HandBrake screen shot and logo.
I’m often asked to get video off of a DVD recording of a lecture or presentation so that it can be used with the Spark MediaMarkup tool
or embedded into a web site (e.g. blog, wiki, course system etc.)
HandBrake is a cool little tool that does a great job of converting the DVD video into a number of standard formats. And best of all it’s open source (therefore free) and comes in a variety of OS flavors.
Recently I got an email from a student who was having difficulties uploading a video she had made to VoiceThread. Her hypothesis was that the video was “too large”. For free accounts the upload limit is 25MB (it’s 100MB if you have an educator or pro account). So she could be right. If she had not used any kind of compression, her 6 minute video could easily be much larger than the limit.
I offered to take the video and run some transcodings on it to turn it into something more web friendly. Instead of sending me the original video file the student had uploaded the video to YouTube. Luckily I’d installed a lovely little tool called DownloadHelper.
This is a free Firefox extension that recognizes video media on the web page you are currently on and allows you to download it, in a number of different formats, to your computer. I chose to save is as an MP4. This saved a file of 10MB in size. I uploaded to VoiceThread to make sure it worked. Nice one!