Why do Mac PowerMacs suck at media creation?

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DoctorClu's picture
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I'm serious. Why do Macs at the PowerMac level SUCK at media creation?

I've over here with a 867 mhz G4 computer. Now some these days would say "That's old". That level of computing was once considered a super computer by the U.S. military. I remember that bit of news when the Mac Cube came out.

So here I have a super computer, and I'm trying to create a movie. I have iMovie. I am not using anything strange to a Mac. I'm using .mov movies. In able to add these movies, they have to be imported. I have been 40 minutes already importing these movies. I have about 90 minutes to go. What the heck?!

Why?

Why am I having to import a MAC/APPLE format into a MAC/APPLE program with such trouble?

iDVD, gave up using that too. An Apple program first off can't recognize .mov files. An Apple program does not recognize Apple formats? And then it takes it like an hour and a half to encode a DVD? Insane.

And Quicktime, only makes .mov files. What's up with that? For such a great media program it only spits out one format? What about the ever common .mpg format? I mean it READS many formats great, but only creates one type of format? That's sad.

And my last gripe, what in the heck is up with Mac's putting these crappy shadow files on media? I put a MP3 on a micro card for my phone, and naturally it throws this 1K pointer/reference file on there as well. This drives my phone nuts. My phone sees all these 1K files and complains away.

I would delete them before putting them in the phone, but I can't see these reference files on the Mac file system. Only on a windows file system. Yep, had to run virtual PC to see those files and clean off the junk OS X left on the card.

Now someone please tell me in all the above cases I am doing something wrong, that the Mac is the great media machine I've known it to be over the years with lesser operating systems and hardware and what they claim to be.

Otherwise, we've been dupped.

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DoctorClu's picture
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BTW...

I use EyeTV all the time on the G4 Mac and it runs GREAT. I can record the movies in almost real time. High quality movies might take five minutes to compile?

The G4 has power. I'm just thinking that iMovie and iDVD are poorly coded.

Dr. Webster's picture
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Re: Why do Mac PowerMacs suck at media creation?

DoctorClu wrote:

I've over here with a 867 mhz G4 computer. Now some these days would say "That's old".

That *is* old, by today's standards. Use a modern machine for any length of time, then switch to a 5+ year old computer, and you can immediately tell the difference.

Quote:

I'm using .mov movies. In able to add these movies, they have to be imported. I have been 40 minutes already importing these movies. I have about 90 minutes to go. What the heck?!

It has to transcode from one format to another, which is *always* CPU-intensive and takes a good bit of time. It's not an instantaneous process on brand new machines either.

Quote:

And then it takes it like an hour and a half to encode a DVD? Insane.

See above.

Quote:

And Quicktime, only makes .mov files. What's up with that? For such a great media program it only spits out one format? What about the ever common .mpg format? I mean it READS many formats great, but only creates one type of format? That's sad.

QuickTime has always been able to save to multiple video formats. Do you have QuickTime Pro?

Quote:

Now someone please tell me in all the above cases I am doing something wrong, that the Mac is the great media machine I've known it to be over the years with lesser operating systems and hardware and what they claim to be.

Final Cut Pro is a very popular solution for editing television shows and movies. It didn't become popular because the Mac supposedly sucks.

Your G4 was "slow" back then too, you just didn't know it because you didn't have anything faster to compare it to.

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Quicksilver vs. Mac Pro

My former business partner has the Quicksilver G4 (733 MHz) we used to use to create a weekly cable access TV show, to promote the bands that recorded in our studio. The show became our all-consuming effort, and was part of what made our recording studio business untenable.

Steve used the Quicksilver again more recently to encode a weekly 5- or 10-minute video for his church. He'd create the video in Final Cut Pro, then do the final render to DVD before he went to bed Friday. The Friday-night rendering usually took all night long: he'd see it finishing up before he put the coffee on. On Saturday morning, he'd burn 5 copies of the DVD and take them to church.

When he upgraded to an 8-core Mac Pro at 2.66 GHz, he put the church video together Friday night as usual, started the render, then went upstairs to make a sandwich. After he'd eaten, he came back down to see how much faster the Mac Pro was doing the job: it was already done. No way, he thought. I must not have selected the whole timeline -- I'll run it again. This time he clocked it: 8 minutes.

Between the multiple cores, the faster system bus, the faster, additional memory, the larger, faster SATA hard drives, and the hardware acceleration in the Mac Pro, you really can't even begin to compare it to the Quicksilver G4: it's a machine several magnitudes more powerful than its predecessor. This is not just due to the difference between the PPC and Intel architecture. It's all the small, incremental advances that have added up over the years.

As maddeningly slow as your G4 seems now, it was several steps above PCs of the era in terms of media creation. And the fact that it can still handle it now, *at all*, 8 or 9 years later, speaks volumes about the quality of the machine. I would rather pull my own fingernails out with pliers, than to create video content on a 2002 PC running any era-appropriate flavor of Windows.

Save your nickels, though, and get something 3 years old or newer.

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I've used a 933mhz QS to make

I've used a 933mhz QS to make movies using iMovie & iDVD. If the video you're bringing in is DV format, then it can be quick and painless but if it's anything else then the video has to be converted to DV format which takes a lot of time. And this is on a QS with maxed out RAM and a SATA drive.

Recently I wrote an article on making AVCHD disks which is 1080 video on a DVD. On my MacBook Pro it took a little over an hour for a 20 minute video. I guessed it'd be an overnight rendering on the QS. Then I thought that I'd actually find out how long it took. Just over 48 hours. Still, it did it, a 7 year old machine produced state of the art video.

DoctorClu's picture
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G4 is Slow?

Again, my EyeTV runs smooth on the G4. I just really think iMovie and iDVD are crappy media programs. Poorly coded bloatware.

But thank you for the responses. One day I will get a newer computer for Apple's new bloatware.

There is still this question: "And my last gripe, what in the heck is up with Mac's putting these crappy shadow files on media? I put a MP3 on a micro card for my phone, and naturally it throws this 1K pointer/reference file on there as well. This drives my phone nuts. My phone sees all these 1K files and complains away.

I would delete them before putting them in the phone, but I can't see these reference files on the Mac file system. Only on a windows file system. Yep, had to run virtual PC to see those files and clean off the junk OS X left on the card."

I would like to know the MAC solution to getting rid of all this garbage off media storages.

I've been a Mac user since 1989. I migrated to OS X and thought it was cool, just somethings I've overlooked are finally getting to me.

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Quicktime Pro

"QuickTime has always been able to save to multiple video formats. Do you have QuickTime Pro?"

This is a very interesting comment. I have a registered Quicktime Player and the Quicktime icon has "PRO" on it. This is version 7.5 (v149.5)

On the registration page it says "Quicktime Pro Registration" and "Quicktime 7 Pro". I realize this is an older version of Quicktime, but if Quicktime has always been able to save in multiple formats, then this version should be able to as well.

How do I select something other than the .mov format?

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Re: Quicktime Pro

DoctorClu wrote:

On the registration page it says "Quicktime Pro Registration" and "Quicktime 7 Pro". I realize this is an older version of Quicktime, but if Quicktime has always been able to save in multiple formats, then this version should be able to as well.

How do I select something other than the .mov format?

.mov is just a generic suffix. You can easily make Quicktimes of any of a large number of formats by opening a movie, selecting Export in the File menu, selecting "Movie to Quicktime Movie" in the Export pulldown, then clicking "Options...". You'll get lots of options, including MPEG-4 for video and MPEG-4 AAC for audio, if you want to make MPEGs.

If you feel that your computer is sluggish, try using a Windows computer to do all of the same things. Aside from needing to pay lots of money to get the equivalent functionality, the extra time it takes to navigate between all of the disparate programs will most likely make you thankful to be working on a Mac, even if the Windows computer is faster during the encode. After all, you can still do other things while the encoding runs in the background, but when something requires lots of human time, there's not much you can do about it.

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Export option...

The advice on the export option was good advice. Thank you. Most other movie programs have those "export" options in the "save as" feature. But now that I know this, very useful.

Alright, the garbage association files that Mac throws on media (like SD cards, and any other removable media at least). I write files on a card with a Mac, and on the PC side there is usually the "DS Stores" folder, the "Trash" folder, and the "._*****" files.

How can I keep those files from being written, or at least, be able to see those and delete them before ejecting from the Mac and sending to the PC side?

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DS Store, etc.

I remember seeing something something that you could do, at least in earlier versions of OS X as this was a few years ago I saw it. Can't for the life of me find it again, though. Google-fu has failed me a couple times on this issue.

I'm running a home file server, and anytime OS X accesses any of the shares it leaves these little file/folder turds all over the place. On the Windows side, I have to add exclusions to my backup software so it doesn't copy across all this bloody .AppleDouble, DS Store, etc. crap. I've had OS X leave "invisible" filenames so long that Windows can't delete them, yet OS X will crab at me anytime I try to copy a Windows file with a longer filename into it. I hate double standards. Smile

That, and the pathetically slow finder window refresh time when using Date Modified (ie - it'll finally refresh when you actually try to modify the window contents, so you end up grabbing the wrong file or folder) are my two biggest gripes with OS X, and I'm amazed that a proper solution to both has yet to be implemented after so many years.

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Re: DS Store, etc.

eeun wrote:

I'm running a home file server, and anytime OS X accesses any of the shares it leaves these little file/folder turds all over the place.

LOL!!

Yeh every time I move files on a SD card from the Mac and take to the PC I'm always grumbling of having to clean up after the Mac when viewed from the PC.

Think about how much of this crap must be on our regular hard drive. thousands of 1k files of "._xxxxxx" and after a while it adds up. It is like the registry file on a Windows machine how it will leave turds from files of the past, same with the Mac world in this case I bet.

In the Newton world, just about as bad, you would have files in the "soup" that would refer to things I hadn't had in my Newton in years. I think a lot of OS's have this kind of situation.

Question is on the Mac side, how to clean this up, or better yet, not write at all.

OTHER OS X gripes...
-Yes slow finder update. I find myself saying "Where is that file? I know I had it around here somewhere." I click on the desktop, it updates and then it shows up. Tongue

-New Folder placement. Goes something like this. I have a window open. I click on the desktop behind it, usually where I would like for something like a new folder to appear. I do the new folder command. And ... nothing. 9.7 times out of 10 the folder has been created and is behind the window I'm working on. So then I have to move the window and move the folder to somewhere that I can see it.

Annoying.

Again, been a OS X user since like 2002? So seven years of loving this OS, but I wonder, how can we make THESE pet pieves I've worked with for years better??

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That's not too hard to fix

If you want to remove all of those little files on MS-DOS formatted disks, then cd to the drive and run this:

rm "`find . -name '._*' -size 4k -print`"

This removes all files which start with ._ and are exactly 4k in size. I suppose different sized MS-DOS volumes might have different default smallest file size, so if you do an ls -la on your volume, you'll see what the size should be. The size option is only in here to make sure you don't delete larger files which actually have content you want, although there shouldn't be anything with names which start with ._ normally.

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A-ha!

Cheers, John.
I sense a editwhoops...let's say I meant a quick trip into Terminal /editWink in my future.

Wish I could cure the problem at the source, but this is a helpful treatment of the symptom.

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Oops...

Sorry - that's something to run in OS X before you unmount your drive. For MS-DOS, I haven't a clue beyond "del ._*.*", and certainly don't think you can do anything in MS-DOS recursively.

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Thanks!

Thanks for the advice on that. I'll give that a shot.