Flip Video™ For Dummies®

Table of Contents


About Flip Video For Dummies

Foolish Assumptions

Conventions Used in This Book

What You Don’t Have to Read

How This Book Is Organized

Part I: Getting to Know Your Flip

Part II: Putting Your Flip to Work

Part III: Creating and Sharing Movies with FlipShare

Part IV: Editing and Sharing Movies with Mac and Windows Programs

Part V: The Part of Tens

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I: Getting to Know Your Flip

Chapter 1: Touring Flip Models and Features

Flipping Over Flip Video

Familiarizing Yourself with the Flip Way

Flipping through Flip Models

Key specifications and features

Reviewing the latest Flip models

Designing your own MinoHD or SlideHD

Installing FlipShare

Chapter 2: Adjusting Flip Settings

Getting Acquainted with Flip Settings

Making Flip Options Suit Your Taste

Activating the Flip Delete Lock Feature

Chapter 3: Maintaining, Upgrading, and Troubleshooting Your Flip

Updating Your Flip Video and FlipShare Software

Responding to an Unresponsive Flip Camera

Manhandling misunderstood Flip features

Tackling typical Flip troubles

Power and Battery Issues

Resolving Common FlipShare-Related Problems

Color Scheme changed to Windows Basic

FlipShare preferences

Managing your FlipShare Library folder

Online sharing issues

Part II: Putting Your Flip to Work

Chapter 4: Recording and Viewing Videos

Getting in Touch with Your Flip’s Buttons

Recording Videos

The basics of shooting video

Taking your best shots

Viewing Videos

Watching and controlling videos

Watching videos on your TV

Deleting Videos

Tapping into Unique SlideHD Features

Chapter 5: Transferring Video to Your Computer

Practicing Safe Flip Plugging

Turn off your Flip before plugging it into a computer

Connect your Flip with an optional USB cable

Properly eject your Flip from your computer

Deciding What Your Computer Does When You Plug In Your Flip

Choosing whether FlipShare runs when you plug in your Flip

Selecting a Windows AutoPlay option

Selecting your Mac’s default program

Getting Video Files from Your Flip to Your Computer

Using Windows Live Photo Gallery

Using Image Capture

Using iPhoto

Using iMovie

Using FlipShare

Using the drag-and-drop method

Part III: Creating and Sharing Movies with FlipShare

Chapter 6: Getting Familiar with FlipShare

Touring the FlipShare Interface

The FlipShare main window

Navigation pane

Progress box


Action bar

Organizing Videos, Snapshots, and Folders

Playing with Favorites

Creating and renaming folders

Naming and renaming files

Copying files

Moving files

Deleting files and folders

Chapter 7: Creating Movies, Snapshots, and Photo Slideshows

Creating Your First Magic Movie

Creating a Full-Length Movie

Trimming video clips

Capturing Snapshots from video clips

Making the final movie file

Creating Photo Slideshows

Sharing Your Movies and Slideshows

Chapter 8: Creating Video E-Mails, Greeting Cards, and DVDs

Sending Video and Picture E-Mails

Creating and Sending Video and Picture Greeting Cards

Burning Movies and Pictures to DVDs

Using FlipShare

Using iDVD

Using Windows DVD Maker

Chapter 9: Uploading Your Creations to the Web

Using FlipShare to Upload Your Movies and Pictures

Using Flip Channels

Activating and signing in to your Flip Channel account

Working with your My Flip Channel folder

Creating and sharing new Flip Channels folders

Adding and removing items and people in a shared Flip Channel

Renaming or deleting a shared Flip Channel

Viewing received Flip Channels

Deleting your Flip Channels account link in FlipShare

Uploading Items to Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube




Deleting Login Information from FlipShare

Saving Files for Uploading

Part IV: Editing and Sharing Movies with Mac and Windows Programs

Chapter 10: Making Movies with iMovie

How iMovie Works

Importing a Video into the Event Library

Importing from your Flip camera

Importing a digital video file

Organizing the Event Library

Working with Projects

Creating a new iMovie project

Selecting video clips

Deleting video clips

Deleting a project

Organizing the Project Library

Editing Video Clips in a Project

Rearranging the order of video clips

Adjusting the size of a video clip

Adding titles

Adding transitions

Adding audio files

Saving a Video

Saving a project as a digital video file

Saving (and removing) a video for iTunes

Saving (and removing) a project for YouTube

Saving (and removing) a project in the Media browser

Chapter 11: Making Movies with Windows Live Movie Maker

Running Windows Live Movie Maker

Understanding the Windows Live Movie Maker Process

Copying videos to your computer

Importing videos into Movie Maker

Saving, creating, and deleting Movie Maker projects

Viewing and Organizing Videos

Watching and controlling videos

Adjusting display options

Organizing videos

Editing Video Clips in a Project

Adjusting the size of a video clip

Splitting a video clip in two

Adding text titles, captions, and credits

Adding animated transitions

Adding special effects

Adding audio files

Making a Quick Movie the AutoMovie Way

Saving and Sharing Your Movie

Saving a project as a movie file

E-mailing a movie file

Burning a movie to DVD with Windows DVD Maker

Uploading a movie to YouTube

Part V: The Part of Tens

Chapter 12: Ten Super Shooting Tips

Shoot Happens

Brace Yourself

Seek Stabilizing Relationships

Shoot with an Eye on Editing

Sound(track) Advice

Light Up Your Life

Listen Up!


Keep It Moving

As You Like It

Chapter 13: Ten Excellent Editing Tips

Cut the Bad Bits

Easy Does It

Edit for Story

Slave to the Rhythm

Viewer Consideration

Cuts and Crossfades

Affecting Effects

Graphically Speaking

Two-Track Mindset

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Flip Video™ For Dummies®

by Joe Hutsko and Drew Davidson


About the Author

Joe Hutsko is the author of Green Gadgets For Dummies, Macs All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and The Deal: A Novel of Silicon Valley. For more than two decades, he has written about computers, gadgets, video games, trends, and high-tech movers and shakers for numerous publications and Web sites, including The New York Times, Macworld, PC World, Fortune, Newsweek, Popular Science, TV Guide, The Washington Post, Wired,, MSNBC, and Before becoming a writer, Joe worked at Apple from 1984 to 1988. You can find links to Joe’s stories on his Web site,

Drew Davidson purchased his first film camera at a garage sale (an 8mm Kodak Brownie) and has since enjoyed all types of home and professional filmmaking. That first purchase opened the door to the wide world of filmmaking: from editing to camera work, from stop motion animation to documentary cinéma vérité, from complex computer-controlled motion control cameras to cameras duct taped to his mountain bike on his many mountain biking forays around the world. As a professional editor and cameraman, some of Drew’s credits include Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. Clients he’s worked with include, Time Inc., The American Museum of Natural History in New York, The New York Historical Society, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, and the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. His video work is represented by Getty Images, and his full body of work can be viewed at


Both authors wholeheartedly dedicate this book to Sue Godfrey. “You said . . .” :-)

Authors’ Acknowledgments

Both authors would like to thank agent, Carole Jelen, of Waterside Productions; and awesome project editor, Nicole Sholly, for her intelligent guidance, brilliant organization, incisive editing and, above all, tremendous wit and generous sense of humor. Thank you, Nicole!

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Nicole Sholly

Acquisitions Editor: Amy Fandrei

Senior Copy Editor: Teresa Artman

Technical Editor: Claudia Snell

Editorial Manager: Kevin Kirschner

Editorial Assistant: Amanda Graham

Senior Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Composition Services

Project Coordinators: Katherine Crocker, Patrick Redmond

Layout and Graphics: Samantha K. Cherolis, Joyce Haughey, Kelly Kijovsky

Proofreaders: Susan Hobbs, Lauren Mandelbaum

Indexer: Sherry Massey

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director

Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

Publishing for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services


Your Flip is probably the easiest-to-use camcorder in the world. Just point, shoot, and copy to your computer. A few clicks later, friends, family, and even strangers around the world can view your creations on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and other sharing Web sites. Burning your movie to a DVD so that others can watch it on TV or their computer is nearly as quick and easy as the online sharing options. So why, you might wonder, would anyone need a whole book for such an easy-to-use gadget? Let me count the ways. . . .

About Flip Video For Dummies

Options, baby, options. Sure you can shoot and upload your video in a few clicks. By editing your video and adding titles, credits, special effects, and a music soundtrack, however, you can make your movie more interesting to others. You’ll see how to do that in this book. Want to capture individual snapshots from your videos and then string those pictures together to create photo slideshows? It’s in here. Wondering how to upgrade your Flip’s internal software (firmware) and desktop FlipShare program so you benefit from the latest and greatest features? It’s in here.

And while you’re mastering those things, you’ll also pick up tips and tricks for capturing and editing your videos, thanks to the expert advice the filmmaker-half of the author duo’s contribution to this book, which will help you get the very most from your Flip camcorder.

Here are some of the things you can do with this book:

Learn about the features unique to each of the current Flip camera models.

Find out how to properly connect (and disconnect) your Flip to (and from) your computer.

Import your videos to your computer, share your videos online, or burn your videos to DVDs that you can give to others.

Turn your simple video clips into fuller, richer mini-movies, complete with titles, rolling credits, and music soundtracks.

Install free updates to ensure that your Flip camera and the FlipShare program give you the latest and greatest features.

Learn simple expert tips to help you take your best shots — and edit those shots so they’re interesting to your views.

Foolish Assumptions

In writing this book, we made a few assumptions about you, dear reader. To make sure we’re on the same page, I assume that

You know how to turn your computer on and locate and run programs.

You can navigate your computer to store (and later find) files.

You have a favorite Web browser and are familiar enough with navigating the Web to download a file, such as a program update installer file, and can then open that file.

You appreciate the speed at which technology-based products — such as the Flip camera — change, with newer, sleeker, better, faster models replacing previous versions in as little as a few months.

Conventions Used in This Book

To help you navigate this book, we use a few style conventions:

Emphasized terms or words are italicized (and defined).

Web site addresses, or URLs, are shown in a special monofont typeface, like this:

Numbered steps that you need to follow and characters you need to type are set in bold.

What You Don’t Have to Read

You don’t have to read anything that doesn’t pertain to what you’re interested in. In fact, you can even skip a chapter entirely. We hope you don’t, though, because we believe that reading every chapter can make your overall reading experience more efficient and (dare I say it?) enjoyable.

As for sidebars you encounter throughout this book, feel free to ignore them because they contain, for the most part, tangential thoughts, miniature essays, or other bits of information you don’t need to know to do the things we show you in the book.

How This Book Is Organized

Flip Video For Dummies is split into five parts. You don’t have to read it sequentially, and you don’t even have to read all the sections in any particular chapter. You can use the Table of Contents and the index to find the information you need and quickly get your answer. Here is what you’ll find in each part.

Part I: Getting to Know Your Flip

This part is all about getting comfortable with your pocket-sized camcorder — or learning about one you’re thinking of buying if you don’t already own a Flip. You can read about the latest Flip camera models, how to adjust your Flip’s settings, and how to upgrade FlipShare. Troubleshooting information is also contained in this part.

Part II: Putting Your Flip to Work

Using your Flip involves two activities: Shooting videos and transferring the videos you shoot to your computer. In this part, you’ll dive right in and start recording videos with your Flip while picking up tips to help you capture the best shots possible. Here’s where you find out how to transfer the videos you shoot to your Mac or Windows PC.

Part III: Creating and Sharing Movies with FlipShare

Sure, you can share your video clips with others exactly as they appear, but your intended audience will find your videos way more interesting if you trim out boring parts and add movie-like elements like a title, a music soundtrack, and even closing credits that crawl up the screen when your viewers come to The End. Taking center stage in this part is the FlipShare program, which you use to create Magic Movies and Full Length movies and send your movies (and snapshots!) as e-mail messages and greeting cards. You also see how to burn your movies to DVD and upload movies to Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.

Part IV: Editing and Sharing Movies with Mac and Windows Programs

Editing your clips using your Mac or Windows computer’s free video-editing program (iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker) is how you turn your more serious moviemaking dreams into realities. In this part, you’ll perform movie magic by turning your video clips into fuller, richer movies that boast the look and feel of movies you see at the Cineplex.

Part V: The Part of Tens

If you’re looking to stabilize your Flip (out of the box, it lacks image stabilization) or take your editing to the cutting edge, the Part of Tens has the information you need. Here, you’ll find lists of shooting tips and editing tips.

Icons Used in This Book

The icons you encounter throughout Flip Video For Dummies are tiny road signs to attract or steer your attention to particularly useful information — or, in rare instances, potential trouble.

tip_4c.eps The Tip icon points out useful information that can help you be more efficient or direct you to something helpful that you might not know about.

remember_4c.eps When you spot this icon, it steers your attention to something that’s interesting or useful; either way, you’ll want to read it. And remember it.

warning_4c.eps When you see the Warning icon, you know to proceed with caution in regard to a topic, an issue, or a series of steps that it’s cozying up next to.

Where to Go from Here

If you recently purchased a Flip camera or you’re thinking about purchasing one, Part I is definitely the best place to begin using this book. Parts II and III have the nitty-gritty details for shooting footage with your Flip as well as creating a masterpiece with FlipShare. But if you’ve been there and done all that and you’re ready to get more serious about this movie-making business, head straight to Part IV and jump in to video editing with Windows Live Movie Maker or iMovie. At any time, feel free to turn to the Part of Tens section to pick up expert tips that aim to improve your video shooting and editing skills, and to find great add-ons to help you enhance your Flip experience in more ways than one (actually ten, but who’s counting?).

Part I

Getting to Know Your Flip


In this part . . .

Afew years ago, shooting your own videos involved wrangling bulky camcorders and juggling cumbersome videotape cassettes — not to mention extra batteries you had to carry to keep your camcorder juiced throughout the day. Thanks to the Flip, those days are gone (at least for us everyday folks who just want to have fun shooting and editing videos).

This part introduces you to the Flip phenomena that has millions of consumers literally flipping over Flip cameras. You start out with a big-picture view of what it means to Flip; then you zoom in for a closer look at Flip models. You also get the 411 on adjusting your Flip’s settings, as well as upgrading your Flip and FlipShare software so they can be all that they can be, thanks to regular free updates that you can download and install.