A while back I was given a Flip Ultra HD camera as a gift. This is a lovely camera that because of its convience has become the default video camera for my family to take on trips. The HD videos it creates are absolutely stunning. My first gotcha with the camera is that I wanted to be able to create DVDs of its videos. The issue here is that the Flip software stores its files as MP4s. When I first got it, you could export to WMV which is what i store most things in being that we have Zunes, etc. But with an update, Flip removed that option. I tried some converters and other packages without a lot of success. Fortunately, upgrading my Pinnacle software to the HD package solved that problem. I could now create DVDs for friends and family.

How does the XBox come in to play? Well once I got a blue-ray player simply creating a DVD wasn't enough for me. I wanted HD video in my family room. I tried the AVCHD format which lets you burn blue-ray HD video style discs onto normal DVD writeable media, but no luck, my player would not play them. I was pondering buying a Blue-Ray burner from HP which was a lot cheaper than I thought it would be, but I was concerned that the investment would be a throw away since my player may not play the discs.

The solution? Who needs discs! All I did was use a registry change so that the Windows Media Center in my Windows 7 Ultimate PC would pick up mp4 files. Here is where you would read all the caveats about being very careful about making registry changes. Here are the changes:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp4]
"PerceivedType"="video"
"Content Type"="video/mp4"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Multimedia\WMPlayer\Extensions\.mp4]
"Runtime"=dword:00000007
"Permissions"=dword:0000000f
"UserApprovedOwning"="yes"

You can read more about how to import these here: http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/p/60962/287366.aspx

Once I got the files into Media Center, I launched the Media Center app from the XBox 360's dashboard, found the mp4 video files, and tried to play one. I was prompted that an update was necessary to play mp4 file. After downloading and installing the update (XBox did all the work here), I was able to play my mp4 files in their HD glory. My only work left to do is create more usable names than the integer based file names the Flip uses by default.