My daughter is nine days old. I have six hours of video. I also have a Macbook and a Sony Handycam. Translation: I'm screwed. Turns out that Sony sucks and refuses to provide any sort of software compatible with Apple. After reading through multiple forum discussions, I took someone's brilliant advice and bought iLife '08 for the Macbook. It contains iMovie, iPhoto, etc. iMovie was supposed to cure my ills. Fat chance.
Now I'm sitting at my sucky 4 year-old basic Dell desktop, uploading my videos because it's the only computer in the house that will allow it. I wouldn't mind it, except that this basic Dell doesn't have a DVD burner. So the best I can hope for at this point is to cut the movies up into YouTube sized bits and transfer them to my Mac via an external hard drive I don't have. Sweet.
I'm going to do more research before my next camcorder purchase. I did the research to find out which ones were ranked highly for performance and value, but since I'd never owned a digital camcorder, I failed to consider how easily it would convert files over to my computer. A pretty major oversight, I don't mind admitting. Regardless, here I am, uploading movie files to sucky Dell. I used to love Dell. Such were the days of my innocent youth. Apple was always better. But Dell at least used to be the cream of the PC crop. Not so today.
I just hit up my Twitter peeps in hopes of getting some help from one of the techie gurus. Some of them still insist that iMovie '08 should have the updated codex to handle a HandyCam. I've tried already and failed, but I will try again. Whether it eventually works or not, the moral of the story is this: if you are going to build and sell a piece of technology, make it accessible to other important components for all your customers. If you're going to purchase a digital camcorder, figure out first what type of computer you'll be using and what method of digital recording is easiest to deal with and transfer.
Those are my two cents. Mahalo, and Happy New Year!