Dealing with odd files like: .mpg, .mp4, Powerpoint, Animated GIF’s, Flash .swf .flv .fla

My secret weapon: The VLC player and screen recording software like Screenflow or Camtasia to make files into a Quicktime movie.
Flash
Read this to learn what an .swf file is.
When you receive .swf flies to use in an edit, ask the developer for the .fla files. Or better ask them to export a Quicktime in dimensions and frame rate of your edit to avoid alignment errors. Flash is vector based so in most situations it can be resized without getting pixelated. This is especially important when something was created for the web and now has to be sized up for broadcast.
The .fla file is the editable project file that was used to create the .swf file, it also holds the audio. When you re-import a .swf into Flash the audio does not get imported.
2 steps to pull audio and video from a .swf
1. VLC and screen recording software to record the audio.
2. Flash app (download free trial) to export the animation. Change the stage-color to black (or ignore stage and make Alpha) and use the Quicktime settings to match the dimensions and frame rate of your timeline.
.flv are flash video files that most software can import. MPEG Streamclip and VLC also open it.

Tips for getting out of password hell

The number one reason I get into password hell from time to time is because I’m juggling so many passwords and I mix them up. That said, I think it is sometimes hard to determine if my password hell is caused by human error or an error on the end of the entity I’m trying to log into. Company’s like Microsoft, Adobe & Apple juggle millions of passwords that they have to pass along between their websites, user accounts and applications. It doesn’t always work smooth, they are not honest about glitches in this system and there is not a lot of info on the web. Most web searches direct you to a page to reset your password, sometimes creating an infinite loop of resetting the password, trying to log in, resetting again etc.

Watch out, not every website lets you copy and paste a password or store passwords with browser or keychain.
Example: readkit & paypal don’t let you paste. Results will be wrong, that’s how their site is coded to prevent spammers.

Read this great times article about creating good passwords.

 

Apple
Apple is famous for it’s password loops, sometimes it happens on the iphone/ipad sometimes with appstore/itunes. They seem to have problems passing passwords along to the different parts of their servers. Biggest lesson I learned recently is: Reset your password on an Apple device! The browser iforgot solution is glitchy.

Problem: When changing your apple ID password in a browser you get message:
“your password contains unacceptable characters”
even though the green buttons are all lit and the password checker says “strong”
Solution : reset password on an Apple device instead.

Problem: Sometimes you unknowingly created multiple Apple ID’s because you thought you where giving an alternate email address.
Solution: pay attention to the email address Apple replies to, when you reset your password.

Problem: Even though you just successfully changed your Apple ID password, your iphone, ipad, mail application or itunes reject the password.
Solution: reset password on an Apple device.

iPhone email

Problem: Can’t send email using PoP/IMAP:A copy has been placed in your Outbox. The sender address “xxx@xxx.com” was rejected by the server.”
Solution: Fill username (your full email address) and password in on the smtp part of the email settings even though it says “optional”

 

 

 

 

 

 

WordPress (self hosted blog)

WordPress (wp-login.php) brute force attacks are common place lately.
Read this login trouble article
13 Vital Tips and Hacks to Protect Your WordPress Admin Area
In WP always try to change passwords from within the admin page.

If you’re caught in a loop, can’t get in or password new user doesn’t work then go in using phpMyAdmin. That should always work because it lets you edit the password database direct.
Make sure you edit the correct database! (I use unique email addresses for each user to make it easy to double check)

Adobe
Adobe creative cloud seems to have propagating issues similar to Apple’s.
Problem: You can log in to Application manager on one machine but not another.
Solution: Reset password on the computer that you want to work on. (and deal with the other machine later.)

Google
Google is great when it works and their servers are up, it sucks when they are down. They are not transparent about ongoing problems and because everything is free, there is nobody to yell at over the phone.