Flip Mino and OS X

I bought Karin a Flip Mino video camera for her birthday. These cameras come with built-in software for editing video on both Windows and OS X, but you don't want to do that. I knew it was a solvable problem, but I wasn't sure exactly what the solution was. After some quick research I have an answer and I'm willing to share :-)

The Mino stores its video in as 3ivx encoded MPEG-4 video. Perian supports 3ivx files, along with a lot of other formats. Download Perian, install the preference pane and Quicktime can now playback the 3ivx files. iPhoto and iMovie HD (aka iMovie '06) can both process the files directly with Perian installed. iMovie '08 won't process them without another step to convert the file to DV format, but Karin uses iMovie 06 anyway, and if I was going to start editing video I'd probably buy Final Cut Express. I read on the web that QuickTime Pro and VisualHub can both do the conversion and those are both highly recommended for anybody doing video anyway, so I'd look at one of those if you need iMovie '08 compatibility.