My 8th graders are currently making way too many movies. I think I had the entire class (40+ kids) in my lab everyday afterschool last week. They are finally finishing an element music video project. We have been converting them to quicktime - I don't have a DVD burner. Some of the Quicktime videos are not working - although the iMovie runs just fine. Any ideas?

Tags: Quicktime, iMovie

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Why not just post them to TeacherTube?
Can I post them directly from iMovie? Don't I first have to convert them to Quicktime? The iMovie is a huge file and hard to move around.
Hi Elizabeth,
If you post to any online service, including TeacherTube, you will need to convert the videos first. Acceptable video formats are usually .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .FLV (.mov of course being QuickTime.)

Some ideas (and these are just ideas, I am not an expert but I've had a lot of kids and teachers making movies) regarding why your quicktimes are sometimes not working - I've found it often has something to do with the sound files of the particular movie. Sometimes a person uses a downloaded music files that, while it will play in iMovie, it will not convert to quicktime, and so the imovie won't convert. This has something to do with the copyright encoding embedded in the music file. It may look like it is working, but the final product won't play.

If it is a music file causing your problem, then the program not letting the movie render out to a quicktime is probably a good thing, as it is telling you that it is in copyright violation and the student needs to pick a different sound track.

Other issues can be a huge file that never finishes conversion because the computer's memory can't handle the final conversion. It takes a LOT of memory free on the hard drive of a computer that is being used to make the video; when it is writing the final copy, it actually dups itself out onto the hard drive as it puts all the pieces together. If your hard drives are almost full, this can cause problems when rendering, or converting, the final movie.

You iMovie that plays in the iMovie program is not an actual movie file per se. All the little pieces of the movie - the sound or narration, the pictures, the video, are all stored in separate places until you tell the program to convert your iMovie into an actual movie, either as a QuickTime or a .dv or send it to iDVD and make a DVD movie. What you see in that timeline in iMovie is a set of, well, 'pointers' like in a database, that point to the location of all those pieces. So, when you tell it to render those pieces into a movie, by telling it to convert the iMovie, the computer can find all those parts. The actual final rendered movie file is smaller than the pieces, but it needs empty space on the hard drive to put the pieces together as it renders the final product.
I hope some of this makes sense! And that it helps!
:) Linda
I get the feeling we are going to be picking your brain quite a bit... ;)
Linda,
Thanks so much for your help! These are pretty big files and they are music videos, so either of your scenerios could be true. First I'll have the kids dump as much as they can off the hard drive and then try converting to Quicktime again. If that doesn't work then I will check into the music. I thought fair use woud allow us to use the music, since it is purely for educational purposes and we aren't going to publicize the videos anywhere else. Am I wrong about that?
-Elizabeth
Elizabeth,

If the music is the issue, try this site for music that is licensed under the Creative Commons licensing agreement. This is probably a good way to discuss the nebulous issue of copyright in the Web 2.0 world.

Shawn
Well, I wish I could say yes, but recent copyright rulings would lead me to say, no. You are far better off telling the kids that they have to use music that is not copyrighted. I have lots of friends, teachers and kids, who break this all the time and think they are safe if they only show their videos locally, like to family and friends at school. But the reality of it is that, it only takes someone uploading their video to YouTube or MySpace or some other service to get them into serious trouble. When in doubt, don't put your career on the line. And the kids - they can be putting their family's finances on the line if they end up doing something that gets them sued! Ask the college students who thought they were just downloading and sharing music to listen to with their friends, and are now paying out thousands of dollars under recent court rulings.
My experience with all movie programs is that students sometimes save the project instead of doing that last step of rendering the movie into a video. The movie runs fine inside of iMovie on the computer on which it was created but it is still in the project stage. Make sure your students do that last "Share" step to render the movie into a Quicktime video.
Use www.vimeo.com which allows you to upload 500MB/week for free. It will convert the videos to Flash as well as you can have a link to download the Quicktime movie if you want. They movies can be password protected or open to the public.
Hi Elizabeth,
We often work with iMovies (8th graders as well). Some guidelines need to be set up about saving files. At the end of the project, movies need to be shared to quicktime, no exceptions, or better yet, share to ipod as mp4. Then the movies can be uploaded onto flickr or teacher tube, or google video. If you have server storage space, that would work too. Important rule is to get them out of imovie - files are huge. It should be thought of as a work area that needs to be cleaned up. Kay

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