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I was looking for a little help from those of you who aren't "sick of Gopro's", yet....

I just bought one, and used it this last weekend recording several hours of video from 2 kayak runs and 2 mtn bike rides....my questions concern the uploading and editing of said files.

Do most users have to use external hard drives to store your footage prior to editing? 8 files, totalling around 30-40 GB has filled the available memory on my desktop. I have done a disc cleanup and defrag, but I don't have enough memory left to work with the footage.

Also, the footage plays really well on my HDTV, but not so much so on my computer. I read somewhere that the HD MP4's don't work very well with Windows Media Player and that you have to transfer them over to AVI to work with them in WMM....anyone else running into this problem?

And lastly, what editing software do you guys prefer to work with? I have heard lot's of people say they like Sony Vega....but I would like some opinions from other kayakers working with the GoPro.

Thanks for your input and responses.
 

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The files from the gopro are huge. I am in the process of transfering all my files to external hard drive. As my desktop filled up. What I have found is that you need to convert from mp4 to something else to use wmp. None of the converters worked for me, so I have been using the editing software to convert my files for editing then convert them back to MP4 to upload to vimeo. The software I have been using is Magix movie maker pro I think. Seems to work okay. Wish I knew a little more about editing though.
 

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Files are very big, if you start saving them all to the computer especially. I think there is a 1tb external you can get for like $100.

As for viewing and editing, you'll need a newer OS and/or computer to be able to harness the HD quality and high frames. A Mac and Final Cut are the 2 things you want if you're looking to do it the best.
 

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Windows Live Movie Maker on windows 7 seems to edit HD files just fine and is free for windows 7 users. I do like the fact that it will upload to YouTube and/or Facebook automagically once it's edited the videos. I use this program to select the 15 minutes of video I want uploaded. The "Cut/split" function works very well.

I would recommend having enough physical RAM in the machine to edit the entire file in memory. Opening up a 2.4g file on a pc with only 512 of RAM isn't going to work well at all. Doing the same thing on a box with 4 or 8 gig or ram isn't an issue.

I'd also suggest getting the latest firmware onto the GoPro so you can use the "boot and shoot" functionality. Once you turn it on, it simply starts shooting video which can be handy in the water to not have to be messing around with buttons.

Get another two or three GoPro batteries, they are like $19 bux at REI and running out of power in the field when you still have content to shoot sux. Also, get the largest internal card you can find. I have a 32G card and it's very nice to not have to be emptying it out so you can shoot more.

Whatever attached storage method you come up with, make sure it is fast. Getting a USB attached hard drive will cause frustration. A nice large internal or external SATA drive will let you edit large videos without growing old while waiting. This may be more hassle to install than simply using a USB flash drive or other USB attached storage, but you will make up for the time spent on the 1st video you edit.
 

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I upload my footage and then periodically move it to an external drive so my space stays clear. I use iMovie for editing, doesn't have alot the features as some video editing software but it's really really easy to use. Good luck!
 

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We use both iMovie and Sony Vegas. HD in iMovie is slow on our MacBook Pro and disk space is limited. We built a custom system for HD video editing with Intel i7 950, 12 GB RAM, 1TB SATA6. Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10 is awesome!!
 

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Speaking from my vantage point of working in the PC industry here: the files you are looking at are huge; probably an order of magnitude larger than anything else on your PC. Working with them demands correspondingly large amounts of processor power, memory (RAM), HD space and graphics cards.

Remember that a video file is a series of either 30 or 60 pictures per second of film, plus the soundtrack. When you are editing the video, each one of those pictures must be manipulated in some way. There is a lot of math going on with those, which is why wide (multiple core and thread count) and fast processors matter.

I personally run a Core i7-870 (4C, 8T, 3.6Ghz), 4 Gb of RAM, 1 TB HDD and a pair of graphics cards. If you need to get a new PC, go with Intel's newest core series because of the transcoding engine (Core ix-2xxx). Going to four cores and eight threads is best, but a 2C/4T will be fine.

As for the editing software, I run MS' Windows Live Mover Maker. It is properly threaded (it uses all eight threads, meaning that compute cycle it does eight calculations instead of one), handles HD files well and is easy to operate buzzed. The only little glitch with it is that if you wish to export your files in 720p or 1080p, you can't upload them to YouTube directly. You'll need to render the film into a file on your computer, then upload, to keep your resolution.

I tried Adobe's software and didn't love it. I haven't worked with iMovie before other than playing with it in the store, but it looks simple. I know that it is also multi-threaded.
 

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Not worked with GoPro, but have used other HD footage. For playing back files on your PC, try the free program Media Player Classic. The world of codecs gets confusing, but this program seems to do well for most everything.

Huge hard drives are so cheap I would get an 2nd drive if I were you for all your footage. Then you don't have to worry about fragmentation of your main drive either. My thought for GoPro stuff is you shoot tons of throw away footage, so you probably don't want to archive all the raw footage.

I'll throw out another vote for Sony Vegas. Fairly easy to learn and the Movie Studio version is pretty good bang for your buck - there's only a couple features I wish I had from the pro version.
 

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It takes a very powerful computer to play high def files that are highly compressed without stalling. I have a decent computer (custom built for HD editing) and it can't do it. But if you transcode to a less compressed form, even an average computer should be able to play them fine. Same goes for editing. If you edit the source material your preview window will likely stutter - especially when doing transitions and such. If you edit your transcoded files, the whole process is much smoother.

The downside is the transcoded files are much larger than your source files. So you do indeed need very large hard drives (internal or external).

I use Cineform NeoScene to transcode to AVI, but there are free transcoders out there as well.

I use Sony Vegas Movie Studio. I just upgraded to version 11. For the most part I am happy with it, although it does crash occassionally.

I used to use Pinnacle Studio, which had more bells and whistles, but it lacked one capability (at least last year) that was critical to me. I record all of camcorder and helmet camera source at 60 fps progressive. When I upload to the Internet it gets reduced to 30 fps. When I burn a BluRay disk it gets reduced to 60 fps interlaced. But I like editing with 60p so I can do pan/zoom or slow motion without nasty interlace artifacts. Pinnacle Studio would drop my source to 30p - which was unacceptable to me.

Final Cut Express will also not support 60p source. I think the latest verison of iMovie does, and Final Cut Pro does.

Having a lot of computer RAM also helps, but most (if not all) of the lower priced editing packages are 32-bit applications. So even if you have 64-bit Windows the application can only use 2 GB of RAM. That is the main cause of Sony Vegas crashing on me. There are some patches that trick the software into using up to 3 GB or RAM, which reduces the number of crashes I get.

Another good free software player is VLC. It also lets you see what kind of codec your files used. But it won't play my Cineform AVI files.
 

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Just sharing my experience with sharing my boating vids...
I don't own a GoPro, however- I believe 99% of You-Tube and Vimeo videos open automatically in 360p as a default, with the option to open in 480/720/1080p or "HD". When selecting a higher resolution than 480, the load time can sometimes test some people's patience(me included and I've got broadband) which negates any need for uploading in anything higher; especially when merely wanting to do a quick play to check out someone's trip. Anyways, I don't record in HD anymore more for this reason(Fujifilm XP10), which subsequently results in easier film editing and uploading anyways, with the smaller file sizes.
Can GoPros adjust their filming mode to less than HD? May help.
 

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Stuntmonkey makes a good point if your primary target is to upload to YouTube or Vimeo. Based on the statistics on my uploaded files only a small percentage of people will watch a video all the way through. Boring videos is one reason. Slow streaming is another.

My primary target is burning to BluRay disk for sharing with my family and friends, so I like recording everything in HD. So understanding your need may help you fine tune your work flow.

Here is an excellent forum about GoPros - including editing. This is where I learned just about everything I know about working with HD files and editors - as well as tricks on opening/closing the case so I don't break the latch, etc.

GoProUser.freeforums.org • Index page
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow. Thanks for all the responses....I now have lots of stuff to look into to kill the rest of the day.

I found a 2 TB external drive online for $80, that I am going to order, and I guess for now I will leave all the files on my memory card and edit them 1 at a time....about to check into downloading Sony Vegas as well.

Really my primary purpose is to share my videos with my parents and friends from Kansas via Facebook and Youtube, and occasionally post one up on here....and I would like to archive all my videos to DVD eventually.

We shall see how my desktop does at editing the files....it is a 8 year-old Compaq with Windows XP. Hopefully I don't need to upgrade to a faster computer.

As of now I have a 16 GB memory card and 2 batteries....thinking I should upgrade to the 32 GB, keep the 16 as an extra and pick up one more battery.

Thanks again for all the info...but I'm sure I will have more questions down the road.

Logan
 

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You will fill up a 16 GB card at about the same time your battery goes dead. I have four 16 GB cards. I use a different card each day and I charge the battery each night. If I am on a multi-day trip I use a portable USB battery to recharge. It works pretty well. That way I don't have to worry about the battery going dead or the card filling up in the middle of the day.

Be sure to get SD cards that are proven to work well with the GoPro. A lot of them won't support the high bit rate. That GoPro forum has a list of known good cards.
 

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An 8 year old computer is going to struggle editing the big GoPro files (or any HD video for that matter). If you are very patient, it'll work, but again, very slow.
 

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If all you want to do is cut out a segment of your GoPro video for uploading to YouTube then you can't beat mp4box.exe. It is extremely fast since it doesn't do any transcoding. Just play the video first to determine the start and end points of the clip you want to cut out. Then run the following command:

mp4box -splitx xxx:yyy video.mp4

(xxx is the start time in seconds)
(yyy is the end time in seconds)
 

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Make an effort to upgrade your RAM, that seemed to be the biggest killer on my old PC. I currently run a Dell XPS which I got a smoking deal on, but then upgraded my RAM to 8GB.
I run my GoPro at the #3 setting 720p(1280x960), 60fps (for better slowmo) and my PC has zero problems.
I like Adobe CS5, but it takes some time to figure out the functions if you aren't familiar with them.
Also, it will always look better on your HD TV than it will on your PC moniter unless you upgrade that as well.
For the "haters" out there...Yes, everyone has one now. Live with it. I agree with you, I love being able to show my family back home exactly why I live here. And I might add that these cameras really, in my opnion are so much more awesome for water sports than anything else.
Have fun!
 

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Found this on the GoPro site...hope it helps.

What are the minimum system requirements to be able to handle full 1080p or 720 60fps video files?


  • For Windows-based computers, we require:
    • Windows Vista or later
    • 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 or faster
    • Direct X 9.0c or Later
    • At least 2 GB of system RAM
    • Video card with at least 256MB of RAM
I use a PC, what programs can be used to view and edit the videos?


  • Windows Media Player or Movie Maker (download the latest HD-capable version and also download a H.264 decoder to update media or movie maker). CoreCodec CoreAVC is one company that offers a codec pack for h.264. VLC media player. Download this free video media player that supports .mp4 h.264 files: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ For other PC based editing programs, we have had several customers give good reviews of the Pinnacle Studio HD editing software which is compatible with the MP4 files. Adobe Premier Elements PC based program that is compatible with MP4 files. If you have an existing program that does not support MP4 files, you also have the option of using a file conversion software such as Squared5 or VLC Media Player to convert your files into a format compatible with your particular editing program.
 

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I've used quite a few of the video editing programs out there over the years. For the price, I like Adobe Premier Elements. It's fairly rich in features yet not terribly expensive. You can try it for free for 30 days, as is the case with most of the more popular programs. i recommend downloading and trying them all first, then buy what suites you. Adobe should be coming out with a new version any day now, and the hope is that it's 64 bit for those of us with newer OS anyway. That way, more memory can actually be put to use. That being said, the rendering of the video is actually very CPU intensive, so a newer PC is almost a must for HD footage IMO.

There are some really good cheap and free video converters out there too, so if you don't care to keep it in it's HD format and put out Blu Ray discs, you can convert the video pretty easilly on your current PC and then it will be easier to edit.

I don't have a Go Pro myself, but I would assume there are some settings on it to shoot in lower resolutions. Both of my video cameras do, it allows for more time on the same media, which is something I would think Go Pro would want to offer since it's competition does.
 
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