Sunday, April 6, 2014

OpenShot :: Organizing Files aka Oy, VEY!

Sooo.. have started to really get serious about making some videos out of the literally tens upon tens of thousands of still images and movie clips I've taken out in the front yard here. Have dabbled with about six, eight videos now, and immediately it became clear it was getting out of hand QUICK.

The part that is getting out of hand is the organization of all the related and inter-related files. Movies the size I'm making don't really take that many files right now but it was still a mess already. In the process of changing things out (moving some files around and renaming for better consistency), I've managed to freak out the OpenShot Video Editor a time or two, too. *oops*

You have a couple choices if you manage to do the same. You can start over which has actually helped me lose a few pesky bugs I'd planted in my videos. Or if you've already got a pretty intricate video project set up and working, you can try helping OpenShot refind what you reorganized.

On that last part, an example might be like I had earlier where I'd snipped the doodah out of a clip and then done all kinds of tweaks, effects, yadda. May just be that I don't know the entire of OpenShot shortcuts and fail-safes yet, but I was not up for the task of recreating that clipped snippet from scratch.

There may be several ways to help OpenShot relocate moved files but this one is what proved cognitively friendly for me:

  • Make sure the "Project Files" tab is active, is the one you're working out of
  • Right click over whichever file a little popup window is complaining can no longer be found
  • Click "File Properties". It's at the bottom of the little popup window for me
  • Enter the file's new full computer path there where it says "File Name:"
  • Quickly save your project. I say this one because that seemed to make a difference here (SOMETIMES).

On that last part, at other times... not so much (did quickly saving the project make a difference). The file path would occasionally and very frustratingly revert back to the old now non-existent file path for some reason. It could be as simple as I was missing something pretty basic.. or not. Therein lies the oy factor.

Learned another little something about OpenShot's interoperability that had escaped me at first. You're not actually loading files into your project. I was wondering why the "*.osp" files were so tiny. It's because it's about linking rather than embedding as the project moves along.

Found that out accidentally while updating, prettying up the text alignment on a title .svg file earlier. For no particular reason (ok, maybe LAZY), I decided to double click the existing file on the "Project Files" tab rather than delete and start over. So I updated the text in my Inkscape .svg file then clicked the pre-existing file name there on that "Project Files" tab. The visual changed immediately and reflected the new file change there in OpenShot's "Video Preview" panel (right side of the program). That little 4-watt light bulb flicked on overhead again a second later.

BUT.. I'm ignoring the light bulb this time. It suggests trying to use as few files as possible in creating videos over time. I'm thinking that could get messy and potentially overwhelming real quick. So my process will be to give each and every video its own copy of all files even though that will mean duplication up the wazoo for a handful of files over time.

The reason for that CHOICE is... cognition/memory based. From one second to the next all day every day I forget "systems" I've established to do things. Guaranteed I'll be smoking along making videos a few weeks from now and will absolutely freaking forget that the one "outro" file is designed to be 100% consistent, dependable throughout the lifetime of my video making. Ok, not forever but for a few months... or few videos, at the least.

If I use one single file for all videos then decide a week from now to change it for some silly one-of-a-kind video, I've just messed up all the other projects sitting symlinked to that same file as they twiddle their thumbnails in the wings. And yes, files can be write-protected, but it's just easier this way. It's just another kind of system that will be less painless even though it's destined to eat up more hard drive space over time. You do what you gotta do, you work with what you gots and don'ts gots... *grin*

Happy Safe Surfing out there...

And PS Yes, my .svg files are going in the automatically created "Thumbnail" folder where they'll sit side by side with .png files generated as OpenShot works its magic. It's a cognitive thing. I'll know to go looking for images there in a thumbnail file where images bearing similar names will already await. So far, that method doesn't seem to twerk OpenShot's britches any. Yayhoo for small blessings. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

OpenShot Video Editor :: Getting Started

Haven't tried the OpenShot Video Editor yet but were thinking of giving it a go? Don't do what I did.. I jumped right in and... found myself struggling for a few days before I, gack, read the destructions. You can find them by clicking "Help" in the top menu bar and then clicking "Contents". Keyboard shortcut offered is the universal "F1" key. That worked here but YMMV (your mileage may vary) depending on the entire of your computer situation.

Reason I ended up in Help was my second video starting glitching. It was hiccuping inconsistently as it ran through the clips. First clip faded as desired then hiccuped out one last clearly viewable frame after the fact. Next clip nada. Third clip hiccuped a single frame both at the beginning AND the end. *hm*

Turned out by reading the instructions labeled "Learn OpenShot in 5 Minutes!", I had music clips in the second track and video in the first. Whether or not that was the only thing wrong (or if rearranging things also quietly deleted the real glitch causer), I don't know. BUT.. switching them around so that they were set up reversed as "Learn OpenShot in 5 Minutes!" depicts = no hiccups. Yayhoo, we have video (to be uploaded soon)!

Happy Safe Surfing out there!

PS Tried to get a printscreen to go with purely for posterity but, um, hm. What I needed didn't happen here on Ubuntu. I NEEDED... to be able to grab the that top bar showing the word "Help". It comes and goes in Ubuntu, you have to put your cursor (pointer) up there first. Since I was trying to.... oh, shoot, wait. One sec...........

Speaking of glitches, forgot about the "PrtSc" key. Been years since I've had a computer where it actually worked. Still didn't quite capture what I wanted. Was able to display and printscreen the word "Help" but printscreen refused to operate with the Help dropdown menu dropped and displaying the word "Contents".

Sooo.. got half what I went after, I'm over it... Tired but still wanting to play a little in OpenShot before the night's over.. Priorities! :)

PPS Might have misunderstood but over at the Ubuntu-Users listserv, I got the impression that software title bars might not be playing catch-me-if-you-can anymore in one of the latest releases... YAYHOO TIMES TWO (IF TRUE)!

Debian :: Searching for potential packages

My next great tech adventure is in full swing right now. Am creating videos using the OpenShot Video Editor. Tried this software and Avidemux before but it was a horrific fail, cognitively as well as regarding the obsolete array of dis-hardware I eternally have on hand k/t to being low income.

So... this is the newest New Year and I actually have a workable setup going. k/t there goes to... a kindly silent angel investor. *waving*

Right now while I'm waiting for *bleeped* dialup to load two pages simultaneously (oh, the horror), thought I'd real quick write one handy tip garnered recently from the Debian-User listserv. And that handy tip izzz:

  • Open your favorite terminal. One that came with my setup is GNOME Terminal (Debian package gnome-terminal)
  • Type in apt-cache search [package name] (worked here without being root, yay)

As example for the missing software I encountered today, [package name] is replaced with "libavformat". And there was actually a hit that has potential > "libavformat-extra-53". We'll see if that will do it (but it'll be a few or three hours k/t dialup). *grin*

Happy Safe Surfing out there.. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

PulseAudio in Ubuntu 12.04

How about that. If I'd waited two more weeks, it would have been 6 years since my last post on this blog.. But I'm antsy, so here we gooo....

Kind of like walking in at the middle of the movie here. For now, will be lumping these under "so what i did was"..

Sooo... What I did was.... I've got several LiveDVDs that I work with these days. Some graphics ones and long time favorite, Knoppix. BUT.. This second am working on a laptop that came with Ubuntu pre-installed.

Today's dilemma... Ran into an issue yesterday where the laptop's onboard microphone became mysteriously... muted. No, I didn't do it. Last time I made changes, it was to go to:

  • System Settings
  • Sound
  • Input tab
  • Click on Internal microphone
  • REMOVE the checkmark next to "Mute"

That was about two weeks ago and haven't been back in there since. AND YET.. there we were yesterday and my microphone's back muted. I will grant that possibly an accidental combination of keyboard strokes did the dirty deed. Life lesson learned the hard way was to ALWAYS "test-test one two three" to make sure the sound level is working. If not, software is likely muted.

In the process yesterday, discovered that under the Output tab in the Sound System Settings, speakers were not working when "Digital Output S/PDIF" was highlighted. Alrighty then..

Today hit the search engine and found someone at the Ubuntu forum had the same issue. They mentioned HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). Lost me immediately BUT I do know I've encountered that early on in Ubuntu, just no clue where. May or may not be the problem, time and accidental stumblings will tell.

Per the Ubuntu Forums suggestion, I followed through today by downloading PulseAudio Volume Control:

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

What program name to use to download I noticed is provided if you go to Ubuntu Software Center. Pick software you like then click to highlight it. You'll be offered an "Info" button. Once in there, 100% of the time I've found the package name. Don't include version numbers, just first part of the name and you more likely than not will be ok.

So now I have PulseAudio Volume Control installed. I followed the further directions to wander through the tabs. Apparently has two interfaces. If you click the "lock" button on the righthand top corner, the tabs interact with each other. Unlock it and they don't seem to... Could be a glitch here but that's how it appears.

All well and good but.... Digital Output S/PDIF is still not functioning. Will keep plugging until it does.. :)

Happy Safe Surfing out there.. :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

NMAKE Install :: Fatal Error U1077..

HATE when that happens.. :grimace:

Was NMAKE INSTALLing mod_perl.. It had already accomplished perl, much to my glee.. Ah, but then..

Shades of son-of-a-boy-this-bytes if one snip of the error message didn't only return 3 webpages of the billions out there that even contained the same.. The next search did turn up something at the MSDN library:

Next step was success.. Read into it that my next attempt should be nmake install /i.. That was the ticket.. Off to see what else I can mess up now before the new dawn arrives.. :wink:

Cyber hugs from Talking Rock..

Note: Additional notable part of the error message was: "link: invalid option -- o"..

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Apache Servers :: Deja vu all over again..

Just spent the last few days trying to quickly get caught up to speed in setting up another Apache server.. Little different as this time it's on Windows 2000 (thank you, new friends, :wink: ) rather than Windows 98, and the processor is just slightly faster than the 166 MHz with 48 KB memory I was blessed with last year, but still..

It's not a horrible, horrible error message.. Just reflects that I moved my Apache file.. Obviously improperly.. And means that I have to dredge back into some serious gray matter to remember how it was I used to change what needs changed.. And remember just where it was I laid down my Visual Basic CDs..

Got the software installed, got an error that made sense but needs back up info from online, hit my favorite Internet search engine, and BINGO, there it is.. Memories quickly coming back of running through this process somewhere around this time last year before my computer finally and forever bit the dust..

Hm.. Cool.. Only 8 other programmers weareth the same Shoes as I..

And that's without being any more specific than "Could not open"..

Yup, deja vu all over again.. Oy, goodness, what was I thinking..?