Intracom provided my teammate Andrew with the company’s high-definition Panasonic HDC-HS9 camcorder during the race, in order to help record the memories of us being sweaty and exhausted. Now just imagine the wonders of being sweaty and exhausted, captured in high-definition! That’s right, 1440 x 1080 and 1920 x 1080 video clips were being taken of us the entire time.

We're holding onto his legs as he does this, I promise

We're holding onto his legs as he does this, I promise

Andrew and I shared one of the three hotel rooms that our team utilized, and after the awards ceremony I asked him if he would mind me taking copies of the video. He told me to go ahead, but warned me of the difficulty of doing so. He told me that I needed to have a special program to play the videos back, and that they took a long time to transfer off the camcorder.

I got out my Windows 7 laptop, took his USB cable, and had the files downloaded and playing on my computer in Windows Media Player 12 (WMP) in less than a minute. He stared at the laptop in amazement. “How did you do that?” I explained that Windows 7 really focused on interoperability and being able to work with as many devices as possible. They probably got tired of Apple people warbling about how it “just works” and devoted some of their billions into tangible R&D…these days, sure enough, everything “just works” with Windows 7, too. Score one for the Redmond team!

.MTS files are the default file format that most high-def camcorders use, and I don’t know how many other free programs can play them besides WMP. Of course, the king of Open Source Media Players, VLC, plays them without issue, although they need to be de-interlaced and the playback is slower on older computers.

I’ve put one of the MTS files up on, and you can download it here to check it out. Keep in mind that it’s about 26 megabytes in size, and half a minute in length, at 1440 by 1080 pixels of resolution. Personally, I was quite impressed at the level of quality Panasonic was able to fit into such a comparably small size! Try playing it back with Windows Media Player, but if it gives you an error message, download and install VLC and you can be assured that this file, and anything else you throw at it, will work with it!

After I assisted Andrew with getting the .MTS files off his camcorder, he took them and made a nice little 4 minute video of highlights from the ride, set to music. Just imagine you’re out there with us on the highways!