Friday, September 25, 2009

Toast Video Player

Just a quick note when trying to play some troublesome files, mainly older ones like SVCDs (mpgv) and so forth which may crash both QT7 and MPEG Streamclip and VLC likes to display scrambled and green; you may have a "hidden" video player (and converter) for these files with Toast. I'm not a huge fan of Toast overall but it has a handful of things that are helpful.

Go to your Toast icon, right click on it and select Show Package Contents then navigate to Contents>Resources>Toast Video Player and drag it to your Dock.

Bonus video player.

Also, don't forget that usually whatever Toast Video Player can play, Toast can convert to something useful.

XMLEditor for FCP XML Exports

XMLEditor is an interesting way to look at your XML exports (or one a client sends you). It's free and can actually help with some troublesome FCP XML saves if you know what you're doing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Speeds of Bad Firewire Cards

I thought the difference in speed between an iffy PCI FW card on an emailer's G5 and the built-in FW800 using the same hard drives and same cables was intersting. It's the difference between a 3+hour copy and a 22min one. I'm not sure what the cause is as they're still trying to troubleshoot it.

Good Speed:

Bad Speed:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quickly Preview High Playback Quality frames in Multiclip

Here's a quickie.

When you're editing a multiclip sequence and have RT set to Low or something other than High and you want to check the focus of a shot or something that requires seeing it at High Quality, simply tap Control + Z to toggle Excess Luma on and off. When it's on -and you see the green check mark or yellow exclamation point- you'll be viewing that frame in High quality.

Unfortunately, it won't stay high quality for playback if you have RT set to something like Low Quality playback.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Snow Leopard and Firewire Problems

From (there's no direct link to the posting, sorry)

Reader's workaround for Snow Leopard Firewire problems - My main work machine is still running 10.5.8, but have 10.6.1 running on other Macs and I've not seen any FW issues like this so far, but only used a FW HD dock with them once. (As far as external drives, I've primarily been using an eSATA JMB360 Expresscard connected eSATA HD dock with the 10.6.1 MBP.)
" Firewire and Snow Leopard
Since installing Snow Leopard I had problems with two Firewire DVD burners, one would not mount disks and the other exhibited read problems. They worked fine when connected by way of USB and had worked fine under Leopard. My Firewire hard drives worked OK, although others have had the problem with hard drives as well.
The problem is with a Firewire extension in Snow Leopard IOFirewireSerialBusProtocolTransport.kext

Replacing it with the extension from 10.5 seems to solve the problem. (but does that work w/64bit kernel boots?)
Some people have replaced all five Firewire extensions with those from 10.5. Results have been mixed. For some it is successful, for others the thing that works is replacing only the one extension.

One caveat. Be sure to repair permissions BEFORE restarting. If you don't, for some reason the replacement extension(s) may not be recognized despite repairing permissions after a restart and then restarting again.If this occurs you would have to repeat the entire process.

I haven't seen any issues with 10.6 and Firewire yet but could be helpful for someone.


SyncTwoFolders is a simple FREE app that will sync two folders. I've gotten mixed up with a project that's messy, to put it nicely, and while FCP's media manager is great, in this particular case just hooking up the various hard drives and syncing up the folders is what's needed initially before the real media management can take place. And by various hard drives I mean the occasional USB flash drive. Seriously. Messy.

So looking around I found SyncTwoFolders today and it's not bad. Plus, it's free. It wasn't originally written in English so keep that in mind when you find an odd phrase or word choice in the app.

Go To Meeting's proprietary G2M3 codec

If someone hands you a video that's a .wmv but won't play no matter what you try it's likely a G2M3 format which is Go To Meeting's proprietary codec and Mac users are essentially out of luck.

If you need just the audio that's okay, VLC and flip4mac will play the audio but the video will not work. Go To Meeting has it's own page about Mac support here but it doesn't mention much about video formats and I'm not installing anything to find out. Perian won't help either.

From what a friend told me, he thinks that there is a way for Windows users to initially record video to a codec that's not G2M3 but I have no idea really.

Here is a helpful post but it doesn't specifically address playback or transcoding on a Mac.

Basically, you'll need Windows, Windows Media Encoder and possibly a little thing called TMPGEnc.

QuickTime X Preference Pane

MCS (Megabyte Computing Solutions) has created an unofficial Preference Pane for Quicktime X.

You can see it's known issues which are significant in the 1.0 release here.

I'm always leary of 3rd party stuff so I haven't tried this out yet but it's good to know it's there if you dislike using the terminal since it's just a GUI for "defaults write".

(You can start learning about terminal commands for QTX here.)