Sloooow Video Editing - What's holding me back?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jruc4871, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. jruc4871 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    First off, i'm very happy with my eMac (my first Mac, purchased 8/04). Other than the enormous size and weight, it's been a perfect internet/iTunes/photo box and it's given me little to no hassle.

    However, I've recently tried to stretch the machine's capabilities by editing some video for work. Ripping a 2 hour DVD took about 3 hours, editing in QuickTime 7 pro is extremely choppy, and importing the QT files into iMovie 4 takes about twice real time. None of this is intolerable, it's just a less than ideal experience.

    Here's my question: what's holding me back and what can I do to improve my setup?

    I'm running 10.4.4 and iLife 4. I have about 18 Gigs of free storage and my 768 Ram is 512/256.

    Would an external firewire drive be better? balanced RAM? iLife 6?
    Or....am trying the computing equivalent of canoeing across the Atlantic? (get there eventually, but at what cost?)

    thanks for any pointers you may be able to share...
     
  2. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    External FW drive is recomended, editing on you boot drive is not a good idea.

    If you are taking in a lot of DVD footage, if you can plug a DVD player into a DVcam /DVbridge & capture the DVD footage from the DVD, it be in real time, you can stop start & take the bits you want.
     
  3. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #3
    Definetely get a external hard drive and try cleaning off your internal hard drive. You should NEVER edit video on the same drive as which your OS is stored. Make sure you turn off sleep mode, make sure you also turn off the mode that spindles down the hard drive.

    You have enough ram, and I'm sure you won't need iLife 'O6.

    Here are some questions:
    Can you change processor performance on your eMac? (Put it on Highest if you can)
    Do you have any apps running in the background?
    Are you willing to buy a new machine?
     
  4. litosclone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    City of the Crosses
    #4
    What are you using to rip the DVD's?

    You might want to upgrade to Final Cut Express, Rip the DVD using Handbrake, import and edit the file in FCE. You can also convert files using ffmpeg and import those files as well. FCE 1 or 2 are at selling at affordable prices on eBay. Hope this helps with the process.
     
  5. jruc4871 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    Thanks for the insight.

    I'm using Handbrake to rip. No problems except for the speed.
    I've cleared out the hard drive as far as i can (40 gig iTunes library).

    Good call on the external drive. Is the Lacie 250G Porsche drive a safe bet? seems to have mostly favorable comments on the Apple Store. Seems like it will give me plenty of room to grow and a backup option (i've been derelict on backing up my data...)

    Can you change processor performance on your eMac? (Put it on Highest if you can)
    I'll check on this tonight

    Do you have any apps running in the background?
    nope, i know enough to at least give the thing a fighting chance.

    Are you willing to buy a new machine?
    Do I dream about a 20" Intel iMac? absolutely. Can I afford one? probably.
    I'm just trying to work with what i just bought 18 months ago. Might not be feasible though.
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #6
    Other than the above, more RAM is always a good thing. The difference in my Powerbook between editing with 512MB RAM and 1.25GB RAM was chalk and cheese. One thing to note is that you'll want the external drive connected by firewire and with a decent buffer - not sure if the eMacs have FW800.

    I noticed a big speed increase when I went to iMovie 5, haven't used iMovie 6 enough to really comment on whether there's another speed improvement there.

    Your Processor (Highest) will probably be found under Energy Saver in the System Preferences.

    The last thing to say that encoding video is very processor intensive - not sure what speed of G4 is in your eMac and that will always be the bottleneck particularly when it comes to getting it back onto a DVD again. Best way to notice, is to get it as fast as possible using your editing tools and then let encoding happen overnight (or when you're out for a few hours)
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Good comments from the others. The one about going through the DV format is good.

    But have you looked at "Activity Monitor" It is in Applications -> utilities. It will display a graph of the CPU, RAM and Disk usage. Basically if you find you are not maxing out disk I/O then buying a seconf drive will not help. Same with CPU usage. "Activity Monitor" can save you from adressing bottle necks that don't exist or in locating what it is that is "maxed out"

    All, that said. the eMac is just a bit under powered. Stuff all the RAM into it you can. I'd only go for a second disk if you need the space. It sounds like your bottle neck is in transcoding. A quad core G5 Power Mac would help. What are they paying you to sit and wait? You may be able to cost jutify a porfesional machine, that's why pros buy them.
     
  8. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #8
    the eMac is prolly the last machine i would recommend to someone who needs to do video editing. selling the eMac for a MDD dual G4 powermac would be better, or you can wait for the prices for the G5s to drop. check one ebay for a dual 1.8 system and you wont be disapointed
     
  9. jruc4871 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    Thank you all for your suggestions. i realize that my machine isn't ideal for video editing, but it's this or one of my company's windows boxes. (I'll take a slow iLife route every day of the week and twice on sunday over that option).

    I took some recommendations and upgraded RAM to 1 Gig. I also purchased an external firewire drive - needed one for backup purposes anyways. In case you're interested, it's a Maxtor OneTouch II, 300G.

    The difference is quite noticable.

    Maybe I'll upgrade the machine on my 2 year anniversary of owning a Mac (coming up this August).

    Thanks again.
     
  10. jruc4871 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    Also, i was confused by this until Mac Help told me that eMacs don't offer this feature. C'est la vie...
     
  11. rockandrule macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #11
    Glad to see that things have somewhat cleared up for you. You'll definitely see a big difference with the changes you have made. Another idea, throw the 40GBs of music across to the external now. If you have the drive sitting next to your eMac and have it on all the time, just throw the music on there. And if you don't want to leave it on all of the time, as it is not recommended to do so, it's not like it takes up much time to fire up a drive.

    And of course, don't upgrade your system on it's two year anniversary. That would make your eMac feel worthless and not up to par. We don't want any sad macs around here..... (Completely just joking with this one)
     

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