Set Up Your Video Email System
To create a video file you will need three things: a camera, microphone and recording (capture) software.
In most cases a simple webcam is all you need although you can use a digital camcorder if you like. The camera will typically plug into your computer using a USB or Firewire connection. Consult your instruction manual for details. If you don't have any instructions, just plug the camera in — there's a good chance your computer will detect and install it automatically.
If your computer or monitor has a built-in microphone you might find this the easiest solution, although external microphones usually provide better audio. An external mic usually has a 3.5mm minijack connector which plugs into your sound card (near the speaker connection). Some computers have front connections for convenience.
If you use a camcorder, you can probably use the built-in mic.
As well as the hardware, you need some software to record (capture) video clips. There are three main options:
- Your camera may have capture software included
- You can purchase specialist capture and editing software
- You can use the free software which comes with your operating system (e.g. Windows Movie Maker for Windows, iMovie for Mac)
Next Page: Record a Video Clip