Tag Archives: DVD

5 Handy Tips to Find Your Movie Site

5 Handy Tips to Find Your Movie Site

Movies VCDs and DVDs were popular for a long time until recently when downloading movies online begins to take the coveted top spot in popularity index. Google the phrases “download full length movies” or “full DVD movie downloads” and you are greeted immediately with millions of websites. With so many choices, it can be a headache to figure out which site or service offers the best deal. The truth is not every one of these sites is worth checking out when it comes to downloading movies online.

Here are 5 tips to help you sniff out the best site for movie downloads:

  1. Selection and Number of Movies

There are literally hundreds of thousands of movies that were produced over the entire film history. Good sites normally are able to give you the out of production classics as well as the newest movie releases such as Transformers and 1408. Go with those which come ready with millions of media files which are constantly updated with the latest movies, video clips and videos.

  1. Number of Users

When you select a site for downloading movies online, you would naturally choose one which many others are using. The reason is simple. If there are many users, it tends to imply that the service is offering excellent service that people like.

  1. Downloading and Conversion Software

The more well-run services are now offering free software to help you download your and convert your favorite movies into the formats compatible with your media player and digital portal player like iPod, Zune and so on conveniently. There are of course others which charge you a fee for the software which is why you are to avoid them!

  1. Quick Downloading Time

It must not take long to download the movies. Movie file sizes are huge and typically fall within 600 – 700 MB. The transfer probably takes about close to an hour or beyond. There are several sites that allow you to accelerate the downloading time which are ideal for impatient users.

  1. After-sales Customer Care

This is where the professional services distinguish themselves from the poorly run laggards. They are able to meet the 24/7 customer and technical support commitment unlike many others which fail miserably. This is important if you do encounter some problems and need assistance.

I hope you find these 5 tips handy to pick a good service when you decide you want to watch the digital quality movies during a cool weekend evening. Visit my movie blog and check out which sites have done well in these 5 aspects and where people are downloading movies online today.

Movie Downloads Tips And Tricks

Movie Downloads Tips And Tricks

movies are available in UMD format and UMD format discs can be quite expensive. Where a DVD can be purchased for $20, a UMD is purchased for around $30. It contains the same movie that is on the DVD, but the difference is that it is played on the PSP instead of a DVD player. This is why PSP movie downloads are very handy. Another reason why downloading comes in handy is because not all movies are available in UMD. Downloading is also a great alternative to paying $30 for a movie.

However, there is a trick to being able to watch a movie on the PSP and some may find it somewhat challenging to figure it out. The first step to being able to take advantage of PSP movie downloads is to have a Sony Memory stick available to download the movies to. Without the memory stick, there is no space to store the movie. Second, you must have the USB cable that came with the PSP unless you have a media card reader that is compatible with your memory stick.

Tip #1: Ways to download

There are actually a couple of different ways in which PSP movie downloads can be moved to the PSP. One of those methods is to rip a movie off of an original DVD and then save the ripped copy to the memory stick. Sony and many computers provide ripping software to make this feat possible, but there are those who are not too keen on watching movies on their PSP that they already have. They prefer to watch new movies. Then there is the fact that DVDs are now being manufactured with a security feature that keeps them from being copied. This only leaves one alternative.

That PSP movie downloads alternative is the internet. There are websites that provide PSP downloads, but there is a bit of caution that must be exercised when utilizing these websites. The reason for this is because not all of these sites are legitimate. Some exist for the sole purpose of scamming, while others plant spyware, viruses, and other malicious code on your machine. However, there are perfectly legitimate sites on the net that allow you to do PSP movie downloads. You just have to choose carefully.

Tip #2: Be safe

It is quite important to be cautions when choosing where to get your PSP movie downloads from. That is why it is good to not just look for download sites, but look and see what others have to say, preferably those who are professional researchers.

These researchers conduct the necessary research by testing the sites out on their own. They look for sites that contain spyware in various places, are illegal, and are scams. In turn, they look for sites that are legitimate so that they can tell you about them and direct you there. This helps you make a wise decision as to where you get your PSP movie downloads from without damaging your computer or becoming the victim of a scam.

Tip #3: Something to look out for

Make sure that what you download is also in MP4 format. Downloading from the website usually means that the movie will already be in MP4, but when ripping there is a little work to be done. That is another thing that makes downloading so easy…there is no converting to worry about. You can be watching a movie on your PSP in no time without having to worry about the technical aspects of the entire process. No wonder PSP movie downloads are growing in popularity. They are quick and they are simple.

Downloading Movies Online is a Headache Without These Tips

Downloading Movies Online is a Headache Without These Tips

Downloading movies online can be a headache if you do not have any knowledge of how to pick a great site. The simplest way to search around is to go to the search engines for help. Enter “download full length movies”, “download DVD quality movies” and so on and you are likely to see countless numbers of websites thrown at you. It can take forever to go to each site and browse through. You need quick tips to figure out which service is worthwhile considering when downloading movies online.

There are a few easy tips, in fact 5 of them to consider when it comes to selecting a suitable service for full length DVD quality movie downloads

  1. Movie Genres and Number of Downloads

People may love different or all movie genres. Some prefer the old classic touch of “The Godfather”. Others prefer the newer morbid shows like “Saw III” or “Hostel II”. Whatever your preference is, you might want to know that there are paid services that offer you all genres and their selection falls within the range of millions.

  1. Customer Count

Obviously, those with many subscribers must have done well in providing quality service. Either their pricing is reasonable or they have given a lot of value or both which is why they have many happy customers. Choose these services.

  1. Software for Downloading and Conversion

For a flat fee, you can get the membership privileges to download as many movies as you wish at certain sites. On top of that, they provide the software needed for the downloads as well as the conversion into a format that is compatible should you decide to play the movies on your iPod, Zen or other MP3/4 players. If the site does not offer such software for free, it is not worth subscribing.

  1. High Speed Downloads

Movie files are huge and can take a long while to download. You do not want to waste hours downloading movies online when you should be watching instead. There are services that allow for high speed downloads. Go for them and ditch those slow crawling sites.

  1. Good Customer and Technical Support

Paid membership services for unlimited movie downloads should also offer a 24/7 customer and technical support in case you need it when downloading movies online. Many make such claims but only a few can really deliver from our searches.

Five Tips for Using Movies to Help Learn a New Language

Five Tips for Using Movies to Help Learn a New Language

Using Movies for Language Learning

Almost everyone loves movies. From action and adventure seekers to comedy or animated features to Romance and Westerns, there is a genre for you. You can follow the exploits of Indiana Jones and his search for ancient treasures or an odd couple of robots trekking their way through the galaxy. You can enjoy an emotional love story or split your sides laughing at a variety of antics by man or animals alike. You can also use movies to help learn a foreign language. Here are five tips to get you started.

Tip 1 Try Mimicking Select a character in the movie you identify with; the dashing, daring hero or the pretty, coquettish damsel in distress. Perhaps the supporting characters are more to your taste; the humorous side-kick, a brazen in-law or mischievous youngster. Pick one, then practice speaking their lines in a scene or segment from the movie. Be sure to imitate accent, tone and expressions as closely as you can.

Tip 2 Use a movie DVD The format most useful for you will likely be one which allows you to stop, start and repeat segments of the movie dialogue at will. If you don’t understand a sentence or phrase, stop, rewind and listen again. Do this repeatedly until your brain engages and you “get it” or try asking for help from a friend, teacher or native speaker if necessary. Using a DVD for this is less risky than using a tape. Celluloid tape can ultimately develop wear if a section is repeatedly rewound and played over and over again.

Tip 3 Use a short scene or segment Rather than try to “do” an entire movie as practice, why not select a dramatic scene with plenty of dialogue spoken by the character you’re mimicking? It’ll be much faster to repeat, simpler to memorize and easier to practice with. You can try staging the scene for yourself, adding dialogue, asking questions and even taking the roles of other characters in the scene. Once you’ve “mastered” a scene, go through and choose another from the movie. Then repeat the process to get more practice yet. Quite possibly, there are two, three or even more scenes which can inspire you to frequent practice helping you to learn your new language even faster.

Tip 4 Listen and Repeat Remember that your technique can be a simple one, just listen and repeat. If you truly want to take the process further, imitate body language, gestures and movements of your character as well. It’s important to get timing, rhythm and intonation as close to the original as you can. Language rhythm with speed, pausing and tonality are typically well illustrated when using movies for language learning purposes. You should be trying to mimic the actions, gestures and speech of the character as closely as you can for maximum language learning effect.

Tip 5 First be him, then be her Practice being different characters to help round out your foreign language speaking skills. If you’re a male, don’t be skittish about practicing female characters. If you’re a female, don’t neglect practice with male speaking roles. In many film genres, there are scenes involving extensive dialogue between a man and woman. These can be especially useful for their rich dialogue content. First be him for multiple practice sessions, then be her for a few practice sessions more. Soap Operas are particularly good for this and usually contain dramatic content to enhance the dialogue. No slapping, fist fights, cat fights or violence, please!

Use Movies for Foreign Language Practice

However you decide to do so, using movies for language practice is an excellent way to deepen your cultural knowledge, improve your use of idioms, expressions and vocabulary in context. It’s a great way to generally boost your speaking and listening comprehension abilities too. These five tips can help get you started beginning with the very next movie you decide to watch.

8 Top Tips to Choose the Right Online Movie Rental Service

8 Top Tips to Choose the Right Online Movie Rental Service

When deciding to rent online movies there are a number of companies who offer this service and you should consider your options carefully before choosing one. Below are some tips to help you choose the right service for your needs.

Tip 1: Check the company to see what is included in the membership. For example how many titles are available to rent. Do they offer a good selection of your kind of movies? What kind of plans do they offer? If you want to watch movies on Blu Ray or instantly on your TV or PC, some may charge you extra for this. If it’s an option you use often you may be better of finding a company that offers one or two of these options as part of the membership at no extra cost.

Tip 2: Make sure there is a good chance the company can deliver your movies quite quickly. The bigger the company, the more likely they will have many distribution centers. Meaning there is less travel time.

Tip 3: How do you like to watch your movies? If you don’t like to wait for movies to be shipped out to you, check for other options to suit you i.e. how many titles are available to download and watch instantly on your PC or TV. Also check the prices of the equipment required to do this and if the option to watch movies instantly is included in your membership. Or the extra cost is worth it.

Tip 4: Also check the return policy. Make sure that you can return the movie either by visiting a store or dropping it in the mail with no shipping costs. Most companies offer free shipping now. The return packaging is also ready for you to just to put the DVD in it to return by mail.

Tip 5: If you want the option to rent and return movies in store too, check for a service that offers this option, not many do. It is only companies such as Blockbuster who have the traditional bricks and mortar stores that can do this.

Tip 6: If you have a Blu Ray player, check for a good range of movies on Blu Ray to rent and the cost for this option. Some companies may charge you extra to rent Blu Ray DVDs.

Tip 7: If you are really want to get hold of the latest releases asap check for a service that allows you to do so, some allow you to rent online movies a day before official release. Remember though, that the availability of new releases really depends on supply and demand.

Tip 8: If you are still not sure if a service to rent online movies is right for you, see if they offer a free trial. This is the best way to check out a service and know for sure if it is right for you. Most of these free trials give you a good range of options, so you really can get a good idea of what’s on offer.

Editing Your Home Movies A Basic Workflow

Editing Your Home Movies A Basic Workflow

With the advent of cheap consumer camcorders and cheap (or even free) video editing software, it is now very easy for anyone to put together the sort of home movie that was virtually impossible only a couple of years ago.

The top of the range editing programs are now the same ones that professionals use to produce films such as ‘O Brother where Art Though’ and other similar ones.

But if it all seems too much for you and you want to just put together some simple footage from your holiday, what do you need to do?

There are three steps to creating a video (assuming you have actually gone out and shot the footage using your camcorder)

1) Get the footage onto a PC

2) Sequence the footage together to form a movie

3) Output the movie to a format it can be viewed

The following does not rely on any particular piece of software but hopefully will indicate steps that can be taken on any software

1) Get the footage on your PC.

This is otherwise known as ‘capturing’ the footage. In years gone by this meant attaching your camera to your PC through a Firewire card and playing the footage onto the computer hard drive. However there are now cameras that capture the footage onto solid state cards which can be read by a PC directly, as well as cameras that record directly onto DVD. Regardless of what method you use to capture the footage it will need to end up as a set of files on your PC for editing. Some systems allow you to name your files to make it easier to identify them later, others assign a sequential number to each clip. If at all possible make sure you gather similar clips together , say in a folder, so they can easily be identified “Family at Sea World”, “Jimmy playing on the beach” etc.

2) Sequence the footage together to form a movie.

This is the heart and soul of movie editing. Taking your raw footage and massaging it into a format that people will want to watch. This is done through the creation of a project.

Here are a few tips to help you make better videos

  1. a) Watch ALL your footage before you start editing. This will give you an idea of what you have and what you don’t have. It’s easy when filming footage to forget that sometimes you need some little shots to help your edit. For example when you went to Sea World and shot footage of Shamu did you remember to get a shot of the main entrance with the “Sea World” logo? I bet you didn’t. Make a note of stuff you missed.
  2. b) Identify shots that will NOT appear in your video. These are the ones where the camera whips around quickly, where the focus is wrong, where there is nothing but zooms and pans. These will make your audience sick. Also identify the ones where there is lots and lots of repetition: Jimmy running into the waves and back is interesting once or twice, but not 8 or 10 times. identify the best shot from the sequence and use that
  3. c) Look for ‘reaction shots’ – ie shots that show people looking at things or discussing things or being candid. These are useful for bridging gaps in the action later on
  4. d) Cut in late and out early. By this I mean only use that part of a shot that shows JUST the bit your interested in and once that interesting piece has finished, cut out. So if you’ve got footage of Jimmy on the beach throwing a frisbee, show him throwing the frisbee. Don’t show him shouting at you to move back towards the left and ‘to go deep’. Don’t show him making a couple of practice throws or stopping to watch the dog play in a tidal pool. Just show the throw. Once he’s thrown the frisbee and it’s out of shot, cut away.

Once you have your footage identified – along with a list of shots you don’t have but do need – get in to your editing tool and bring all your footage in. Working through in a logical sequence start to drop the shots into the timeline. Don’t worry about titles, transitions and effects, just get the story working. Remember, ideally you should have something that tells a complete story from start to finish. For longer shots that are boring (or contain things you don’t want in your movie), use your editors trim’ function to cut bits out from the start or end of the footage. In some editors you may have to drag the same clip into the timeline several times to allow you to take chunks of it.

Now watch your movie. Does it tell a story? Does it flow? Does each shot cut in late and out early? Is there repetition. Remember that although you might find it interesting to watch jimmy throw a frisbee 15 times on a beach, everyone else will probably get bored after a short while.

Now you can go back to your footage and do a couple of things.

  1. a) Add in the titles Many editors have titling tools as part of their features. Use what you have. If your editing system doesn’t have a titler, make your own titles. Use a word processor, print the pages out, film them and add them in
  2. b) Add transitions. Sometime a good transition can be very useful. Generally I find there are only 2 types of transitions that make sense A dissolve and a fade. A dissolve is where one picture become another over a period of time and a fade is where one picture disappears (usually to black) and the other then appears out of the black. If you use too many transitions it will distract your audience (Unless your making a groovy pop video!).
  3. c) Add in reaction shots. If you have those shots that show Aunt Nelly laughing at something, or the whole family watching the fireworks display, add those shots in between a couple of other shots. This breaks up the flow and allows you to make an edit that otherwise would look wrong – say, for example, you have a shot of Shamu in close up and you want to move to a shot of the whole of Shamu’s tank, if you add a reaction shot of people watching the show in between the two shots it will make the edit work! This is also the tie to add in those shots you didn’t take at the time. If you need a shot of the logo of Sea World, look on the internet. Check out Flickr and search for Creative Commons images you can use to insert into your footage.
  4. d) Sound is an important part of a good video. I’ve had films where I have basically just added music underneath the whole video to cover up some awful camcorder audio. This works. Try it and see

3) Output the movie to a format you can use:

When you are completely happy with what you have (having added in the transitions, titles and sound) you are then ready to create a film from your project. Remember that saving the project in a tool will not actually create a film, just a record of what is in the project. Creating the film (or rendering) involves identifying how you want the project transferred into a format that you can watch.

Different tools deal with this in different ways but all of them will allow you to create a finished film in a specific format. This might be a Quicktime movie, or an AVI or even an MPEG. Regardless of the end product, most tools will ask you to specify things such as bit-rate or file size. Don’t be concerned about this. As video files generally are huge, playing them anywhere will require them to be compressed into something that can be processed by your computer. All movie files created from editing software will be compressed to reduce their size. Just remember a couple of golden rules

1) A high bit rate will result in a bigger file but will need a faster computer to play it without juddering

2) A smaller file will create compression artefacts (ie those square blocks you see when playing back videos)

So usually the creation of a movie is a trade off between large file sizes needing powerful computers and smaller files that have compression artefacts. The correct decision to make on this depends on where you want your final movie to be shown. If it is destined for YouTube then a smaller file size is acceptable. If it is going onto a DVD then you need as big a file as possible to keep the compression down to a minimum because the creation of the DVD will compress the file again and therefore reduce quality further.

The process of video file compression is something of a black art, with people trying to get the maximum quality from the minimum file size. All you need to know is that with most of the tools available today, especially free tools, you will always have a trade off between file size and quality.

If you want to make a DVD of your movie you will need to take the movie created from the editing software (which should be as high quality as possible) and pass it through a DVD creation tool (Something like DVD-Flick) and this will design and create your DVD for you. Obviously you will need a DVD player capable of writing disks as well as reading them.

How to Pick the Right Movie Every Time

How to Pick the Right Movie Every Time

Reward yourself: If you think of your movie going experience as a reward, your choice of movies will change drastically, they will become more rewarding and fulfilling. Your reward can be anything, from a long work week, completing an overdue project, meeting someone new, treating a family member or friend to a special occasion. So with all these technical issues to consider, how do you choose the right movie for the right occasion? Easier said than done; but really, it is very easy. Here’s how:

It always helps to do a little research about any movie before going to see it; that way, you won’t be disappointed for shelling out a few bucks. Decide on the location first because that could mean driving for forty minutes to an hour, or just enjoying the luxury of in home entertainment. You may want to look up where the movie is playing, then call the theater to confirm and even book your ticket over the phone or internet, hassle free. For those movies not in theaters, you may choose to rent a DVD or borrow one from a friend.

If you decide to go the extra mile, the mall or distant theater, make it worth your while. When making your movie decision, never choose a movie that is liked by everyone, try something new unless you are convinced this is the one. Avoid the in-crowd opinion; the everybody-loves-it mentality. Look for a movie that stimulates you intellectually, solves a problem or one that meets a need, whether emotional, psychological, adventure, escapism, triumph or just for added knowledge and self improvement. You should always learn something at the end of your movie.

Here is an example: After watching The Cinderella Man, I learned that men are by design, made to be the strength of their family; and that courage is more than just word of mouth, it takes sacrificial actions and willingness to risk everything. In “Glory” with Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, I also learned that one man can make a difference in the lives of others, and that doing the not-so-popular things and going against the grain can be more rewarding than never challenging the powers that be. Therefore, if we all just stay in our little corners, a change will never come. There are risks in the establishment of greatness, and an even greater reward in ceasing each given moment.

Also, I remembered how I felt after seeing “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe, and “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner” or “Life” with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, King of the Kick Boxers, with Billy Blanks, and “Everyone’s Fine” with Robert De Niro…just to name a few examples of great moments I have come to cherish over time. Some were filled with laughter, tears, triumph, courage, hopes and dreams; nevertheless, they were time well spent.

There are big benefits in choosing the right movie versus going the popularity route. And after watching this year’s Academy, you too will also realize that Hurt Locker was not the most talked about movie, but it sure took the spotlight over Avatar when all was said and done.

Some people choose movies based on their favorite actor/actress, but however you decide, a great movie makes for an even greater conversation with people you meet. Some movies will help to bridge the gap between people of varying nations, solve misunderstandings, and makes for great ice-breakers in uncomfortable settings.

I could go on and on, but here’s what I really want you to get from reading this article, your movie going should be a great experience that lifts your spirits, encourage you, make you cry at times and move you emotionally, open your eyes to new ideas, hidden truths and wildly adventures, bring people together, tear down barriers and build up new walls of hope and trust, and inspire people to dream, if only for a moment.

I love movies because they are in many ways, the untold stories of every human that ever walked planet earth and are a real world phenomenon of memories gone by. There is a hidden reality and realism in every movie or stories ever told via motion pictures. However, while not all are good for the soul, movie going is a experience that can be enjoyed even from the comforts of your bed room. But whatever your choice of location, let it be a memorable one. Here’s to your next experience! Lights…Camera…Action…Life!

Andrew Guy is a well sought out Motivational Speaker, known for his humorous approach to breaking down the myths of Leadership, advocacy for health & wellness, and empowering message for youth and others.