If you’ve gotten yourself a Flip Video Camcorder from TheFlip.com, congratulations! You now hold in your hand an excellent and inexpensive video recording device. The quality of the video remains excellent without becoming blocky or grainy even on a large display. If your camcorder came with a TV Out cable then you’ll even be able to watch your videos directly on the big screen.
On the Flip Side, it doesn’t exactly come with great instructions and there are a few quirks of the software, so here are a few facts and advice on troubleshooting:
How do I install my Flip Video camera?
Simply plug in your Flip Video on the computer you wish to use. It will automatically install the software stored on it. This will most likely have to be done using an administrative login. The installation took about 10 minutes or so (on my slower machine), but only has to be done once per computer used. When complete, your computer will have both the 3ivx Codec and a program called Muvee Maker installed. If these aren’t in your Add/Remove Programs list in the Control Panel, or only one is, then uninstall the one, switch to an administrative login and plug it in again to see if it will fix the problem itself. If everything goes as planned, Muvee Maker will eventually load with your videos in its inventory.
The next time you plug in your Flip Video it will only take a moment to get access.
What software is included and gets installed automatically?
The 3ivx Codec and a program called Muvee Maker are automatically installed on any computer you plug your Flip Video into.
Honestly, close Muvee Maker and don’t use it. Excluding possibly elementary students, it’s a terrible video editor! Use Windows Movie Maker instead. To access your videos, go through My Computer and get to the files that way. Your Flip Video will show up like a regular flash drive with its own drive letter. Your videos are in one of the strangely-named folders. Look around and you’ll find them.
(Thank you, Chris Goodson!)
Where are my Flip Videos?! I saved them to my computer using Muvee Maker.
First, don’t flip out! Muvee Maker automatically makes a Flip Videos folder in your My Documents. Any videos you choose to save to your computer will be stored there. The version I have does not give you any other options on where to save.
There is one quirk. If you try to preview movies directly in Windows Media Player, the movie will show without sound even though the sound is included in the file. However, if you open the video clips in Windows Movie Maker (which uses an embedded Windows Media Player) it sounds normal. Weird, huh?
(Thank you, Chris Goodson!)
How do I save Flip Videos directly to my Flash Drive? Or access both simultaneously?
Since they both show up as Flash Drives, accessing both at the same time can be difficult. They might both be assigned the same drive letter. This grants access only to the first one plugged in. Additionally, certain computer network configurations might assign drive letters that are already in use. This also prevents access. Here are two potential ways around this for you:
- The less-technical way is to first plug in your flash drive and then restart the computer. The flash drive gets precedence over any assigned drive letters and grants you access. Now plug in the Flip Video and you should have access. If not, restart a second time with the camcorder plugged in. This takes longer than option 2 below, but it’s much easier to do.
- [For Windows XP] Plug in both devices. Now, right-click on My Computer and select Manage. This opens the Computer Management window. Choose Disk Management under Storage. In the pane to the right, you should see a list of connected disk drives. In this list, you should find both your Flash and Flip Video drives. For each one: Right-click on the listing and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths… Choose a new, unused drive letter. Click Yes when you are asked if you are sure. Repeat for the other drive letter. You should now have access to both at the same time. These steps must be repeated on any computer you wish to use to access both simultaneously, but only the first time. The computer will remember the assigned drive letters in the future.
(Thank you, David Gartner!)