Thanks for the replies! To answer your questions:
1) I do not have a firewire port;
2) the camera is my player, but I would be connecting through an A/V out port on the camera (so isn't that an analog signal?);
3) the camera is a Panasonic PV-GS65;
4) the camera does have a USB out but that only connects the computer to the camera's SD slot, which only records still shots;
5) I've looked for Panasonic software for transferring the files, and I can't find anything, but I will check the link you sent, thanks;
6)I have Windows XP on one laptop and Windows 7 on another, but the one with 7 does not have a CD drive.
Nonetheless, I went ahead and bought it -- installing it now to the XP laptop and will give it shot. I'll let you know if it works....