The Sophtware Slump, Flip edition
November 14, 2010 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I am shooting interviews with a Flip camera for a school project. Unfortunately, the school computers don't have the Flip software installed. Is there a way I can view this footage on a computer without installing the software?
posted by pxe2000 to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The software for viewing Flip videos is contained in the Flip itself. When you plug the Flip into a USB port, the software is there. Are you saying you won't be able to install the software on your school's computer?

In any case, you should be able to pull the MP4 files off the camera directly by browsing the camera as a directory, save them, and then open them in another video editor.
posted by compwalla at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2010

Everything compwalla said, exactly.
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 8:59 AM on November 14, 2010

Response by poster: Compwalla: When I plug the camera into a USB port, the camera says "CONNECTING" on its viewfinder. However, nothing comes up on the desktop the way a normal USB drive would. I have the Flip software installed on my personal laptop, and when I plug the Flip in at home the footage is viewable there primarily.

I'd like to be able to view and edit the footage on the lab computers, but haven't gotten any messages asking if I would like to install new software. (Does this make any sense?) By contrast, when I plug in USB thumb drives and other cameras into the ports, they come up as thumb drives and the computer recognizes them.

FWIW, I'm on a Mac.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:12 AM on November 14, 2010

To view your footage on the school computer without installing the software on that computer you'll need to use your personal Mac to grab the video files individually.

Connect your camera to your personal computer and open FlipShare, select the clip(s) that you want to transfer and then choose the "Save to computer" option. This will save the video clips in a folder called "FlipShare Data" that is automatically created within your Mac's Movies directory. Look for a folder within FlipShare Data called "Videos" and you'll find the .avi files you need. Copy them onto a USB key or burn them to a CD that you can bring to your school computer. You should be able to use Quicktime or whatever video software is already installed on the school computer to view the footage.
posted by Jeff Howard at 9:35 AM on November 14, 2010

When I plug in my Flip Camera on my Mac it shows up as a drive in Finder and I can pull the videos off of it.

It should just work as a USB drive without the Flip Software.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:30 AM on November 14, 2010

Best answer: pxe2000, I feel your pain. I've worked with teachers doing tech projects in classrooms, and have run into this issue before. In my experience, you can't get the files off the camera without Flip's proprietary software--we'd always lose audio when trying this method.

If you can, track down the school's IT department (someone with administrative access) and see if they can help with this, like installing the Flip application on one designated workstation. If there are likely to be more projects like this, then I highly recommend this idea.

If that's a no-go, then you'll have to use Jeff Howard's solution, which is what I ended up doing. It's annoying and time consuming, but it works. Good luck!
posted by smirkette at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2010

Response by poster: I managed to speak to the IT weekend staff at my school, who were able to add the software to one of the Macs. Fingers crossed that it remains on the computer when I go in to finish the project tomorrow...
posted by pxe2000 at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2010

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