» Posts Tagged ‘mac’
Ever since VisualHub was discontinued, there’s been a dearth of freeware transcoding apps on the Mac. I’ve since recommended MPEG Streamclip, but a true “everything to everything” program hasn’t been available in the free arena. As of a week ago you can grab the new version of Apple Compressor for $50, but they didn’t update the program to 64-bit or even change the interface from the last version (which I was never a fan of). Thus newcomer Adapter, while still in beta, looks promising: More »
Many of us watch movies via Netflix, Hulu, and other services instead of ever waiting for a disc to spin up. And when’s the last time anyone went to a Blockbuster? With DVD winding down, Apple has famously sat out Blu-ray, with Steve Jobs calling the format a “bag of hurt.” With iTunes and Apple TV, Apple has worked towards eliminating the CD and DVD, respectively. Will the launch of today’s Mac App Store do the same for software on disc? More »
After months of building and testing, my comprehensive step-by-step guide for How to Build a Hackintosh is here. I wrote this guide specifically for video editors and other digital creators, and because video editors are some of the most demanding computer users, I believe this NoFilmSchool Hackintosh is the best machine from a price, performance, and reliability standpoint. There are some other hackintosh guides out there, but I’ve tested this build on real-world HD video projects. I reordered and replaced components to ensure it was the best there is. I could tell you more, but this image should say it all. Here is a price/performance comparison with the latest Mac Pro from Apple: More »
Like everyone else on the internet, I covered Apple’s release of new MacBook Airs the other day. And while they showed a number of other products at the same event, one development that specifically concerns filmmakers is the new version of iMovie. iMovie ’11 is not going to replace Final Cut, but it does include an interesting new feature called Movie Trailers. Most of us are not going to be interested in the template-driven tool for our own uses, but I wonder what this could mean for the real movie trailer scene, which already seems template-driven. More »
At Apple’s Back to the Mac event today, Steve Jobs closed the show by asking, “what would happen if an iPad and a Macbook hooked up?” Indeed, the new MacBook Air seems sort of like an iPad for creatives — people who need a real keyboard and an OS that can run more than mobile apps, but something thin and light enough to take everywhere. It has iPad features like instant-on (with no boot time, apparently), no moving parts (all flash storage, with no hard drive and no optical drive), and increased battery life of 5-7 hours wireless web use and 30 days of standby (a stat typically associated with phones). Are the new MacBook Airs “iPads for creatives?” More »
A couple of months ago I said I was going to build a Mac Pro out of PC components, the goal being to make a faster machine that cost a thousand dollars less. I researched and bought the components, built the machine, installed OS X, tweaked it, ordered new components, and tweaked it further. Then I gave it a trial-by-fire recently while editing a trailer for my project 3rd Rail (we’re still figuring out what to do with the trailer, while we meet with producers and financiers). And it’s been a total success; I never could’ve edited the After Effects-heavy project on my laptop, and the Hackintosh handled it with aplomb. It’s seriously fast – and it hasn’t crashed once. I’m happy to report the machine has lived up to my stated goals at the time: More »
The Mac operating system is elegant and simple, and the same goes for its process for installing and uninstalling applications — right? After all, to install an application, you just drag an app to your “Applications” folder, and to uninstall it, you just drag it to the trash. Simple. But the dirty secret with OS X is this simplicity comes at a cost: when you drag an application to the trash, you’re leaving a bunch of associated files scattered behind on your hard drive, and they’ll never go away. As I’ve recently been migrating my old laptop files to my new hackintosh, I’ve discovered a ton of old, orphaned files. Luckily, there are a number of simple ways to get rid of them. More »
When I priced out the components of the new Mac Pro, I realized Apple’s pro line is not a good value proposition. When the same new Mac Pros left off an nVidia graphics card as an option, I took it as a slight to Adobe. When I asked you guys if you’d like me to build a hackintosh in an attempt to have the best of both worlds, you said yes. So I’ve done the research, priced out the components, and drawn my conclusions. Here’s what I think is possible for a video editing-optimized hackintosh: compared to the $2,500 Mac Pro base model that will ship this month, I believe the Hac Pro can have a faster processor, four times as much RAM, a Blu-Ray burner, USB 3.0 connectivity1, more storage space, and an nVidia graphics card that accelerates Adobe CS5. The kicker? This Hac Pro will cost $1,000 less. More »
- Mac OS X does not presently support USB 3.0, but presumably a motherboard with USB 3.0 will be ready once the OS is. [↩]
Mac vs. PC is a never-ending debate, but when it comes to video editing, what we need are hard and fast numbers. It would be impossible to generate a comparison of apples to apples (zing?) by using Final Cut Pro, since that NLE is only available on one platform. Instead, Adobe’s CS5 suite is the ideal candidate — and considering CS5 is 64-bit native on both OSes, it should be a fair fight. The best way to settle this would be to open the exact same CS5 project file on a Mac and a PC, play it back, render it out, and measure it in other ways — on various machines, at different price points — and compare the results. If only someone would create such a benchmarking tool and upload the results to a database… As it turns out, someone has done just this. More »
Not to keep harping on the new Mac Pro, but I’m not the only one scratching my head about the future of Macs for professional content creators. The above quote about Apple comes from Digital Imaging Technician Brook Williard, in a post on his blog titled The state of Apple’s professional line. Brook’s post jumps off with the following: “512 days after the last update, Apple introduced the new lineup of speed-bumped Mac Pros and further established their abandonment of the professional community… With the 2010 Mac Pro update, Apple has literally created a machine for nobody.” More »
With the announcement of new Mac Pros, I thought back to the last time I used such a machine, during my years at MTV. At one point I found myself picking up the machine to move it; surprised at the heft, I remember wondering to myself, “what do they build these cases out of?!?” Platinum, apparently: that’d be the only way to justify the price. Why do I say this? Because, after yesterday’s announcement, I turned to Apple’s tech specs page and priced out the exact components used in the base-level Mac Pro. The results might surprise you. More »
I was at a rental house checking out $500k of video equipment (not for my own project — I wish) when Apple announced the iPhone 4 yesterday, so I forgot it was the day I was supposed to figure out whether my next editing machine was going to be a Mac or a Hac. When I got back home, however, I saw 30 billion posts on the internet about the iPhone — a platform for interacting and consuming — and nothing about the Mac — a platform for creating. More »
In Zacuto‘s most recent DSLR/film comparison, one of the commenters noted that upconverting to ProRes gave much better results (than editing native h.264 footage) in post. While ProRes is definitely a better codec (in terms of color space and compression), the clip showed as a reference seemed to exhibit a perpetually-annoying gamma shift bug that applies to a lot of DSLR shooters — more specifically, anyone editing h.264 video on a Mac. When I shot some stuff on my 5D for Focus Features, I noticed that the clips looked desaturated and flat in Quicktime 7, and supersaturated and contrasty in Quicktime X (Quicktime X ships with Snow Leopard, and Quicktime 7 is an optional install). Jerome Stern at MotionLife corroborates this experience, decrying the lack of consistency when it comes to viewing and editing h.264 footage on a Mac: More »
First off, the expected news from NAB: Adobe has announced the latest version of their creative suite, CS5. It’s 15 applications in all, so I won’t go into all the different new features. But if you’re planning on buying or upgrading your CS5 applications or suite, Adobe’s running a promotion right now where you can preorder CS5 before April 29 to get free shipping.
Some unexpected Adobe-related news came from Apple, just days prior to Adobe’s CS5 launch. I’ve written multiple times about Adobe Flash’s ability to export one application to several platforms, and how it could potentially allow indie productions to be able to produce cross-platform apps on the cheap. But then Apple gave Adobe the finger, inserting new language into its latest iPhone SDK potentially banning non-native applications from the iEcosystem; Adobe fired back by demonizing Apple, going so far as to say, “Go screw yourself Apple.” Short of both sides sending their programmers into an all-out, Braveheart-style battle to the death, no one knows how this is going to shake out — but the corporate battle does have potential consequences for independent creatives. More »
I’m doing some basic design/planning for a new section of the Filmmaker Magazine web site, and I needed a screenshot of the current home page. If you’re on a Mac, you can hit just command-shift-4 — if all you want is the a shot of the top of the page. But what if you want an image of the whole site, top to bottom? Paparazzi to the rescue. Enter the URL of the site, hit Capture, and you’re done. Perfect for redesigns and mockups, and it’s free.
Enjoy this extra white space due to the long image. Think deep thoughts.
MacHeist is a website that sells a lot of Mac applications in a bundle for less than the normal price of one of the individual apps. In the case of the currently running “nanoBundle2″ promotion, it’s seven applications that would retail for $266, on sale together for a total of $19.95. These aren’t trial versions or crippled licenses; they are the full monty.
How can MacHeist do this? Well, the involved app developers get a lot less money for their app, but they’re getting less money from a lot more people. Plus they gain a larger userbase and get broad exposure from the promotion. The current bundle contains a number of handy-looking creative applications and is live until March 9th, so I thought I’d review the software contained therein from the perspective of a writer/designer/filmmaker/blogger. To get your money’s worth you’ve really only gotta find one of the seven applications useful; is the nanoBundle2 worth a Jackson? More »
One of the supposed benefits of using a Mac is “it just works,” and I’ve generally found this to be true (as a relatively recent convert from years of problem-laden PCs). However, no matter how solid a computer’s foundation, once it’s got a few years worth of added applications, hardware changes, and operating system upgrades, there’s bound to be some virtual gunk that needs cleaning. My Macbook Pro is four years old and I’m asking it to edit 1080p video; to do this, it needs to be in midseason form, and the gym I’ve been sending it to is Titanium Software’s Onyx. Onyx allows you to “verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, to run misc tasks of system maintenance, to configure the hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock and of some of Apple’s own applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome and more.”
Know of an alternative that’s better than Onyx? Let me know!
My guest post on the iPad at FreshDV inspired some polarized discussion; whereas I focused on the new distribution possibilities offered by the iPad, detractors saw the device as just a big iPod Touch. Whether you buy into Apple’s hype or not, there’s certainly a lot of it: watch the following video for every superlative in the book.
Your Mac may make you look more like a designer or filmmaker, but beyond the basic functions of iLife, how do you write screenplays, record audio, develop websites, convert video and all the other productive stuff you bought a Mac for? What if you spent all your money on the hardware and don’t have any cash left for software? Luckily, there are plenty of creative applications available for the Mac for the price of free-99. Here are twelve apps worth a lot more than their price tag suggests. More »
I affixed a quote from a GQ interview with Philip Roth into my writing notebook before leaving for Costa Rica; it seems especially relevant now that I’m trying to shut out New York City for considerable chunks of every day. More »