of the blank space: 

Another way to add a video is to select the "Insert" ribbon, then select "Video" waaaay over to the right side of the ribbon (I almost missed it) and click "Video on my PC" to select your file.

Done. These details/instructions actually make it seem to take longer than it really does. Maybe that's just the process of typing them amidst Monday interruptions. Oh well. Good luck!

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