Video imperfection

I left a previous blog post about my adventures with presentations and video on OS X hanging slightly, by not explaining whether I was successful in crunching a Quicktime video out of my Keynote presentation.

The story so far: I wanted to create a video slideshow + audio track from a Keynote presentation. I had an MP3 of the audio (thanks to Roo), and was trying to glue that together with a Quicktime stream of the slides and transitions. I’d found Keynote’s Quicktime export unsatisfactory, iMovie 6 editing facilities inadequate, and import of static images of the slides into iMovie produced low quality material.

In the end, I was successful. I exported images from Keynote; purchased Still Life to create an iMovie project; downsampled the MP3 track to a lower quality but still acceptable 8kbps using Audacity [NB this step was crucial to creating a final file that was of a reasonable size]; imported the MP3 track into iMovie and then copied each slide frame enough times to cover the time I was speaking over it. Finally, I bought QT Pro and VisualHub to give me more control over the Quicktime file output. The key things in reducing the video size turned out to be downsampling the audio and not worrying too much about compression since the slides were basically static images.

Result: a 45 min presentation which is about 70Mb in size, including speaker audio and audience questions. I’m happy with that.

A week or so after all of these shenanigans, Apple released iWork 08. I’d only bought iWork 06 four weeks previously, and was told that there was no upgrade pricing. The first time Apple has significantly upset me in my 6 month relationship with them.

Anyway, Keynote 08 contains a new Voice-over Recording mode. I gave it a quick try in the Apple Store on Regent Street before I bought iWork 08, and it seemed OK. Unfortunately, my fellow IBMer and Apple zealot Ian Smith has taken a closer look at it, and reports that it gets out of sync. Not good news. I had been hoping to revise my presentation and re-record it so that I could put it up on Slideshare. I might still try to do that just to see whether I suffer from the same problems that Ian discovered.

There has been a lot of controversy over iMovie 08 – it doesn’t open projects created in iMovie 6 by default, and I’m not sure that I’d even be happy trying to do what I did before with the new version, having heard about its deficiencies.

Ian has taken a look at the issues around HD video and the Mac, too… it sounds like there’s still no nirvana here, even though iMovie 08 now supports AVCHD and HDD-based video cameras, there are still a bunch of limitations.

I’m not into video work into a big way, but Ian is. Check out his analysis of the current state of play. He’s worth listening to.

1 thought on “Video imperfection”

  1. Found your post on my RSS search for SlideShare. If you do end creating a Slidecast, I would be very interested in the differences you perceive in using Keynote and SlideShare for creating a synched presentation.

    (the SlideShare team)

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