Thursday, April 17, 2008

Someone told me today about a new way to share files with clients, It's a free service (they'll ask you to sign up but then tell you that no account is needed "You do not need an account to use QuickShareIt, by default, all uploads are anonymous. Just drag 'n drop files onto the QuickShareIt icon on the dock.") from twenty08 that you can use without an account. They'll track your IP address "Log your IP Address to measure usage of the services" and "Disclose any of your information we have to protect our legal rights. Disclosure will occur if required by law, or if we receive legal processes" so be aware.

One troubling thing is that once you've created an account I can't find a way to delete that account. Their account page as of this post simply reads "Coming Soon! Stay Tuned" possibly because I have yet to xfer anything via their service.So as of right now I'm not sure what a free account buys you. They didn't even send an email to the account I used.

The way it works is you download an application, then drag a file onto it that you want to share and it's uploaded to their servers, then you send someone the URL to that file. Sounds simple enough, a bit like the old days of Whalemail actually. On their FAQ page I can't find anything about filetype or size limitations which seems odd.

In a very early (the first?) post about Quickshareit I found this:

• Easily Upload Any Type of File
• Free Unlimited File Serving
• Drag & Drop 1 File or 100 Files (Multiple files or folders automatically get zipped before they’re uploaded)
• Get the URL to your file FAST! QuickShareIt automatically copies the URL to your clipboard.
• And best of all, It’s Free!

The origins of Quickshareit seem strange to me which you can read here. Why use imageshack and then IM the url to another person in the same building when they're using Macs? iChat and other IM clients allow direct file xfers, and it's even easier with Bonjour. After all the post specifies that they were just xferring screenshots which aren't terribly large.

So for some reason file transfers over IM from client to client were out, and uploading the file to imageshack, then IM the URL to someone was too much of a hassle, but...downloading an application, installing it, launching it, dragging a file to it, and then having it optionally wipe out what's on your clipboard, then still having to IM or email someone the file's URL is easier?

I still prefer using gmail for file transfers if the file is less than 20mbs. Especially when you can just drag the file to gmail's "Choose" file button. Plus gmail will archive the file for essentially forever.

Still, it's not a bad alternative. Try it out and see what you think. Here's what happened the very first time I tried to upload something with it:

Oh and be cautious if you have Comcast because uploading with QSI could trigger Sandvine, yay.


smcFanControl is a little free app that allows you to control the fan speeds (and hence the temperature) of your Mac. It works on most Macs but not all. I use it a lot to crank up the fans when I have a long encoding/transcoding or rendering session that I leave overnight.

It runs as a little menubar item which shows the CPU temp and the rpm of your fan(s). You can set preset fan speeds like one for Rendering and another higher speed for Encoding and another for Gaming if you want. On top of that it, running it seems to have fixed a reluctant-to-speed-up fan in my GF's Mac Mini which was beeping as the fan wasn't spinning up in response to increased CPU usage and therefore heat so the overheating beep or tone was sounding every few minutes. (About 185°F @ 2700rpm seems good for an Intel 2Ghz Mac Mini at ≈ 98% CPU usage.)

smcFanControl is even safe to run constantly and set to run at login because all it does is modify a few plists and read the temperature sensors built into your Mac. What it does is set a minimum fan speed, allowing the fan to ramp up as needed as temperature increases, also, it won't allow you to slow down the fans to anything below the default speed Apple has set so it's quite safe to use. I've been using it since release 1.0 without any problems. Plus it's just fun to watch the temp and fan stats update in the menubar.

It's simple, free and could end up prolonging the life of your hardware. Plus their website has girls on it.

LiveQuartz Image Editor

LiveQuartz Image Editor is a tiny free image editor that's something to look forward to when it matures. Simple interface (which needs some tweaks) and some handy features like the background eraser really shows off the potential for this little app. It could be handy for quick image adjustments when you don't want to launch something slow and bloated like photoshop or don't feel like messing with pixelmator.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


From the same company who make VisualHub comes their new audio conversion tool, AudialHub.

Conversion from dozens of audio types to popular formats like AAC, MP3, WMA, AIFF, WAV, Apple Lossless, 3G (cell phones), Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and even Audio and MP3 CDs!
Audio tracks inside video files can also be converted!
Common tags (Artist, Album, etc) are automatically passed when applicable.
Up to 16 hours of audio can be converted to a single MP3 CD.
Easy-to-use Trim capabilities to narrow down short segments of audio.
Quick Preview capability to check out compression quality and Trim settings before a full conversion.
Dynamic file queue, allowing mid-conversion changes or additions, Pause/Resume, and an "always ready" Assembly Line Mode!
Run multiple simultaneous conversions in separate queues with separate settings.
Growl notifications, Dock progress indicator, and AppleScripting automation support!
Normalization, audio track selection, multiple decoder options, and direct access to add custom low-level command-line settings!
Detailed Users Guide and Help Center.

Even the price is funny: $18.81 alone or at a discount (if you bought VisualHub) of $14.41.

(btw, VisualHub was updated to v1.32 today)

FCP Manager is $99, Preference Manager, FCP Rescue are free

There's a fourth FCP pref manager app on the loose. This one is called "FCP Manager" from Reinphase Inc and it's $99. What's it do?

Save Final Cut Pro® preference & environmental settings as 'presets'
Launch new Final Cut Pro® projects using previously saved presets specific to users, formats, etc.
Efficiently manage preset files
Group multiple presets into folders
Add title, comments and user information to presets
Protect presets from accidental overwrites
Import/Export presets
Delete and restore Final Cut Pro® preference files
Intuitive and simple user interface

Compared against FCPResuce or Preference Manager which are free, this seems pretty steep to me. Even FCP Attic is only $15.

As "craigkabis" said at "Wow a hundred bucks! Can I have some of the crack you're smoking. $20 would be high for what this does."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Knowledge Base Updates

Apple released several updates to the FCS knowledge base the other day. I'm late, again :)

Final Cut Express: Deleting audio tracks
Final Cut Pro 6: About the Render All command
Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express: Troubleshooting FireWire using direct connections
Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express: Unexpected quit with Panasonic HDC-SD9 AVCHD
Final Cut Server: Changes made to browser headings do not appear in metadata
Final Cut Server: "Original media" appears in version comment field
Final Cut Server: Media in Final Cut Pro appear as "Media Offline" when using a Contentbase device for edit-in-place
Final Cut Server: Some Final Cut Pro projects may not always check out correctly
Final Cut Server: Support resources
Final Cut Server: Uploading and transcoding a file without a filename extension will stop the job
Final Cut Server: Windows client cannot copy files with filenames longer than 152 characters
Final Cut Studio: Kernel Panic with Kona 3 cards on Mac Pro

Artifacts and Fast User Switching

I've been editing on a friend's system for the past few days under a newly created account on their Mac. We've been using Fast User Switching a bit and I've noticed that if I leave FCP running on my login while my friend logs into their account, when switching back to my account sometimes, but not always, the Canvas will display heavy artifacts and skip considerably while playing something from the timeline. The footage was shot to a P2 card as DVCPro HD, 720 24p.

The odd thing is it's not consistent and I can't reproduce it every time at least so far. It may have something to do with this little-acknowledged Quicktime bug 7.4.5 but I'm not sure. Another report of this bug is here.