Ripping Camcorder Video to a computer

My brother called me before Christmas.

“You need to take a look at your old camcorder videos. It’s unbelievable. How can I get mine transferred to a computer?” – my brother, Mark

He also asked if I was still in bed. I was but I lied.

I am not a video person.

I promised I would figure it out. I used to own a Snap capture card thing about 20 years ago. You could take grainy snapshots of video directly from the camcorder. It was so much fun, I put it all in a box and forgot about it for 20 years.

A few things have changed for the better.

Computers have gotten SO much faster, memory has gotten SO much less expensive. Marie Kondo says its ok to digitize everything and stop carrying around the physical media.

Hardware

My son’s fiancé had been converting her families’ videos. She pointed me to Elgato. The boys already owned an Elgato for HDMI. They bought it to stream video games. I could have figured out how to up convert to HDMI. Analog to HDMI was too much work. I had to create something so simple I could explain it to my brother.

I did a little research. My camera was a Sony Handycam BetaSP. It was component (Yellow and White RCA things) outputs. Amazon had a “REDGO Video Audio VHS VCR USB Video Capture Card to DVD Converter Capture Card Adapter

It’s $13. Comes with software on a compact CD/DVD. Runs on Windows only.

It works fine. My video camera skills were never good. Here are my notes on the process.

Here is what worked for me.

honestech VHS to DVD 3.0 SE

I used the provided software. Luckily had a couple of computers with CD/DVD drives. (You can buy an external CD/DVD drive). The key for the software was posted on the Amazon page. I had to run it as an Administrator, so that it could read and write to my computer and send my personal info to identity thieves.

The editing is kludgy. I might have it figured out. But it records from the A/V input fine.

It creates 480p MPEG files that are huge. I think this was designed for the straight to DVD market. It’s fine. But…

It has a timer, so you can set it like an old VCR and it will tape for 2 or 4 or whatever hours and stop. My tapes are two hours. I didn’t need to babysit it. Great time saver.

I have already ripped a TON of DVDs. I knew about compression and transcoding. So I made everything smaller with

Playing Videos – VLC media player – VLC

Open Source, Free

This is a light, fast, free, open source video player. It’s awesome. I have it on all my computers. One of a few tools, that I immediately install on all my computers.

It plays pretty much everything. It is simple, but more powerful than I need it to be.

I detest Microsoft Media Player. I just want to play something, now. I use VLC.

Making files smaller – Handbrake – handbrake.fr 

Open Source, Free

This will take a MPEG file and turn it into a smaller file of many optional formats.

Right now, I am using the Fast 480p preset. This will reduce the size of the files by 66%. Not shabby. I have probably ripped a 100GB of tapes. I don’t have that much space on my big laptop. I don’t see a big difference in quality between the MPEG and the compressed file image or sound.

There are plenty of people who could tell me what I am missing out on with what ever compression scheme I choose. But just today,  I sent a friend a video of their wedding day from 1998. It has been sitting in a storage bin with all these amazing videos of my kids as babies for 20’ish years. My overall philosophy is if you can’t see it, it isn’t sparking joy. (Thanks Marie Kondo!). Also I am a bad friend, but I was the father of a 4 month old at the time and had several jobs.

Trimming and Editing – still looking –

There are a lot of options. I don’t know which one is the right one yet. VLC will let you let you trim, but it’s slow. I tried VIDSplitter and OpenShotVideo Editor. I think my main issue… It’s not as easy or fast as editing an audio file. It seems that the trimmed clip needs to be ripped as a new clip… So far.

Ongoing

I will keep you posted.

 

 

 

Santa vs. Ring Doorbell

We got a nice Santa suit a couple of years ago. I wanted to repurpose it for 2019. So this was my idea. Bring Santa to social media.

Here are two takes… (You saw it here first)

 

Take Two

 

Funny, I tried sharing this to the Ring Neighbors app. It was soundly rejected. Ring reached out for permission to use it for marketing in less than 3 business days. Weird. The Neighbors App has no sense of humor.  It would be nice if they shared positive news occasionally.

My iPhone hates me

I use Apple Music on purpose about once every six months. Usually, I am listening to a podcast or Amazon music or Audible.

When I plug my iPhone into the car, “ABC” by the Jackson Five comes screaming out. I don’t hate the song. I own it it, but fuck “ABC” by the Jackson Five when I am trying to get on the road to somewhere.

It’s annoying.

There isn’t an iPhone option to choose default apps for music or what happens when it gets plugged into a car. So today I went old school, I copied some songs and renamed them so they precede “ABC” alphabetically.

I am not a total monster. I kept the original versions, but hopefully the next time I hear Michael Jackson consent will be involved.

See that playlist? “ABC” by Jackson Five isn’t on the phone. What kind of monster app is downloading a song to play just because I plugged the phone into a car? Hubris? Satan?

This is only been an issue for about five years. I am excited/thrilled/disappointed/sad that it took me this long to come up with a solution.

#bruteforce

Save that cooler!!! Igloo 100 quart cooler remodel

Ingredients

  • 1 broke ass Igloo cooler
  • 1 Igloo replacement parts kit

Directions

  • Replace the broken and missing parts.
  • Profit

And now… the rest of the story.

I found a Igloo 100 quart cooler in the trash on Friday. The hinges were broken. The latch was missing. Today I have a good as new Igloo 100 quart cooler.

It cost $10. I got the replacement hardware from Amazon. Replaced the broken and missing parts.

Done.

It’s like printing money.

  • Notes

The factory hinges are NOT designed to fold all the way back. There is a strap on the inside that is designed to hold open the lid. If the strap is missing, the hinges are going to break.

If the strap is missing, the hinges are going to break.

There is an aftermarket hinge made with hose material that might be better if you need hinges open all the way. I did it with factory parts for you, gentle reader. I plan on returning the cooler to the people who tossed it. I left some notes in Sharpie to whoever goes on this adventure next time.

Alternatively, you could live without the hinges. Or use metal hinges with cotter-pins so the lid is remove-able.

Save that cooler!!! Igloo 100 quart cooler remodel

Ingredients

  • 1 broke ass Igloo cooler
  • 1 Igloo replacement parts kit

Directions

  • Replace the broken and missing parts.
  • Profit

And now… the rest of the story.

I found a Igloo 100 quart cooler in the trash on Friday. The hinges were broken. The latch was missing. Today I have a good as new Igloo 100 quart cooler.

It cost $10. I got the replacement hardware from Amazon. Replaced the broken and missing parts.

Done.

It’s like printing money.

  • Notes

The factory hinges are NOT designed to fold all the way back. There is a strap on the inside that is designed to hold open the lid. If the strap is missing, the hinges are going to break.

If the strap is missing, the hinges are going to break.

There is an aftermarket hinge made with hose material that might be better if you need hinges open all the way. I did it with factory parts for you, gentle reader. I plan on returning the cooler to the people who tossed it. I left some notes in Sharpie to whoever goes on this adventure next time.

Alternatively, you could live without the hinges. Or use metal hinges with cotter-pins so the lid is remove-able.

Curry rice in the Instant Pot

Merryweather asked about curry chicken today. I looked up curry rice and went from there. I did it one pot. It took about 20 minutes. The results were edible.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of Olive oil for sauté’ing
  • 1 cup rice.
  • 1 onion chopped
  • Large handful of mini non-hot peppers chopped
  • Tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of turmeric
  • One cup of water
  • One bag frozen peas
  • One bag frozen corn

Recipe

  1. Put the Instant Pot on Sauté.
  2. Add oil, dry rice, onion, peppers in the instant pot. Sauté it.
  3. Once everything is sautéd, Onions are browned, soft, etc, add in the curry powder and turmeric
  4. Mix well
  5. Add a cup of water, cancel sauté, then Set the instant pot to rice, put the lid on it, etc
  6. Get out a bag of frozen peas and frozen corn. Cook them per instructions in the microwave.
  7. Drain water
  8. Add them to the finished rice
  9. Stir well
  10. Serve

Results

It smells amazing, but the flavor is pretty neutral. Kind of bland.

We had it with grilled chicken. Should be great leftovers, but it was kind of boring. The rice was clumpy. I wanted to dump some hot sauce on it. I don’t know anything about hot sauce for “Indian” food.

Next time, I would do a couple of things different.

  • Wash the rice
  • Cook the rice with the seasoning in the instant pot
  • Saute’ the rest of the ingredients in a wok and then mix in the cooked rice.
  • Add some hot pepper.
  • Merry weather thought it needed marsala sauce.

Chicken Enchiladas… Not from my oven

Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment sent this recipe to me. I made it. It was excellent. I substituted jalapeños for the mild peppers. It was one of the hottest things I have ever made. Really good too.

Without further ado…

Chicken Enchiladas by Hot From My Oven

https://www.hotfrommyoven.com/chicken-enchiladas-with-sour-cream-white-sauce.html?epik=dj0yJnU9bXNULVlIZzZ3bm53Zy1iZGNDa0NJZUNCaGJEVko1bmkmbj1qMEhzSFNrZ2h0OEJRWjJDdUR2ZERnJm09MyZ0PUFBQUFBRjA4emN3

Why?

I got to make a white sauce. Butter, flour, beef stock, sour cream

Once again, I substituted jalapeños for the recommended peppers. It was spicy.

I am going to have my kid try making the white sauce.