Two MSU staff members skilled in media videoMike Heller, director of the language labs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Shunfa Li, computer consultant in the Department of Academic Technologygave me the basic training. I used Adobe Premier, a powerful video editing tool, to create Streaming A/V files in RealMedia (.rm) format from a VHS VCR.
I needed only a few hours to learn how to digitize the contents of a VHS cassette, using a VCR and Adobe Premier, with a suitably configured computer (at least a Pentium II, at least 64 and preferably 128 Mb of video RAM, a video capture card, and the free RealPlayer, use of which is discussed in the article).
Learning sophisticated editing techniques, including splicing different tape segements together and adding background music, title, fade-in and fade-out, and so on, is much more complex. The Adobe Premier webpage has information on several books specific to teaching that product.
For anyone who wants to learn more about creating Streaming Video for instructional use, I can recommend these two resources:
Digital Video For Dummies® by Martin Doucette (IDG Books Worldwide, October 1999; ISBN: 0764500236 for the paperback edition).
Here is a good, though basic, tutorial on the Web: http://webdeveloper.com/multimedia/multimedia_guide_realaudio.
Adobe Premier can produce compressed output in a variety of formats, including RealMedia (.rm), AVI (Windows video), MOV (Apple QuickTime), and others. There are several other widely used video creation and editing tools; Adobe Premier is the one my institution made available to me.