The Flip Camera is one of my favorite gadgets of all. It is small, has self contained FlipShare video editing software, and plugs into any television for instant viewing of the movies.

FlipShare Software

If you have never used a Flip Camera, you can't imagine how easy it is to take videos, put them together to make a movie and share with friends...all with the built in software. The FlipShare software is preloaded on the camera. The first time you plug the camera into your computer, the software will install. From then on, when you plug the camera in, the program will automatically come up or you might need to choose to view the videos with the FlipShare program. The interface is quite easy to use.

Flip Tips and Tricks

Even though the Flip camera is easy to use, it always helps to have a few tips up your sleeve. Check these out:

FlipTip#1 - Converting MP4 Flip Videos to WMV

Note: This applies only to cameras that have not been updated to FlipShare version 5.0. If you have updated and are unable to convert your videos to wmv for use in MovieMaker, you will need to reinstall with version 4.5. Please contact me if you have a question about this.

Most of the newer Flip cameras record in MP4 file format. That is fine for showing your videos directly from the television or if you have additional video editing software. However, when the Flip camera is used for school projects, you will most likely need to view the videos in wmv format which can be played in Windows Media Player or even inserted into a PowerPoint presentation. Converting the videos is simple using the FlipShare software itself.

Open Flip Share and go to the Share menu at the top. Share - Online - Others - In the window that pops up, make sure the radio button next to other is selected.Drag videos from the Flip Share window onto the right hand portion of the Share window.When you have your videos selected, click the Next button. Don't remove or turn off your Flip camera until you are finished. FlipShare will create a folder on your desktop where it will place wmv versions of the videos you have selected. When it is finished, you will get a message you will be taken to an upload page. Proceding further with the directions would allow you to upload your wmvs to a video sharing site like youtube or teachertube.However, since you merely want to have wmv versions of the videos, you can cancel the uploading. They have been created. If you do not see a folder on your desktop called "Items for Uploading", check to see if they were placed in the 'My Documents/My Videos\FlipShare Data\Videos' folder.
Note: don't start this late in the day if you have a whole lot of videos to convert. Start them early and let it run. You can still use your computer.

FlipTip #2 - Mass Handling of Videos

Using the FlipShare software allows you to work with videos individually. But, let's say you want to copy or even delete several videos at the same time. The Flip camera, since it connects to the camera via a USB connection, actually acts much like a flash drive. When you first plug in your camera, you will see a dialog box asking you what you want to do. If you scroll down to the "Open Folder to View Files" option and select it, a window will appear containing a DCIM folder. Double-click that folder to open it, then double-click the '100video' folder. If the videos are showing up in list or icon view, you can change the view to 'thumbnails' that will help you identify the different videos. Changing the view to 'details' gives you the date/time/files size information that might be useful as well.
Now you can create copies of these videos or delete several at a time by holding down the CTRL key while clicking on the videos you want to delete. This is much quicker than deleting them individually in the FlipShare camera.

FlipTip #3 - Getting Rid of Camera Shake

Even though Flip cameras can be attached to miniature and full size tripods, that is not always practical. Who wants to carry around a tripod at all times. But, who wants a video with a lot of annoying shake. There are all sorts of tips for easing camera shake, from controlling your breathing, to supporting your arm, but here is a trick that I have started using.
Link several elastic bands together to create a long chain. I use small colored headbands and ponytail bands. The idea is to create a chain of bands about 3 feet long. Step into the bottom loop and hook your thumb into a top loop that gives you some tension when holding your camera at the desired level. The tension will help you hold the camera still and allow for smooth panning.

For More Information

Check out the Flip web site at