Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thumbs down to Melbourne, Australia, Airport

Thumbs down to Melbourne, Australia, airport --

I loved traveling around the Melbourne, Victoria, Australia area.  Highlights included driving The Great Ocean Road and visiting the national parks The Grampians and Great Fern Park.  The Melbourne area itself is huge and congested; kind of like driving through the San Francisco Bay Area.  Wonderful place. 

However, traveling through the Melbourne Airport was a pain in the butt, worse than just about every other airport I've been through in the past 20 years of traveling.  

Surprisingly this progressive city's international and domestic airport does not offer free public wifi!  Most people traveling internationally will need wifi in order to check emails or notices about late flights, etc.   
The lines through security and passport control were horrific (LAX and Miami are the only ones worse in my memory), and security was stricter than any other place I've traveled through.   I had to wait about an hour to get through passport control and through security. 

Airport security confiscated a set of small tools that every other airport has allowed.  I particularly liked the provincial comment by one security agent.  I told her that I had traveled recently through Sydney Airport with the same small tools that she was confiscating.  She snorted in derision and said “Sydney!”.  It was incredibly unprofessional and amusing at the same time to hear out loud the competition between these two great cities of Australia.  

Oh, and they were very confusing about when you needed to show your passport or not, and would yell at you if you did or did not have your passport immediately handy.  When are airports (including domestic US airports) going to come up with a consistent set of rules as to whether you need to carry your ID and boarding pass through all of security, or not?  Some airports scream at you if you start walking through the metal detector with a boarding pass in your had.  Other airports require you to have a boarding pass.  And why do some airports make you show your boarding pass about twelve times.  Once or twice should be enough, particularly since boarding passes are so easily counterfeited.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Q and A: compressing video for email and the web

Here’s a question and answer about compressing video for email and the web:

> Norb:
> You sent a shot of a jawfish with eggs last month.  What compression settings did you 
>  use?  I thought it looked pretty good and it downloaded almost immediately.


Have you used MPEG Streamclip?  I find it awesome and simple, but not a highly talked about program for some reason.

I trimmed the jawfish shot in MPEG Streamclip, then put it through FCP Color Correction, then converted the resulting Quicktime HD file using MPEG Streamclip to .mp4 file.

You know you can cmd-I (Get Info) on a video file, and it will pull up an info window?  I attach the info window for the file I sent you.  I had MPEG Streamclip convert the 1080p file from FCP to 640 x 360 mpeg-4.

I attach a screengrab of the settings from MPEG Streamclip.  I chose FILE-->EXPORT TO MPEG-4, then in the resulting window chose Other (640 x 360 -- this was not a choice originally, and that was it.  The Frame Size choices may have been different and I believe change according to what you are working on.  I just dragged the finished video into the program as an example and I believe it filled in the 640 x 360 fields, which were not there before.

I hope that this helps.