Creating a video CD (VCD) from a YouTube video

As a Christmas gift for my father, I transferred a YouTube video of a public service announcement that he remembered fondly from his childhood to optical media so he could watch it on the television instead of on the computer.

There were some unique sets of constraints that made this an interesting project. First, I came to my parents’ house with only a Dell Mini netbook (with no optical drive) running Ubuntu Linux.  None of the computers had DVD writeable optical drives, but they could burn CDs.  My parents’ DVD player can play video CDs (VCDs) so I decided this would be a good option.

Capturing the video

I downloaded the YouTube video using the UnPlug extension for Firefox.  I chose to save the MP4 version of the video.

Transcoding the video

Since I would be burning the video on my mom’s notebook, I read the help documentation for the CD writing software to determine which video format the software needed to create a VCD.

VLC is usually my go-to tool for working with video, but I got errors about not having the correct codecs.  Rather than messing around, I wanted to just get the project done.  So, my next choice was FFmpeg.   It was a good choice because the software, though a command-line utility, has a preset for creating an mpeg file suitable for burning a VCD.

ffmpeg -i High\ Flight\ \(John\ Gillespie\ Magee\ Jr\ Poem\).mp4 -target ntsc-vcd high_flight.mpg

I was able to do this with the version of ffmpeg included with Ubuntu 10.04, but as ffmpeg is cross-platform it should be straightforward to do this on other platforms.

Burning the VCD

I copied the file to my Dropbox and downloaded it to my Mom’s computer using the services web interface.  Her burning software allowed me to just drag-and-drop the file into the burning program’s window.

24/7 DIY Media Conference @ The Internet.

I also saw this on Boing Boing.  A DIY Video Conference put on by USC:

24/7: A DIY Video Summit will bring together the many communities that have evolved around do-it-yourself (DIY) video:
artists, audiences, technology providers, academics, policy makers and industry executives. The aim is to discover common ground, and to chart the path to a future in which grassroots and mainstream, amateur and professional, artist and audience can all benefit as the medium continues to evolve.

It looks like they will be streaming some of Friday’s academic content on the web.

Link to conference website.
Link to live video stream of panel discussions.
Link to info about forums, IRC channels, and other ways of communicating amongs conference participants

notes for the week of 2007-09-24

Tim says to check out Kaati rolls while I’m traveling.

This wiki page has info on how to configure e-mail integration in eventum which Boxcar uses to handle tech trouble tickets. I wanted to turn off auto issue creation because we get a lot of e-mails that don’t neccessarily want to become issues and then there’s the overhead of closing the issue.

The Allied Media Conference is taking proposals for some web development. Josh asked me about Drupal vs. Joomla, and I’m not that familiar with Joomla. This thread seemed to offer some insight.

kdenlive is the software I started using to play around with video editing on linux.

I’ve long wanted to be able to do a substitution or other command on a visual block. It turns out that there is a vim script called vis.vim to help you do this.

I read mail using a lot of different clients. So, I wanted to seperate my mail filtering rules from my mail client. Imapfilter does the trick and though it’s configuration language is daunting at first glance, it’s not too bad.

I was wondering how to drop all tables in a MySQL DB from the command line:

mysqldump -u username -ppassword –add-drop-table –no-data database | grep ^DROP | mysql -u username -ppassword database

worked fine.