Matt Connolly's Blog

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Tag Archives: video

HAVA video capture has terrible audio

I used a HAVA video recorder recently, and I have to say that it’s one of the worst pieces of consumer electronics I’ve ever used. These are the typical problems I experienced:

  • dark video (at least they do offer some controls at capture, but it’s not pretty)
  • loud, distorted audio. By my measurements, the audio in the captured MP2 file is about 18dB too loud. Massive. Distorted. Ugly.
  • out of sync audio, by about 250 ms. Ridiculous.
  • constant device resets. The number of times I’ve had to run through the setup wizard just to get the computer to talk to it is beyond a joke.

Seriously, save yourself time and gray hairs, and don’t ever touch these units.


Downloading Youtube videos

Quite a few times I’ve wanted to watch a youtube video and been caught without an internet connection…

Here’s a great trick for users of Safari, thanks to a this page. Also thanks to a wikipedia article, you can append &fmt=22 to the end of the URL to force youtube to go straight to the HD version of the video.

So, here’s my steps:

  1. Find a youtube video.
  2. Add &fmt=22 to the end of the URL and reload the page – if it’s not already in HD.
  3. Wait a moment for the video to start playing.
  4. Press Cmd+Option+A to bring up the Activity window.
  5. Look for the biggest file there in the list…. something like this:



    Safari Activity window

    Safari Activity window

  6. Double click that entry.
  7. Voila. It’s downloading into Safari’s Downloads folder.

If you get the HD version, it will download automatically as a .mp4 file, which is great because Quicktime can play it out of the box without needing any silly FLV addons.

Oh… and Youtube HD videos actually are HD: 1280 x 720 resolution!!