on Monday, February 4, 2008

In 1996, I read a technical paper on a new technology from Apple Computer called FireWire. This new technology promised the ability to transfer data at speeds of up to 400 megabits per second. “Yeah, right!” I quietly scoffed to myself, “Why on Earth would anyone need to transfer that much data that quickly? Besides, Apple will be out of business by the end of ’97.” Yeah, right.

Thankfully I was wrong about Apple, and I soon learned about a new phenomenon called digital video that could take advantage of this new FireWire technology. Digital video files are big, too big in fact for computers of just a few years ago to handle. But FireWire allows high quality video to be shared easily and efficiently between digital camcorders and computers. Of course, more than just FireWire was needed for this digital video thing to catch on.

Personal computers still had to become fast enough to handle digital video, and prices for digital camcorders only fell within reach of mere mortals just a couple of years ago. Digital video is here now, and anyone with a reasonably modern computer and a $500 digital camcorder can make movies like a pro. With the recent advent of DVD players and recordable DVD drives, sharing your high quality movies with others has never been easier. This chapter introduces you to digital video and shows you how easy it is to edit and share your movies with others.