Why can I edit mp4 files (Flip Mino-HD) in Movie Maker?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Music, Pictures and Video' started by eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    It's clear that most people cannot edit .mp4 files from their Flip
    Mino-HD camcorders in Movie Maker. I can, on three different computers
    in my household -- all except for the lone XP system. All of these
    computers have different applications installed.

    I thought I had it figured out. When I plug in the Flip, it installs
    FlipShare automatically. I have plugged the Flip into two of the three
    Vista systems. When I look at Tools->Options->Compatibility on the
    systems that have FlipShare installed, I see that there is a DirectShow
    filter called "PDT IPP Video Decoder" enabled, and it's in one of Pure
    Technologies' (Flip) directories. If I disable that, in Movie Maker, I
    can no longer play or edit the .mp4 files from my Flip Mino-HD.

    However, on my wife's Vista system, the Flip has never been plugged in,
    FlipShare hasn't been installed, the above-mentioned filter isn't
    present, and I can -*still*- load, play, and edit an MP4 file copied
    from one of my other computers. She hasn't installed any video editors
    on her system. There is a bare minimum of filters listed as active in
    Movie Maker.

    Papa John, unfortunately, only talks about Movie Maker 2. There's
    discussion all over the internet from people who would like to know how
    to edit these files in Movie Maker, and about different utilities to use
    to convert the files so they can be edited.

    What am I missing? I would like to be able to explain to others how
    I'm able to edit my Flip files without conversion, but I'm at a loss.

    Has there been a recent update to Windows Vista that made this
    possible?
     
    eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009
    #1
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  2. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    see my website's Cameras and Capture Devices > Brands > Flip page....
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #2
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  3. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    I think you're right... it's about the codecs on the different systems and
    which ones work with Movie Maker.

    As I don't have a Flip camcorder, I can't comment on it from experience. I
    got some technical info from Flip and a couple test files... and get any
    info that comes from postings from those who use them, like yourself.

    Flip told me the avi files from the camcorder were Divx encoded.... but
    GSpot reported them as Xvid. Either way, my standard approach to using such
    files is to convert them first to something more universally accepted by
    Movie Maker, or you risk running into issues at any point, such as when
    trying to save the project as a movie after having invested lots of time
    editing it. Movie Maker was made to work best with DV files. Those who can
    use Divx/Xvid files in it without problems might just be lucky.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #3
  4. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    I should have noted that the option in Flip to email a video produces a wmv
    file that works fine in Movie Maker. One user might be wrestling with a
    Divx/Xvid file and another using a wmv.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #4
  5. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    You'll note that I'm referring to the Flip Mino-HD, which produce .mp4
    files -- not .avi. They are 720p 30 files. This is the latest, and
    hottest, Flip. It's the best-selling HD camcorder on Amazon for quite a
    while, now, and I'm interested in helping people get the footage edited
    in WMM, because... well... they CAN (or, at least, three Vista computers
    in my house can.) The only options this camcorder has to produce .wmv
    files puts out 640x320 files for YouTube. You can upload the .mp4 clips
    and get an HD rating, from YouTube, but the .wmv movis don't get the
    nod.

    WMM seems the right 'scale' of editor to work with footage from a $200
    HD camcorder for the masses, so it's worth pursuing.

    I have a utility called "mediainfo" that gives this information on one
    of my files:

    Format : MPEG-4
    Format profile : Sony PSP
    Codec ID : MSNV
    File size : 13.1 MiB
    Duration : 10s 533ms
    Overall bit rate : 10.5 Mbps
    Encoded date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26
    Tagged date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26

    Video
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : [email protected]
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame
    Codec ID : avc1
    Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration : 10s 533ms
    Bit rate mode : Variable
    Bit rate : 10.4 Mbps
    Width : 1 280 pixels
    Height : 720 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16/9
    Frame rate mode : Constant
    Frame rate : 30.000 fps
    Resolution : 24 bits
    Colorimetry : 4:2:0
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.376
    Stream size : 13.1 MiB (99%)
    Language : Japanese
    Encoded date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26
    Tagged date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26

    Audio
    Format : AAC
    Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
    Format version : Version 4
    Format profile : LC
    Format settings, SBR : No
    Codec ID : 40
    Duration : 10s 518ms
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 64.0 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 1 channel
    Channel positions : C
    Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
    Resolution : 16 bits
    Stream size : 82.4 KiB (1%)
    Language : Japanese
    Encoded date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26
    Tagged date : UTC 2009-02-21 18:49:26

    Sorry for referring to you as having a forum. It's just that so many
    people quote you in the Windows Movie Maker Forum that it feels like
    yours. :D

    You clearly know more about Movie Maker than anyone else I've found.
    If you don't the answer on this one, I despair of finding anyone who
    does.
     
    eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009
    #5
  6. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    You're right... my info is for the original Flip, not the HD model. I don't
    have an HD camcorder of any brand or model, and gave up long ago trying to
    keep up with the newest models and file formats.

    Do you happen to have a link to a downloadable sample file, or can you email
    one that's less than 10 MB.... my email address is at the bottom of the main
    page of my website. I'd be interested in checking it in XP, Vista, and
    Windows 7, and adding info to my website's Flip page.

    I agree with you about Movie Maker being a natural choice when it comes to
    editing clips from Flip and other best-selling cameras/camcorders. Movie
    Maker was originally made for DV. My local Sams Club last month stopped
    selling DV models, but it has a big pile of Flips.

    Vista's Movie Maker didn't really go beyond MM2.1 in XP when it comes to
    using different file formats. The MPEG2 codec in the Ultimate and Home
    Premium editions helped a bit, but it'll be the newly created Windows Live
    Movie Maker in Windows 7 that offers the big step toward more universal file
    use.... today it's only a promise, not an available app.

    I'm currently reading a book about streaming media... it says that MPEG2
    specified 7 video profiles, while MPEG4 provides no less than 38.... digital
    video gets better and better, but with the confusion of more and more
    choices.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #6
  7. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    I found a file I can download and use as a test...
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #7
  8. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    eisenworks,

    I checked the MP4 file in XP... where it didn't play in Windows Media Player
    or import into MM2.1. It played fine in the Quick Time Player, aligning with
    one comment I saw online about it being an MOV file.

    :Then I downloaded and installed the Flipshare software... not having a
    Flip camcorder, it didn't let me use the downloaded test file but it
    installed the PDT IPP MPEG Audio Decoder and PDT IPP Video Decoder that
    supported playing the test file in Windows Media Player, but not importing
    it into MM2.1.

    File conversion was easy.... preserving High Def qualities. I did it two
    ways. The all-purpose Xilisoft converter did it from the MP4 file to a WMV
    file. And, with the clue that it might be aligned with MOV files, renaming
    the file extension from MP4 to MOV let RadVideo Tools convert it to an AVI
    file compressed with a Motion JPEG compressor. The WMV and AVI files
    imported into and worked well in MM2.1.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #8
  9. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    It took me three tries to get it through my head that to take a <10mb
    clip, I have to keep it to about 5 seconds! Anyway, I sent it along.

    Is it possible that MM2 simply won't use files with an .mp4 extent,
    whether the codec is there or not? I have FlipShare installed on my XP
    machine, and WMM sees the codec under tools->options->compatibility, but
    it still won't look at the file.

    Thanks!
     
    eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009
    #9
  10. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    Thanks for the sample file... it and the file I downloaded last night align
    in properties.

    Yes, MM2.1 checks the files a little as it imports them... with the codec
    installed by the Flipshare software on my XP system and showing up in the
    compatibility list of MM2.1, it still doesn't import.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #10
  11. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    Were you able to open the .mp4 files on a Vista/MM6 system?
     
    eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009
    #11
  12. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    I leap-frogged to check it in Windows 7.... a fresh install that I did
    yesterday... your test file was the first thing I added after the startup.

    I double-clicked your MP4 file and Windows Media Player 12 opened with Layla
    (your dog) looking and sounding. That's without the Flipshare software
    installed.

    I'm using the Ultimate version of Windows 7, which includes an MPEG4
    decoder... the file is mpg4decd.dll. I'm assuming that's the filter being
    used.

    Windows 7 doesn't come with any version of Movie Maker, so I'm not ready to
    test it until I setup Windows Live Movie Maker... and my hack of MM2.1..

    My Vista system is a laptop running the Home Basic version. I'll be testing
    it there tonight during my evening session at Barnes & Noble..
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #12
  13. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    I failed to mention that, with FlipShare installed, the .mp4 plays in
    WMP on my XP laptop without any difficulty. (Maybe a little stuttery,
    but we're talking about a 4-year-old VAIO.) I may have had to create
    the file association -- I can't remember.

    I had heard a rumor that Microsoft was going to take steps to
    accommodate AVCHD in Windows 7 -- not abandoning VC1, but realizing that
    AVCHD is becoming a dominant format.
     
    eisenworks, Apr 10, 2009
    #13
  14. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    No luck using the file in Windows Live Movie Maker beta... before installing
    the FlipShare software. It worked fine in it after setting up the codecs
    with FlipShare.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #14
  15. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    What I'm seeing in Windows 7 is typical... Windows Media Player and Windows
    Movie Maker sometimes use the same codecs/filters, but sometimes use
    different ones.

    In the case of MP4 files from Flip-Mino HD camcorders, WMP12 uses the
    Microsoft MPG4 filter while Movie Maker uses the 3ivx one from Flip.
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 10, 2009
    #15
  16. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    This is my win.ini file, with the changes being (I suspect) the
    addition of the last six lines:

    --------------------------------------
    ; for 16-bit app support
    [fonts]
    [extensions]
    [mci extensions]
    [files]
    [Mail]
    MAPI=1
    [MCI Extensions.BAK]
    m2v=MPEGVideo
    mod=MPEGVideo
    [Compatibility16]
    DXRCH=55955
    SEKTVER=113189
    R1CHMEDIA=42405
    [Ans2000]
    Pattern=54684
    [EVPosition]
    68797-020721-145016-11.X=746
    68797-020721-145016-11.Y=42
    [IPPMPEGAudioDecoder]
    param1=0
    param2=0
    [IPPMp4Splitter]
    param1=0
    param2=0
    -------------------------------------------

    You might recall my saying that the filter in MM6 that makes the
    difference for me is "PDT IPP Video Decoder." That is, if I uncheck it
    and restart MM, it will no longer play the file. 3ivx does get
    installed by FlipShare, and it shows up in the filter list, also. I
    thought I tried turning that off, but perhaps I missed it.

    I'm going to guess that, for whatever reason, the screen switch is
    about going between 16-bit and 32-bit color. Something did that on my
    system, recently, but if it was FlipShare, it's no longer doing it.
    Perhaps it required a reboot... Maybe that's the role of the win.ini
    change?

    Wha was your source for FlipShare? The Flip website?

    I got the files to play in WMP by opening them with WMP, and then
    telling WMP that it's okay in the future to open this kind of file.

    I have edited some movies in MM6 that combine files of all different
    sorts, including Flip .mp4 files and AVCHD (.mts) files from my Canon
    HF10, as well as Microsoft media files. Add transitions, effects, and
    titles, render as 720p or 1080p. This is why I'm excited about MM6. I
    wish I had a way for XP folks to work with HD files.
     
    eisenworks, Apr 11, 2009
    #16
  17. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    PapaJohn, I want to grab a quote of yours from the middle of the stream,
    because it's really about the bottom line of this discussion:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -"I agree with you about Movie Maker being a natural choice when it
    comes to
    editing clips from Flip and other best-selling cameras/camcorders.
    Movie
    Maker was originally made for DV. My local Sams Club last month stopped
    selling DV models, but it has a big pile of Flips.

    Vista's Movie Maker didn't really go beyond MM2.1 in XP when it comes
    to
    using different file formats. The MPEG2 codec in the Ultimate and Home
    Premium editions helped a bit, but it'll be the newly created Windows
    Live
    Movie Maker in Windows 7 that offers the big step toward more universal
    file
    use.... today it's only a promise, not an available app.

    I'm currently reading a book about streaming media... it says that
    MPEG2
    specified 7 video profiles, while MPEG4 provides no less than 38....
    digital
    video gets better and better, but with the confusion of more and more
    choices."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -I have immersed myself in the MPEG4 confusion -- first by figuring out
    how to edit AVCHD (.mts) files from by Canon HF10 in MM6, then .mp4
    files from my Flip Mino-HD. I want to be able to extend the experience
    to others.

    The Vista-MM6 version apparently *-does -*go quite a bit beyond what
    MM2 will do with handling files in at least two flavors of MPEG4, if you
    install the software that comes with the Canon and Flip camcorders.
    Doing that installs the right codecs, and MM6 can be coaxed into taking
    advantage of them. I've had no such luck with XP-MM2.

    I'm puzzled by what you say about Windows Live Movie Maker. I recently
    installed the Beta of that, and it seems virtually useless, to me. It
    looks like a kind of appendage to Windows Live Photo Gallery -- more
    designed to quickly string together some photos and windows media videos
    and add a soundtrack than to do any semi-serious editing. Have you
    looked at it? Is there something you know that I don't about this? Will
    the Windows 7 version of this program be substantially different in
    functionality from this beta?
     
    eisenworks, Apr 11, 2009
    #17
  18. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    You might recall my saying that the filter in MM6 that makes the
    You can check and uncheck the line items and the changes are implemented
    immediately without having to restart Movie Maker. It might appear to not
    take effect because the thumbnails for the clips still show, as they were
    already added to the collection database or project file... but trying to
    play or preview it should show it not working with the item unchecked.
    3ivx shows in my list also.
    The flip-flopping of the sceens in Vista and Windows 7 turns off the
    aero-glass feature when FlipShare is opened, and returns it OK when
    FlipShare is closed.
    Converting the HD MP4 files to AVI or WMV files can retain the HD settings.
    MM2.1 in XP can use them in projects and save them to HD quality movies by
    using a custom profile.

    I'll have some other notes to add to my site, such as McAfee virus
    protection on my Vista system not liking what FlipShare was doing to the ini
    file. I had to give it permissions.

    --
    PapaJohn
    www.papajohn.org


     
    PapaJohn, Apr 11, 2009
    #18
  19. eisenworks

    PapaJohn Guest

    We're in the middle of Microsoft doing a big Flip-Flop in Movie Maker. They
    bet on HD, which lost to BlueRay. and now doing their best to support users
    by redoing their Windows Live Movie Maker app from scratch.

    I'm following the development of Windows Live Movie Maker.... it's not a
    Windows 7 app, being a download for Vista and Windows 7 users, part of the
    Windows Live Suite... I'm under NDA with Microsoft and can't share
    everything I learn about it until it's released.

    Maybe it's more of a Flop-Flip

    Feel free to use anything I say in posts...
     
    PapaJohn, Apr 11, 2009
    #19
  20. eisenworks

    eisenworks Guest

    The one positive I've seen so far, with Windows Live Movie Maker, is
    that it's okay with my MP4 files from the Flip. It still doesn't like
    the MTS (AVCHD) files from my Canon HF10, though.

    I'm going guess Microsoft is going to go through the kind of
    difficulties with Windows Live Movie Maker that Apple did with iMovie
    '08. Re-design draws howls from those who liked the old design --
    particularly when functionality is lost.
     
    eisenworks, Apr 13, 2009
    #20
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