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I'm just trying to clear up this section of the forum by making a few quick and easy FAQ pages for you.
PROBLEM : When I import a AVI Microsoft DV file all I get is a little blue square.
This is our most common problem and it has a few simple solutions. The problem is that AlamDV2 requires VFW (video for windows) codecs to work correctly. Microsoft's DV codec is a direct show ONLY codec which means AlamDV2 doesn't ever get the video data. Nearly all other codec makers unclude support for both VFW and Direct Show but Microsoft doesn't in its standard DV codec - silly.
SOLUTION : Use a different codec.
There are 2 main ways you can go about using a different codec. The easiest and best way is to install a better DV codec. The Microsoft DV codec isn't actually very hi quality compared to those by MainConcept and Matrox. The MainConcept DV codec costs $50 but is the best on the PC and can keep good quality even after many saves - try the demo. There is a Matrox DV codec avalible for FREE on some of there severs which is also very good. Once these codecs are installed you don't need to convert your movies - all your DV clips will start working in AlamDV2 automatically!
The other alternative is to export your video from your video editor in a codec that does support VFW (pretty much all of the other ones will). If you are hoping to export back to TV in the end then you want to keep the quality high so use a lossless codec like "None Compressed Frames" or "Huffy". This will let you work on your video in AlamDV2 then simply export from AlamDV2 in the same codec, import that file into your video editor and convert it back to DV - simple
NOTE: To export Uncompressed from Premiere you need to select Microsoft AVI rather than Microsoft DV AVI - this should now give you the uncompressed frames option.
PROBLEM : The videos I export from AlamDV2 stutter when I play them back.
This is quite a common problem with a very simple answer.
SOLUTION : Change the codec.
If you export your movie as none compressed then it will jerk on most machines as only the very fastest machines (with very fast hard drives) can play none compressed videos correctly. Don't worry, if you go through it frame-by-frame they are all there so just convert it back to your default codec and it will play just fine.
PROBLEM : Where did my sound go when I exported?
AlamDV2 only deals with the video side of your footage - therefore when you export AlamDV2 only gives you the movie.
SOLUTION : Put your sound back.
Most video editing applications give you tools so that you can cut the sound track off your original file and add it to your new AlamDV2 render. Even QuickTime Pro gives you this options and in programs like Premiere it is very easy.
PROBLEM : My video is slow when I try to play it in AlamDV2.
AlamDV2 doesn't play movies in a standard way as it has to overlay your effects which can make play back very slow - AlamDV2's play feature is there to give you an impression of how your movie will look - its a visual aid.
PROBLEM : When I export my video part of the AlamDV2/Windows interface seems to be on it.
There are 2 main reasons for this problem. Firstly, if your resolution is low and your movie is large then this problem can occur - the movie doesn't fit inside the AlamDV2 interface at 100% therefore when it captures it takes the interface with it. The other reason is that when AlamDV2 is rendering you must keep it as your foreground application - if you open any windows infront of AlamDV2 they will be captured.
SOLUTION : Increase your resolution and don't fiddle when rendering.
If you make sure your resolution is atleast 1024x768 then you shouldn't have any problems. Just make sure you don't start trying to use other programs while it renders
PROBLEM : I can't import QuickTime on my Mac without errors.
These problems happen for many reasons but there are a few things you can try that fix virtually all problems.
SOLUTION : Try the fixes listed below...
1. Make sure the QuickTime file has the suffix .mov or .dv
2. Make sure the file you are importing is on your primary hard drive (i.e. your main system hard drive - normally "Macintosh HD")
3. If the above don't help then try moving the file on to the desktop
4. Finally, try reinstalling QuickTime - remember AlamDV2 runs in classic so you need to install the MacOS9 version of QuickTime.
PROBLEM : How do I get my AlamDV2 movies into iMovie.
iMovie is a strange beast as it can't import standard DV QuickTime files - it requires DV Stream files which are pretty much the same thing - very odd.
SOLUTION : Get QuickTime Pro or a good QuickTime Utility.
From within QuickTime Pro you can select to export as a DV stream which can then be imported into iMovie just fine. It must be said that the update to QuickTime Pro is well worth the money if you are thinking about putting videos on the web. The new QuickTime 6 Pro is even better value for money with MPEG-4 included.
PROBLEM : I'm having problems importing my AlamDV2 AVI into Studio 7.
Some users have reported this problem and other say it works just fine. Either way there is a simple workaround that fixes the problem.
SOLUTION : Try re-encoding the file in Virtul Dub.
Users with this problem have had success by importing there AlamDV2 AVI into a conversion utility such as Virtul Dub and exporting it again. If you use a lossless codec (none compressed or huffy) this won't effect the quality of your video.