Getting Started With ClipNotes on an iPad

You need two files to use ClipNotes, a video file and an XML file. You get these ready on a desktop or laptop computer, and then copy them onto your iPad using iTunes.

The Video file

The video file needs to be in a format that your iPad can play. Here is what the Apple website says:

Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

All that said, we have done fine with m4v, mp4, and mov files, using H.264. We recommend HandBrake as the software to use if you are converting video files from other formats, and we also like DVD Flick. We've also used mov files directly from several video cameras and have found these to work fine. ClipNotes will resize your video to fit the movie window at the top of your iPad screen, but will maintain whatever the screen ratio is of your video.

You need to copy your video file into ClipNotes using iTunes. You can not access files stored in your regular video library. Again, your video needs to be placed in ClipNotes.

The XML file

The XML file is the main thing you have to prepare. You can do this by first determining starting and stopping times of each clip within the video which you wish to show, and then writing the description that will display when the clip shows. The purpose of the caption is to give you a line on the scrolling list to easily identify your clips. You can leave the caption field blank, in which case ClipNotes will use your description to be your caption as well (or as much of it as will fit), Since descriptions are generally longer than captions, it's a good idea to have short captions as well to appear on your list. (See the sample files included with ClipNotes to get a sense of how you might do this.)

Here would be a short sample for discussion's sake of a two-clip XML file.

<Description>This is a really cool example. I like it a lot.</Description>
<Caption>My first example - a good one</Caption>
<End>2:4 9</End>
<Description>That's Uncle Bob standing behind the dolphin.</Description>
<Caption>A big moment in our vacation</Caption>

Start and End times are listed as minutes:seconds. If your video is over an hour, you can also list hours or continue to use minutes, either 1:12:15 or 72:15 are fine. If you prefer, you can have a single number which is seconds, so you can put 9:15 or 555. (555 is the number of total seconds in 9 minutes and 15 seconds.)

XML files can be edited in an text editor, so you might use Notepad or Notepad++ for this. There are also specialised programs for editing XML files, such as the free program Serna or the commercial software Oxygen. The Internet is full of information about XML and there are many books on the subject, but the format is pretty straightforward and a text editor works perfectly fine.

On the next page we have both the sample file which comes with ClipNotes and also a blank template for five examples, which can obviously be extended by copying and pasting.

The Remaining Steps Page



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