Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

 January 2009 Afternoon Learners SIG: Preserving Movies

By Len Adler

Paul Silverman and Don Fortnum co-led this presentation on how Macs are used to preserve movies, and to create CDs and DVDs. They used the Pi clubhouse digital overhead projector to illustrate what the computer screen looks like for each idea.

Paul showed that every Mac has the application Disk Utility in the applications folder, which can make disc images of movies, with as many copies as desired. Paul also showed how CDs could be burned from iTunes playlists, and then transferable to play outside iTunes. He also demonstrated a variety of uses for Roxio's Toast.

Opening Apple’s iDVD, Paul showed how the application can either copy directly a video tape which has been transferred to the Mac, or produce a more ambitious copy with menus, chapter sections, and even additional slide shows added. Paul went on to demonstrate additional features, such as giving a theme to the movie, and style variations.

Don Fortnum showed what the buttons and controls in iDVD do, sharing some fun short movies featuring his granddaughter’s dance recital, and other performances. Don showed how several movies could be combined into one DVD. Paul had earlier shared a recital movie of his daughter, but both grandfathers were well behaved when they had the chance to brag more about their progeny.

Although videotape was believed to last for years, some corruption and failure may begin to show after a decade of storage. Burning a tape to a DVD promises to extend the life of our precious home movies and scenes from years earlier. Afternoon Learners SIG members got emboldened to play more with these applications, take movies on our own, and use these applications on the Mac. Those who watched got turned on to the fun possible when one takes photos and/or video and enhances them with iMovie and iDVD.