Recorded Video Digitization

connector cables
Google video camera connection cables. This is what you’ll get…YIKES.

Professor Feldman of the Spanish Department proposed this project for the summer of 2017. It had the very simple goal of digitizing six videos, though in practice this proved much more difficult than I had anticipated. The videos, which mostly centered on interviews with a now-passed Jorge Ruiz, were recorded on the analog tapes of an old (and, it seems, technologically unsupported) video camera. I initially, though unsuccessfully, attempted to transfer the videos using a USB connection. I proceeded to search for the appropriate DV cable, which involved a trip down to the basement of the library I didn’t even know existed. The DV cable too presented issues, as its other end was a FireWire connector, and as few available devices had FireWire ports. One such device was an external hard drive, though neither the video camera nor the drive could initiate a transfer of the information encoded on the analog tapes. The ultimate solution was a DV-to-FireWire-to-Thunderbolt setup, which then allowed iMovie software to capture the videos as they were played from the video camera.

Perhaps more so than any other project of mine in the summer of 2017, this one demanded a considerable amount of troubleshooting. It also had me contend with several dead ends in my quest to free the videos from their analog prison, though it imparted no insincere appreciation for the ease and versatility of digital file transfer.

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