Today I made my first DVD, one that is recognized as a playable DVD both by my computer and by the 5-year-old DVD player in the community room at the library. The Friends of the Library had a program a few weeks ago on the history of farming in Rye, NH, in conjunction with the historical society. Partly as an outreach effort, and partly to get the Friends to give me money for our own camcorder, I borrowed a camera from the middle school up the street to record the program. The camera I borrowed records on miniDV tape, and the only outputs are Firewire and standard a/v outputs. I don't have a computer with a/v inputs, so I borrowed a staff member's Macbook and transferred the tape to .dv files. On the Mac I used iMovie to make an .m4v file, but couldn't figure out how to get iDVD to write it to a DVD. My friend Bob took the .m4v file and converted it to a burnable format on a Windows PC using ConvertXtoDVD. Then I took the resulting files back to the library (I don't have a DVD burner on my laptop, but I will in a couple of weeks) and burned them to a DVD with Roxio MyDVD on a Windows PC.
It was another Learning Experience, but a satisfying one. Now we have a DVD of the event that we can loan out to people who couldn't be there, and we can start to build up a little library of these. Maybe we can start an oral history project and interview some of the old-timers before they're gone.