Blueberry iBook (300MHz) choppy video

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by icemantx, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I have an old Blueberry iBook (300MHz) with Mac OS 10.4, 544 MB RAM and a 40 Gb Hard Drive. This is an ancient computer but has been sort of a hobby to bring it back to life as much as I can.

    I have a 2009 iMac so this iBook is not my main computer - just a toy I would like to let my 2 yr old watch videos on. I am not surprised video does not really play, but wondered if there is something I can do to improve this? Old versions of quicktime? Movie Trailers barely play 1 frame every 5 seconds and you tube just plays the audio.

    Any thoughts? Is it possible to play video on this iBook or is it simply too old for modern internet use?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    Any G3 will be too old for the internet, or videos.
  3. macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    How well videos play is dependant on it's specs (resolution, bitrate, codec, profile etc), you'll get some to play that have very low specs.

    I've seen videos (irony?) of those iBooks playing DVDs just fine.

    Here's a sample of Youtube's lowest quality option, try playing that with MPlayer (G4 optimised) and see if it's bearable. It should play a lot better externally that in the browser. If it works ok then you could use any number of tools to download the '240p' version of YT videos. I believe the 'Mac Tubes' app does this.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    Cudi Zone
    What kind of videos are they, DVDs or MPEG4 etc?
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Mostly YouTube and Netflix...
  6. macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2008
    Wichita KS
    Its never going to happen. You need at least a 1.5GHz G4 chip to make using internet video happen without having to really work at it. Some old games and CD's are about all you can do on that computer for media entertainment.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    Someone is actually attempting youtube on a G3 300 and wondering why it stutters? That actually makes me raise a few questions of my own..

    The main reason it will not and never will is it's a 12 year old laptop which works out to 6x older than your child. Even a computer half that age would struggle with flash a little.
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2009
    I don't wonder why it stutters, but simply if there was any way to view videos on it or not... It is my parents first Mac so it has nostalgia to it so I was simply curious if anyone who had a g3 Mac was successful in watching videos.

    I figured it is likely not possible... I will still keep it though as it was at the start of the resurgence of Apple - plus it is very unique looking for sure.
  9. macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Worst case scenario, you could bother converting the videos to an old enough and light enough format that the iBook could play them, after downloading them.

    ...I don't think it'd be worth that much effort, though.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2005
    If you ripped stuff to DivX with a very low resolution it would barley play but it would be watchable. If I were you I would get some of your child's fav. movies or shows and rip them to about 320x240 DivX. You could rip that video on your MacBook Pro at about 15x realtime. In Handbrake DivX is known as "FFmpeg". Don't use h.264 as it will not play at all on a G3 300.


    You're right about everything you said other than bitrate being a factor. I have been heavily ripping video for years now and bitrate has no effect at all on performance. I would say resolution and codec are the biggest factors of performance through playback.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    Netflix only works with Intel macs
  12. macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    With my 700mhz iBook g3 (dual USB) to watch YouTube videos I put the 'p' from the default 360 to 240, for me then it's at least bearable. DVDs run fine, and I haven't tried netflix.
  13. macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    I've just done a couple of tests with handbrake, using an H264 bluray as the source and encoding 720p at several different bitrates and testing their CPU usage in VLC.

    For h264:
    10,000kbps used ~48%, while 1,000 and 2,500 both used exactly 25%.

    For h263:
    I couldn't get it to do 10,000kbps, but 1,000 used 18% and 2,500 used 19%.

    I guess that for 'low' bitrates the difference in CPU load is negligible, which could explain our differing experiences :) That's pretty good news considering that 2,500kbps is more than adequate for SD content.

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