Flip Flip Video: Codecs and you!

Flip Video cameras are amazing: small, light, unobtrusive…but when it comes time to edit, it can be really painful.

That’s why I wrote this. I want to get you past the nasty codec part as fast as possible…

A reader named Tom Wolfson wrote to me about a different way to do this.

‘You should convert to a standard Final Cut format. You could convert to DV NTSC 720×480 29.97 uncompressed audio 48K, or the PAL equivalent if it shoots in PAL frame rates. If you want higher quality with Final Cut Pro you can convert to ProRes 720×486 29.97 uncompressed audio 48K, but you’ll need a good, fast drive and more space. If you’re using Final Cut Express you’ll have to stick with the DV codec.’

Tom’s way provides for a higher quality file that does not need to be re-rendered, HOWEVER it is a much larger file size to work with. Some readers have reported that they do not need to re-render using either method.

Thank you Tom for adding to this discussion! You rock!


Back to the post:


Install the 3ivx codec found in the Flip Video camera itself: ‘System’ folder —>’Install’ folder —> Macintosh 3ixv Installer.dmg or Windows 3ivx Installer.exe


This will allow Quicktime to play and export your Flip Video files.


Open all of the Flip Video files you want to convert in Quicktime.

Go to: File —> Export —> In this box make sure it says “Movie to QuicktimeMovie” in the export tab at the bottom.

Click on ‘Options’ next to the “Movie to QuicktimeMovie” box.


On the Video part of the dialog box click on ‘Settings.

Use these settings:

At the top where it says Compression Type click on ‘H.264′

Frame rate: Current

Keyframes: Automatic

Frame reordering: check this box

Date Rate: Automatic

Optimized: for Downloading

Compressor: Best

Close this dialog box.

Now click on the Sound settings button:

Use these settings:

Format: AAC

Channels: Mono

Rate: 44.100 khz

Render—> Quality: Normal

Mpeg 4 AAC LC Encoder Settings—> Target Bit Rate: 128 kbps

***When you export your Flip Video files to the H.264 format it’s a good idea to rename them something memorable like “Steve discussed blogging.mov” for later reference when you import these files into Final cut Pro.***

Good luck everyone!


*UPDATE* A tip from Adriana:

You have to install the firmware FIRST, because otherwise you get the white screen.

*UPDATE* A tip from P.F. Bentley:

Use the Batch mode in MPEG StreamClip. I use H264 codec and Multipass is checked which lowers the file size by half if you don’t use it. This way the computer does the work and I can go do something else.