“It all started at a tiny 5,000 watt radio station in Muncie, Indiana.” Les Nesman, WKRP in Cincinnati
What does this have to do with my boss expecting me to figure out how to post a video from a CD to a website on a Friday afternoon and have it ready for Monday. I’ll get to that.
About 2 years ago I had a sales job but was also seen as the “tech guy” there because no one else knew a thing about computers. One Friday just after lunch the boss came in and handed me a DVD with an 8 minute video on it. He said, “Post this video by Monday. I need to show it to a client (in another city).” I didn’t have a clue how to do it and I could tell he didn’t care – he just wanted it done.
At times like this Google is your best friend. I did a quick search for “convert DVD for the web.” One of the first few links was to Applian Technologies’ Replay Capture Suite (8 recording tools) and I was lucky enough to click on it. After a quick scan of the features I downloaded the Replay Media Catcher demo and installed it. I threw the DVD in my drive and after a quick test I could tell it was going to get the DVD file into the WMF format I needed for the website.
The demo version only lets you capture 75% of a file so to get the whole video converted I needed the full version. I jumped back the the site to register the software. The $79 price was easily worth the time it would save and it looked like it would save me from working on Saturday. The other biggie was it was under the company’s $99 limit for pre-approved purchases – saved again. After entering the registration code I was ready to roll and it wasn’t yet 3 o’clock.
I converted the full video to the WMF format and, after a couple of tests, converted it to the the pixel size I needed to keep the file size reasonable for the web. Ten minutes later I had the file uploaded and a link to the video up on the website. Done – and it still wasn’t 4 o’clock yet! The boss thinks I’m a hero and I didn’t need to work that Saturday.
That Friday afternoon I learned how easily video could be converted to any format or size I wanted. On Saturday, instead of working, I “played” with Replay Capture Suite converting all sorts of video so I could play them on my MP3 player and cell phone. I started archiving TV shows on the web to my hard drive. I converted some of them to DVD to play in the car for my 2 kids on our upcoming vacation. I archived some of my favorite TV shows and put them on my laptop to watch when I didn’t have an internet connection. That’s how my interest in getting web available media on all the different devices I owned so I could enjoy it whenever I wanted.
Here’s how the quote ties in: When I was a kid one of the earliest shows I remember watching with my dad was WKRP in Cincinnati. Cool show about a radio station’s quirky staff that still holds up today. I keep some of my favorite episodes on my cell phone and watch them every once in a while. If you’ve never seen it check out a few episodes on Hulu. “It all started…” was a reoccurring line Les, the nerdy newsman, used whenever he thought someone was interested in how he got into the business. Of course, no one ever was.
Get started recording and converting some of your favorite media. Then relax and enjoy the show.